Monday, May 9, 2011

Mythology? What Mythology?

There are two ways of dealing with mythology.  Intellectually is the first.  The myths are written down and we read of them.  Greek gods and goddesses along with the Hindi gods and the tribal societies, you know, the African bush tribe that turned a Coke bottle into a god and we also have the spiritual mysticism of the American Indians.  We have and know about all of that as well as other more modern mythologies such as Roman Catholicism, the sufis and  the ancient myths of Persia and Egypt as well as the myth of the grail, the Da Vinci Code.  When one looks at the big picture it is possible to see that the  myths are not just singing to us but that they are singing the same song in harmony should we allow ourselves to hear it as such. They are trying to convey  the same message.  The myths are signposts to the source and they are metaphors on how to live our lives. They tell us that we are all one. The essence of Mythology is to search for an understanding of the source that we are in fact made of.   We are all brothers and sisters and the world is beginning to see itself in this way and in doing so we must learn to respect other cultures beliefs and yet recognize our sameness.  Ultimately my paintings are about achieving Perfect Balance in the now by manifesting fresh perspectives of ancient truths. 

As the global society emerges a new Myth is developing along with it, fresh ways of understanding our relationships to ourselves, to each other and to the environment..  At least we must hope so because, by the rapid changes in our civilization, we have been confronted with a reality in which old, localized ways of understanding do not apply anymore.  We are naturally looking for, and at, something bigger. 

A human life is a series of experiences which constantly confront us in a myriad of ways and a person has to be creative in order to handle it.  Myths have the ability, at their best, to help us in our inevitable endeavors.

The essence of Mythology is the vision quest.  The call.  One can be called to stay in their society, in the village, within the realm of what is known or one can decide to step out of that world and allow new worlds to break in on them.  That is a leap of faith.
When one steps out of the society and takes risks, life opens up.  Creativity comes from throwing oneself into the adventure.  I speak from experience on this point. 
It is My Amazing Success Story.

Another way to interpret the Myths is to recognize that the adventure of ones own life journey is ones own myth.  It resonates with others who have experienced similar, inevitable transitions of a human life.  In hindsight,  a life's journey can be marked and easily seen as a heroic path in mythological context.  Or a tragedy.  Reflecting on the events of ones life it is often easy to see how even seeming tragedy opened a door to blessings.   The problem with the intellectual  way of understanding Myths is that the mind tends to break them down into science and fact and eventually proves that there was no flood, no ascension, no grail and if  there was no Sir Gallahad or a Gandolf, or golden calf then we dismiss the myth on scientific conclusion and by doing so commit an error and miss the meaning of the lesson to be learned.  It doesn't matter whether a myth happened or not as long as it's essence is created from the truth, from the Source and divinely channeled through the efforts of the Painter, the Musician, the Poet who manifest it. The Myths real power is to show us how to live.  The Myth's message does not come from a point of intellectual thinking.  It comes from that source of life within all of us and which compensates for the limits of our intellectual life.  It is where our eyes can find rest when the computer is off, in our moments of quiet reflection.  My Paintings are created out of my personal experiences, the chapters of my tale, of my individual myth, in hopes that it rings true with a larger, social myth and by doing so is able to stand as signposts for others to read as we cross paths, as we maintain the balance of our lives.
In the past the local myths of a society helped those people come to grips with the joys and challenges of life, from birth through puberty and parenting to death.  These events were ritualized so that the society had some idea about what was happening to them.  They helped people grow from a a place of dependency to authority, from childhood to adulthood.  The people participated in the rituals and embraced the myths. 

Today we find ourselves in a new social group.  The World.  The old myths do not function in the same way that they used to.  Now that we are aware of so many mythologies, so many belief systems we can see how they correlate with one another, how they sort of harmonize in a global song.  The idea of enemies is changing.  It has to change. There are no more savages, rather we are all brothers and sisters here and should learn to get along.  We must follow the signposts that lead in this direction if we are to realize the dream of Peace and I feel that is fundamental.

I saw signs left by Martin Luther King and Black Elk.  You may have seen some of them too.  The marks of the Apostles and Plato and the Tao of Pooh came creeping into my pantheon of experience, emerging from between the lines, zen like, and steering me to toward the central mountain of the world. The Huck Finns, the Bob Dylans and the John Muirs of the world became known to me and and I knew in my heart that all I had to do was go and the adventure of my life would appear.  Caravaggio, Dali, Nerdrum and other determined messengers spoke to me, as if in a  dream and so, armed with a sketchpad I walked to the edge of town and stuck my thumb out.  Press "like".  My journey is not about finding myself.  I have always known what I am and I seek that in which I recognize myself.  I look for the extraordinary.  My journey has been to nurture and cultivate my talents, to record the signs as they appeared so that on darker days we remember what it is to stand in the low golden light of dawn.  My journey is as that of a messenger and as a Realist Painter  it is my job to discover nuances that are suspended between things, that appear as the surfaces of things, to study the fluxwalls we share and preserve my findings as is true to my nature, in the best way, in the rich luminous surfaces of Original Oil Paintings.  Signposts for those whose paths leads to them.  My paintings are whispering the opening lines of the adventure, of your story as well as mine, for we are all in this together. 

Paintings hang around.  that is the point and it is an important point to consider what we look at.  They feed us unconsciously on a daily basis. They are signs.  A great Painting is at first new and amazes us and then we seem to get used to it, but, we come back to them again in another light after a time and we see it with a new perspective and realizations occur, a fleeting glimpse of something…and we return to look at the painting again to experience that fleeting glimpse again, and again.  Great Paintings become destinations in themselves.  I see it as the job of the poet, of the artist, to show the radiance that shines through the forms of time and space.  For me as a painter, to hang this radiance in the living environments of collector's homes so that they may be reminded of the beautiful mystery that we are part of on a daily basis, is a primary objective of my message.  I do not claim to be a shaman.  I am not saying 'Here is the new myth, this is what it is'  because it doesn't happen like that.  We must all come to terms with ourselves as individuals and then in relation to one another, as a society and from there the new myth will develop. It is a living thing that grows according to intention.  Hopefully our social consciousness matures into a positive, dignified myth that guides us so that we may come to live better, more rewarding lives and to live this life in balance, with grace.  It is a matter of choice and a great painting has the power to help guide our choices.

I have always believed that Painting is important.  That the ability to manipulate paint in ways that can stir with illusion the imagination and spirit, that is powerful indeed.  It is my responsibility to step out of the safety of the community, to have the experiences, learn my craft and then to do the work.  To Paint for you.  This I do daily as I take my responsibility seriously.  It is your responsibility to acknowledge recognition, to purchase a signpost that rings true to you so that you may more easily reap and enjoy the benefits that life offers you.

The Power of Painting is more than mere memisis, it embodies the Artistic Spirit, the intention and oxygen from the studio, the sense of excellence, of quality, and with it comes a sense of human dignity, a sense of hope and achievement.   These are all benefits that shine from the wall where a well crafted oil painting hangs.

Trust yourself and be bold.  Take leaps of Faith.  You will be creatively rewarded!

Opportunities are available to you now.

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