CIVA ruminations, part 1

(Originally sent as part of an email to friends I'd seen at CIVA conference...the theme of which was Transforming Spaces: the virtu(e) and the virtual):

Hello friends; it was good to reconnect with each of you this past week, some more extensively than others. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and am still processing much of what I took in.

On that note, I've still been considering the whole idea of "transformation", specifically around the appropriateness of it, and what constitutes true, careful and loving transformation. I heard one set of voices, for example, quick to caution that certain slants of "transformation" can be elitist, mono-cultural, totalitarian; racist even. Another group of voices acknowledged this, yet made a distinction between "negative" transformation, and the edifying, life-changing and affirming forms and possibilities of transformation. Ken Myers, in his brilliant words based partially around Romans 12, was in this camp.

Interestingly enough, this week on my bus ride to work I was finishing up a Dallas Willard book, The Great Omission, on discipleship, and came across some poignant words on transformation that felt suddenly very apropos. I will say first though, that I was most intrigued with how Allan Wexler articulated his definitions of transformation, in the form of the most important transformation beginning inwardly, and then allowing that to work out, to wherever it would find purchase. And as Allan also said, this sounds incredibly selfish at first. When I first thought about his definition, I didn't agree; it sounded too self-centered; too egocentric. But little did I know I was falling into the easy trap (though partially true) that many of those outside of the art world fall into when critiquing artists...and then I found this quote from Willard which was a nice tap on the shoulder (he prefaces this by denying we are called to firstly "convert" the church, or even the world)...

"Your first move, 'as you go' is, in a manner of speaking: 'convert me'...we begin with ourselves."

In other words, in a Christocentric context of course, we must, to retain all genuineness and humility, start with ourselves in any process of transformation. Here is another quote which also fleshes out a bit more of what true transformation should be like -- and not like:

"He [Christ] did tell us that, when filled with him, we would bear witness of him "to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Witnesses are those who cause others to know; they wit-ness. They are not manipulators - no need of that - though what they do is radically transformative."


Featured soon at Siano...

Hello again; welcome to those who might be visiting for the first time; someone I may have met at are some images to keep you interested, rather than just my prattling.

These drawings are from a few months ago; they will be featured in a large group show at Gallery Siano, opening sometime in July. They are drawn with pencil, latex and enamel on gessoed paperboard. They have the working titles of "Haiku Redux 1 -6".

Forgive the "raw" quality of the pictures; as I said to any inquirer this past weekend of whether I had a website or not, I'm still "tripping into the digital age."


Straight from the brain...

Hello...yes, it's me. I've been a bad blogger recently; when was my last post; more than a month ago? Ouch.

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting for you all to get a bit of a glimpse into my brain, through some journal excerpts (compiled by yours truly). Writing in my studio journal is an important part of my studio times, even when I'm there for only two hours, I still make time to journal. And I write about everything from the weather, to thoughts about next steps on paintings.

So, here are some excerpts; hope you find them interesting, and occasionally insightful:

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
"Be skeptical of all answers; field all questions."

Thursday, August 10th, 2006
"I need to get myself to slow down; I haven't painted (besides hearts [a work on paper I spent a lot of time on last summer]) for awhile now, so I'm impatient. (Talk less; slow down; think more.)

Thursday, August 17th, 2006
"...up late last night, going through mortgage/house stuff, papers and discussing house colors, etc.
Anyway - this is a studio journal, no? Oh well, all of life is interconnected; it's our flesh that tries to keep the parts separate."

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006
"Began laying out pattern on panel...a shape which reminds me of the pattern my mother uses for quilting a quilt edge - a sort of offset scallop pattern."

Thursday, October 12th, 2006
"...began stenciling shapes on to large door - it really reminded me, as I added each successive shape, that composition complication adds up very quickly. I reacted against the existing white 'shape' (brush pattern) for my first teardrop shape; reacted against that reaction for the second stencil, and so on...each time it became harder, and took more concentration. It reminded me of a short worktime we'd had with an artist, at Messiah - Boothe? - something. [Powers Booth]. He had us look at a still life, and first concentrate only on the verticals, then the horizontals, then the diagonals, etc. It quickly became, with all that concentration, information overload - I felt my spidey-senses saying, 'Whoa, slow down - too much!' A very revealing several ways."

Thursday, October 19th, 2006
"...continued with gesso shapes on door - the composition is still working, but now vastly more complicated. It will be interesting to see what color does for it. Intuition again will kick in, as that 'isolated' element reacts within itself."

Okay, that's enough for now...more later.
CIVA conference this Thursday through Saturday...

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