03 Nov 2012
in Alchemy, museo visite, Paintings, Uncategorized
Tags: abstract, acrylic, art, art exhibit, arts, arts and consciousness, bay area art, collective unconscious, consciousness, dream, fox, fox art, gallery, JFK University, liminal, liminal space, melissa k dean, Melissa K. Smith, painting, paintings, shaman, subconscious, transformation, transformational art, visual language
Exhibition card for “Art as Liminal Space” 2012
I have a painting that was accepted in the upcoming alumni exhibit for JFK University: November 5-December 13, 2012! There is a reception which I plan on attending on Saturday, November 10th from 6-9pm. If you’re in the area, I hope you have the chance to come by and see some great art, meet the artists, and hear some insights into this process of artmaking. The address is 2956 San Pablo Ave. 2nd floor, Berkeley, CA.
My Artist’s Statement for this show:
When I find myself in liminal space, looking for something unknown in the unnamed, I see Spirit breezing by in one form or another. Occasionally it’s crystal clear but for my paintings as of late, the images are vague and ethereal. Still, there is Knowing. In this place I am forced to slow down and be aware of what is going on around me even if I can’t see it clearly.
During this journey in sunset coloured liminality, I am in a space of familiar creatures: furry and mysterious with sharp teeth. They dance quickly between the doorways but not so quick that I glimpse the edges of a fox tail inviting me to follow. I must let go of where I came from to be here, yet bring it all back when my brush touches canvas: this is a memorable space even in its mutability. This loose mix of consciousness is something I try to bring with me outside of the studio, into my world of daily life and to those who are willing to risk a moment to enter the imagery I have returned with.
Flyer for “Art as Liminal Space” exhibition 2012
From the flyer:
Liminality has been defined as the “realm of pure possibility.” When speaking in terms of art as liminal space, art becomes a rite of passage, a sensory threshold by which we can traverse shifting levels of personal conscious awareness. In JFK University’s Arts & Consciousness program, the consciousness transforming perspective of art as liminal space is emphasized. Therefore, this exhibition focuses on work by Arts & Consciousness alumni that is liminal in nature.
For more information about my work you can subscribe to my blog and find other articles by Rory Dean here. Your questions and commentary are welcome!
18 Jul 2012
Tags: art, arts, color pencil, drawing, drawings, drawn horse, horse, horse art, horses, illustration, linework, painting, pencil, pencils, prismacolor, Raphael, visual language
Prismacolor 11 x 17″
It’s always fun to find something I’ve done in primacolor pencils. I’m photographing some stuff this afternoon and thought I’d share with you. I didn’t spend time on editing mostly because I like the edge of the painting behind this piece showing; it somehow fits the mood of the art all over my room right now. These are fairly quick drawings copied from works by Raphael. Now that I’m done photographing I think its time to draw…
18 Jun 2012
in art in progress, Drawings, Sketchbook
Tags: acrylic, arts, blue, drawing, dreams, illustration, imagination, ink, mermaid, painting, poem, poetry, serpent, sketch, sketchbook, subconscious, visual language, water
Sketch and poem for a painting I’m working on for your imagination before bed.
06 May 2012
in Drawings, Sketchbook
Tags: art, arts, ball point pen, coffee shop, drawing, envelope, illustration, ink, painting, sketchbook
Ball point pen on big white envelope, date unknown.
I’m still digging around through piles of notebooks and papers, searching, searching for I don’t even know what. I have no notes about this sketch, but I thought it was funny that there was a huge painting in a coffee shop of people in a coffee shop.. and I don’t think it represented the one I was in. This was a quick one, maybe five minutes or so.
23 Mar 2012
in Paintings, Sketchbook
Tags: acrylic, afternoon sun, bay area art, berkeley coffee, drawing, ink, painting, process, sketchbook
I love Berkeley afternoons.
There are times things line up quite nicely. This was definitely one of those moments that sticks in my head even after years.. I created this back in 2003. It started out in my studio with my open blank-paged sketchbook laying on a table just waiting for something exciting to happen. I added the all of the colour over the two page spread, letting them be big strokes and not mixing them much. Later in the week I went to a favorite Tea House and when I opened the book to this page, I noticed the late afternoon sun hazing in through the windows were lighting up the room in very similar colours to what I had painted. I then quickly sketched this young lady across the room from me. Notice she’s writing on paper and not on a computer! At that time I was still seeing most cafe-goers with pens and paper instead of computers.
I realized in this time that I really enjoyed painting the book pages and later drawing on them. It added a whole new dimension to the image and personally connected different but related moments in my life together. In this particular painting, the painted colours and the scene before me were so close that it helps me remember that afternoon very clearly. More so than if I had just done the ink drawing, and differently than if I had done a drawing and painted it in like with say, watercolour or pencils.
I think it’s important to make the time and space to allow yourself the freedom of play that sparks creativity that not only informs the moment but the future of one’s art making process. Have fun!
29 Feb 2012
in Paintings, Sketchbook, Uncategorized, Wolfing
Tags: dream, dreamy time, melissa k dean, painting, quiet art, remembrances, sketchbook, watercolor, watercolour sketch, wolf, wolf art, wolves
My sweet wolf having a dreamy time in the shade.
Over many cups of swirling lattes, this watercolour sketch of my muse wolf came together. Remembrances of a quiet afternoon, between heat spells in Sacramento, our quiet art making- moments. Not only do wolves like to hang out at libraries, but they enjoy making all kinds of art. This particular day I was photographing my wolf family and later made this painting.
18 Feb 2012
in Musings, Sketchbook
Tags: acrylic, art, horse, painting, photos, sketchbook, trees, universal language, visual language
I made this painting in my sketchbook a few years ago. This day, right now, I could swear I just painted it as it reflects how I feel (again!).
Someone commented on my visual journal this morning at the coffee shop. He really liked the idea of having drawings and photos in it, not just words, to show the journey. I do as well since there are times when words just don’t describe what I’m going through or what I’m seeing. I like that art also, being the universal language, may convey to someone who doesn’t know English what I was expressing in that moment. I’m also intrigued with the idea that the viewer will bring their own meaning to art. This certainly makes my little universe expand!
12 Feb 2012
in art in progress, Wolfing
Tags: acrylic, chasing my tail, collective unconscious, fox, melissa k dean, painting, visual language, wolf
Acrylic and Dog (as fox) 2012
They suddenly run through my head like quick foxes – I can only glimpse the edges of furry tails with my eyes, but with Vision, I see them completely. Completely, that is, until they stop and stand before me, boldly, fully. At times they appear completely different but more truly than I had imagined. Once in a while they stop and I can look at them for years, whether in my head or on the easel, and neither of us knows what is going on. Occasionally wrong, often right but just not there yet; like here, like now, she hovers in mid-leap heading for the unknown. She’s been floating there for years. Suspended in mid-thought we wait for the Everywhere to open this portal so that we may dive through and go for a swim. She is more patient than I, content to contemplate the ripples in the blue while my rational mind tries desperately to construct some form, shape and meaning. But I must wait. Take cues from her and allow this knowledge to unfold as it will, as it intends. Sometimes I think of this a perpetual piece – that it is actually “finished” because if it is reflecting life, always, we may be able to see a little bit ahead but it is always unknown until we are in it or passed it. Everything is always happening but we are always in the now while we look behind and ahead. Perhaps this is the lesson, at least for today, for the now. It could be that the future now will bring some sort of stick to this game of fetch and some thing will take a more solid form in the blue, a recognizable being of substance. That remains to be seen.
The other wondering I have is that this may very well be a recognizable event-cognitive happenstance, and I’ve been so busy chasing my tail, looking for the stick, over-thinking it, that this Vision has manifested and I’ve missed it. I’d like to think not, but here
Big acrylic painting. This was started in 2004; I don't think we are finished.
06 Feb 2012
in Musings, Paintings, Sketchbook, Wolfing
Tags: bay area art, gentle traveler, melissa k dean, painting, sketchbook, sunny afternoon, virtual space, watercolor, wolf art, wolves, word master
I love paint. "Whispered" hangs before me, nearly finished.
They’d been badgering me for years.
“You should just do it.”
“You would be good at it.”
However, whether I believed them or not,
I continued to draw, paint, make comix, write, play with wolves, photograph, drive around, drink coffee, watch movies, brush my dogs, and resist.
One particularly sunny afternoon when I was getting ready to go outside and see what was growing in the trees, the Word Master called me into his study. I went in thinking he would like me to bring a cup of tea or perhaps offer a drive in the mountains. Haha! Silly me. “Let’s start your blog. What do you want to call it?”
Let’s call it, “IdontwanttoblogIwanttogooutsideandplayorsomethingIdontwanttowritestuffordiariesorwhateverthatsoknothanks.”
“That’s too long. C’mon. You need to do this.”
Since I’d actually been considering it for years but had no idea what I would write about, of course I imagined paintings and wolves. “From the Everywhere,” I said.
And so it began.
watercolour wolves over coffee
A little spot in the vastness of virtual space that you, gentle traveler, have found and stayed for a few moments, here and there from time to time. Thank you for spending time with me.
Now that I’ve been keeping this up for a year and a half, I am happy that I have. I’ve kept the idea of my spot non-stressful, something to have fun with and enjoy. I do a lot of artwork in between what most people call real-life – the 9-5 world. I don’t want to go into how wrong and unhealthy the American working culture has become, but continue to offer this space for me and any visitors, the one-timers and long time followers, as a place to engage imagination. I have a book called “The Re-Enchantment of Art” and I think it’s time to read it, to crack it’s spine, give it’s pages dog-ears and capture glimpses about other ideas about creativity and it’s place in our world at the End of the Mayan calendar.
I will continue to report my findings, both directly with commentary and “indirectly” with art. I look forward to this continuing journey and I hope you will not only come along, but join my conversation with your own art and words.
My sweet muse
“Where did you come from Baby Dear?
Out from the Everywhere, into the here.”
-George Macdonald (1824–1905)
10 Sep 2011
in art in progress, Musings, Wolfing
Tags: art, bay area art, charcoal, coffee, drawing, ink, melissa k dean, outsider art, painting, paintings, sketchbook, visual language, wolf, wolf art, wolves
Yes Virginia, this sketchbook was chewed by a wolf.
It’s funny how we can be about our journals. At times, happy to scribble on a scrap of paper – others filled with the necessity of a certain book with that certain paper, the tooth and texture just right for accepting every medium on the planet you can get your hands on… Whatever it may be it is here to contain little moments.
I remember watching Katherine smear sugar and paint across the pages of her ragged book. I sat there, transfixed – amazed at her boldness. The idea of the sacred changed right then and there for me. For years, during school I, along with many many many fellow aspiring artists, felt like we had to do our absolute best and perfect work in that beautiful sketchbook, perfect images executed in just the right linework, exceptional, realistic shading and idea. The edge of the pages golden, the spines not cracked, the covers never soiled… EMPTY they sat on our shelves for YeArs.
Katherine is as Katherine does.
SHE came into my circle.
She, with her wild hair and dirty fingers, stained with charcoal and courage.
She drew, rubbed, tore, spit and CreAteD in her journal.
She purged, explored, reveled with whatever was on the table right there on those pages. Suddenly I could see passed the lie of “all that glaring whiteness- that blank page: Daunting!” What bullshite. The paper is hungry for the chance to be the container, the witness for our souls! “pour it onto me, into me, through me!” So. Here goes the tea, poured over the page.
Break out the charcoal - make a line.
Oh, the velvety smoothness makes it easy.
D wearing charcoal and pastel with Earl Grey tea.
And that was it.
No more holding back.
never limit yourself in your fun places!