Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To everything - a purpose: Mindfulness


Ferry from Kalymnos to Telendos, Greece - page from Greece Travel Journal

Well isn't it funny the way life fits together like little(and something gargantuan) puzzle pieces. This book is being called into existence for several reasons. The reason that will help this book be desirable to others lies in my idea of helping people extend their adventures and journeys beyond the time they catch Bart to the airport and long after they have washed the last bits of sand out of their hair. This book is about coming to be mindful of your experiences through art.

Mindfulness, Depression, and Art
One way to fight depression, a dance I am learning new moves to everyday, is through the transference of my focus from inside to outside. Instead of drowning in self doubt and self hatred I force my focus to things outside of myself. This is sometimes called mindfulness. Like many others who find themselves lost, I have learned to attain mindfulness through things like yoga, meditation, climbing, and art.
Here is where it gets interesting to me. Art helps me achieve mindfulness, but it takes acute focus to create satisfying art(I use the word "satisfying" here because the word "good" is too dangerous to throw out willy-nilly in this conversation). I find that the more I focus on my subject, internal or external, the more I look up and down from the canvas to the subject, I gain more control over how I express said subject. The tree I am drawing looks more and more like the tree in front of me. The anguish I am portraying with paint and maps grows stronger as I continuously examine my own recollections of pain.
It becomes a strange circle of defeating depression with mindfulness. I do this with art that helps me expand mindfulness. And I find one of the most effective ways to express this mindfulness is to explore my depression.
Complex, an artist book

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A New Project: Travel Journals. If there is no hold, grab it with both hands.

Travel Journal: Greece

So two months after my last post I'm feeling rather guilty. I guess part of the reason why I have not put the energy into the blog recently is it seemed that I did not have too many readers, and those that did see this are people I know. I somehow thought that magically all these people would come flocking, riveted to my every word, begging for new post after post. What was the point if no one was reading this? Well I do have to admit that I am a lousy writer and when it comes to writing about my work...I am even worse than lousy.

How does Taska deal with this....? One of the best quotes I ever read was in the little newspaper you receive when you enter Joshua Tree National Park. I do wish I had saved it. The paper is typical of a US park: little tidbits on what to look for, rules, and what ranger programs are coming up. There was an article on climbing that was a little farce on climbing ratings. It said, "5.11: if there is no hold, then grab it with both hands"

Here I am grabbing with both hands. I want to write a book, and I will use my blog to work this little project out. I don't promise it will be riveting, but it will show you and me the process. Besides now the point of this blog is to write a book, not extoll the untold virtues of my artwork to a miniscule audience.