Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Transcendental Omnipresence and a book review to boot

It has taken me longer than I thought it would to finish the paintings of the goat an the chipmunks, getting real close, they are at the stage of assessment and finishing touches. Been fighting a EDS headache for 3 days now yet managed to make a batch of oatmeal coconut cookies for the exhibition on saturday and a granny-smith apple crumble, mmm, so good I had some for breakfast. The pain meds get me buzzed enough to get through, though I hate having to take them, I'd rather be fit an healthy. Everyone has their sore spot in life and we just have to do the best we can with what we are given. I find by embracing the beauty I see and photograph which ultimately and intimately translates into paintings, helps to blunt the pain I live in. The motion of painting is a centering experience which enables blocking out nearly everything external. Becoming oblivious to the external when painting is meditative, its like uncontroled prayer and worship where there are no petitions, no requests, just the pure energy of creating. Its communion with the greater power, with Creator and Creation. Within creativity one has the opportunity to touch that aspect of the divine that is elusive when rushing through life, its the quiet space we give ourselves when we stop to admire the gifts of birds, butterflies, bugs and flowers, the smiles, the gentle touch, the warm hugs and the kind word, its enjoying the sun and the rain and the fine arts. 
The arts are a gift, whether it be dance, music, painting, poetry, writing, all these put us in touch with self, then with the higher self, and, can bring one into otherness that goes beyond self. The act of creating or the act of enjoying that which is created by others puts us in communion with life, with each other and with the God of our understanding. It is a gift and for that I am thankful.

  The Butterfly Whisper; Transcendental Omnipresence, acrylic on canvas, 20"x16"

This abundantly full painting about Creation is presently being displayed in Calgary. I used reference gathered  from the University of Alberta Devon Gardens butterfly house.  The painting grew as it evolved, I started with an idea of butterflies coming off the hand of creation and then allowed it to evolve with no other pre-conceived plan, I just kept adding plants, butterflies then a hummingbird to finish it off. From initial thought to final brush touches this work took over a year to completion. 

And while on the subject of gifts I was given the opportunity to read a book that Brad Huebert has written about spiritual life from his perspective. As a parent and a pastor he thankfully tends to think out-side of the religious box that so many churches have stymied in. Anyhow about Brads Book "Finding Home" it's a semi-surreal adventure about a man coming to the "Cross" roads in life. Its about choices and the confusion of coming to terms with the contradictions of religious life and its rules and spiritual life and its abundance. I have to say while reading the story I felt a sense of the confusion in line with the main character Ivan. As like the main character we all are left notes from God from time to time, but what do we do with the knowledge, do we jump right in, or hesitate, to find out what Ivan does you must read the book, cause I am not about to give away the ending.
Personally I would have liked the fantastic to have been pushed and developed a bit more, yet I find the book refreshing in how Brad depicts the struggle of Faith using Ivan as the metaphor.

To get a copy of "Finding Home" go to Amazon URL: http://tinyurl.com/da6p9m
I also enjoy reading Brads blog. His writing is straight forward and employs down to earth every day situations and their outcome. His words are often humorous and at times deliciously cryptic and intuitive, words that entertain the thought process, his words make me think and that I like. Brads blog at http://www.bradhuebert.blogspot.com/

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