Monday, September 26, 2011

"Ferocious" Illustration Friday Sept. 23/2011

Inspired by the Illustration Friday quote:

"It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious." - Henry David Thoreau

I've long admired Thoreau, and dip into his "Wild Fruit" often, for a way of seeing the world around us that awakens me to detail and depth, a way of thinking about inner and outer worlds as interlaced.

This quote sat. And oddly, what it brought to mind were my first forays into formal math - my first days in school facing chalkboards and sheets with numbers trapped in unnatural rigidity. Standing in straight lines and grid formations, where I could see they were a tumult of energy and colour, like wild animals forced into a circus to perform against their natures. I discussed this issue with my father, but his ordered mathematical mind boggled at my conviction that threes were green. That fours were calm. That sevens and fives knew each other, and were completely untrustworthy, likely to gang up and cause trouble.

A three is a three. Nothing else.

I eventually made peace with these concepts, but was reassured in later years to find the numbers achieved some sort of freedom to express their true natures - eventually.

So in my mind, Thoreau's quote and my early number sense rang in harmony - we cannot prize a three above a seven - or vice versa, nor a lion above a sheep. In context, of course, let them be where they are, and be themselves with all their might.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Mesmerize" Illustration Friday Sept 16/2011

Inspired by the Illustration Friday word: "Mesmerize"

We don't allow ourselves to be mesmerized much as adults, don't give much time to wonder at the things we see - occupied by routine and the demands on our time, it is seldom we shake ourselves to find we've been lost in the contemplation of something in front of us.

As a child, I remember this being an everyday thing. Stepping outside the door was to step into a world of wonder - every pebble, glint or movement could become an hour of discovery.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dream Boundaries - colour final

What we know of the world we discover through the senses.

In contrast, we have been encouraged to distrust dreams as products of fantasy, made up, "only your imagination" - and yet they tell us, importantly, what we think, what we believe, what we trust regarding what our senses tell us.

When we balance what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell with what we feel, believe and value about these, then the world of the real, the possible, truly opens up around us.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boundaries - colour version progress

I hear we dream in black and white.

In my dreams I know I've seen someone in a green t-shirt. The kind of green that used to be bright, almost neon, but now seems dingy, as though it's been through too many washes, too many t-shirt disappointments and hangs limp and faded, leaving a stronger impression for what it was intended to be than what it is now.

So I know either that I dream in colour, or my mind adds colour as separate, imagined, dream-information, even though my dreams are in black and white.

Or something.

She has her feet in dreams; Dreams deeper than what she can feel with her toes, standing there in the uppermost layer. Perhaps she will swish her net and catch a wet butterfly. Or drop the net and run back on land. I imagine she will toss the net aside and jump in, swim with the flutter, the tickle, the colour of all that she cannot see until she does dive in.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Boundaries Illustration Friday Sept 6/2011

Inspired by the Illustration Friday quote: "Dreams have always expanded our understanding of reality by challenging our boundaries of the real, of the possible." - Henry Reed

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Mysterious" Illustration Friday September 2, 2011

colour version. So far.

Inspired by the Illustration Friday quote:
"Art is the fatal net which catches these strange moments on the wing like mysterious butterflies, fleeing the innocence and distraction of common man." - Giorgo de Chirico

It was interesting to consider art as a trap, rather than a process or an end-product. And as I rolled this quote around in the back of my mind over the weekend, it occurred to me that in the complex cat's-cradle of the mind, what we capture is not always benign. Infinitely worth understanding, sometimes its struggle to escape back into the subconscious and ours to capture, understand and reveal it remain visible to all - and we call it art.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Disguise" Illustration Friday Aug.26/2011

Inspired by the quote:
"Another belief of mine; that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise." - Margaret Atwood

What we know if Margaret Atwood is shaped mostly by her words - words left in print, hovering in the air of an interview, in the impression of energy and intensity she creates.

What about the rest of us - do we feel as giants among children? Whole selves among equals? Or do we too feel we craft an impression, a disguise behind which we traipse through the world of adults, exulting in our childhhood, or cowering in our sense of inadequacy?

Colour version anon.