The self-portrait happens. It presents itself as subject matter at various times throughout an artist’s life, and when entertained, the resulting image is always revealing. It is especially revealing in retrospect. Sometimes it presents itself symbolically or abstractly and may not be identified as a self-portrait until years pass.
A self-portrait can mend, amend, discard, and disregard. It can be healing. It can be directive. When an artist concentrates on a subject, self or otherwise, the mind begins to make associations. It begins to open, to relax, and to move into higher frequencies that bypass normal thought pathways. It begins to create new links, new associations, and offer new considerations for inspiration of expression. Fresh perception equals a new mirror for reflection, preparation, intervention.
The self-portrait differs from artistic meditation. Meditation goes beyond bypassing personal interstates of thought patterns that engage the creative mind. Meditation clears and reprograms. There need be no association, no past, present, or future; there is just heightened sensitivity and expanded perceptual experience. As with any artistic investigation, the self-portrait can uplift energetic field to connect with expanded consciousness. The creation of a self-portrait, no matter how revealing, does not naturally lead to a meditative state. But, with a bit of Grace and clear focus, it just might!
The process art movement began in the U.S. and Europe in the mid 1960s. It has roots in performance art and Dadaism. The emphasis of the artist, in contrast to that of product-focused artists, regards the processes involved in creating art and any actions used to make the work of art. Often in process art, the ephemeral nature and insubstantiality of materials are showcased and highlighted.
Exploring the creative process in art highlights the idea that nothing is ‘finished’ and nothing ‘begins’. Life is a continuum. History is a continuum. Consciousness is always evolving. Cyclically, individual growth retraces, reworks, and resurfaces with new awareness. You are ‘in process’. ‘Relax, enjoy the journey, and move forward’ is a preferred motto for today’s lifestyle. Series pieces, the ability to view art retrospectively, and the interest in how a work is achieved offers transparency to this concept.
The following portrays the ‘process’ of the CMale image on the Crucian Contemporary poster. From a simple line drawing, to exploration of color ways, to the final painting. I arranged the original image into a repeat pattern using tracing paper, played with watercolor and color pencil color variations, reworked it through computer graphics, and had it printed out on polished cotton as dining room curtains for Adrianne and Michael Brooks’ home in St. Croix, USVI. The design was then reworked again on the computer and printed on canvas. The final over painting in acrylic and stitching with metallic thread causes “Integrity” to glisten and dance with the rhythm of the original drawing playing in pink and green through the recesses of the over painted landscape.
The third image “Ah a We Ah One” was over painted on CMale CAD fabric originally designed from the beautiful kitchen tiles at Connie and Jim Arena’s home, St. Croix, USVI. The top half of the picture was designed and printed on Hercules fabric sized to fit the Arena’s refrigerator /freezer doors. It was then sized down and printed on a polished cotton for the kitchen love seat. The bottom portion of this picture shows a detail of “Ah A We Are One” a painting ‘on top of’ the Arena tile composition. This same fabric can be seen on the ZemiZen yoga body warmer..
Deep into the Moment of the Stitch.
Economics allowed the Baroque artist to shift importance from the court and church to the mundane.
Vermeer’s paintings captured segments in time and space of everyday life; a kitchen maid pouring milk, a lady writing a letter, a lady reading a letter, a woman making lace, individuals who have transcended their surroundings, their agenda, their yesterdays, their tomorrows. They are deep in the moment of the stitch. Pulling the needle away from the cloth, pushing the needle into the cloth. Again and again. The rhythm of the movement. The dance between the cloth and the needle worker. Turning the fabric. Holding it up to appraise progress. STAND UP if you have created a stitch in a simple piece of fabric, repairing it, embellishing it, securing it, or resizing it. Surgery performed by the commoner. Next time you are making your mark in your ordinary world, waxing your car, ironing, sweeping, cleaning, stop and observe yourself, Be with your breath. Be with your moment. Capture it in your mental camera. Know that your collective everyday activities offer seeds for another. Allow boredom, depression or negativity to fall away as you continue your dance deep into the moment of your stitch.
GREAT new book that follows/leads on the gifts bestowed by technology of Quantum, Chaos, and Fractal. “Bioentrism” by Dr. Robert Lanza reinforces my personal philosophy and lends support to my artistic endeavor. Consciousness creates the universe. Life has created our universe as we know it. The universe does not create life. The universe did not come first. Our conscious creative endeavors lead in manifesting our future. He rambles a bit at the end, but his logic is right on, in my opinion. CHECK it OUT! CindyMaleNanoNow says… Pay attention to your creative self. Pay attention to what you create every day of your life. Pay attention to what you are creating as part of a community. Your creativity is manifested through collective mind and is revealed as life/culture.
Recently, I watched the movie, “Joe”, directed by David Gordon Green, with Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan, and Gary Poulter. Joe, an ex-con, becomes concerned regarding the brutality of a father, Wade, towards his son, Gary, who has become his (Joe’s) employee. As the plot unravels, “there’s an underlying metaphor about creeping sickness and strengthened rebirth; the unbendable Joe lives and toils in a poisonous world of hacking coughs and dying trees”1, and the viewer detects a community of cyclical poverty, abuse, and hopelessness. The protagonist, Joe, and the antagonist father, Wade, are both inward, angry drunks to the point of controlled and uncontrolled rage. The first is revived through nurturing acts of kindness towards Gary, as the latter sinks further and further into demonstrations of hate. The difference between the two is revealed in short “glimpses” of Joe’s intuition. His visions of what has been, is, and might be, are revealed in brief glistening shots of Gary’s life. He is keyed in to possibilities. He has access to a greater picture.
Science and mathematics examine this type of “spiritual truth” through global behavior, in concepts of self-similar shapes, strange attractors, bifurcation of energy, and complex shapes. The American abstract expressionists explored this same region through their interest in complexity, ambiguity, scale, self-similarity, and a common underlying form, force, or energy. During this period of art production, paintings grew to enormous scale. The work set precedence for paintings as large as ten feet wide or more. Predominately, artists have executed this scale of work historically as murals. The artists’ stretched canvases focused on this as a working principle of design. The size of the work became a statement. The use of scale to diminish the viewer can be found in Chinese landscape paintings and 18th century seascapes. These paintings place the human being “within” the spirit of nature. So, too, does Chaos Theory. We are part of the whole. These oversized paintings also intended to involve the viewer. The elaboration of this concept was realized in later years as performance, installation, and earth art. The viewer as an element in the work relates to Chaos Theory in that the human being is now recognized and considered on a more ‘global’ level, and as such, has privilege to a broader view of ‘truth.’ We, as individuals, are artists, creators, and we are part of the whole work of art, our natural world. We are an element, a line, a color. How we behave iterates rapidly and can change the entire composition of our global existence.
The ambiguity of the “glimpse” shots in the movie Joe relates to the use of the ‘glimpse’ as content by artist Mark Tobey. Johnson in American Artists on Art, with regard to Tobey’s Edge of August, stated, “Content is a glimpse of something, an encounter like a flash.”2 The mystical, dense, textured matter of Edge of August gives the work a sense of intelligent energy. The repetitive brush strokes give this painting ambiguous, complex space whether the viewer is close to the work or standing as far away as the construction of the room allows. This complexity offers the painting, as it does in life, stability.
Joe finds stability through his intuitive visions. In a world of political, social, and economic chaos, our strength lies in our stability. The intuitive power that accesses inner strength can be found through raised conscious awareness accessed by the creative endeavor. Art and Kundalini yoga are two great ways to access, explore, and harness our creative energy.
We all have conversations in our minds. Some of those conversations repeat and repeat and repeat and we seem to have no control over the coming and going of the thoughts that begin the dialogue. Mindlessly, we sometimes carry on those conversations out loud.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) remarked, "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention." It is the same with our thoughts. Those thoughts that take us nowhere, that cause harm to ourselves or others, need not even be tasted. One of the most dynamic things about being an artist is the unique conversation that goes on in the creative mind during art making. Those conversations are introspective and contemplative, revealing who knows what during the various stages of the artistic endeavor. That conversation is where the artist’s knowledge, emotion, intuition, and experience come together. It is the expression of this converstation that brings a work to life and that initiates change in individual or cultural life.
And just where does this conversation come from? All things are united through a common conscious ground, or unified field. The act of recognizing this unified field through the creative endeavor, or prayer, or meditation, gives us the ability to raise the level of communication within our minds and within our social conversations, passing over already well-established mental pathways, to what Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) described as the super conscious.
Each of us has the inherent capacity to unlock and open the door to Cayce’s super conscious. Put art and yoga into your everyday routine, or at least weekly routine, with the specific intention to shift your awareness, your purpose, your lifestyle, to begin to access your creative mind and open dialogue to the world outside your mundane box. How could your life change if you begin seeing with your artist’s/yogi’s eyes? The possibilities are limitless. Make a space in your home dedicated to a lifestyle that includes time for you to explore and develop new conversations with yourself. Enjoy a lifestyle that offers opportunities to open your mind and exercise your creativity.
Art making and kundalini yoga allow me the opportunity to practice opening my mind to connect with the universal force field, referred to as God. There is a connection that can be FELT. Once awareness of this level of existence is accessed, there is a strong desire to continue research and practice to attain the maximum potential of this ‘way of being’. It is equivalent to the highest ‘high’. So why not just take drugs instead? This alternative only touches the surface. There is limitless information that can be accessed through the mind when the brain enters into an altered state of awareness or energetic brain state. There is limitless creative energy for manifestation. There is a different way to engage with the world around you. This awareness is not obtainable through the five senses. But that does not mean it is not available or does not exist. This level of awareness has been attained and expressed by profits, mystics, artists, and others, I’m sure, throughout the ages. Now this level of existence is understood and explained through new paradigms of math and science. In the communal sense of the word, is it each individual’s responsibility to ‘enfold’ and discover this powerful human potential.
If a person studies art history, the path of this ascension of the human race is clear. Ken Wilber explains it quite well in his book, “Up From Eden”. The historical significance of works of art, when viewed referencing human consciousness, are even more amazing than ever. My Art and Consciousness workshop engages participants not only with pranayama, kundalini yoga (the yoga of self awareness and creativity), guided meditation, art, but also art history. The idea is for the individual to recognize, use, and find direction to continue a program for expressing individual divine creativity. Again, this word divine embodies ‘spiritual’ but it is, in reality, accessing that part of oneself that will reach other aspects of what it is to be human. It is so very exciting.
I keep saying, the world cannot be changed politically, economically, or socially. Michael Jackson was so right on when he said it begins with “the man in the mirror”. I practice art making and kundalini yoga so that I might be one more person to attain a different life style from the inside out. I want to be one more person to make a difference in the quantum leap of human consciousness. Thus, Cindy Male, Nano Now. I am reaching, through my daily practice, towards that nano level energy that permeates all things.
I keep coming back to the old Mick Jagger line, “You don’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you get what you need.”
If a person does not have the motivation to be responsible for personal needs, that is, he/she is waiting around for someone or some entity other than ‘self’ to provide food, clothing, and shelter, then that person really does not NEED anything. Those who are providing are in need. But if a person assumes responsibility for his/her own life style, there is a vibration, physical, mental, and spiritual, that stimulates creative energy and fulfills the needs proportionately to the assumed responsibility. Responsibility is nothing more than an affirmation of the I AM. And so it goes that when a person begins to be responsible within his/her family and community, opportunities for gifting create need, and personal awareness of prosperity increases as needs for ‘others’ AS WELL AS for ‘self’ are manifested. Prosperity is nothing more than the flow of goodness through the I AM. And when an individual is moving in flux with the Universal Flow of prosperity, the vibrational level increases yet again and that individual is ultimately aware of the ‘self’ as a conduit for goodness. There is no ‘need’ and there is no ‘want’. There is only opportunity for the exchange of goodness. Need is nothing more than lack of awareness of I AM. Need is nothing more than nonparticipation in the flow of universal goodness by making the choice to refuse responsibility for self enlightenment. Why would an individual allow anyone or any entity to strip the desire for self enlightenment, thus blocking the flow of universal goodness. Why would anyone or any entity want to strip an individual of the opportunity to become aware of self enlightenment? Take back your birthright. Take time in your life to affirm your I AM. Ask for what you need to access your highest good and offer up your best gifts, not what you want for personal satisfaction. If you get what you need, what you want will quite naturally follow.
Five years ago, I left my home in South Carolina to a couple of young in love students to live until I could reclaim the space.
This past August, I returned and was taking my furniture out of the upstairs garage area. Slowly, day by day, returning the stuff to living conditions in the detached house. Finally I got the area cleared and began organizing the storage space into my art studio once again. As I cleared the drawing table, there were two in process drawings, one in process painting, and two drawings ready to be put on canvas. Wow! What a find! Not only did I have my studio back, but I had work begun ready to move forward. Funny thing is, I remember having this work and not being sure how I wanted to resolve it. Now, five years later and many other pieces completed and a new style evolving, I can see clearly how these pieces fit into the thought process and were in fact the forerunners of this current body of work. Point is, right brain non- linear, multitasking aspects of the self sure are exciting and can be relied on to produce exploration and creativity. It may not appear so at the time. It may be difficult to just leap into something different and obscure. But, the totality in the end is remarkable. DeeAnna Brown sings of this aspect of life in her songs, “wouldn’t it be better as a surprise”, and the lyrics in “taking the leap”. Breathe and live and breathe and let your life be an experiment in Faith. And breathe again. What a surprise and lesson these five long ago efforts were.
My opinions have been formulated through responses to life situations with either a “yes”, or a “no”. Anything else leaves no real response. It seems to me that my opinions have less and less importance each year. Of more importance is my mode of operation. Opinions are the dogma of everyday affairs, but one’s consciousness determines how one moves through the world.
My personal experience has affirmed that one can “see” beyond time and space, “dance” out of body travel and “glimpse” into the future or the past. I have learned to trust my intuitions and am familiar with the internal signals of being. To sink into the knowledge and energies of the universe taps resources that extend the rational mind. This Ashe, pranna, one light, one sound has been written about by masters and mystics of all religions, new age literature, and philosophers THROUGHOUT history. But, to actually move through life using this wisdom requires the development of skills in asking, listening, and receiving. This type of awareness is being investigated by MANY who would like to move the human species up a notch.
My life’s work has been an investigation of this ground zero energy, the Absolute Infinite, and the computer technology that has allowed us to fuse belief, myth, and rational investigation through math and science. The patterning that runs through all that exists, like fiber optics or DNA, unites and completes every valence of life. I continue to try, through my images, to make “real” on each ordinary day, the unordinary. The images reference and reaffirm. Nameless other artists are doing the same thing. We are in a classical art period in that artists are thinking new thoughts, seeing new images, and working hard to understand them and synthesize them into existence. There are new ideas and with new ideas come new art. There is a very immediate need for new images of communication to encourage this movement along. Any attempt to encourage one’s creativity is a step closer to achieving new ways of being. I continue to say that the creative endeavor brings us closer to the true image of God, in whatever form your tradition has known that entity. And it is within our power to have peace, it is within our mind’s capacity to have peace. Let us begin this New Year on whatever date your tradition begins it, with the consciousness that peace is a state of mind. GO THERE. Do the things that you need to do for yourself to GET THERE !
For only through creativity can answers be found for the current problems. The old paradigms are just not working. We must create a new reality. Individually and Communally.
Draw, Write, Make music, Cook, Swim, But, just go there. BE THERE, and try to stay there each waking hour.
Easy ? No.
Just do it !