Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Give Em Trees--They Love Trees--I Love Trees

Meditation With Cryptomeria Trees, 13X17", Mixed media on Panel, 4/11 
It occurred to me last night that I should be making more recognizable images. from the observed world, not because I need to from some psychological depth, but because it's polite.  What I mean is that, gee, why would anyone want to look at some psycho knot going on in some artist's head.  Give them something they can use.  So, here are some trees to deal with.  Without them there would only be thirty layers of translucent stuff with all sorts of craziness going on such that you could get lost like you went swimming just past the sort of surface tension that keeps it all nicely isolated.  Can't have that at all.  If that's not enough, a couple layers of concrete ought to solid it up.   Thanks for looking.

On the other hand just what does a Yogi see when he first closes his eyes?



SamArtDog said...


Sonya Johnson said...

Your post just made me laugh with the references to being polite and "psycho knot" - I like that!

That being said, I love the way the trees barely peek forth out of the thirty layers of translucent stuff there. They are recognizable, but just barely. Very cool

I admire anyone who works in mixed media and can use it to create something unique and cool like this, because I do not think I could.

RH Carpenter said...

But, dear Bill, we come to view those psycho knots (love that term and will steal it, thank you very much) inside your head that come out on canvas and paper. This one is recognizable, yes, but still very interesting and more than meets the eye - love that red at the top!

Casey Klahn said...

Resisting...resisting...PICNIC BASKET!

A bad joke, but this is a nice piece, Bill. Very sensitive, and not psycho.

hw (hallie) farber said...

Japanese trees--this is sad but great. On the other hand, this reminds me of what I see when I close my eyes. Are you a Yogi?

Jane said...

I think we paint what we feel, and that is how it should be...This is a very dramatic landscape, the kind of painting that makes you stop and look closer, trying to find an interpretation , incredible work. Love your wit and irony.

William Cook said...

Sam--Exactly. And by the way that's how concrete is pronounced here in Baltimore

Sonya--Thanks so much. Those trees are the first attempt at including the sort of nebulous imagery of those dots and dash drawings into finished pieces. I've been thinking about how to do this for years. It was a complete disaster at first. Several layers beneath the white marks, they're red. Ruined the piece--unnatural looking. The white was an attempt at a save. Now I'm liking it.

Rhonda--I was having such a difficult time trying to think of something to say. I was about to just post the damned thing with no paragraph. Yet I couldn't do that--it would betray the family trait (as my uncle calls it). Psycho knot was me sitting here tortured, yet concerned over my own validity. Meanwhile the whole world's going on normally. Thanks for checking in!

Casey--Wouldn't that be pic-a-nic? I disagree that was a very good joke. I woke up howling at 4:30 this morning.

Hallie--What a great observation--I only just found out Cryptomeria are of Japanese origin. You're right, there's a hint of sadness. While I've been intently reading Yoga for twenty years, a real practicing Yogi would only be encouraging me along these first baby steps, while looking askance at artmaking. I think they (Yoga and artmaking) can be remarkably similar. It would all come down to how one deals with ego attachments. So yes, I may be a Yogi (if I do say so myself), and the Yogi who endures my artmaking may have ego issues of his own.

Jane--Thank you for that. The idea that art can elicit a closer look, a deeper meaning--a poetic leap--is really what is so interesting about creating it. I agree that feelings, instinct and intuition all figure prominently into the creative process and that that's the way it ought to be. Great comment.

Andrew Finnie said...

Hey! It's good to see such divers work. As far as figurative? non figurative? Well we humans are always going to try and put order onto chaos, - so maybe it all becomes figurative in the end? Though I must admit to liking nice patterns!

For abstract just stay away from red and black. In Australia there is a fetish for red and black abstract works. You can go to many places and see the same painting.

Still enjoying gum arabic! What a great name.

Anonymous said...

As beautiful as this looks in a photo, I imagine it is so much better in person.
Psycho knot is a great term! You are a philosopher and it adds to the layers of your art. It's clear you think about it.
Truth is Bill, you could turn out any style of art you choose. That in itself, exempts you from being polite.

The Artist Within Us said...

Greetings William,

I confess it took me a moment to discover the trees since I first felt they were more like streams or valleys between mountains and hills. The paper textures are marvelous, especially all the colours, including the thick layer of red paint on top.

In general I love this painting as an abstract, one I would classify as an abstract realism painting, a term I use to describe a number of my works.

Thank you for sharing your art with us.

Warmest regards,

William Cook said...

Hi Andrew--Good point. And I for one love both figurative and abstract work. It ends up being quite a dilemma, with the lines being blurred. This work is a kind of combination. It's a wild process though, very magnetic, in the sense that I can't wait to see what happens next. Irregadless, as Pauly Walnuts says, I am a tad sensitive about the red, it's showing up too prominent in this [rather poor] shot. I am on the border with it, too, and was thinking I should remove it. Should I? Does it look too contrived? I do like the tension of it, though. LOL with the Austrailian fetish--I'll look for it.

Hi Pam--You are right. This piece and the others coming along are better seen "live". With all these layers, there's a lot going on that's just of 3d stuff going on that's not photographable. Once again I am thrilled that you found a piece of mine interesting, thanks for putting up with all my silliness. All the best --Bill

Egmont! Yes, I see that, and really like the thought of a sort of topographic feel to these! Nice! And I definitely wanted those trees to sort of come into focus slowly. That's an interesting term, abstract realism. I like the sense that these are very real processes going on in our lives, and but the actual end product is visually abstract. With respect to some of your photos, this moniker is especially appropriate. Thanks for commenting--always a pleasure.

My apologies if this block of responses seem a bit awkward, the old hard drive gave up the ghost last night, and I doing my best on this laptop--a whole new experience.

Celeste Bergin said...

heartstoppingly beautiful

William Cook said...

Thank you Celeste, what a wonderful thing to say! Thanks so much. Means a lot. Bill

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Beware the "shoulds"! They appear well-meaning and thoughtful in their offers to point you in a direction. But they are wearing undergarments of deception and sometimes point the wrong way to keep you from your own unique trail.

However, this step along the should path is delightful and suggestive. Before I read Hallie's comment and learned that they were ACTUAL trees, I thought that "Cryptomeria" was a mystical suggestion relating to the Superman myth... Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, so they tell me. But I always consider a deeper meaning.

First, a Yogi sees the negative image of the last thing he looked at, like every human being. However, after that is where it gets interesting. This isn't the straight man part of the joke, is it?

William Cook said...

Exactly. He sees the same thing everyone else sees. Floaters. And yes, negative images, not unlike these. Eventually it all disappears as we drift off to sleep. But the Yogi is still awake. Traveling vast distances into the infinite. Or so he says, all of this being the straight-man part of the joke (according to him). It all seems so serious doesn't it?

AutumnLeaves said...

Bill, I am so sorry. I have corrected the error and please forgive me!

William Cook said...

Hi Autumn--Perfect fine. Strange that there's actually someone else with the same name. Imagine my surprise. Not a bad artist either. I really love your challenge idea and will be participating often. Best regards. Wm

Wiccan Witch said...

Hello Sir, sorry ive been away, hope youre well, im taking a break from the internet.

Im glad ive stopped by, this is beautiful, i love trees too!!!!!

William Cook said...

Hi Mita --Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. We were just discussing how our lives are so cyber now. I don't blame you for taking a break. We here in the virtual world miss your voice. Love your new bio. All the best.