Trunk

Art & the Internal Arts

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This is a catch-all thread for anything art related to the internal arts.  Personal / spiritual / cultural development through art.  Art therapy.  Posting art, either that you've made or that you otherwise appreciated.  Art as a medium for spiritual teaching transmission, such as items on an altar.  Art as a journaling method.

 

I’ve got several partially baked art explorations, more thoughts than I can keep in this ol’ head, so ... here we go.  :o:D

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Harry Smith

 

 

Harry_Everett_Smith_1965.jpg

 

and his 'magical  art '

 

 

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Magic Transistor

 

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Enochian .

 

 

harry-smith--jazz-painting-algo-bueno.jp

 

 

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Harry Smith made a mark in a number of areas, notably the Anthology of American Folk Music and the accompanying materials.  

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Boney made a mark in other areas too .

 

Like inventing Blitzkrieg warfare  for the British . They where not interested , so he sold it to the Germans before WWII started .

 

 

 

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Art is meditative.

 

Either you’re focused on entirely internal inspiration, or a blend of external object + inspiration.  There’s an identifying of inspiration, and the sustained quiet focus on that ‘object’ ... for sustained period.  And that sustained quiet focus is meditative ... and so, by the magic of sustained quiet attention, layers of depth excavate, reveal themselves ... this inexhaustible layered depth ... that magnificence that we oh so slowly soak into over the years, repeatedly blows our minds and is never tapped out.

 

That’s my main premise, I think.  The art process certainly doesn’t always go that way, but I think that some aspects of meditative process are built into the art process and so can immerse one’s self in that magnificent layered soaking deeper into things... be it nature, an aspect of our own consciousness, etc.  

 

And so art just is such a natural fit for spiritual & personal growth, often without any of the lingo of spirituality.  I think that artists are often hip to that process, and dig art often mainly for that reason ... but maybe don’t talk about it like ... a Buddhist would.  On the other hand, the eastern arts (painting, etc) have been *much* more integrated into the internal arts within those cultures.  Partly me projecting: What I can say for sure is that I’m enjoying integrating art & internal arts.

 

 

 gointothearts-sayskurtvonnegut.jpg

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Hilma af Klint 

Paintings for the temple, 1906 -1915

Three representative samples pictured here from a group of 193 in the series. She is widely considered the first of the abstract painters in Europe. Her works were rooted in her experiences with spiritualism for a time.

 

 

4325150E-EC90-4500-B0E8-82F4DFA6DBB3.jpeg

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Robert Henri’s book, “The Art Spirit”, is a touch-stone of artistic insight and inspiration.  Deeply life affirming; reminds me of Walt Whitman.

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Spirit-Robert-Henri/dp/0465002633/

(inexpensive used)

This book has become like a bible to me.

 

Robert Henri, 1865-1929 brief bio:

American painter, born in Ohio, art education initially in Pennsylvania, then at 23-26yrs in Paris, back to US art schools/movements (studied, taught in, and founded), lived mostly in PA (back & forth some to Paris), philosopher, *extremely* popular teacher, participated in art, poetic and social movements.  In the spring of 1929, Robert Henri was named as one of the top three living American artists by the Arts Council of New York.  He died of cancer that summer at the age of 64.  Forbes Watson, editor of The Arts magazine wrote, "Henri, quite aside from his extraordinary personal charm, was an epoch-making man in the development of American art."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Henri

 

So, Robert Henri was a painting instructor and he’d write notes (anywhere from 1 sentence to 3 pgs) to his students regarding their work.  Some of the notes were compiled into “The Art Spirit” book.   ... but, holy crap!, he wasn’t just a painter! ... or maybe rather his view of what a painter is is blowing my mind.  Really convenient sized notes to read snippets, over coffee and a meal.

 

Way too much and varied to cover in one post.  Likely I’ll be posting bits in multiple posts as I’m going through processing coming to the end of my first pass reading this book.  This book has not only (and continues to) opens my eyes to the art process and culture ... but I would say largely the book is a major psychic development text book with almost never using spiritual/esoteric words.  And psychic development in the most benign appreciative way of one’s own process and of being aware of the deeper layers of life around us... that, in this context, is brought forth in painting... which takes sustained focus, quiet mind, skillfully soaking into life.

 

I’m trying to find just a quote or two for this first post... hmmm...

Quote

All manifestations of art are but landmarks in the progress of the human spirit toward a thing but as yet sensed and far from being possessed.

 

Quote

 

We have little interest in the material person or the material thing.  All our valuation of them is based on the sensations their presence and existence arouse in us.

And when we study the subject of our pleasure it is to select and seize the salient characteristics which have been the cause of our emotion.

 

 

So, there is this clear direction and focus to stay with the subject and to stay with our inner life, to sense, locate, develop a sense for, locating in ourselves what has been evoked in our inner world ... with sustained focus.  And/or, to stay with the subject and find/see what inner life is there that is being expressed outwardly in form.  And *staying* with the inside while painting.  This is a psychic development, self-development and life-appreciation course.

 

And (at least some of) his paintings (in this style), are very much about character, atmosphere, inner life ... expressed on canvas, that is a result of that process.  ... but, honestly, while I like his painting and see his process in his painting, reading about the *process* and his *view* is blowing my skirt up, lol.  (I’ll add a painting of his later).

 

2013_NYR_02707_0021_000(robert_henri_flo

 

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These pictures have *atmosphere*.  The backgrounds are clearly part of the picture and are part of the mood and life of the subject.  And there is a deep appreciation and process, art process, meditative focused process, that the artist goes through to get to that, to stay with it, such that the inner continues to unveil itself.

 

- Trunk

 

p.s.

And it's not just surface painting technique of "how do I paint a background?", but the inner process of how you get to the place where you feel, find the background, that you even have the idea of how to 'look' for that in your own perceptual field, that you can stay with it, and express it.  Astounding.

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14 hours ago, steve said:

Hilma af Klint 

Paintings for the temple, 1906 -1915

Three representative samples pictured here from a group of 193 in the series. She is widely considered the first of the abstract painters in Europe. Her works were rooted in her experiences with spiritualism for a time.

 

 

4325150E-EC90-4500-B0E8-82F4DFA6DBB3.jpeg

 

First thing that came to mind is Sekhmet. Very cool. Thanks for sharing :) 

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Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche wrote a wonderful book on this called Spontaneous Creativity. I did a workshop with him a few years ago that combined meditation (rushen) practices with creative expression. The expression can come from the negativity of our samsaric experience or from the source itself. In the retreats he guides, we often reserve an evening for sharing such creative expressions It’s a lot of fun.

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 Alex Gray

 

 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ1nLkLAp-4LnU96QhUonh

 

 

 

 

 

1zLygcV.jpg

 

 

 

And Tool's use  of his art 

 

try from 8:30

 

 

 

 

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@RobB, I find the 1st & 3rd ones ... resonate, evoke some kind of experience.  Especially the 3rd.

Thanks for posting.

 

 

another quote from Robert Henri’s “The Art Spirit”, pg 92

Quote

 

There are many craftsmen who paint pleasantly the surface appearances and are very clever at it.

 

There are always a few who get at and feel the undercurrent, and these simply use the surface appearances selecting them and using them as tools to express the undercurrent, the real life.

 

If I cannot feel an undercurrent then I see only a series of things.  They may be attractive and novel at first but soon grow tiresome.

 

There is an undercurrent, the real life, beneath all appearances everywhere.  I do not say that any master has fully comprehended it at any time, but the value of his work is in that he has sensed it and his work reports the measure of his experience.

 

It is this sense of the persistent life force back of things which makes the eye see and the hand move in ways that result in true masterpieces.

 

 

I can’t find the quote, but another, he said sthg like, “After all, it is not outward appearances that we enjoy about a person, it’s how they make us feel being around them”.  And applies that basic idea to painting.  

 

Various statements like this, throughout the book, that *really* eloquently point to layers of reality... with the clarity, steady inquisitiveness ... trying to find the words ... there’s that profound humbleness when you’re present and mundane consciousness submits to simple consciousness... and yet there is staying present and focused and *really* identifying focusing in on ... whatever your radar picked up on as the inspiration to be excavated.  This is a psychic exercise workbook in just the sweetest most natural unassuming way.

 

 

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I like to gaze at the sky and take photos...

 

Prospect Preak overlooks the Great Cacaphon and Potomac valleys

 

 

CB47E4D3-BC42-413D-8366-2C4A05CE1F31.jpeg

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For me, more than the Visual arts, music is a form of release and transcendence. Especially improvisational music — I find that playing improvisational music requires a suspension of the intellectual aspect of the mind, and entry into an altered state of awareness, where the music flows in and through the musician, in the moment, while simultaneously maintaining tempo, time signature, scale, etc. Sense of time disappears along with the sense of self — only music is. 

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2 minutes ago, dwai said:

For me, more than the Visual arts, music is a form of release and transcendence. Especially improvisational music — I find that playing improvisational music requires a suspension of the intellectual aspect of the mind, and entry into an altered state of awareness, where the music flows in and through the musician, in the moment, while simultaneously maintaining tempo, time signature, scale, etc. Sense of time disappears along with the sense of self — only music is. 

 

I share your love of musical improvisation.

A great way to practice integration of resting in the Nature of Mind with body, speech, and mind.

A stepping stone to integration of other types of activities for me.

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21 minutes ago, steve said:

 

I share your love of musical improvisation.

A great way to practice integration of resting in the Nature of Mind with body, speech, and mind.

A stepping stone to integration of other types of activities for me.

My first tai chi teacher also was a master musician (as is my present teacher btw) -- and I used to learn music theory/guitar theory/jazz from him -- he would use the same words for musical improvisation as with tai chi -- "let go and get out of your own way". 

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Popped up in my attn.  I'd written about it before, quoted here.

Main points: laziness, brushes, and beauty.

 

 

On 1/6/2016 at 5:49 AM, Trunk said:

MATERIALS

 

Why brushes?

 

By chance some years back I walked into a Japanese paper and art store, bought a brush pen for $5.  Loved it, changed my life.  :D

 

brushpen.jpg

Super convenient: no set-up, no clean-up, just open the cap and paint.  Eventually ran out of ink, I was unable to find another $5 brush pen and decided to upgrade to the highly reviewed Kuretake brush pen (around $15).  *Beautiful* pen, extremely well made, refill cartridges, paints like a dream. 

 

(There are color brush pens, but I've not explored them.)

 

Along the way I bought The Sumi-E Book, an intro to Japanese brush painting but - more than that - an intro to how to hold a brush and how to perform a number of different brush strokes.  It is The Basics on how to hold and apply a brush.  Makes a huge difference.  Then I could start painting *any*thing more adeptly.


51AH-Cw5iKL._SY372_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

 

So, again, "why brushes"?  Because brush work looks beautiful.  Drawn with a pen, my pictures are pretty ugly.  (Like I said, I'm not really an artist.)  With a brush (vs pen/pencil, or any drawn tool): suddenly, no extra effort (and even less time): beautiful.  Very enjoyable to work with.

 

Want to paint color?  Crayola Watercolors.  Get 'em at a Rite Aid for about $5, or online for less.

crayola-paint-set.jpg

 

If you are really lazy (as I am) consider a Niji waterbrush to have along with your water color paint set.  It's basically a brush with a hollow handle for water.  Just squeeze a little and it wets your brush, wet the color pot and you're on.  Dab it on a paper towel while squeezing more water and it flushes the prior color, ready for the next color (or cleaned for end of use).

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You might not get your paintings in the Louvre with this water color set up but it is inexpensive, super convenient and portable.

 

Paint (and write) on a Mix Media Sketchbook.  Paper thick enough to paint on without bleeding through nor warping.

XL-mixmedia_X.jpg

 

Ok, that's materials.

 

 

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My fav was   Pelikan plaka gouache .   I used them  for 'poster style' painting  -  things like  my  GD adapted  Enochian tablets , took about 90 hrs .

 

They are used for 'trance work ' ,  figuring out 'evocation language and calls '    and exploring different  ' levels ' or  inside the various 'pyramids .

 

 

Each 'square'  represents a pyramid

 

 

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In 'astral work'  I discovered these pyramids dont just have coloured sides , each side has a texture like it  is made of the appropriate coloured stone or mineral . . .  the way inside is often concealed  and different to other pyramids , some i could not figure out how to get inside  .   . . .   what's inside them   ?  

 

-  " Wonderful things ! "

 

Spoiler

Howard carter on first breaching Tutankhamun's  chamber ;

 

" I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand in suspense any longer, inquired anxiously "Can you see anything?", it was all I could do to get out the words "Yes, wonderful things". "

 

 ;

 

There are 4 large elemental tablets arranged on a table  in square , one in each corner

 

e_tablets.gif

 

with the Tablet of Union ( or  Spirit )  in the centre

 

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Water tablet detail ;

 

 

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Making all those straight lines, neat little symbols and keeping colours in the borders  ......    :o

 

And the choice of colour tones ,  the tablets dont 'sing'  / vibrate properly unless all the colour tones and opposites   are in harmony (technically the above  tablet  is incorrect  any lettering should be the opposite of the background colour ;    black : white , red : green ,  blue : orange , yellow :  purple . . .  ie. a primary colour's opposite is the combination (secondary colour ) of the two opposing primaries

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Dr  Dee's  *  original usage was to set  out ( just the letters)  on  a sigil  

 

 

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on a table with a 'shew stone'   that reflected the sigil. After invocations the image of an 'angel' would appear within the stone and point to letters in turn , that would be written down and used as 'angelic language '  for communication   eg

 

 Enochian lettering :

EnochianA.png

 

The First Key – Phonetic :

Ol sonuf vaoresaji, gohu IAD Balata, elanusaha caelazod: sobrazod-ol Roray i ta nazodapes ......

 

*   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dee

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@Nungali  Impressive, interesting.

 

I've only recently 've been recognizing ~ exploring color as a means of refinement.  Prompted a little by painting and more so from some Tibetan art that I have at my altar.  It seems that the different colors naturally resonate with, refine, different densities of energy.  Like "bright yellow" is very spacious and light and "deep blue" is very condensed, concentrated.  And through the spectrum.  The Tibetans inclusion of the spectrum of colors in their practices/art has more practical application than I'd realized in years past.  Again, your exploration above: impressive.

 

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Which also brings up the topic of traditional sacred art

- Teachings that are embedded in traditional sacred art.

- And the use of sacred art in altars.

 

How that all works?, experiences?, ways to go about it?, all that.

Rich territory appropriate for this thread. 

Jump in.  :)

 

- Trunk

 

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You might enjoy this talk to the (UK) Buddhist Society by John 'Maki' Evans. John is an interesting guy and an engaging speaker. Part of the talk is a discussion of a mandala relating to his school and practice as painted by one of his students. He also drops in a few references to William Blake (as per my post above) who he considers to have been an advanced Vajrayana practitioner. 

 

four_zoas.jpg.dcacdacd5629ea282a9025fed416996a.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by RobB
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5 hours ago, Trunk said:

Like "bright yellow" is very spacious and light and "deep blue" is very condensed, concentrated.  
 

jacobs-ladder-william-blake.thumb.jpg.a887af19ff2fc8c96b536f40f364d779.jpg

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