This week I led a Children's Spring Break Art Camp. Together the kids and I explore the use of Mandalas as not only a way to make pretty pictures, but a way to organize and develop ideas. Using a divided circle the students brainstormed the staged development of their super hero story. The kids adopted the technique with surprising ease. I also demonstrated how such mandala 'mind mapping' can be use to plan one's day or goals-- as opposed to a traditional, linear 'To Do List'.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
This last week has been fantastic. Avid readers will have noted that I have been on an internet diet. My initial objective was connecting for only an hour a day. A skii trip and a snow shoeing expedition meant that this goal was far exceeded. I am proud to say that for several days this week, I did not even see a single pixel!
Could there be a connection between my fantastic week and my lack of connection? Could it be possible that my laptop love is a plagued by excessive co-dependence? Yes... I do we have a problem my computer and I: Honey... I need a little space. You're starting to cramp my style! I think we need to loosen things up and see other people-- the blue sky, the trees and the fresh air to be precise!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Yesterday my friend Eric and I hiked into the Silver King basin-- snow-shoed to be precise. It was a challenging, yet deeply pleasureable trek. Emerging from the muffled green world of the forest we arrived in the open alpine basin. Around us, jagged peaks materialized on all sides. We arrived near dusk at a rustic log cabin set in the heart of the valley.
That night the moon was full. We watched as it crested over one of the peaks. It moved with surprising rapidity to bathe the valley in its eerie silver glow.
A game of scrabble proceeded with our incidental cabin mates-- a couple that had skiied up that same day. To candlelight and the illumination of headlamps a lively discussion proceeded on imaginative words and life in a small community.
Breakfast consisted of a bowl of eggs, coffee and hummous. The return lies before us. Eric goes about his preparations in silence; working, chopping, cleaning with only the occassional spurt of communication. The words he does say are intense and measured. He is eager to return in time for our rendez vous with his Cynthia. Today is their five year anniversary. He wants to get it off to a good start!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This mandala was made of river rocks from the local Bulkley River. I am still working at refining my photographic and layout technique for mandalas made out of river rocks like this. Laid out on the floor with the sunlight pouring over, they are surprisingly restful and meditative installations. I hope to capture this feeling with later photography.
Monday, March 17, 2008
This past week, I fasted-- off of coffee.
I was curious to see if I was "addicted". I was also curious if I could go a simple seven days without my now quite regular beverage of choice.
It was, I must confess, a remarkably disturbing challenge. My afternoons became plagued with a the grey listlessness of evident withdrawal. Regularly at about 11 AM, I longed for a warm comforting mug of coffee, much as a famished soul longs for a sumptuous five course meal. The lack thereof profoundly, and disconcertainly affected my mood over the week. On several occasions, my hankering was so severe as to induce the drinking of decaf! Which although not the same thing, came very close to breaking the spirit of my self imposed prohibition.
What does this mean? It means that I am addicted folks. Yep. Denial is no longer an option. It means that coffee surely has an unhealthy hold on me. It is no longer a source of pleasure, but a dastardly dependence that slowly but surely subtly saps the liveforce from my days like some fiendish brown tick that looks just like a coffee bean!
My fast, praise the Lord, is now over.
I sit here with my Canadianno (one shot of espresso the rest coffee) typing this entry. I also sit here with some resolve and newfound wisdom. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Wisdom. The kinda of thing that the Bible tells us is worth its weight in rubies and gemstones. That said, I am going to institute a one drink, every second day moratorium!
One unexpected perk: Wow... I am really enjoying my coffee right now.
P.S. I gotta admit that this prohibition thing is a little fun. This week's prohibition: No e-mailing or internet in the morning + a one hour limit a day.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
I started this painting two years ago. I always had the feeling it wasn't quite complete. This week I returned to it and finished it off. And no... the cows here in BC aren't yellow... that's just an abstract embellishment!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Can ugliness be used to create beauty? Can pieces of yuckyness be put together to make a harmonious, beautiful whole?
Intrigued by this possibility I set out to McDonalds to buy some good old French fries. These tasty morcels of vacuuous nutritional merit are curiously symbolic. They pose an intriguing medium to play with. This isn't the final piece by any means, but its my first toying with this concept. More to come on this figurative french fry front!
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Today I stumbled upon a remarkable non-pharmaceutical, yet definitively pharmacy based, remedy for the down day: A visit to your local drugstore.
Wandering the pharmacy isles one immediately becomes aware of the vast amount of ailments that one does not have. Its like a library of potential misfortune-- adult diapers, cold medication, foot and itch powders, reading glasses, wart solutions, et ce te ra.
With each isle, with each glance, it rapidly becomes clear that you've got life pretty good. Silently, you wisper grateful Halejujahs. Bandages, orthopedic inserts, tums, cough drops. Keep walking. Keep looking and taking it in. Super Pain relievers, hang nail antidotes, anti-fungals, you name it. Even walking through the cosmetic, panty hose and nail polish aisles can be a silent joy to the unsophisticated male!
Friday, March 7, 2008
A few weeks ago, I led Mr. MacDonald's rather racous class of grade 4-5 kids in a mandala making workshop. And on that farm... er... I mean class, there were 25 kids, that, despite the noise and clatter, succeeded remarkably well in their colourful creations. You can see them composed to make an even bigger class mandala above.
If you haven't seen my Mega Mandala of Mandalas, done last Fall with an entire school, you should really check it out. I am quite proud of that one.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
By composing the unimposingly ugly in an imposingly beautiful way, the ugliness becomes revealed in all its majestic splendour.
Mandalic Me, mirrored and multiplied. Every artist has to do a self portrait at some point. I was hoping to use this particular mandalic technique with photos of other people. Alas at the moment of creative passion all I had was, well... moi, and four different shirts! More of these creations are in the pipe-- this time with more than just me.
This is the story of a connected canary in the depths of the data mine known as the 21st century. At some point, within the dark confusing depths of this internet information inferno, the canary is going to... well, chirp.
Chirp! Chirp! My blog so begins!
Chirp! Chirp! My blog so begins!
I have come to the conclusion that I have something to say.