Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Manifesto of the Matriarch: A 14 Step Guide for Coping With Reality

1. Instead of saying “Man has dominion over all life say, “Man has responsibility to it.”

2. Give of yourself generously and freely, but do not neglect yourself. A wise person once said, “Carry your sanity around with you as if it were a kitten in danger of being eaten by dogs.

3. Take the words back that people and institutions have held hostage all these years. Tell the church, “You don't own the word God!” Tell Christmas, “You don’t own the colors red and green!”  Take them back!   They are rightfully yours.  If we can’t get them back, then let us make up new words for beauty, ones that have to be grunted.  

4. Never assume that you are understood by anyone.  We are alone, but we are pieces of the same fragment.  Remember Antonio Porchia, “I know what I have given you, but I do not know what you have received.”   No one can understand your suffering completely, even if you give yourself  in an honest desperation to be understood. Do not be sad; it is not their fault. We are all our own vast, little, and terribly unique universes of experience.

5. Protect the innocent and the weak. When someone hurts and you turn your back, an  injury to your own conscious occurs whether or not you recognize it. The inner being cries at the thought of inflicting or witnessing dominance no matter the abstract reason for it.  The part of us that enjoys violence is the part of us that is in pain. To fall short of your own conscious is to lose an amount of sanity with every injustice. Violence is not honorable. It is better to run and hide. From a subtle dominance, to a gunfight, to war, it is never justified.  Always reject it.  The “fight for peace” is an impossibility and is used to rationalize dominance.  

6. Honor others like you want to be honored.  The only pillar we have  is each other. We interact to check in, to gain perspective, and to justify and validate our experience. We need each other.

7. To heal from trauma and emotional pain, write down your resentments and things that give you grief.   Think of your attention as a flashlight and your issues as darkness. Do not fear your phantoms.   If you shine your consciousness into your past, void of pity, you can disintegrate your shadows and depression. It is not a struggle to heal, even though it may feel that way. Admit your faults or they will devour you. The only hurdles are your  mind and its babbling, the resistance to make the decision to heal, and fear. You must be fearless and thorough, exploring the things that make you uncomfortable the most. After you have written them out, read them to someone  you love and respect.  Do not be afraid of rejection, because if they are genuine, they will accept you.  Then you will know yourself, be able to heal, and be set free from your faults.

8. Do not feel threatened by others.  Instead, ask them, “What is written on my forehead,” and don't hate them when they have the courage to tell you. Accept their critique and use it to grow.

9. Listen to your inner voice or it will go away.  Every time your gut tells you to do something, however seemingly trivial, and you disregard it, your intuition gets quieter.  If this continues, eventually, one day you wont hear it any more.  If your inner voice has already left you, fear not, it can be re-cultivated with diligence and an open desire to listen.

10. Do not be ruled by your thoughts. Meditate. Your brain is a tool that is endlessly calculating and running ideas and situations through to their possible ends.  It needs a break every now and again. Don’t worry; you won't slip into a void of unintelligent nothingness.  All of the jabbering will still be there when you’re done resting and you’ll operate better for your effort.  Be nice to yourself.

11.  Speak your mind and  do not hold back.  Someone might depend on you. Something you say could change their life forever.   It could be the opportune moment, when their ego has finally exposed its crack, making their  rigid exterior vulnerable to penetration. That’s when you strike, not with advice, or tough-love, but with truth spoken in a non-judgmental, compassionate tone and intention.

12. With every decision, also consider your last breath.  Ask yourself, when life inevitably ends and its events flash before your eyes, will you look back with regret at the decisions you have made, or rejoice that you have done right by your own conscious?

13. Burn the book that claims to hold the only truth, because that's what your intuition is for. Anyone or ideal claiming an absolute truth is a lie. No one knows your truth but you. No ideal is concrete.  Reality is a dynamic and continuous collective learning experience.   We are all born into this world bare backed and without a manual so why would anyone else know any better than you what is right for you, who to hate, or how to live? Trust your gut; it’s all you have. 

14.  Have courage. The last thing the world needs is more spineless people.  Act out and rebel whenever  it serves love, life, and freedom.   

 © 2012



Sunday, May 13, 2012

Time for some traveling...

The spring semester has finally ended.  Oh thank God. I accomplished so much in the last couple months in the subjects of form, depth,  and composition.  I feel like, though I have a ways to go, I have learned most of the tools needed to render from reality at a level that is up to my own standards.  Before this semester, I didn’t feel like I had all the vital information I needed yet. For example, before sculpting the figure I had never really circled the figure in search of contour lines to define my form. I also had never once considered the top view of a figure. Now I am concerned with all sides.

My ceramics have also slightly improved. I am making lidded vessels that actual work structurally and function without being annoying, though they are still kind of heavy. These last couple months, I have been more concerned with controlling the glaze and overall surface appearance (which is practically impossible to control) than the form of the vessel itself.  These pieces are done by drawing over the raw glaze with paraffin wax, then washing the exposed glaze off, and finally dipping again in a contrasting color glaze.  I also tried taping off these areas and spraying with an air brush as I read to do, but for some reason these techniques did not work for me.  The air brush would blast away all my hard placed tape that didn’t even stick right in the first place.  I’ve been told to try latex, but maybe next semester. 

The other method I was focusing on for surface control was carving. I would cover a raw piece in iron slip..  Once the piece was covered, I allowed it to dry, which I found out much later was a mistake and that I should have carved at the ‘leather hard’ stage for more control; I began to carve  designs into my bowls and vessels through this layer of iron.  I would then bisque the piece and use a standard clear glaze.  I like the results though they are completely unpredictable. There is a smoky quality to the images. I love this lidded pot. It is definitely one of my favorites from this semester.

                                                                  And a four bowl set.

                                                   And some other trinkets of various methods.


In other topics, Geoff and my comic is going well, full steam ahead. I think I am going to mail the pages ahead to Florida so that we can work on them through the summer.  Oh yeah, And we are getting married at this year’s 2012 Rainbow Gathering.  So far some ideas for the ceremony include everyone in bird masks and fun costumes, and of course a plethora of musicians (god-willing).  About the bird masks (idea compliments of Miss Darby Laine): My other awesome friend Darren just explained to me the process of making papier-mâché bird masks that form to your face.  So I figure we’ll hike a bag of flower and some acrylics into the woods when we go into the gathering so we can have a pre-wedding bird mask making party.  I am excited. I love ritual.  Anyway, back to the beginning of this paragraph, As some of you known  Geoff and I have been working on a comic strip called War on X-mas since last November or so.  Here are some in-progress images of our project. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

            Things are well in my artistic world. I feel that school has been a very nurturing place and I have grown as an artist since last September. These last two semesters, I have learned so much about form and the human figure. I am finally starting to bridge the giant gap that exists between my 2 and 3 dimensional world. 
            My sculpture/pottery teacher is a freaking genius.  He had the class start with three, 7 inch torsos, moving on to a seated 1/7th posed figure, then to a 17 inch, half-size torso.  Looking at these torsos, I see how useful doing the smaller sculptures first was.  I especially see the progress I have made in rendering the shoulder area. In the first photo, the smaller one,  her shoulders are too broad. They look as if they belong on an entirely different figure, some kind of body builder chick.

            By the time I got to sculpting the bigger one, I was able to realize and learn from my mistakes to not repeat them again.

            So I rented an awesome camera for a couple days to photograph art. I have to give it back today, but I made sure to take a ton of pictures before I do. Here are some of my classmates who are awesome.



               And here is a panel from the comic Geoff and I are working on.