Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Me And The Monkey

Solar Disc, detail

Solar Disc, cWm Cook 2012 

One of the main things about my work it seems is the complex textures.  The surfaces I make have to withstand a lot of abuse.  The neat thing about these internet presentations is that you can blow up the images and really see these surfaces.  I began this piece 12 years ago [or so], and stuck it in a drawer unfinished.  Posted it last week originally with that diatribe (now gone).  

After a week of observation I decided to deepen and even the background tones so that all the stylus work showed up better.  Now you can see it.  Before any of the tonal layers, a pointed stylus was used to impress texture into the thick paper.  Finally the addition of my beloved spots took over--in many different colors.  OK maybe there are too many, but I love the process of splattering up a perfectly good drawing.  

This is actually a detail also.  The original is 20X26.  About half the real estate was cropped out.  More of the same--you get the idea.  As for the mood of the piece, I wanted it to have more pizzazz, but I don't think a meditation piece needs to be flamboyant--if meditation is meant to quiet the monkey so to speak.  For now I'll let this stand.  Try staring at it for a couple minutes and let me know what happens.  

Devotee:  Master you left your key inside, 
but you're looking for it out here.  Why is that?
Master:  Better light.  

Kyudo telling a Sufi story



Robin Samiljan said...

I had just tried leaving you a comment on your previous post from last week but somehow the security settings did not let it get posted. I had wanted to thank you for visiting my blog recently and posting such insightful comments. Then when I came here to see your current posts I was taken aback at the abstract, meditative nature of what you are doing right now... but where is the zen poem for today?! I love when you combine poetry with visual art. And I love getting lost in the meditation of viewing this newest piece.

William Cook said...

Wow, Robin, talk about synchronicity, I was just looking for a very cool Zen quote to include on this post. I just now hit the post button in frustration having not found aanything suitable.

I just finished Lawrence Schlainberg's Ambivalent Zen, and found myself roaring at some of Kyudo Roshi's comments. I love that stuff too, not that I understand it [entirely].

I'm thrilled you visited, not involved in anything flashy at the moment. You've inspired me to post the one I was considering.

All the best.

Robin Samiljan said...

My "significant other" is zen buddhist and he has taught me so much when there is so much to still learn. The story is perfect.

L.W.Roth, said...

Your work with the stylus is amazing. And no, I do not think your overdid with your spots, particles.
I did try staring at it for a few minutes--even lowered the room lights. Calm was the result--but when I snapped out of it, I still didn't know where my wedding band had gone.
These are lovely pieces Bill. They make me curious about their/your background.

William Cook said...

Linda--I love it--particles. I think you've narrowed down the definition of 'spots' and taken away the negative stigma I've attached to them--you know the gallery thing.

I've been staring at it too. The disc itself takes on an otherworldly glow to me. What a strange little piece, all gray with a white dot in the middle. You'd think I couldn't dream up anything worth painting about.

Anyway the ring issue is hilarious--it's either next to your portrait easel or your Freudian slip is showing. My ring is on the bedpost where it belongs, as my wife says. Hasn't fit since I quit smoking.

As for my background, I determined the general flow of culture when I was fifteen, and went in the opposite direction. Simple philosophy. Now that I'm 61 I can add it all up and it still goes nowhere. I'm the exact same kid sitting there at the Church camp wondering about the future. OK so I'm not making art with pipe cleaners any more.

John Brisson said... always, enjoy your art so very much. Calming just when needed!


William Cook said...

Thanks John! Yep. No stress. That's the new me. Politics, religion, money, kids, lawn, news, overweight--it all slides right off. Not like last week.

RH Carpenter said...

No, not a meditation piece. I stared at it for a while but my eye kept moving through the lines and stopping along those jewels you left amidst the paths. Perhaps those jewels are the true experiences we have along the way - but often don't see the hue of them until we've returned to the center and can appreciate them and rest? What you are trying to share is coming through, Bill, loud and clear (at times). At other times, I'm outside looking in because the light is better here! ha ha