Friday, May 11, 2012

Are You a Drifter or a Shifter?

Are you a Drifter or a Shifter? Are you a passenger or contributor?  Are you caught in the seemingly endless tunnel of human experiences and their motion, or will you make a mark, a dent, some sign to show you have lived?  Somewhere, with something, you can define yourself with an activity to make a contribution to history.  Branch out, take steps to change the course of something, make a mark that’s your own.  You enjoy shopping, but hate long lines, so did the folks who started Fresh Direct, a home delivery food service, that’s mushroomed into a multi-million dollar company.  You love making art, but can’t figure out a way to make a living doing it, check out The Abundant Artist, who helps artist reclaim their dreams and make a living doing it.  Don’t let the general drift of human experiences fool you to think you are contributing to anything in a defining way.  And don’t remain disempowered to contribute to something because you are unaware that are caught in the drift.

Participation in the general movement of life makes you a passenger, not a contributor.  You can strive to be an excellent passenger, that’s for sure, and a noble goal itself.  But I‘m interested in rule-changing, rule-expanding actions that newly define a field, or its direction.  It’s fun to alter the course of something.  I had a chance to do this with Camp Huntington when I took over the Direction of the program, and helped improve its overall program design.  This improvement strengthened quality of service for camp participants, staff and clients, and resulted in the sale of the program to a large therapeutic treatment and education company, the Aspen Education Group and the CRC Health Group.  Remaining a little family-owned camp was an option, but I was interested in how to reshape the program while also expanding its services to a wider audience, which was the result. 

This next piece from my first pen series is based on “shifting” the context of existing content.  It’s about opposing forces and their elements.  The rightward facing elements stack together in the same general direction and contain various content, representing the normal flow of human actions.  The object’s points represent forward motion.  The single left-facing shape shows opposing motion that creates a new direction.  It sleekly laced itself beneath the other existing forms, and thus was able to distinguish itself, and open up new pathways of creative exploration.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hard To Handle, Amorphism (The Grateful Dead & The Finger Lakes)

Hard to Handle, Amorphism of The Dead & the Finger Lakes. 2009. Daniel Falk. New York. Pen on paper.  A piece that amorphically mirrors the pattern of New York's Finger Lakes and the improvisational musical patterning of The Grateful Dead's 1971 Hollywood Palladium show, in which the version of their popular cover of Hard to Handle was played with dark, rich undertones that flowed into each song part with five distinct players (Micky Hart, an original drummer, left the band for a 5-year hiatus in February of 1971); finding the band expressing and interacting around a central song structure and extending their rhythmic and musical communication in harmonizing patterns that are temporary, generative and fluid.  Geographic patterns like the Finger Lakes show external markings, yet contain mostly unseen influences that "improvisationally" crafted an opening .  The Dead's performance combining wisdom, ease, and insight, is reductively considered from vast hidden sources as: Artful Structural Crafting, a creative expression model I've identified to label elements present in making art pieces memorable.  The Finger Lakes pattern are the white vertical sections towards the bottom of the piece.  Both, the Dead's lead singer Pig Pen and lead guitarist Jerry Garcia performance finds them synched together in a high degree (no pun intended!) producing a mythical tangle of cobalt mesomorphs stirring golden flour in a surging sticky grasp of velvet-fanged musical tides, believing in itself and journeying cellularly and focally to a faraway land with a long coat-tail on which to dance with them.  In similar creative spontaneity, the Finger Lakes appear like a lion claw's scratch mark, indelibly defining space and time.

Review the Finger Lakes pattern and compare to the intuitive example I've drawn, which was completed without prior referencing:

Have a listen to the Grateful Dead's Hard to Handle:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Storytelling is important to me, and fun to engage in.

I love art-making, it's where my imagination can travel freely into curious new worlds.  Part of that form of expression is storytelling through various creations: images, characters, sounds, songs, sculpture and writing.  My last post was a story that playfully asked a question about the mind, and whether we can see it and touch it.  I enjoy pondering the meaning of things in my drawings, underlying and overt.  As I draw, my mind constantly churns: analyzing and turning the process I'm engaged in physically to make a piece of visual art into an exploration of that experience.  My mind becomes an ally, a partner, an echoing voice that accompanies my drawing process.  Often when I listen to music while drawing, I can reduce the volume and activity of thinking.  I also experiment with not listening to music to allow myself to focus on drawing and solving problems that arise in fulfilling the creative vision I'm pursuing in a certain piece.  This piece below (The Source of Thinking, 2008) is the next in my first series of pen drawings.  It reveals the combination of visual-motor actions combined with accompanied thoughts.  The pathways the piece contains represent both visual and intellectual patterns of thought and interwoven memories.  Simplicity and complexity coexist, teasing each other forward in a dance of curiosity, of magic and wonder.