Learning to draw is a way of learning to think. At first we will tend to draw the idea of what we see, what we think we perceive, then as we observe and improve we will begin to be able to draw what we are actually able to perceive. A master will be able to draw what they intuit, they will draw something that seduces you into a particular way of perceiving that comes from direct individual experience.
Rather than reflecting ‘reality’ singular, theses images show realities of their own, ‘realities’ plural. They demonstrate what the German philosopher Husserl said: that ‘all perception is gamble’. You can experience something of the reality tunnel of any good artist or musician or writer quite clearly through their work, you can experience a reflection of their way of observing, their particular gambles.
By practicing observation you can become very aware of your own preoccupations and taste, and from this the apperception of pattern as such. That is to say, the more you observe the way you observe your reality the more you will become aware that there are likely infinite ways to observe and so the possibilities for interpretation are endless, therefore knowledge itself appears infinite, as does its expression. It seems possible to become able to choose the reality you inhabit. If you don’t like the world you live in you can change it by changing your taste and consciously choosing to observe differently.
Every great artist has been so because they noticed the world in a different way and they enabled others to notice this too. Observe that this is also what great philosophy and great spirituality does. We transform our perception and enable that transformation to ripple out from us. A work of art should at least expand the consciousness of the artist and at best alter the consciousness of those who perceive it.
We are born into particular times and places, brought up believing in the projections of our cultures and religions, in our gender, our economic status, our language, our social ‘reality’. We are enmeshed in works of art, we can be spellbound by our own taste and cultural aesthetics, or we can dance with them and paint our own worlds.
Posted in Philosophy, Aesthetics, Art | Tagged apperception, art, Edmund Husserl, interpretation, observation, perception, reality, Robert Anton Wilson | Leave a Comment »
Dear Daily Mail, there’s a thing called a search engine, use it. If you’d Googled my tits in advance you’d have found that your photos are hardly exclusive.
– Amanda Palmer, Dear Daily Mail
The female nipple is a contentious thing. It is especially interesting to be informed they are offensive while sporting a pair of your own. Or indeed that they are so inherently sexual they will inflame the ardour of those around you to such an extent that orgies and all manner of wicked behaviour will ensue should the slightest hint of a female nipple emerge. Such powerful things separated from the world only by thin layers of cloth (or the front page of The Sun – enough to keep anything covered forever).
The male nipple, by contrast, is supposed to be an entirely boring thing. In fact women have been taking images of male nipples and placing them over their own, thereby negating the apocalyptic hell beast powers of their female breasts. Or just taking the utter piss out of this silliness.
Micol Hebron’s male nipple template.
A thing is as sexual as the mind perceiving it chooses to make it. I could describe to you, for example, a scenario in which a group of a dozen or so people observe with intensity a nude form writhe and contort for various periods of time, eyes taking in every detail, hands jerking and stroking in fierce concentration. This is called a life drawing class.
I have sat for hours drawing naked people, female nipples included, without the slightest desire to shag. I have painted female breasts in an entirely non-sexual context and been informed they were inherently pornographic, because the person viewing them was uncomfortable with their own arousal and clearly this was my fault. If I were to ever reveal my own breasts in public the same ‘logic’ would be applied. La sigh.
So far as I am concerned, unless people are actually having sex, it’s not sexual, and unless somebody is actually asking for it, they are not asking for it. Apparently this is a radical position (oo-er!).
If we really believe that a large portion of people are so mentally sexualised and so lack self control that they will be unable to restrain themselves in the presence of a female nipple, we have bigger problems on our hands than making sure women always go out dressed like tents. Personally, I believe that people are perfectly capable of self restraint and if they fail to exercise that capacity it is their fault, not the nipple. Perhaps yesterdays Royal Mile Topless Takeover, part of World Go Topless Day, shows we are bouncing toward a change in attitude. There have certainly been ripples. Jiggle jiggle.
Posted in Aesthetics, Fun | Tagged boobs, breasts, naked people, nipples, nude, nudity, Royal Mile Topless Takeover, still not asking for it, the female nipple, topless, World Go Topless Day | Leave a Comment »
When I was a child my mother said to me, “If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.” Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.
– Pablo Picasso
Authenticity is often held up as the ideal of individualism, that we are all unique and able to become the special person waiting inside to burst free. If only we would buy the right clothes, have the right hairstyle, have a successful career and lots of money/sex/power/prestige. In other words, the idea of authentic expression has been hijacked and made all about mere image. Glamour. The mask we wear.
We can spend our lives chasing the phantoms our culture throws up – usually in the form of partly digested celebrities and objects that never really existed anywhere outside of Photoshop – or we can choose actual authenticity.
All creative endeavour teaches us in a very tangible sense who we really are and what we may, through fearless striving and illumination, become. In a culture severely lacking individuals of integrity willing to stand against business as usual and fight for a better, fairer, more just and life affirming world, it is our duty to pursue this. A general or a pope can be anyone, but there was only one Picasso. You could be anyone, or you could be you.
Posted in Art, Enlightenment, Philosophy | Tagged art, authenticity, becoming, becoming who you are, individualism, integrity, Picasso | 2 Comments »
While I was exhibiting at ‘Freedom!’, back in May, I had the chance to admire the work of a number of other artists. Marcus Sprigens work immediately stood out from a very talented crowd. Quite a feat, but his mind bending psychedelic vistas easily achieved it. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the exhibition after party, and it turned out that he had been admiring my work too! Some collaboration may be in the making. Watch this space.
Check out some of his work below, have a look at his website and send some likes to his Facebook Page.
Posted in Art | Tagged art, artist, freedom, Marcus Sprigens, psychedelic, The Hive | Leave a Comment »
“Art is the lie that makes us realize the truth.” – Pablo Picasso
Imagine you are in an art studio. In that studio a model is posing nude for a life drawing class. There are perhaps twenty or so pupils drawing the model from various angles in the particular pose the model has chosen. Each artist is a finely tuned singular instrument of perception, having lived a particular life, with particular events and having been brought up in a social environment unique to them. Each artist has their own unique tastes and forms of expression. Each produces their own image of that moment in space/time. If the artists get up and wander around the room they can see the various views of and interpretations of the model. The work will say as much or more about the observer than the observed.
This is the truth of beauty.
Posted in Art, Creativity, Enlightenment, Philosophy | Tagged art, beauty, expression, life drawing, nude, observed, observer, taste, truth | Leave a Comment »
After a lot of hard work and a lot of fun the new peatland mural in the Forsinard Flows visitor centre is now complete. When visiting you will find it on your right as you walk in. Completed in acrylic, I began in April and then finished from late June into late July.
The mural features much of the iconic flora and fauna of the Flow Country, including one of Britain’s most persecuted bird species, the Hen Harrier. This species is still found in the Flow Country, but has been driven to near extinction across many other parts of Britain. The spectacle of ghostly grey males and their beautiful sky dancing displays has sadly become a rare sight in our landscape. As regular readers will know, raptor persecution is an issue close to my heart and so I was keen to make the Hen Harrier a focal point of the mural. If, like me, you want to support efforts to protect this species, support Hen Harrier Day on August 9th and join the Thunderclap for Hen Harriers.
There are many other species in the mural, how many do you recognise? What wildlife do you enjoy and why? Tell me in the comments below.
Posted in Art, Charity, Wildlife | Tagged animals, birds, forsinard, hen harrier, Hen Harrier Day, insects, landscape, mural, painting, rspb, RSPB Forsinard | 6 Comments »