acts of art 4 ~selfportraitclinock

sp-with-circ_2

These are the words that circle the above Self Portrait in circular mirror:

“In the mirror my name is lost in canyons of colour. Thoughts and feelings dissolve in shadows and light. Memories become texture and line. My fingers dance to the drums of the Fathers and the chanting of the Mothers. Night spirits whisper and call and the shaman of the sun sings music that swells inside. Flesh dissolves into rainbows of light. Rich and pulsing darkness purrs upon impossible edges of skin, the illusion of my beginning and ending. I fly in eagles and glide cold depths in the bellies of whales. I am in the tall pine, the voices of the Mothers and the hands of the beater of drums. Proudly I move to the drum. Within this circle of incantation and musty magic I am dancer, warrior and magician and my spirit is straight and true. I look into my eyes and each orb becomes a universe. The stranger in this circumference of glass  guides my hand and I dissolve again into marks moving across paper deserts. I know this language, always becoming, between the stars and the deepest cave of my heart. It speaks of coming home again. It speaks of walking this world proudly and in beauty”.

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I couldn’t do a series like this without including thoughts on my own process, and this won’t be the only time I do so because every day I change my shape.

Above is a Self Portrait made from my reflection in a circular mirror a very long time ago. I wrote the words that frame the drawing as I worked. At the time I was strongly influenced by north west coast indigenous shamanism.

If you have ever seriously immersed yourself in making a self portrait you understand what a profound and enlightening experience it is. The words I wrote are a fragment of everything I felt, thought and grokked during that evening:

I disappeared and re-emerged a hundred times. I went from the shyness of looking myself in the eyes for more than a second to total absorption beyond time and any face I could call Me. I passed through ‘this’, a reflection of me, to total objective observation of certain colours, forms and human features, my name and identity long forgotten. I was visited by ancestors, dead friends and lovers. I walked away and made tea and returning discovered everything had changed.

My head didn’t fit…

I have made a few other self portraits before and since. The process is too intense for me to do often.  Each time I meet myself is part punching bag, part deja vu and part ‘oh far out I’ve never been down this rabbit hole before’.

pie-rat

Then there are the self portraits that are out of nowhere and off the wall. They crack me up every time and I am always grateful for their reminding of that pirate / clown / trickster side of who I think I am.

Laughter is so excellent.

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Words and art by Clinock.

Image 1: Self Portrait in circular mirror with text.  Diam, with text, 12 in. Chalk pastel, conte and black pen.

Image 2. Self Portrait as Pie-Rat. 18 x 14 in. Acrylic on canvas.

Demented Confessions 1 – Invocation

Invocation

Demented – from Old French dementer or late Latin dementare, from demens ‘out of one’s mind’.

Confessions – via Old French from Latin confessio (n-) from confiteri ‘acknowledge’

Invocation

My Renovation Quest was to become out of my mind. Somewhat in the same way one is out of milk or coffee but more to the point outside of the rational and the drunken monkey, like the Dadaist Buddhists were if they ever were.

I do not welcome madness. I did once or twice but there was no pleasure in it.

Dali said: “The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad”.

So I confess and acknowledge what is found. Each work is a confession and a confirmation. I honour each work as an actual act of art made with these hands, eyes, heart and brain.

 It was another hard winter, here in the soft northwest Pacific sense of ‘hard’. Almost endless rain and if not rain then air so loaded with icy moisture one could squeeze it like a sponge and almost get snowflakes. A chilling, foggy dank, cabin fever, mossy, dripping, out of one’s mind Gothic kind of winter as I began these wall boxes. They are a necessary transition from my free standing ‘Renovation Art’ sculptures to that which comes next.

They made me laugh and wonder and ask what, and why.

In the dark hibernation of my winter past, in the name of Renovation, I made my confessions every day and night to all who still lived and listened. Did you hear my sins? Did you enjoy them? Did you hear my invocation? Must there be sacrifice?

Self-indulgent revelations in the fur and fire of the cave.

Invocation. Mixed media relief wall box by clinock. H.8″ (20.32 cm) x W.8″ (20.32 cm) x D.2″ (5.08 cm).

April Redux-2012-Eggs

easter-eggs-inspired-by-lichtenstein-from-artclubblog21

In 2012 I began a series called artratcafe CAFE. It was slow-food art with a dash of tasty humour, a pinch of the creative unusual and a seasoning of literature with a culinary twist. It was the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party every afternoon and Tom Waits on the wonky old bar piano every night.

I haven’t posted from artratcafe CAFE for a very long time. I’m thinking I might resurrect it, dust off the juke box, buy some new lumber-jack table cloths and refill all the candle holders with heavenly beeswax.

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This is a new series, revisiting posts from the pasts of each month. This April 2012 post was all about eggs and Easter:

“Because it’s almost Easter, eggs are on our mind and feature on our over easy-menu this week at artratcafe CAFE.

girl with eggs

Our fancy lightly turns to spring, sensual longing, fertility and well, yes, the sex life of plants, hens and rabbits.

The name ‘Easter’ derives from Eostre or Ostara, the Great Mother Goddess of the ancient Saxon people of Northern Europe. She was the fecundity of spring symbolized in carnal pleasure, pregnancy and birth. In pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honour and continues to this day wearing a Christian mask. Ostara was a playful goddess whose reign over the earth began in the spring when the Sun King journeyed across the sky in his chariot, heralding the end of winter. Ostara descended to earth then, appearing as a beautiful maiden with a basket of bright and colourful eggs. Her magical companion was a rabbit who accompanied her as she brought new life to plants, flowers, and the earth by hiding her eggs in the fields.

405px-ostara_by_johannes_gehrts1

The egg serves as a representation of new life. It stands for the renewing power of nature and by extension the attraction between female and male that results in new life. And this shell lead us, scrambling, to the following eggstremely sensual eggstract from the book:

1933 Was A Bad Year by John Fante:

“Dorothy was at the sideboard, breaking eggs and spilling them into a bowl. Just watching the oval things crack in her white fingers and spill forth with a golden plop created a series of small explosions inside me. My calves shuddered as she scrambled them with a fork and they turned yellow like her hair. She poured a bit of cream into the mixture and the silken smoothness of the descending cream had me reeling. I wanted to say, ‘Dorothy Parrish, I love you’, to take her in my arms, to lift the bowl of scrambled eggs above our heads and pour it over our bodies, to roll on the red tiles with her, smeared with the conquest of eggs, squirming and slithering in the yellow of love”.

 smiley eggs

 

Image Credits from top in order:

Easter Eggs inspired by Lichtenstein – artclubblog21.

Ostara by Johannes Gehrts. 1884.

Victorian Woman with Eggs and Smiley Toast from Google Images. Origins unknown.