Tuesday, July 29, 2008

3. Inspired By The Beauty Of Materials And Means

My approach to painting requires me to be prepared both mentally and physically. To help with this, much of the material I use, like the Japanese bowmen‘s weapons, is handmade. For me the process of painting starts with the design and development of the means.

For this project I hand carved a brush out of oak, adding a cross symbol. It rests in a branded redwood case. The boots I am wearing, the “Spirit” boots, I also made by hand. On the right boot is the Chinese character for “Spirit.” On the left boot is the Native American Indian symbol for “Great Spirit Everywhere.” The sole of each boot has been branded with my spiritual symbol, the cross over M. Wherever I walk I will leave a “spiritual” trail.

The rest of my gear consists of assorted hand tooled leather cases and sterling silver hand engraved brushes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs.

“Prepare slowly like the buffalo - paint swiftly like the swallow” (Chinese saying)

To clear the mind and focus concentration I have made a portable rock balancing kit. Before painting I will balance a small rock upon another rock. The concentration needed to do this focuses the mind and clears it of distractions. It also concentrates sensitivity into the hands and fingers. Once the rock is balanced one is prepared mentally and physically. The hand is now ready to pick up the brush. The painter becomes nothing - painting becomes everything.

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