The strange philosophy of EA and AE.

I’m not really sure I even want to post this, but think it’s something worth posting, and thinking about… This post will be edited later and more will likely be added since there’s a lot to talk about here…

EA was the diety of water

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ea_(Babylonian_god)

AE is a breathy sound that is very similar to what seems to be the way Yahweh is pronounced.  Yahweh is the name of God in the Jewish and Christian Religions…  The ‘breathe of life’ has a lot to do with this idea too. 

Both EA AND AE are very similar to sounds that man makes when he is urinating or defecating… ???…  the sound of the A at the end seems like it may be closer to the sound that comes when someone is breathing out while urinating and the E at the end the sound that is closer to what someone is making when straining to make a bowel movement?…  interesting connection – eh?

In Buddhism and other Eastern religions the ideas of breathing has a lot to do with a lot of things, and the idea of chi has a lot to do with it too… the idea is that Chi is stored inside of an area near the stomache – coincidence?

Adam was the ‘universal man.’  Surely the universal man occassionally had some flatulance, especially if he was eating apples sometimes.

Some new age ideas evolve around the idea that the sound MI (you know the sound after Do Rand RE in the musical scale) has some religious/philosophical/healing powers.  This is a tone/pitch that could be related to both EA and AE in some cases..?

The hoax/rumor/myth of Jabulon that’s online is an story about how freemasons tried to connect JAH, BAAL, and ON, i.e. Jah as in Yahweh (Jewish God), Baal (Lord/Master the Phoenician/Cannanite God) , and Osiris (Egyptian God)… it’s mostly false according to online sources… but it’s just an interesting idea that could be applied here… maybe all religions all basically have the same beginnings?

As the pressure is released the feeling of relief that comes may be what the original originators of the religions were inspired by and amplified as their thoughts of gods?

Blashemy?  Maybe… interesting connection/coincidence – maybe?  Just something to think about…

God be with you.

Basic Principles of The Artist’s Way:

BASIC PRINCIPLES
1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy, pure creative energy.
2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life — including ourselves.
3. When we open oursleves to our creativity, we open ourselves to The Creator’s creativity within us and our lives.
4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
5. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is conter to our true nature.
7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction
8. As we open our creative channel to The Creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

CREATIVE AFFIRMATIONS
1. I am a channel for God’s creativity, and my work comes to good.
2. My dreams come from God and God has the power to accomplish them.
3. As I create and listen, I will be led.
4. Creativity is The Creator’s will for me.
5. My creativity heals myself and others.
6. I am allwed to nurture my artist.
7. Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.
8. Through the use of my creativity, I serve God.
9. My creativity always leads me to truth and love.
10. My creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
11. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work.
12. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work.
13. As I listen to the creator within, I am led.
14. As I lisetn to my creativity I am led to my creator.
15. I am willing to create.
16. I am willing to learn to let myself create.
17. I am willing to let God create through me.
18. I am willing to be of service through my creativity.
19. I am willing to experience my creative energy.
20. I am willing to use my creative talents.

5 basic skills of drawing (from The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards)
1. The perception of edges
2. The perception of spaces
3. The perception of relationships
4. The perception of lights and shadows
5. the perception o fthe whole, or gestalt

6 and 7 are for Art with a capital A.
6. drawing from memory
7. drawing from imagination

In order to gain access to the subdominant visual, perceptual R-mode of the brain, it is necessary to present the brain with a job that the verbal, analytical L-mode will turn down!

Getting Organized, and Moving Foward…

Getting Organized, and Moving Foward…

Over the last few days, I’ve decided to start getting organized again and make more plans on how to get motivated and move forward in my life and in my art.

The cgtalk forum thread over at
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&s=f7856855978ca716d6c6734dd8c5ecb7&t=969336 got me thinking, and as I noted over there, I’m starting to work with a few notebooks and sketchooks now.

I started the Artists Way again, and am at least trying to do the Morning Pages again. I had given up on that a month or two back because my allergies were really hurting me a lot, so making the time to get up earlier in the morning then necessary to write down the 3 handwritten pages needed for that every day was too much.

We also were going through some personal crises type of things recently that was having big emotional impact on me… My mother-in-law passed away April 10th and her funeral was on the 14th. In the last couple of years my wife has lost her mom, dad, and last living grandparent as well as a six month second cousin who she never got a chance to meet that now rests in peace next to her mother and grandmother. All of these tragedies make me realize how fragile life is an how short it is, and how important it is that I start following the Artist’s Way more strictly since, as the book discusses, it really is ‘selfish’ to have talents and skills and not share them with the world or take the time to perfect those skills and talents as a gift to myself and those around me, even if it does cost a bit to do so in the form of art materials, etc.

I’ve started a notebook that is acting sort of like a diary and daily planner type of thing like the one described at http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&s=f7856855978ca716d6c6734dd8c5ecb7&t=969336 and http://studium.tobiasdeml.com/2011/04/02/making-your-life-more-efficient-than-ever-before-the-notebook-battleplan/
I’ve also started a second notebook that is a to do list similar to the one listed at http://www.erica.biz/2010/getting-things-done/.

As mentioned at http://advancedphotosolutions.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-you-need-grimoire.html we all need to do this sort of thing, especially if we focus on technical things like art, computer programming, game development, and hacking, all of which are sort of niche areas that I have some interest in on some levels.

The calander/diarly/battleplan book is sort of a daily summary thing so far, where I’m keeping small notes on mostly everything I’m doing that is of some importance in my life daily and out of the ordinary. This is sort of a reflection guide that tells me what I’ve done and when I’ve done it that will come in handy later since the calander part of it you do forwards to backwards and then back and forth… so each page has dates that are months apart so you can sort of mentally review what you did earlier that year or last year and keep your mind fresh and clear on where you’ve been so you know where you are going…

The Morning Pages notebook I’m doing is just a bunch of loose leaf papers in a 3 ring binder I keep on the coffee table and I enter 3 handwritten pages in the mornings. If I just ‘have’ to sleep in an hour I only do one half page or one page as time permits before work. I don’t try to sleep in much, but if I had too much caffiene the night before, or allergies are extra-ordinarily bad that caused me to loose sleep, or stomache is upset or loud neighbors disturbed rem time, I’m not oppossed to skipping the morning pages and just doing a shorter version since it’s all about getting healthy and wealthy on a lot of emotion and psychological levels, and you can’t be too healty or wealthy if you are lacking sleep…Eventually if that 3 ring binder is full, I might either bind the pages in some other way (likely using leather, yarn or something, or just buy another 3 ring binder… Plan on doing this the rest of my life essentially, so it’ll take up a lot of room over time I suspect.

The TO DO list is something new that I’ve not done before. I used to do to do lists in excel and notepad some for daily and weekly stuff, but never one that I wrote out by hand and updated every day. I’m finding that writing the stuff down and actually crossing it off as I do it gives a nice sense of accomplishment, and a motiviation to actually do what I put down there every day in the morning after I do the Morning pages… I want to get really detailed with this to do list and add all sorts of various technical things in it eventually every day. That way it’ll act sort of as a grimoire type of thing along with the daily calander/battleplan book.

I’ve also got a couple of voice recorders. I bought them several years back to record sounds when I was getting in to 3d animation a little in 2005 or so, but never did much with them. Now I pack them with the ‘manbag’ type of laptop case I carry with me everywhere to record notes to myself on the way to or from work and also to just do various sounds. Sound driver on computer is glitchy though, so can’t always listen to what I record there… Need to fix that eventually but not sure how. I DO NOT CARRY A LAPTOP with me ever, so don’t even think about trying to steal it from me if you see the laptop bag. All that I carry with me is a paper notebook, a cheapo mp3 player and a cheapo voice recorder in there, and somedays a cheapo digital camera somedays, lol.

Over time I might scan these various notebooks and put them online somewhere at least as backup… Also might buy myself some more external hard drives (only got one small one right now) to save backups to and actually keep one at my parents house that I’ll do backups to on a monthly basis or something going fowards.

All this writing and organization is helping me think clearer and be organized. The morning pages sort of ‘clear my mind’ in the morning. The other two notebooks help me ‘clearly define my daily goals’ and keep track of what goals I’m getting done and not getting done daily so I can become more productive as an artist and guide myself towards where I want to and need to be.

If I’m not doing all this, which is the way I used to be, my mind becomes unclear on what I need to do and when I need to do it, so I would find myself watching forums and emails or youtube and movie channels for hours without being productive. I’m probably one of the few people that call myself a painter but have not painted or sketched a lot in years… Hopeing to change that… Hoping to do small skill challenges and things to increase my skills in drawing and painting to where they were back in college, if not go beyond that level, far beyond it… to the professional level I want to be at, and that I know I can be at with a little practice… daily practices… practices that will be in that to do list that I will actually do and cross off as I do them! 🙂

I do plan to buy acid free sketchbooks too, but that, along with other art expenses will be something I’ll tackle one thing at a time… Art materials don’t have to be super expensive, and to do lists and stuff like this don’t need to be on acid free paper since scanners exist. The old me would have just not suited for anything but acid free sketchbook paper, but that’s silly and way too darn expensive just for writing stuff like the morning pages and to do lists…

a dream…

I think this is the first time I’ve ever used this blog to record a dream. I used to keep dream journals way back in college, but didn’t keep them much after college for some reason. Anyways – the dream I had, which is why I’m now up — Tekla and I were in a small dorm room type of apartment. There was some rustling out in the hallway. Peeking out the door, which was not locked, I saw several people that lived in the apartments down the hall and across from us there in the hallway… looking down… near the bottom of the doorway, just outside of the door, there was a couple of the younger people in the group of about 8 or so handling a number of squiggling worms. I felt highly offended because it seemed as though they were trying to put the worms under the door to let them in to our room/apartment. There was some sort of fear about squishing the worms since some were black and some were nromal pinkish colored earthworms. … so they might be poisonous on some level?

The reason I awoke – after we thought we’d killed them all, and the college aged kids out in the hall had left, and we had gone back to bed, one of the half dead ones that had been flung on the floor inside of the apartment in the scuffle was still moving, and a blackish furry one that looked like a catepiller sort of had crawled on my back, near my shoulder blades… this was reality kicking in with dreams because when I awoke, laying on my side, I was having problems breathing, and could feel tingling sensations in my upper back, neck and shoulder blade areas. The place with the most tingling was where that darn worm was crawling in the dream.

I usually cannot remember dreams, but when I awake from dreams due to physical reasons like this, I do sometimes remember them. In college in order to facilitate remembering dreams more often then I normally could do, I would sleep with the lights on, and cover my eyes, or block the light from them with little blanket mountains near my head. The instant transformation from dark to light would caused shock of awakening the concious mind enough that it was able to capture the main elements of the subconsious dream, but I had to write darn fast to make the real elements of the dreams appear on the dream journal — waiting seconds too long would allow the now highly active conscious mind to make up details of the dream that were not really in the dream, but are logical enough they could have plausibly been in there… a half a minute or so is all this would take to happen before the “new brain” would cover the details the “old brain” made in the dream so to speak. … keeping dream journals as I did in college helped me to realize that dreams are really the subconscious mind playing around with elements of reality, whether it is various images and scenes actually seen, or the physical reality of pain in slumber — an emergency 911 type of call to the self from the unconscious mind for self protection to keep the self from going in to cardiac arrest, etc.

…………
Today (actually yesterday now that it’s after 1 am) I was reading about Jung and Freud a bit. Jung’s idea(s) about individualism are similar to the idea of the Holy Guardian Angel/seeking the true self in various religions/and Imago idea in Harville Hendrix’s books that I mentioned in this blog before somewhat.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/1452091/CARL-JUNG

Jung’s idea about the psychic unconscious and the future, etc. is something I remember having a bit of a keen interest in when I took psychology class in college. It’s that weird element of religion, mythology, psychology, art, alchemy, and other things that is somewhat similar to a lot of ideas/themes, etc. that roll around in my head sometimes that draws me towards sort of identifying with him on a lot of different levels.

Some of the links I have on facebook posted tonight and links in delicious from the last few days are about art therapy, psychology, and a really interesting Nam June Paik reading in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art book that I like to read a lot now and then to get in to the mindset behind what a lot of various artists have done/where thinking about at various times when they created art. The Art and Satellite (1984) reading is the one I’m talking about. Lots of interesting things in there…

at one point it says, “There is no rewind button on the betamax of life. An important event takes place only once. The free deaths (of Socrates, Christ, Bo Yi and Shu Qu) that became the foundations for the morality of three civilizations occurred only once.”

Then it goes on to talk about how art in the future will need to integrate various parts of the world like satellites do sort of… electronic signals bouncing around connecting different parts of the world, in the same way that electric signals in neurons bouncing around in our brains and bodies make us work… a hodge podge of pieces working together in cohesivly.

That’s a pretty deep sort of thing to think about… sort of reminds me of the weird idea of the thetan alien germs bouncing around in what I read about scientology and posted about here before on some level.

The truth is I think we all are somewhat connected… with ourselves in the conscious/unconscious way and with others on some levels, which might be psychic on some levels.

I remember reading something in some literature class once about how the indians see the same stories played over and over throughout time… same story a different take on it with different characters all doing the same thing – that’s the sort of stuff I think Jung was talking/thinking about… it’s something we can all relate to as a sort of unconscious collective. It’s something that makes the blogsphere go round… It’s something that keeps news channels full of stories 24/7. It’s something that makes us all relate to one another empathically. It’s something that keeps religions going.

We all want to feel the connections and connectivity between ourselves, our world, and our conscious and unconscious minds. We are not single beings, but multiple parts working together as a single being, so who is to say God isn’t somewhat similar — or maybe God’s dreaming state is like that… which is our entire universe/multiverse/megaverse… maybe Buddhist/Zen has it right and reality is just a dream. I think there is a bit more to it then that, but that line of thought is somewhat similar to what I think Jung was grasping at… and it is somewhat similar to what Nam June Paik was getting at too…

we all are interrellated and see the diamond that is the world from different angles. War does not have to happen any more then people have to hit themselves in self-mutilation when they are thinking thoughts that betray their religion, etc.

The harmony and peace of coexistence is something we should strive for within ourselves and our worldwide society. Constant bickering and disagreement are ok… it’s ok to agree to disagree. What is not ok is when you try to force your ideas on others. You cannot control the other, nor should you. Even those imprisoned have their own brians, own thoughts, own reality that is different then the reality the prison guard is trying to enforce upon them. If we would all start thinking about this sort of stuff more, maybe the amount of wars in the world would decrease. Maybe the violence and idiocy would lower…

Maybe there could be real world peace like Jesus was striving for, like Socrates hinted at, etc. Maybe we can stop the hatred, violence, and people trying to find themselves but doing so in silly ways by trying to push their ideas on others and come to a real harmonious concensus…

I know, I know… lots of typos here… keep in mind is’t 1:30 now and I’m tired and trying to think all of this through, lol. I might put some of my old dream journaling on this blog someday, but am not sure if I will or not. Anyways, I guess I’ll try to go to bed now. Lots of interesting stressful things coming up later today/this morning at work… stuff I need a little more rem time to get between now and then in order to be able to deal with it in a logical manner..

Good night/morning. Have a great day. Stop trying to push your thoughts on to others. Part of the focus of art is to leave things open to interpretation on some level. Just because you see things your way does not mean your mind about it won’t be changed a bit later on, or that you have the whole picture.. so stop trying to push your interpretation of things off on others as the only true and right way to see it.

Walking the dog in the morning.

In the mornings when I walk our dog, it is a peacefully quite and serene time. The rest of the world is not fully awake. Some lights are always on though, even if the sun is not up yet shining in it’s glory. In many ways I feel as though I am walking through an Edward Hopper painting. It’s a peaceful calm, yet there is still some movement – some signs of life.

There are many small shops in the town we live in, and I walk past the display windows. Some businesses keep their lights on to deter crime. Others are completely dark. It is interesting to peer in to the windows of these closed shops as I stroll by with my four legged companion. I sometimes take a digital camera with me to shoot the display windows and various interesting patterns that the street lights create. There is an an artful beauty to it all, which many will never witness. That is why I take my photos. There is an entire interesting beauty to it which I’d like to show the world. I see myself, both as a painter and photographer, as someone pointing people in ways that will open their eyes to the beauty around them. Observation is a powerful thing – and it can bring you to recognize your place in the world. It can help you understand more of the connections between a variety of things and mankind.

It can help you see the small things that you don’t always notice as you rush past in a fast paced hurry to get to the next thing so that you can sit and wait, sit and wait, sit and wait until it is time to hurry again to the next pointless thing you will do, whether it’s sitting like a couch potato listening to the bobble heads on TV tell you various myths of their false stories which has very little eductational purpose to it other then to fill your head with useless knowledge, going to work daily to do other people’s jobs so that they will pay you money that they obtained in ways that are typically not really honerable underneath it all, or rushing home along paved highways that destroyed the beauty that was once there so you can sit in your house which will not be carried with you in to the next life and watch the 10′ o clock news about the angry protesters fighting a war against a war that should never have been started in the first place but was because no one stood up for the rights of life and compassion at the beginning and just let things rush on and on and on til they got to where we are now as the mindless masses listened to the shouts of the arogant ignorant who were rushing and rushing, never taking the time to stop and think, never taking the time to realize what the powers of creation could do, and instead chose the path of destruction, which has caused entire nations to be destoyed throughout the course of history over and over and over again… Why is it that people like listening to John Lenon songs after a war, but not before it? Something to think about…

I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but it just seems that many times we rush around doing things that ignore our basic essential needs to connect with one another and the world around us. We should make it more of a priority to listen to the birds chirping, watch the river flowing, study the patterns of the tree bark growing, be in awe of the things our ancestors have created that are still visible in the old parts of our cities, see the squirrels running and jumping, watch the grasshoppers, see the ants crawling in the grass that we miss when we walk past this hollowed ground daily, constanly being in a hurry to rush past as fast as possible… constantly hurrying to get to the next place to sit and wait – slaves to our society, obeying the rules that others set up for us, not thinking about how to live our lives the way we want to live them in harmony with nature and our neighbors.

Art is Life and Life is Art.

Something that I have come to realize is that Art is not a reflection of life nor is life a reflection of art. ART IS LIFE and LIFE IS ART! Every minute that I am not creating art, looking at art, or thinking about art in some way, it’s a minute that dead. Art is the substance that created the universe, and is the substance used to substain the universe. It just is as life just is. In order to live a more fullfilling life one must live art, embrace it, become it, think it, be it. Art’s true focus is in opening the mind’s eye so to speak… connecting the dots between the physical and metaphysical… All religions are art, and have rules, ideas, myths, stories about creation. Creation IS ART. Art is the act of creation. It is the act of connecting the dots that make up the universe. Art is the act of learning to percieve the world with a more detailed view. Art is the ability to perceive infinite levels of detail in all areas of Life. Science would not exist without art as a basis. Religion would not exist without art. Technology is science fictional art before it comes to exist. Our dreams are creations of art. Our realities are created because of our dreams.

ART IS LIFE AND LIFE IS ART.

I want to embrace, become, and be art so that I have a more fullfilling life. You should too! 🙂

Mixing colors… It’s not what you think it is.

There are two color spectrums that are important in the arts. One is real light and how it mixes in the real world. The other is reflected light and how it works in the real world. Real lighting is visible in Stage Lighting, Computer Screens, TVs, and just about anywhere that there is a real light source – light bulb, sun, window, etc. The primary colors of real light are red, green, and blue.

The primary colors of reflected light on the other hand are red, yellow, and blue. In the print world, black is also added to that to arrive at a spectrum that is abbreviated CYMK – Cyan (Red), Yellow, Magenta (Blue), and BlaCK – CK is used for Black so that it’s not confused with Blue.

Mixing primary colors in real light results in white where the colors overlap. This is easily demonstrated in stage lighting by simply aiming 3 lights at the same area, where each one has a filter on it that matches the 3 primary colors – red, green, and blue. Where the three colors overlaps on the stage or wall or whever the lights are aimed together, there’s white that shows up in the middle.

Painting and other forms of art where color is placed on an object utilize the reflected light spectrum since the paper, canvas, or whatever else is typically not a light source itself. What is really weird about reflected light is that the science behind it does something completely different from what you think it’s doing. The color we see on an object is really what’s reflecting back at us off of that object when the real light hits the object. In other words the “colors” we see in everything that is not a real light source is really an absence of that particular color in the object itself – all the other colors of the spectrum are “absorbed” by the object, so what we see is really the opposite of the color that the object really is. We see the color that bounced back at us and was not absorbed.

Because of that weird way that things work, mixing primary colors with paint usually results in a muddy brown mid-tone color with low intensity. That’s completely different than what happens when real light’s primary colors are mixed.

That means that most stuff that you see on screen will usually look a lot darker than it did in the computer when you print it, especially since printers add more than the primary colors, and throw black in too.

It also means that when you go to mix colors as a painter, you have to think completely differently than when you mix colors with real light, like when you are thinking about interior design issues in stage lighting, or just picking out lights to put in to your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or living room.

What gets very interesting is that some sculptures and other forms of art mix and match both light spectrums through backlighting, integrating tv screens in to the artform, adding lights to sculptures, etc. Sculpture is actually a whole different baseball game all together since it can incorporate time and space in to it through relationships of shadows in the real world, locations of the sun at various times of the day and year, etc. Video and painting can do that too on some levels depending on where the painting is placed, what the environment the painting is in, and of course one of the primary elements of video is time – the 4th dimension to 3 Dimensional works so to speak.

With painting, drawing, and other reflected light art forms, there is also a lot going on with how elements of the painting work with one another. Layering colors together is sort of one of the main things painters do. We create depth and dimension to a 2 dimensional plane by placing brush strokes, and other elements next to one another, on top of one another, underneath one another… There’s literally a ton of work that goes in to this sort of stuff sometimes to make a “realistic” artwork. What’s sad though is most viewers of these things that may have taken hundreds of hours to put together typically only view the work for 3-10 seconds at the most unless something in partcular catches their eye or interest in the work.

Big sculptures and video have a little bit of an advantage over painting in that regard – the viewer is forced in to watching looking at those types of things for longer periods of time, leaving more time for the work to create an impression and message. However, painting has a “presence” that exists longer sometimes, in some works. It is a visual thing that can haunt you over time as your brain echos seeing the patterns on the image over and over.

Creating works of art is a bit like wandering through a maze. You have tons of decisions to make, and each one creates subsequent decisions to make. The painting with the most “potnential energy” might well be the blank canvas… just as the work of music that might create the most interest and cause you to think about things is complete silence…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

Art is life. Life is art. Neither are a reflection of one another because both just are. They exist not in parallel to one another, or as a mirror to one another, but coexist, sometimes peacefully, other times in chaos. Out of chaos comes creation many times, and creation usually does eventually lead to some form of chaos.

The entire universe was created with a major big bang explosion of chaos, and from that came the beauty that we call life.

http://www.zazzle.com/jeffthomann

I’m going to start using Zazzle more. It’s similar to Cafepress, but also different. I will likely go back to each of my artfolio images and re-upload them to Zazzle eventually, putting a new link to my zazzle account in each of the posts that I’ve already created on Cafepress. That way my products are in both Cafepress and Zazzle. I am also probably going to do likewise for Createspace, and Lulu. Additionally, I’ll likely move some of my images that are on Turbosquid over to Zazzle and Cafepress so that the good photos are on all the markets out there. I’m also investigating a few places that let artists sell their real world artwork directly and not electronically. I might use one of those places to sell originals of some things eventually.

My Zazzle shop is located at http://www.zazzle.com/jeffthomann

Inspirations – Anselm Kiefer

Another couple of great and inspiring works that I found at the Modern Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Texas were Anselm Kiefer’s Book with Wings


Book with Wings by Anselm Kiefer

, and Die Aschenblume.
Die Aschenblume by Anselm Kiefer

I have always been a fan of Kiefer’s works. The first work that I ever saw of his is located in the St. Louis Museum of Art, Breaking of the Vessels.

Breaking of the Vessels by Anselm Kiefer

Kiefer’s work is gigantic, and epic, but also sublime and simple. It questions history, and our place in it. It takes Germanic Expressionism to a whole new level. It brings the painting/sculptures to the people, quite literally… It calls to mind the supernatural and makes us think about why it is, what our relationship is with it. It makes us question our reality and opens our minds to thinking about things more. I could write tons about the psychology behind Kiefer’s works, but think many great authors have already done so over and over, so I’ll leave you to explore their ideas on your own time.

Kiefer’s works are something that you need to experience in person. The hugeness of the works, and strange physicality to the works is something that digital photos and art books do absolutely no justice to.

Anselm Kiefer is a master of mixing physical things in to his paint and integrating sculpture in to his painterly works. Frank Stella is the only artist I know of that has works that combine 2d and 3d elements in such strange combinations that they start to come close to the mastery that Kiefer has over this realm. However, Stella’s works are typically pretty happy colors from the pretty happy rainbows that the pop world embraces while Kiefer’s is made of the mud-like dreary colors that are true dramatic tragedies that explore the psychological world a heck of a lot more in-depth than Stella’s simple facades ever can.

I’d love to do artwork the size of Anselm Kiefer’s most popular works, but don’t because the sheer enormity of such works make storage a gigantic problem unless the works are going directly in to museums and galleries. Taking photos of the works is also problematic because of the huge size. A photo just does not do these sort of works any justice since there is so much more to the works than a simple photo can capture.

A few thoughts about illustration… copyright, trademarks, why “Work-for-hire” is EVIL… and Zombies, or actually Golems Really due exist!

While I say I love illustration, and want to get in to the illustration field, I think it only fair to give you a little bit of background about me, and some of my own personal biases and things about illustration… In the wide world of illustration, usually the client always comes first. The artist does work for the client. The artist creates things, but seeks approval from the client at each step of the process. The preliminary concept art is just thought of as something to hand to the client to seek approval. The client and artist then have a disucssion and talk about things, and go to the next step… and the artist continually changes the idea to be in agreement with what the client is wanting since the client has the ultimate say as the artist is seeking payment for the work from the client.

A little bit of a philisophical problem that I have with that sort of thing, at least in my own works, is that I consider each work of art that is created in every stage of creation as a seperate and unique art form… something that is not just a preliminary work for something later, to be discarded like pretty wrapping paper that is torn apart as a Christmas present is opened. The process of creation has multiple stages. Quick little doodles done in a sketchbook are just as valid as a final work of art as something that’s been re-worked three hundred times by an illustrator or designer that is seeking permission from his or her client.

Another huge issue in all of that is the “work-for-hire” issue. Many clients want illustrators and designers that work for them to consider their work as “work-for-hire.” According to the way contract law works, art that is created as “work-for-hire” is artwork that the client will own the copyright to. In other words, if an artist creates work-for-hire artwork, the artist will have to seek permission from the copyright owner to republish the work that he or she created, and the same thing applies to and “derivitive” work… that is work that is dervived from the original… That puts artists that work in “work-for-hire” contracts in a really sticky situation since they can never use the work for hire stuff unless they get permission again, which might actually end up costing them money, etc. The derivitive issue makes the bad situation even worse because most artist tend to build a sort of visual library in their subconscious that forces works they create later in life to resemble works they created earlier… which is something they could possibly get sued for if the earlier work was a work-for-hire form of art.

For this reason, I’m not sure if I could ever “really” be a full time illustrator. However, I do like the idea of illustrating things, and creating narrative structures, so it’s possible that I might be able to get in to this field sort of. One reason I really am attracted to using Public Domain stuff as the basis of illustration is that the original copyright owner no longer has copyright over that stuff, nor does anyone else… so it’s free game for anyone… However, writers that no longer have copyrights on their books are probably long gone, and so other people probably have created derivitive works of those books and artforms over and over throughout the years, so it leaves the ancient stuff as content that will be difficult to gain any economic profits off of in a direct manner… since dead writers won’t pay anything usually… That’s why I got interested in Cafe Press, Lulu.com and other similar types of places in my exploration of all of this stuff. The internet has created a lot of new little niche areas for many of us to investigate if we want to take the time to get in to it. There’s a lot to explore and play around with in the huge playground of tweaking public domain concepts, ideas, and works, and redistrubting them with our own little additions, changes, etc.

Eventually, if I do get in to making book covers and interior illustrations for Public domain books I will build up a lot of variety and introduce new fresh ideas, in hopes that maybe someday a real writer that is alive today might ask me to do some works for their books, magazine articles, blogs, etc. If that does happen, this whole work-for-hire issue will likely come up down the road. I guess I’ll cross those bridges if/when I get to that point. Regardless, if you create artwork, this IS something you should be thinking about somewhat. There’s a lot to copyright and trademark laws. I don’t claim to be a lawyer, but do know that this sort of stuff can be a major hassle if you don’t think about it before you dive in to a contract or situation similar to a contract that is all done with verbal agreements, etc.

Do you really want to give away your right to be creative?!?… Just something to think about.

A similar thing to think about – be sure that you are honoring the Copyrights and Trademarks of other… If you want to create a work of art depicting a soda can or car, are you aware that you could be sued by Ford or Coke, or any other company if the work looks too much like theirs? This is especially true of photographs. Speaking as someone that has had some photos removed from Turbosquid a few years ago because Turbosquid received a Cease and Desist Letter from Ford due to the fact that there was a Ford car somewhere in the forground of a picture I shot once, even though it was not the main focus of the composition, I can say this stuff is a reality you SHOULD think about before and while you are making your artworks. The possibility of having to go to court and pay high lawyer fees and court fees just because you clicked your camera in the wrong place is not a fun situation to be in! Ford is probably one of the biggest companies that chases people down for this sort of thing, but any copyright or trademark owner can do similar at any time because copyright and trademark law DOES apply to “derivitive works.”

For yourself, this can be a good thing, as you could possibly sue others if they create artworks that are in your style or just look too much like your work for your liking… However, what comes around goes around, and the you can find yourself on the receiving end of the same issue if you create works that are too much like other folk’s stuff too… which is something we all need to think about a LOT as everywhere you turn today there’s some namebrand, logo, or copyrighted thing in your face 24/7.

Your computer has a logo on it… oops better not photograph or draw it. You want to take a photo of a street – oops there’s a car on it that was created by an automobile company that has a trademark on that design. You shoot a photo of a gargoyle on a building – oops there’s an architect or sculptor somewhere that owns the copyright to that design. You shoot a picture of the sunset – oops there’s an airplane flying low there that was designed by a company with a trademark on that shape. You take a picture of a wall in your house – oops someone has a tradmark, and probably a copyright on the design of that wallpaper… Where is nature? That is one of the few things people can’t copyright… Nope?!?… someone has done a picture of a deer posing in that posture before! YIKES!

If you take a photo of someone, or create any form of artwork depicting anyone – you have even more issues to deal with since there are privacy laws. That’s why you always see notices in various films, literary works, etc. say any resmblence to real people in the characters depicted is coincidental, etc. It’s also why photographers need to get the permission of anyone they photograph, usually in a written form so that they can prove that the permission was obtained. The little photo of Barrack Obama standing next to the China Wall that was put in Times Square by the coat company is just one of the newest little examples of where these sort of issues can come up and cause major problems for all parties involved…

All of these little issues are amplified by the fact that Zombies, or at least Golems really do exist! As mentioned in How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday, corporations and money are both lifeless beings that we give life to… things that are really dead that we give power to.

(*Perhaps the Golem are the invisible corporations and the Zombies are the employees that become “dead” 40 hours a week to serve the golem?*)

Sometimes, actually far more times than we probably want to acknowledge, we actually give our entire lives to these souless, lifeless beings! Corporations are our society’s gods from the ancient world. They don’t really exist but everyone knows that they are there. Everyone talks about them… shares stories about them… We even give them Social Security Numbers and call those Tax Identification Numbers… We give them life through our <a href="Memes“>about them.

Logos and employees are just one sign of their existence, as are all the contracts created in their names… Curators of Universities, CEOs, Company Presidents and others in power in the coporate world, just to name a few, are the priests of this religion that we don’t call a religion, but they are NOT the corporation itself, even if they think they are. They are hired and fired by the invisible zombies or golems that we breathe life into, just like everyone else. The piece of paper that creates a corporation is NOT the corporation itself. The corporations don’t really exist in our world, but we all pretend that they do and continue to bring life to them in our belief in them… continue to pay homage to them every time we think about that brand name we want to pay for, etc…. They are the true gollems that all of us helped bring in to power to submit our entire beings too in some way, shape, or form.

Advertising, and all of the little illustrations that come from it is just one of the many little offerings that are given to these souless, lifeless zombies to help them exist. You can call me a crazy lunatic if you want, but when you really dig deep and think about it, you have got to know that it’s true!

Does this mean I don’t want to be an illustrator. Of course not. I love to illustrate things, tell stories, bring life to the lifeless objects around me.

In a strange way, all people that create art, or anything really – letters that you made when you hit the keyboard on your computer (you do know that each letter and phrase is different from place to place in the world which is why there’s different languages that exist – we all breathe life in to our own perception of reality that the elders in our tribe have taught us IS reality and so we make it become OUR reality too), recipies you put together to eat, All Things that we do really… sort of do the same thing, whether it’s for a corporation or their own needs and wants to create. Art itself is something we breathe life in to, and it sort of takes on a life of it’s own in that process. Maybe all of this is something Jesus was talking about when he said you cannot serve God and Mammon?… but in reality, that’s not really possible is it, at least not if we want to live in this world and exist – Give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser…

Anyways, I am a living being, just as you are, and as The Universe’s Creator is. The act of creating things is in some ways the real and ultimate goal and meaning of the universe?… or is it? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, be sure to make your works your own, and unique enough that you don’t get sued for copyright infringment by other humans or the golems that exist in our society.

Just something to think about…

Interesting Reading – A few Technical “Bibles”

I just wanted to throw these out here because they are amazing books that I use a lot and recommend a lot of other people to use too!

The Photoshop Bibleis THE book that you will want to get if you want to learn how to use Photoshop. I am sad to say that I’m still running Photoshop 5 LE, so I have not picked up a newer version Photoshop Bible that is for newer versions of Photoshop myself, but have read a few pages out of the newer versions in a bookstore now and then. It still appears to be the best source to go to for all things Photoshop. It covers just about every main function in the application and gives you a simple plain English explanation of why everything is there and what you should be using each function for and which Icons you should push on or quick keys to hit to get what you are trying to accomplish done quickly and competently.

The JavaScript Bible is THE book to have on Javascript. You CAN learn some of the basics from visiting websites such as Web Monkey, but when you really want to start digging deeper and understanding how to do things on a more complex level, this is the to go to book that you will be wanting to get. Just about every aspect of Javascript is covered and there’s coding example after coding example that will get you up and running quickly and give you a working understanding of how all the spokes in the wheel run together to get your website advanced to a new level of interactivity.

Beginning Game Programming with Flash is another great book to have for web design. Surely you have played a few flash games on occassion. They are all over the internet. This book teaches you from the ground up how to start building those sorts of games yourself. If you thought Javascript was fun, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The graphics and programming power behind Flash can let you create just about any sort of game that you want online if you have enough time to program and test your stuff out. There are definite limitations to what Flash can do, but many of those limits dissappear with every new version of flash that comes out, especially as more and more people are getting off of dialup and heading to dsl or other high speed internet carriers.

The Artist’s Handbook, or The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques: Fifth Edition, Revised and Updated (Reference)
is just about one of the best “Bibles” on traditional art methods.

Both of the books cover many of the same topics. Mayer’s is considered a little “better” by some since I think it is actually the older of the two.

They cover just about every technique that there is in the traditional arts, and gives some really neat in-depth information that you just won’t find many other places, especially in a single book. It’s actually pretty hard to believe how much information there is packed in this book…It tells you some of the little known facts about how to make pigments, what formulas to use to make your own gesso, explains in-depth information about various surfaces and how you should treat them and more importantly, why. It just has a lot of little key bits of information that are invaluable to anyone that really wants to create artwork.

Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (California Studies in the History of Art) is another great art related book. While this book is not really a Technical Bible per se, it is a bit like the more traditional Bible in that it goes directly to the source to get first hand accounts of what is going on in the minds of various artist in the contemporary art world. The book is filled with tons of interviews done with artists, diary entries created by artist, and a variety of publications created by artists and those that have an in depth understanding of artists. It gets to the heart of why contemporary art really exists, and has more in-depth, behind the information than you are likely to find ANYWHERE else all in one place.

Interesting Reading – Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testament

You folks reading this might think I’m nuts doing this many Interesting Reading posts in this short of a timespan, but there’s a lot of various books that I’ve read and/or am in the middle of reading that have a lot of relevance to this blog and life in general really, and are just great books that I think everyone should at least take a glance at some point in time… I’ll probably add more interesting reading posts in the not-too-distant future…

Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: A Historical Look at the Old and New Testaments is a very interesting book. Asimov, possibly one the greatest science fiction writers of all time, explores the bible from a scientific and historical perspective in this book. He’s an athiest, (and a former Jew I think) but that does not matter. He covers a lot of the historical aspects of each chapter of the Bible in this book from a scientific perspective. There’s not a lot of mushy love and miracle belief talk in the book like you see in a lot of the bible study books that are written by Christians. Also there’s a lot of discussion about geography and history of the locations in the bible, and how each of the main characters in the bible is thought of from a historian’s perspective and how they sort of fit in to the Social Studies and History books. That is something you don’t typically get a lot of with a lot of other books about the Bible. I don’t know that I agree with him on everything (since he is an atheist after all), but I do think he presents a lot of ideas that anyone interested in Religion, History, or Geography, regardless of whether they are Christian or not a Christian might find interesting.

His explanations that seem to explain away miracles or give them a new twist by allowing you to think about them in a different way than the way you might have been taught in Bible School by adding a bit of science is somewhat refreshing, and for the most part does not make the Bible any less relevant or True.

Remember, there are multiple perspectives to our reality… What everyone that witnesses anything experiences is likely slightly different than others that witnessed the same darn thing. It is good to sometimes think about things from a different angle. There might be a slight challenge to your faith in some of the info in this book, but that actually might be a catalyst that will help you gain a stronger faith by reading the book. There is a lot of historical and geographic info in here that you probably won’t come across many other places unless you are theologian and have read a LOT of ancient texts and have a masters degree in religion. It’s good to learn a few new things. and think about things in a different way on occassion! 🙂

Interesting Reading – When I say no, I feel guilty

Manuel J. Smith’s book, When I Say No, I Feel Guilty is a very good book about being assertive. If you have been unassertive in the past for whatever reason, as I have been sometimes, it can help you get past that, and start placing value on your own opinion and rights so that people are not always walking all over your every day.

The book introduces something called the Assertive Bill Of Rights that should be thought of as rules that you can and should apply to your everyday thoughts, and way of living, but probably have not always done in the past.

The Assertive Bill of rights are:
I have the right to be the ultimate judge of my own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon myself.

Yes, you are the judge of your own reality ultimately. The Church, your parents, your boss, your coworkers, even the bobble heads on the News Channels and everyone else in the world is not the ultimate judge of your own thoughts, and emotions. You are a real person, just like everyone else. Underneath the surface there’s no difference between you and the President, any kings you read about in history, any slaves you read about or have seen yourself at your place of employment. Since you are responsible for yourself, you have the right to be assertive in this crazy world and not let everyone else tell you what to think, do, and be.

I have the right to offer no reasons or excuses to justify my behavior.
Just because someone asks you to logically explain any action you take does not mean that you have to give them a logical reason. Logic is really just a way for people to try to manipulate them in to doing what they want sometimes… That’s why statistics lie a lot – change the population of any stat, and the odds are likely that the result of that statistic will change as well. The world is malleable, and not all black and white. People change their thoughts and actions daily. You have the right to not have to justify yourself to anyone other than yourself, and even then sometimes you don’t even need to do that because your subconscious mind knows what the right thing to do is even if your conscious mind does not…


I have the right to judge whether I am responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.

You don’t have the entire world on your shoulders unless you choose to put it there… Take care of yourself BEFORE you take care of others and you might find that you do a better job taking care of both!


I have the right to change my mind.

In other words, your ideas about the way the world is should not be thought of as the only way at any given point in time. You have the right to change what you think about anything at any given point in time, just like anyone else.


I have the right to make mistakes – and to be responsible for them.

No one is perfect. Own your mistakes, but don’t let guilt about them ruin your life.


I have the right to say, “I don’t know.”

That’s right. You can say, “I don’t know” no matter how many people say that you can’t do that. However, don’t take this to the extreme and use “I don’t know” as an excuse for laziness as some people do when asked anything. You have a brain, use it. However, just because you have a brain does not mean that your ideas about the right course of actions to take at any point in time is always 100% yes or no, or whatever. Sometimes you just have to say, “I don’t know” when someone asks you something and expects a yes or no out of you immediately. Take your time and think things over. Don’t let the people around you in your life ruin your life by forcing you to commit to things immediately all the time.

I have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.
Some people many not think so, but you do have the ultimate right to take care of yourself before you take care of others. Who cares what the ladies at church think, or the guys that want you to come out to the bars to drink until you are smashed on a work night. Forget what frat guys using peer pressure are trying to get you to do… Of course your boss wants you to work overtime every day and every weekend. You are the ultimate ruler of yourself and your behaviors. Be responsible and good to yourself! Stand up for your rights!


I have the right to make decisions without using logic.

As mentioned above, logic is really just a way for people to manipulate one another in to thinking the thought patterns that the logic giver is giving. Throwing logic out the door can sometimes get you what you want. That manager at the grocery store won’t come to talk to you – maybe you should stand in line at the check out counter and refuse to move until he changes his mind. If that doesn’t work, maybe you should take your shirt off (if you are a guy – no need to break the law ladies)… and then yell a bit louder… pound your fists on that darn table and raise a ruckus. Who cares if logic tells you that you are embarressing yourself and will get no response. Taboos are a part of the logic that is deeply embedded in our society and sometimes they exist for stupid reasons that really are not all that logical at the core…

I have the right to say, “I don’t understand.”
The only dumb question is one that’s never asked.

I have the right to say, “I don’t care.”
That’s right. Who gives a hoot is sometimes the best answer! Who cares if your sister is mad at you for not coming to her Christmas party when you really want to go to your in-laws that is at the same time instead. She’ll get over it. Who cares what the ladies at Church think. They are not your God.

The assertive bill of rights is to mainly be reserved for use when you are dealing with people that are manipulating you because you don’t want to make yourself out to be a real pushy jerk… but for folks that are not too assertive naturally, sometimes, that may not be such a bad idea… perhaps they will think twice before they try to stress you out by getting you to do something they want you to do when you really should be doing something else, or just don’t want to do what they want you to do… YOU ARE ALIVE! YOU ARE HUMAN! YOU HAVE RIGHTS TOO!

Interesting Reading – The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Miguel Ruiz is an interesting book. It talks about a lot of things, but mainly how to handle your internal train of thoughts to become more at peace with the world around you.

The 4 Agreements are
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
4. Always Do Your Best.

One of the many themes in the book is that Original Sin does not really exist since the Fall of Man is just a story in our head… but it is much more than that too…

because our conscious minds that are always trying to make up stories about the world around us to help us understand and cope with the world around us based on our own unique psychological pasts, IS that the true Serpent in the Adam and Eve story… not really a serpent so much as a story teller – something that is constantly feeding us lies about the world that we can choose to believe or not to believe.

In many ways what the book is getting in to is a very DEEP and profound understanding about the world, and how to look at the world. I don’t know if I agree with everything that the book’s author believes, but I do believe that a lot of his ideas presented in the book are applicable to all of us in our every day lives.

Sometimes if we take the time to just shut up that little voice in our head that is telling us the way that things are, based on our own perceptions and mis-conceptions that we believe are Truths about reality we can come to realize that there is a lot more to the world around us than our own little single solitary point of view and can start to see the other sides of the multi-faceted jewel of reality that is hidden in the the story of each individual in the world around us… and can go 3 or 4 steps beyond that and start to come to realize that Reality itself is not really necessarily all that we have been taught, but is something much more than that…

and can come to realize that maybe, just maybe, we really were made in the image of God, like the Story of the Fall of Man tells us that we were, and that there really can be heaven on earth and peace everywhere, at least inside of us, if we just change the way we think about things a little sometimes and stop trying to continue to use our past biases and little lies that we have told ourselves in the past that made our reality a little more black and white than it should have really been.

Many years ago I remember that I had an in depth discussion with a Catholic Priest and he told me that the true Fall of Man is that we forgot that we were made in God’s image… Sex was not the problem… it was that Adam and Eve discovered that they could be their own mini versions of God to themselves, and saw things in their own ways, and started trying to make logic out of things, and taking actions to mold the world around them to suit their own needs instead of molding themselves to the world to be at peace with the world. It’s something to think about… It is a very interesting book. It really gets in to some deep psychology that is very simple on the surface, but has deep implications and can help you see the world around you in a new light.

Don’t continue to listen to that biased voice in your head all of the time assuming that it’s always right and has the true Truth about all of the world around you. Sometimes that voice can be wrong. Sometimes it can have a lot of little biases too it that have come in to creation based on some things that have hurt you in your past that you might not even be aware of today. Sometimes it is good to look at that multi-faceted jewel of reality from a different perspective.

Perhaps if more people started looking at things from more than one perspective, and started to really get in to thinking about the world around them instead of rushing around doing things based on assumptions, lies that they’ve been told or told themselves, taking everything personally and seeking revenge because of that, and being overall morally lazy by not doing their very best in all that they do, the world could become a better place, and we might not have as many conflicts about silly things… maybe there would not be as many battles in governement. Maybe there would not be as many wars. Perhaps we could start to bring peace to the entire world around us, both socially, ecologically, and environmentally.

Perhaps we could get back to the true Reality that we were born to embrace – a Heaven on Earth. That reality does exist today. It’s just a matter of changing your attitude and way of thinking about things to make it more of a reality for yourself. Negativity is all around us. It’s blasted at us in the newsrooms. It’s shouted out in all the advertisments everywhere – “You are not good enough to be happy today – Buy a Coke and put it in the coaster in your Ford Truck today so that you can have a supermodel sit next to you as you get a happy life. It’ll just cost you several thousand dollars… ” Stop listening to the lies. Start trying to find the true Reality. It does exist, and is in your grasp, and this book might just help you find it a little easier.

Interesting Reading…

I’m constantly reading various books, blogs, websites, reviewing new material, reviewing old material, and rethinking about some of the content in those books, blogs, websites, etc.

Moving forward, I’m going to reserve the “Interesting Reading” tag and category in this blog for interesting reading articles, website links, links to books that I’ve come across, new thoughts I’ve got on old material, etc. This is not necessarily for “book reviews” so much as to toss an interesting piece of information that I’ve come across at you to think about a little – a pebble of thought, in to this wide Ocean that is the Blogosphere.

Ode to Daily Painful Pleasure…

ring ring… Ring – rwring.. wring… WRING.. RING WRING. RING RING… THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

The pulsating sensations get loudear and louder. My temples are on fire. The sounds around me begin to echo… I begin to hear more things.. begin to see more things… “What was that?” I ask loudly to no one. I know I saw a dark patch of movement out of the corner of my eye. There it goes again, but this time it’s on the other side. I turn my head quickly to see the dark image haunting me. My neck is now hurting from the whiplash.

THUMP THUMP… RING RING!!!! RING GRING! THUMP THUD! gRIN GRING!!!

Heart is racing wildly! Head is now pounding harder. I feel tingly and yawn. The top of my forehead feels like it got run over by a Mack Truck.

I’m starting to get itchy now..

Scratch Scratch… can’t get rid of that itch… It’s moving from my forearm to the back of my neck… Now my ears are ringing even louder! Back is twitching with the painful throbbing. Knuckles are pounding more and more with every key hit… pulsations of pain and pleasure.

Stomach is gurgling more and more… Feels like very hollow inside…

Gurgle… gurgle… twurl…

RING-RING… THUD THUD! THUMP THUMP! gRING gRING! BA-BUMP! BUMP BUMP!

GAAA! CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Where the heck is that bandanna… got to get it on my forehead to stop the PAIN!

…—000—000—…—
Don’t drink coffee in the afternoon! Don’t drink it in the morning either!

CAFFIENE KILLS! It never heals.

Artfolio vs Portfolio

I plan to tag and categorize all future posts that I consider a part of my true art portfolio as “Portfolio” at some point in the future. This is different than the posts tagged or categorized as artfolio. Artfolio is reserved for all of my artworks posted in this blog, both unfinished and finished as well as works in progress, quick preliminary sketches, ideas, notes on technique, diary type art-related postings, etc. Portfolio tagged items are a subset of Artfolio tagged items which are more finished, and worthy of viewing. A lot of artists don’t like to show the unrefined, unfinished works to the public for a variety of reasons. I like doing this so that it’s easier to see techniques being used, discuss various methods of doing things, discuss the historical rationale behind symbols and patterns being utilized, etc. That’s why I created the artfolio tag and category. The portfolio tag and category is reserved for things that I would, and may actually put in my real world art portfolio. The Artfolio stuff is more of a hodge podge mix of everything I do that’s art related.

Growing up… .stream of conciousness… fleeting thoughts…

growing up … train-of-consciousness running me down!..stream of conciousness… fleeting thoughts, racing through my mind.. dream like visions… life is flashing before my eyes as various realities that I have known come colliding together in kaleidoscope forms making a rainbow prism for myself to see… myself… who I am…

Watching sunsets on Aunt Jo Ann’s porch (the brilliance blinding and beutiful), ruts in dirt roads. Covered bridge. Cows crossing the stream..
lincoln logs,
He man, Spider man, GI Joe and Fonzy
etc.

Fond memories of my dad’s flannel jackets, my great granma’s bonnet, clubhouse/treehouse… space cadets, imagination running wild. I feel like I’m awakening from a dream as I type this and begin letting my brain reconnect with some old memories… neurons are all a chattering away … excitement like a Child awaitng opening presents on Christmas morning… Christmas, Ceder Tree, tinsels, icicles… taking the icicle from the coyote’s cave near grandpa’s farm…

mind is racing as I conciously do what I need to do, at work, and elsewhere… however, I am no automaton. My subconcious races thinking about many thing… both wonderous and mundane. Creativity is flowing through every neuron in my body as I feel a tingle. I know that I am alive. It is good to feel this level of happy exhileration again… to be in touch with who that I am…. knowing that I am… being who I am… I am.

I am reminded of an old meditation that several nun’s and other Catholic mentors that I have related to at various retreats throughout my life have taught me…
Be Still and Know that I am God… Be still and Know. Be still… Be…

zest for life after mourning… inspirations of Jon – He is alive and is proud to be alive… spirit quests… change is good although we don’t like it when and fight it tooth and nail… understanding… wisdom…

It is good to be alive.

====

I am…
I am that.

ALIVE AND WELL here. How are you today?

Analysis/Review of the Avatar Movie

The other day my wife and I went to see the 3d version of movie Avatar. Actually, we did not know it was 3d when we bought the tickets until the guy that took the tickets handed us the 3d glasses.

The graphics in the 3d version of this movie are spectacular. However, the plot is flat & characters are sort of one dimensional and cliche.

**************SPOILER ALERT**************

The basic plot is that a crippled guy goes in to weird alien forest world with his dead twin brother’s avatar with the goal of getting the aliens to leave so that his superiors can drill up the area where the aliens reside. While there, he meets an alien girl and falls in love with her, learns the ways of her people, decides that its best to help the aliens instead of his superiors, and ultimately ends up dead, but he lives on in the form of his avatar because the aliens use a weird “tree of life” to move his soul from his human body in to his alien body. There’s a few plot twists, but that’s the main storyline. It’s a fairly typical sort of Romeo and Juliet in a sci-fi setting almost. The only real difference is that Juliet doesn’t really die – her big tree house just gets crushed, and Romeo doesn’t die – he just becomes an alien.

One of the main themes in the movie is the idea that the entire planet and the Avatar Race are tied to one another with electrical pulses. I think in one scene they even say that there’s “more connections” between the environment and the people than there are neural pathways in the human brain. There is a blatent new age “Gaia” type of “green” theme to all of it… although they don’t call it Gaia – They call their earth goddess diety on this strange world Eawa, or something similar sounding to that…

There might be a possibility that Ehwa is really something similar to Yahweh spelled backwards, and that’s done to represent the “Great Goddess” idea vs the old Human Christian and Western ideas of conquest and spreading our ways to others all over the world that has lead us on Earth to where we are today with a world filled with Green House Gas, etc…?!?… especially with the “tree of life” being connected to the entire world idea – which is sort of similar to a few New Age and old Kabbalah sort of ideas… Of course that might be going way too deep in to the metaphors and looking at symbols and stuff, lol.. Maybe they just like the Ewoks from Star Wars and wanted to make a diety that sounded like that sort of sound. 😉

In one of the longest sililoquies in the movie, the main character says something like “They (Humans from Earth) have killed their planet” implying that humans destroyed earth and now they are trying to destroy this planet with their techological ways, drilling up the earth, etc.

There’s an ongoing techonolgy vs native primitive way of life struggle throughout the entire movie as well as a lot of other ideas and themes. The basic underlying idea I got about it is that the movie is not really about aliens at all – it’s about us in the “Civilized Western World” and how we keep kicking natives out of their natural settings – and keep destroying our entire world in the process… in Africa, in Central America, in Australia… even here in the US since we kicked the original indidan population out of the places there had come to call home.

Riding a Dragon type of creature as a sign of “coming of age” is one of the subplots in the story, as are few various ideas about what is real, and a few other things, but I don’t want to give away the whole story and completely ruin the movie for you (even though I may already have with the two paragraphs above)… I could probably go on and on about a lot of symbols, metaphors, and the technological issues regarding how the movie was made, but I’ll save some that for another day when I have more time to post…

However… there is one topic I will discuss along these lines…

There’s that whole side issue about cloning going on in the movie that could lead to discussions about if/why a clone would not have an identity and soul of it’s own instead of just being a humanoid robot ready to take commands from whoever it was cloned from – but that’s not really the main part of the story… Actually that little idea sort of goes against the whole basis of the plot and themes in the movie since the Avatars are really clones created with technology and therefore represent everything un-natural, and also represents a sort of invasion on the soul of the being that is the Avatar… However that whole idea is a non-issue because it’s just “assumed” that the Avatar has no self identity in the world presented in the movie… (which is part of the reason why I think Ewa is to evoke a sort of new age, magical, mystical, occult, kabbala type of idea and theme in the movie – as the “Avatars” are really somewhat similar to the old idea of a Golem – a souless body that’s used by spellcasters, etc… except instead of using magic, they use the “technology” of cloning and the little coffin like boxes that the humans that are using the avatars have to go in to make the Gollum-like Avatars become alive… ok… all you Baptists and other religious nuts out there, are you ready to ban this movie like you banned Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse, lol… You know, doing that just brings more media attention to movies like this and causes more people to watch them since everyone wants to see for themselves what all the controversy is about! Actually, you could turn all the symbols around and make the resuruction of the Avatar in to a resuruction of the Body after death idea since it’s sort of a “going back to an Eden-like Heaven” to live with the other alien angel like creatures on that strange primitive world… 🙂 😉 )

Overall, I give the movie about a 7 out of 10 rating because the plot is pretty predictable and almost all of the characters other than the main two are very flat and one dimensional psychologically, and even they are fairly predictable most of the time. It was nice to see a “save our earth by going green and supporting primitive cultures in the rainforests” type of message in a movie like this, but the repitition of that idea over and over and over goes a little overboard in my opinion…

truth be told…

we hold these truths to be self evident – there is no one version of the truth. The truth is a multi-faceted jewel. In our limited perceptions of space and time, biased by our own unique psychological histories, we can only see one small bit of truth that we claim as our own. The problem is that when we see that, our truth, which is one small part of the gigantic diamond that is reality, we sometimes try to get others to see what we are seeing as the truth of reality, but in the mean time they cannot see that because they are having the same problem – you see they are standing in a different place than we are… seeing another part of the spectrum that makes up the many colors of the prism that is radiating from the crystal of the real truth. We need to be careful when we do this… argueing gets us no where… all it does is lead to war and strife. It is hard to remember this sometimes… but knowledge and wisdom is the path we should follow to live in this world in true peace and harmony like the peace the many religions of this world teach us but that few of those that put themselves under the banners of those religions actually try to embrace fully since they are still hiding behind the blinders that makes them only see one small sliver of the real truth that is reality, pretending thatit’s the only truth when in fact it is only one of many truths if they would just be truthful with themselves and open to honestly embrace the true world peace they claim to want. Be very careful to percieve your world, but also to open your eyes to the true reality that may be bigger than you thought it was in the past. People say that the origin of the phrase scapegoat comes from an old farmers ways of doing things in the olden days where he’d let a goat lead the lambs to the slaughter house… Be careful not to be led directly to your own distruction by old goats. Some teachers of the truth have a lot to offer, but just remember, sometimes, their truths may not be the entire truth, and sometimes you should open your eyes a bit so that you are not blinded completely when one small ray of sunshine is in your eyes, making you wake up from a dream, but it really is not a ray of sunshine – just an artificial 100 watt bulb that someone switched on. There’s a lot more to reality than we can know in totality in human lives. Don’t go to war to protect your truth when your truth may only be part of the truth… Do uphold your truth, but remember to always think about why you believe your truth is THE Truth. I am probably truly confusing myself now and you too with all this rambling… so I’ll quit now while I’m at least partly ahead.

Did you know that Catholic Organizations pay (at least indirectly via contracted third party) for contraceptive and other reproductive health services?

One little fact that a lot of people don’t know about the healthcare industry is that “Catholic Organizations” sometimes pay for contraceptive and other reproductive health services. Typically, they will do so through a third party payor… However, the payment is paid by the third party via contractual agreements that the “Catholic Organization” has set up.

Here’s a link to an old story on this:


despite protests by many Catholic hospitals and employers that it would violate the Church’s teaching to provide coverage for contraceptive services, many Catholic managed care plans cover contraception and other reproductive health services

http://www.cath4choice.org/news/pr/CatholicHMOsProvideContraceptionTubalLigationsButFallShortonReproductiveHealthCare.asp

Check out Page 49 of this too:
http://www.mercyhealthplans.com/provider/manual/providermanualtexas.pdf

As far as I know, this type of thing still goes on today… The third parties are contracted to issue the payments so it really does not look like the “Catholic Organizations” are paying, but they set up those contracts to get this stuff paid. As someone who grew up Catholic that works closely with healthcare, this makes me sort of sick… and I have to ask why it continues to be done… How can a place that supports abortion continue to call itself a “Catholic Organization”?