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Grebels
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20 May 2015, 5:47 am

One day Monet was taking a walk with a child through a field, as no doubt he had done many times before. Suddenly he had one of those rare defining moments, which even for the atheistic artist must have seemed like an epiphany. On this afternoon the landscape was different, for there was a certain something, which demanded to be caught on canvas. The child was made to go back and get the paints, however as any artist will know, the light can change quickly and the essence of what is seen with it. Yet from that afternoon Monet would produce paintings of haystacks, which critics agree have an intangible sense of otherness.

Perhaps most of us have had such experiences for that brief moment in time when nature has seemed more intense and beautiful. We may wonder if it was the warm breeze on a twilight evening, the redolence of a meadow, and the sound of bees gathering pollen, or a heat haze over a field. An emotion is provoked within us, which seems to have a new depth, yet so very often the moment passes and we pass on our way untouched. Or was it something of nature opening itself to us, something in another dimension we cannot see.

It was in 1922 that a young physicist Kaluza teamed up with a mathematician Klein offering a theory, which should have changed the face of science. Kaluza himself had one of those rare moments when he realised that there is in fact another dimension behind the three known to our cognitive awareness. This theory was mostly ignored at the time, yet now physicists are indicating as many as 26 dimensions, which they think can be proven mathematically. The String Theories are far from complete and the math amazingly complex, yet they have now entered into the mainstream of science. Other physicists and mathematicians such as Roger Penrose and John Wheeler are trying to push science far beyond the limitations of human understanding where things are not computable. They say that nature and indeed the universe has more to do with human consciousness than was realised. Wheeler seems to be saying that matter only exists at all when observed. Clearly Wheeler has to be too down to earth than to mean the moon only exists because we can see it. Possibly he is struggling with an idea just outside the field of his own intellectual awareness, and it is presently defying expression.

No doubt the light, which is so very important to painters exists in another dimension. What we see is simply an interaction of light with matter. Sound is nothing but variations in air pressure striking our eardrums. Our sensory organs send messages to the brain, which then processes the information to make of it what it will, and we know much of that depends on our own cultural inheritance. Artists such as Monet and Manet were setting out to record nature and the world before them as they saw it. Often this would mean breaking free from the way almost everybody else saw things, as they strove to understand what really was before their eyes.

During the centuries before artists had tried to paint reality. Jan van Eyk in the early Quattro Centro had produced a hyper real style of painting, although his aim was clearly not to show the viewer any ordinary reality at all. He had statues of virgins, which would climb down from their niches and walk through an imaginary cathedral, and the faithful of those days had actually claimed to see such things. Importantly many other artists took up the technique in order to paint some resemblance of reality. Further on in the Renaissance artists had dropped the superstition and belief in hallucinations. The virgin who might be the artists own wife had much less of a stylised face. Perspective had been understood scientifically, and the way light works in shadows perceived.

The Impressionists were certainly aware of these things as they studied the old masters. However, their idea of reality was not necessarily in showing detail. It was their first sight of a scene, which mattered, the essence of what was before their eyes. They used the Renaissance discoveries, for example, of how it is simply not possible to cast a shadow by laying down a glaze of blue paint. In the shadows things are seen with softness, obscuration is at play, tonal variations are subtle, and colour works differently. I spite of the rapidly changing light they were able to use the advantage of tube paints to observe and paint directly from nature out of the studio. We may0the time of Impressionism is past and all done, but should we not learn the same lessons. Our eyes first look at a scene, on which every small detail capable of being resolved is transmitted to the visual cortex this incredible amount of information is processed by the brain in a fraction of a second, after which the first impression is given. We do not actually perceive all the detail, as our brain will have edited out the unnecessary. After this we usually select detail as a conscious function. We all walk along a certain street and see things according to our own mindset. A lawyer asking for the various witnesses to street crime for hard evidence would no doubt bear this out. However, we do now that our brains can be trained to see far more that is normally the case.

It would seem that our first lesson would be to be like Monet and take those rare moments of heightened awareness seriously, accepting them as nature’s invitation to learn how we should see. It is an exciting possibility, which can open up a whole new world. Yet how can we capture that otherness? If it is truly intangible, a reality working in other dimensions possibly affecting our own, is this possible? Water colourists especially will tell us that much of what they do is happy accident as the paint spreads over the paper of its own accord. Certainly the brushstrokes are not entirely controlled by the intellect and we usually find our greatest success by relaxing our minds and hands in a sense of play. The constant training of exercises will then pay off. The answer must be in loving and absorbing the essence of what we want to paint, then be passionate about the paint itself as it goes onto the canvas. This is not to say that we should like Pollock go into some kind of Dervish trance, or like Clifford Still take up New Age activities in order to paint. Still and Rothko were concerned with expressing their own inner states, not what they saw before their eyes. Figurative artists may well want to use the unconscious, but will need the mind to be boss.

Anybody who wants a case for the necessity of inner vision should think of Monet again. Practically blind, he produced what is arguably his most profound work. Telling a child to select his tube of colour he would then put paint on the canvas and so the masterpiece. And is it not the great artist the one who pursues his or her own vision regardless of the cost or difficulty.



aghogday
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20 May 2015, 12:07 pm

^^^

Excellent analysis of what counts the most about art to me.

Seeing more and reporting it to others, in hopes that others may
one day see more too..

It's worth it; no matter how many folks
cannot see it. Just one inspiration
can make the difference between
life and death.

There is no cost or price of value
adequate for inspiring life;
in all forms, both
real and imaginary
in creation that
comes
for
art
as
life..:)


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25 May 2015, 11:14 pm

Post stealing WP!



starkid
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26 May 2015, 12:45 am

Grebels wrote:
Suddenly he had one of those rare defining moments, which even for the atheistic artist must have seemed like an epiphany.

What does that mean? Atheists don't have epiphanies?


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Grebels
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26 May 2015, 6:20 am

Thanks Fred.

Inventor, what do you mean?

Starkid, I think it means that atheists can have epiphanies. I am saying that Monet did.



aghogday
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26 May 2015, 11:19 am

Grebels wrote:
Thanks Fred.

Inventor, what do you mean?

Starkid, I think it means that atheists can have epiphanies. I am saying that Monet did.


You're Welcome Grebels, and just in case Inventor doesn't get back to respond, he is talking about the Wrong Planet software glitches making posts disappear before he posts them; wasting his work.

Personally, I always copy mine to back them up, if possible, before I post them; or better yet compose them first, then copy, and paste them here; to assure work is not lost; but alas, sometimes the next product is better than the first product when forced to re-write; as sometimes happens to me on the iPhone, for whatever reason, and if I have the patience and time, I just start again, one finger peck at a time, like eating soup with chopsticks; ugh typing on iPhones too slow for me..smiles..:)

Both Inventor and I participate in a 'ZEN' art of writing;
and while I cannot speak for him, I can imagine that he
takes great care and effort in all the writing he produces
as Art everywhere he goes.

When I first come here; he is one of the few
who impresses me as original artists;
writing a way that is reminiscent
of the Masters of old...

I learn from him and now
some of his style of art is part of my soul;

no matter if we drink 'beers together' or not.

And truly that's
better than beer
to me, for sure now
to expand my soul
more with the
souls of others
ahead on
the path of life;
And to acknowledge
'others' are ahead
in areas
'we' are not;
is the humility
to
learn...

As you
obviously
practice as well...

Closed Mindedness;
only going with
what is known
in formal
ways
of
learning
Art or
Science
or NOT
is a path
that stays in school
and not much more
than that; and true
I too; for years am
STUCK
IN
SCHOOL;
Living in
FREEheART
is Life
for
me!..:)


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26 May 2015, 11:54 am

Right Fred. I had in fact lost The Other in Art due to a hard disc failure. It should have been on a CD somewhere, but no I couldn't find it. I did find it with a google search on an old friends web site.

You will see that Inventor has been very helpful to me with his posts on another thread and I am very grateful.



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26 May 2015, 4:12 pm

Done right, life is a constant rewrite. Updating the files of your existence. WP eats some of my posts, others I hardly remember writing. If it was good it will return.

Mostly my writing has been to explore the lives of people who lived 40,000 years ago. We know them by artifacts, technology, and some bones. They mostly died in their early thirties. Fifteen was middle aged. Indo-European Language had not yet happened. They were old stone age, naked, and staying alive was a full time job.

First I define how they got there, and who they were. There is a second wave of technology coming, and I look in the group to see where it came from. Learning by doing had been going on for millions of years, they were still naked and had never bathed.

Having developed my cast of characters, I wrote various stories about how one of the developments came about.

Some was demand driven, when hunters bring in more meat, ways to slice and dry, store, become needed.

It is not a surplus when you starve every winter. Drying meat, berries, greens, roots, is seasonal work to get a years supply. Old people, over twelve, would have been in charge. Young people would do the field work. The oldest would be hunting all the time.

The second great labor, gathering fire wood. This took more hours than hunting. Enough had to be stored to last over winter, to cook and have light. Young people would be the chosen beasts of burden.

Some out hunting, some in the camp cooking and preserving food, and the young sent out where the lions and bears roamed to gather the same food the bears ate, and without any cutting tools, fire wood to last the year.

Hunter innovation is methods and spears. Food storage innovation is drying racks, and the turning and even drying, and final storage means. Both are goal directed and full time.

This leaves the young as the likely place for the development of new things. The usual, do not touch the hunters spears, stay out of the stored food, do not play with fire, go outside and do something. Old people are just so, old.

Some innovation comes from ape behavior. Grooming, braiding hair, which lead to seeing hunters scrape a small tree to make a spear, and gathering the strips removed, braiding them into ropes long enough to tie up a bundle of fire wood, small branches they could break, light and bulky, which could be slung over a shoulder. Bringing in fire wood was the most labor intensive job, and the most exposed to bears. A short rope with an eye on one end brought in twice as much in one trip. Bark dried and did not last, strips of hide made a stronger and long lasting rope.

As the older children were blamed for the behavior of the younger, and told to make them behave, and they had short hide ropes, they did. They learned to lay a loop on the floor and snare them, to pin their arms with a loop and hog tie them, and in their domination/bondage play they developed knots.

The hunters noticed, watched the little ones being snared and helpless, and taking their spears took the two oldest girls outside, they were the ringleaders, both had well braided hair, and demanded they make ropes for the hunters, and longer. Just like old people to turn your fun into work, but as hunters had other ways of showing their domination, the girls did as they were told.

A deer with a foot or two caught in a rope did not run a mile before it died, could not get away from the other spears, and died quickly. The same rope tied it to a pole to carry home. Some broke, the girls were told to make new and better. Hunters were high status, had spears, the girls were ten, so they did as they were told.

Given a fresh hide, they also got access to the flints, and wanting to finish the work and go back to being the high status of the little ones, they went to work. The ropes that broke had been made of old dry hides, three strips plated together. It worked on fire wood and little kids.

The new fresh hide was scraped on both sides, cut into narrow strips, smaller than before, then three were plated together, new strips added as old ones ran out, and each plat pulled up tight. one end was tied to a tree, and held tight as they went round and round. At thirty foot they tied it off to another tree. Three times they did this, then platted the three together, after soaking because they had become stiff.

An eye was made in both ends, each end making a loop, holding a large rock. The middle was hung over the fork of a tree. When it dried it was very stiff, so they rubbed in oil. After a while it became supple, and taking it down they oiled and flexed it till it was all the same end to end. Only the eye on each end and two foot was left somewhat stiff.

They had learned a lot snaring little children, it was now applied to deer on a hunt they had never been on.

They had feared the hunters, and resented being made to work, but the hunters had checked on their progress, given them flints little children did not get, and in a way they were now part of the hunt. They gained status by being smart and useful.

The rope went out to hunt and returned with a large Buck, the rope makers were fed the liver. The hunt had changed, it was faster and less dangerous for the hunters. Most of the time they came back empty handed, now they came back with game most of the time.

The girls ate with the hunters, were told of the hunt, and soon a second rope was ready. With the middle tied about a stout sapling, four nooses waited to ensnare. Sometimes the hunters brought in two deer.



Grebels
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26 May 2015, 5:20 pm

Thanks again Inventor. I've tried to continue my thoughts of consciousness but haven't got very far. Its like I think therefore I exist. I presume a rock doesn't think. but it exists. That would miss the point, but never mind.



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27 May 2015, 5:54 pm

I exist, even when I am not thinking.

This thread hates me and has stolen three replies.



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27 May 2015, 5:56 pm

Thinking gets in the way of awareness and perception, it is, The Human Disease.



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27 May 2015, 5:58 pm

Some things block one or the other,
motorcycle riding is pure awareness and perception, because it happens too fast to think.



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27 May 2015, 5:59 pm

A thinker has a motorcycle in the garage with a few thousand miles, and it has been sitting for fifteen years.



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27 May 2015, 6:04 pm

Coming around a blind curve in the mountains, moving a modest hundred foot per second, a rock fall has splattered across both lanes. From heeled hard right the bike stands up, floats into the far lane, drops right and harder, and goes through a foot wide clear path through the rubble.

The next curve is hard left, climbing, and the bike shifts into third, leans left, and just as it is about to hit the mountain, the throttle opens, and power drags it through the back half of the curve.



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27 May 2015, 6:07 pm

It is enforced Zen, Be here Now, or Die.



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27 May 2015, 6:14 pm

The horse liked me because I could just Be. In awareness and perception we were equals.

I think it the same when I was out in the mountains with deer and bears. I was not to be feared or attacked, I just was, just like everything else.