25 June 2014

Obelix Havasupai

Obelix Havasupai Closeup
I've been working with some graphic symbols that came out of a vector-based automatic writing set of sessions.  Thinking about letters, sigils, symbols and am exploring their meaning more specifically now. Maybe they are part of a larger symbology.  Maybe part of a mandelic pantheon of universal balance.  Maybe part of a personal psychological system like tarot.  The world-building continues...

The symbols used in this one are geologic, stone, earth-like.  A cube shape has been haunting me so I built one from the symbols themselves.  Could be a 3-dimensional sentence.  Could be a set of dice.  Could be keys turned to access another realm.  I want to explore this concept further.  I keep tuning into an "Ancient Future" feeling that has a lot of juice and I'm scurrying down the rabbit hole after it.

I worked from a photo I took while riding a helicopter out of Havasu Falls, a tributary of the Grand Canyon.  All the inking is done with a Crow Quill and india ink.  I listened to "Kafkaesque", an hour-long ambient drone piece of music by Australian artist "Soul in limbo" over and over again while working on it.  So, I guess that might be the soundtrack.

Obelix Havasupai

17 March 2014

Canix

Doing a sketch for a new drawing, halfway through a slow-going landscape painting (needing 4 hour blocks of time at a shot) and 5 other inks that need coloring, I decided to finish up coloring on Canix tonight.  Based on a oil painting of the coyote-headed man, but this time in a landscape.  I don't get a huge amount of feedback on my inks, but I draw what I want to see.  I've come to accept my scratchy technique and like it a lot.  Maybe this will develop.

13 January 2014

Therianthropy

Timidix
I was offered a show at Art House Centro in Tucson and had a little over a month to get some work together.  I decided to extend the one painting series I had started two years ago that started with "Cervidex," an image of a man with a deer head.  Continuing on the therianthropic path with Ardeidix, Timidix, Canix, and Astutix.  My pantheon of deities all end in "X."  These are my first attempts at figure painting, which is hard for me, which is why I think I avoided it for so long, or until I had the skills.  Always had the ideas, but not the skills.  Turned out to be kind of a mental trick along the lines of "you can paint realistic rocks, the figure is just a weird rock."

So a human with an animal head is a common theme throughout history and presently for that matter.  I am thinking more about variations on the Green Man than Egyptian gods like Osiris, Horus and Anubis.  Spirits of the natural world.  Although I have so much interest recently in mythology, arcane magic, psionics and ancient texts etc., I see these characters appearing in real life now, not in historic situations.  I see a naked, hyper intelligent God with a deer head materializing in front of me with beams of energy washing out of them.  Now.  The embodiment of natures' power and personality, warning, or simply stating their existence in the parking lot, in an abandoned gravel lot, on a path in the desert, on a mountain top.  I see them now, in 2014 while my iPhone notifies me of a text message.




I still feel like all of my artistic efforts are moving towards a publication, and I'm afraid of straying from that subject.  The Sutra of Tranquility.  This book appears to those ready to study out of thin air when summoned.  Filled with abstract patterns, complex diagrams, strange characters, and indecipherable text, the reader comes away with a sense of calm they can call upon the rest of their life.  A fantasy object I can't tear my mind away from but I feel like I'm the one to author it.

Cervidex
Ardeidix
Canix
Astutix

28 October 2013

ASMR

Ran into this randomly and then it turns out to be a huge community with hundreds of thousands of users that participate.  Never heard of it but love the concept, and pretty much everything about it and the fact that the internet creates things like this.  Helps that it's pretty weird too.

ASMR stands for: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.  The phenomenon refers to certain sensory stimulus, usually auditory, that create a sort of itchy-orgasmic sensation in your scalp-brain-upper-neck area.  (Meridian is supposed to mean orgasmic, though I thought it meant a brain structure of some kind like right-left.)  In most cases, it puts subjects into a hypnotic, relaxed state unlike anything else.  It can cure insomnia, anxiety and most things within this realm of psychic ill.

ASMR enthusiasts started talking about the effect back in 2008, realized other people felt it and started banding together under the preface that only some people actually experience it.  They are all adamant that the effect is different from hearing an inspirational piece of music that may alter your mood and make the hair stand up on the back of your neck in a euphoric response.

I wasn't even sure of the effect until I experienced it myself.  Watching a video of numerous 'triggers', a man lightly tapped his fingernails on the back of a clipboard and my brain went crazy.  It was between itching, tickling and pleasure.  Less on the pleasure side and definitely not relaxing.  Definitely happened.  Definitely strong.  Something someone might get addicted to.

Science hasn't logged in on this one yet, but Yale School of Medicine is looking into it with a study this year.  Of the theories I've read, the most plausible is the infant experience.  Sounds that calmed you while an infant trigger relaxation.  Quiet whispering from a female voice, cloth or skin rubbing sounds, ears touched, and hair brushing are among the most common relaxing sounds.

ASMR enthusiasts sometimes run into triggers accidentally.  This random YouTube video attracted the attention of ASMR experiencers because of its' low, slow English accented voice and cloth sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4l4khCUnIM

The community has spawned a group of ASMRartists that are talented in video and do non-sexual roleplaying scenarios meant to relax you.  The community got flack for a while when the YouTube public thought it was some kind of perverted sex thing.

The best videos include binaural audio.  Not an easy thing to pull off.  Trance and ambient music artists pioneered this effect of two microphones or complex mixing that imitates sounds moving around and inside your head.  The realism is something you've probably not experienced outside of a movie theatre.

This whole subject has got me thinking.  Since ASMR is different for everyone, what if you could hack your own brain response?  Collect your personal set of sounds that relax or stimulate you.  Collect the sounds and have them at the ready on your cell phone to play at will.  Immediately change your mood!

I don't think anyone is unique in experiencing this effect, it's just a matter of finding out your own triggers.  For the most part, I find the roleplaying videos extremely relaxing even if they aren't giving me the "experience."

At this point, all you have to do is search "ASMR" on YouTube.  Here's a couple of my favorites:


This next one has the video preview disabled because it's near a million hits and YouTube is going to start charging for popular videos.  But you gotta check it out:


09 June 2013

World Changing Fusion Power Reality?

If Andrea Rossi's invention is for real, this is going to change the world.  Cold fusion at last!  Put energy into the device and 10 times the energy comes out.  The peak energy output is 3 times what gasoline produces.  The technology is called E-Cat and a home product is proposed.

We've been scammed by the fusion power hoaxes before, but this one is passing initial tests in Sweden (link from Forbes) before it goes onto larger peer review.  One of the scientists that tested the device is former chairman of the Swedish Skeptics Society.  Very promising!  Either way, it will be interesting to see how this one plays out in the scientific community, in the political arena and in the commercial realm.  Will governments take control to ease out present energy infrastructure?  Will energy companies try to buy out the technology?  Will efforts be taken to delay the production?

Since learning about this Friday, my head has been trying to wrap around what it would mean to have nearly free energy.  Thinking on the game-changing order of railroads, the combustion engine, plastics and antibiotics.  Will we enter a golden age of humanity?  Population will most likely increase, alot.  Carbon output could reduce by 90% thus combatting climate issues.  Economies will change but how?  The future is now!

06 June 2013

Periodic Table

Been thinking a lot about science, illustration, steampunk, 19th century design.  My first experiment was quite an undertaking:  The Periodic Table of Elements.  Believe me, it's a typographic nightmare.  (Not just typing all the shit in)  It will quickly become a piece of actual history after the newly discovered/invented element is named.

It's more of a sketch (finished off in photoshop) because Tom's plan is to dive into intaglio printmaking after being away from it for  20yrs or so.  My ink drawings were leading me to it.  Just gotta have that delicious black line, a little bleedy and a little embossed in the paper.  Mmmmmmm.  As for the Periodic Table, I'll actually be scratching "Copperplate" font into a copper plate.

Extension of this plan is the need for a super workshop under the deck.  A 9' x 7' table, wood storage, tool storage on lockdown, pneumatic hoses and power cords coming down from the ceiling.  Because, I gotta matte and frame these prints too.

New ideas are going to be flora and fauna.  For starters, lizards and woodpeckers.  I'm aiming at less typography and more image.


10 April 2013

Open Studio Tour at Wee Gallery

Since opening Wee Gallery in September of 2012, I noticed a growing number of compadres asking if I still did the graphic light boxes anymore.  The first and last time I showed them was in 2005!  Since then I've worked up pieces but never put them into production.  Not wanting to hog the feature gallery room, I thought the Open Studio Tour would be a good opportunity to show new work.  I'll be hanging in the Wee Gallery Annex (some would call it a hallway!)

I'm creating 3 from a series called "Deities and Demons," that seems to be an ongoing part of my ink drawings.  I have to admit some creative influence from Matthew Yates and Rosanna Salonia.  Exposed to their work and owning some of it, I started working with vintage imagery to see where it would go.  With large, 2' x 4' digital transparencies in fluorescent light boxes, it's hard to make something look authentic.  Instead, it seems to come off as something entirely different like the light panels doctors use to view x-rays.

"/shift" show in 2005, boxes in production, new prints before mounting
The Tucson Artists' Open Studio Tour is all over town the 13th and 14th of April.  Four of us, Amy Novelli, Rosanna Salonia, Matthew Yates and I will be on hand in the gallery to chat.  It's also an opportunity to pick up some deals as we'll be putting more work out for display.  Here's a link to the event on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/163587357134927/

12 January 2013

Astralcryptix

Head filled with Byzantine monks, ancient texts, mysterious codex and objects of supernatural power. This resembles a dorje or vajra but is more of a portal key to other planes.  I'm still working inside of this idea of The Sutra of Tranquil Thought:

"Apparently this book appears to those ready to study out of thin air when summoned.  Filled with abstract patterns, complex diagrams, strange characters, and indecipherable text, the reader comes away with a sense of calm they can call upon the rest of their life."

I'm really liking ink and am further in the development of my personal glyphs.  The symbols in the upper left are actually plain English!