07 March 2012

Timothy Ely

Every once and a while something comes along and inspires you with that feeling, champagne bubbling through your veins, a lightness of warm enthusiasm exciting your mind.  The burn.  Mine came in a time bomb friend Kyle dropped on me 15yrs ago in the form of a book.  "Flight Into Egypt" by Timothy Ely is a printed version of his hand made book.  Painter, graphic artist, book maker.  An enthusiast of UFOlogy, particle physics, maps, alchemy, mysterious objects.  Favorite subjects of mine!  I love mysterious objects and especially mysterious books.

It's been a while since I cracked this oversized publication that sat on the shelf for so long, and for some reason, now it seems so much more rich and visually engaging than in the past.  Maybe it's the development of my graphic mind, maybe it's the search to intertwine painting, drawing and digital work together.  It just resonates with me now.

Ely makes his own books and even pioneered a new binding technique.  He mixes airbrush, water color, technical pen, colored ink, calligraphy pen, and heavy use of stencil to create his works.  His presentation is part technical drawing, part map, part landscape and geometric exploration.  He also uses an automatic writing technique that evolved into a private language of 366 idiographic cyphers.  A personal hieroglyphics.  It's as if the layers of the page are reworks upon reworks.  One layer is numbering and diagraming the one below and the next layer is commenting on those additions as if he's trying to understand his own composition better.  What he really does best is integrate random ink bleeds and washes into the work that add an element of entropy into the equation.

This pushes all my buttons in regard to art.  Not only the mysterious, abstract, info graphic subject matter but also my interest in personal symbology and language.  I find some similarities in his approach to my own bag of techniques.

His work really caught on with the New Age movement because of it's sync with spiritual themes of the day.  I see it as much more timeless.  Imagination free enough to suggest other-worldly systems of complexity not necessarily to be understood but to be awed by.  This world and it's light, objects, textures is just a starting point.

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