Thursday, March 29, 2012

Weekly Sketchbook post - March 30/2012

The Carrot and the Stick

sketchbook pages.

Fridays I post consecutive images and the thoughts they provoke on my website. Drop in, send me a comment if so moved. Ideas in response are always welcome.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"swamp" Illustration Friday March 23/2012

Inspired by the Illustration Friday word: "swamp" and the quotation:

Buttercup: "That's the fire swamp! We'll never survive."
Wesley: "Nonsense! You're only saying that because no-one ever has". - from The Princess Bride

Spent a while sifting thoughts about swamps and about the movie, The Princess Bride (a family favourite for decades).

I'm not quite sure how I arrived at drawing an oil lamp, a clay vessel, not the mystical kind seen in movies. Possibly the idea that we confer mystical power to quite ordinary things and places just because they seem strange, unfamiliar, dangerous. I wondered about the way mist hangs in the air in a damp place like a swamp, and that made me think about how we imagine a spirit manifests itself - a ghost, or a genie in a lamp. I wonder what is inside the lamp, and when the spirits return there, do they condense? Might make for a swampy environment.

Stories involving Djinns fascinated me when I was younger, their power tethered to the will of a human being through a possession, often a lamp, a ring, some small household or personal item.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"yield" Illustration Friday March 9, 2012

Inspired by the illustration Friday challenge word: "yield"

This week's quote by Oscar Wilde: "Do you think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to" did not lead me directly to an image - rather, it got me wondering about structures in our lives, social mores, habits of person, of culture - and how they make dizzying patterns which shift and change slightly, creating a historical mandala that feels as though it has been caught mid-breath, mid-birth, on the brink of an explosion.

The courage of beginning, of continuing, responding afresh to each layer, each slight shift in proportion makes for a lively dance of shapes, ideas, yielding to the internal conviction that new connections and relationships between these lines exist - and need only to be set down on paper, making more resonances that call new shapes and lines in turn.

Drawn high above clouds, pulled by the desire to make some visible response to ideas dancing invisible.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"intention" Illustration Friday March 2/2012

- inspired by the Illustration Friday quote:

"Intention involves such a small fragment of our consciousness and of our mind and of our life".
- Jasper Johns

This quote and what it seemed to be saying sloshed around in my mind every which way I turned this past few days.

Really?? REALLY?!??

That seems a bit like saying gasoline is such a small fragment of a car. Hardy necessary for car-ishness, except, of course, for the 'transportation' part of a car. Negligible, really.

Can't really judge a quote this brief - perhaps Mr. Johns is saying that we need to exercise other aspects of our selves, our consciousness, mind and life, and not worry so much about intention. I'd like to ask if this was what he intended with his words. Perhaps it is, like art when it is finished and available for view, that the intention might be less important than the interpretation of those who see it. Perhaps. I wonder... I wonder how far Itzhak Perlman would have come as a violinist without intention. His own, his parents', SOMEONE's intention was that the thing be taken out of its case, tuned, the bow rosined and then stuck under his chin - day after day and year after year until, I wonder now, is it part of him, and can he even imagine putting it aside?

The mind wanders without intention - and yet our intention shapes those thoughts as we become aware of them. Intention is the self directing aspects of the inner orchestra, to play louder, softer, longer... and the music we create, the lives we live, the imprint of our consciousness on our own lives and those around us, is a creation of our intention - what we allow to flourish in our selves, the words we speak, actions we take.

Intention is perhaps the opposable thumb of the mind. We're pretty nifty creatures, even without it. But calling it a small fragment of who we are?