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Sunday Mar 17, 2013

Disappoint me Not

inner being
Inner Being

Here’s a repost from 2011:

By midday in Santa Fe, things as nuisances, and some more serious, had already invaded my time and energy.

My haircut was long overdue. My cutter told me she’d be with other clients for at least an hour. I’d come back.

As I now had some time, I thought I’d try Java Joe’s, which was in the huge shopping center. Could they make a cappuccino the way I like it? The steamed milk must settle so it is creamy, not full of foam-like bubbles. This simple instruction eludes many a barista.

As I was entering the cafe, two men were leaving. One man turned to the other: “I can’t believe it—it’s been one thing after another. These problems are getting me down.”

There it was again. Another reminder to see beyond my own limited drama, to perceive events through awareness, not fearful ego.

Recall my object lesson: instead of being disappointed, say that’s revealing and lift yourself beyond the fray. When the problem seems overwhelming, remember that the problem is the teacher. The lesson is there; it is up to you to grasp it, as it is in the Zen tradition of learning.

With these perceptions you will triumph with gratitude, leaving any notion of victimhood in the dreary dust.

Java Joe’s passed the steamed milk test.

Sunday Jan 20, 2013

Creative Amnesia


Here’s a challenge worth taking.

You’ve mastered a way to do your art. You find yourself sailing and tacking beautifully into the wind.

This is good time to forget how you make art. Begin again without being so adept. This will take you to your next level of creation.

See you there.

Sunday Nov 04, 2012

No Guilt Art


I’m often asked this when I’m not painting. Don’t you feel guilty for ignoring your art?

My reply is this: Everything I do is my art, from taking care of my rescued parakeet, to pulling weeds, to cleaning, to writing.

Nothing exists without being tested. For the past two months I’ve returned to a novel that takes place in an alternate universe. I began the story five years ago. I’ve been working on my book each day with no guilt about not painting. My writing comes from the same magical source as my paintings.

This is art without neurosis. This is freedom.

Remember, the true artist has no medium.

Tuesday Aug 07, 2012

Postmodern Blues

honestly and truly
Honestly and Truly

From An Artist Empowered:

“In the Western world, art movements from modern to postmodern came and waned: from impressionism to expressionism, from art deco to art nouveau, from cubism to surrealism, from abstract expressionism to minimalism, from conceptualism to pop art—to the art zeitgeist of today, which, having no convenient container, or ‘ism’, or art movement cachet per se, many contend is a mere fusion of styles glimmering to us from the past, or worse: an art that has been co-opted for political ideology or for shock value—which is what it sounds like.”

Placing art into cubicles for the sake of organization might be helpful for historians, not artists.

Can you feel the truth of it? Art is not an ‘ism’.

Monday Jun 11, 2012

Zen & Art of the Unconscious


I’m planning a talk, an escapade, about Zen & Art of the Unconscious.

But, what does one have to do with the other? The object lesson in Zen is to get to insight and originality by not thinking, by not being attached to any previous thoughts. Then, we see that Art of the Unconscious shares this object lesson into creation. Unconscious here is the collective unconscious with the field of consciousness as its canvas.

Not thinking in this scenario doesn’t mean that you are asleep or brain-dead. It means that you are learning to dance with the universal creator force, and what a feeling that engenders in both the artist and the discerning art viewer.

Knowing what and why you are doing something has great liberating power.

The art of simplifying helps define Zen. And from the unconscious we learn to simply create without attachment to the result.