Within a few weeks of leaving England in July 2016 I had already come to terms with myself. Or at least, I’d come to terms with the fact that I hadn’t, up until that point, attempted to come to terms with myself. I realized that through all my years quibbling about what I was going to do with my life, I’d actually known all along what I was here for.
I’m an artist.
I was born an artist and although I’ve struggled to find the confidence in the past to really get to grips with this, I finally realized. It is my path. And all it took was to board a plane to Bangkok on my own, alone, psychologically wobbly and with nothing to lose. I was petrified, but jumping into the darkness of the unknown is a surefire way to clarify any immediate problems you may have. Not that this method will solve them, it’ll just help you take a good look at what you’re capable of and what you should do with all your new found wonderfulness.
So, after continued exposure to totally stupendous people from all over the world, I finally found a new resonance for who I was. It’s like, looking in the same mirror your entire life, a nice mirror, well lit, gilded frame, but possibly a little cracked from overuse so the reflection is familiar but not entirely accurate. All of a sudden I met a hundred new mirrors, all different colours and shapes but all built the same way, with a longing to reflect as much as they could of the world and open their internal horizons.
Anyway, metaphors aside for now, after accepting what I wanted, I was taken on a journey of affirmation. By letting go completely of control, plans, worries and fears, I managed to traverse my way through life in South East Asia, which was beginning to feel more and more like a fantasy novel wherein the next creature I met would offer me a bag of coins that I could give to the Gyspy lady who would read my palm and after tripping on her scarf I’d fall into the arms of the wise man who would tell me that the treasure was buried under the hill that has a cave that…etc.
I now realise that life is both pushing from behind and pulling from the front, and the less wiggling you do the quicker you end up in the place you were supposed to be. But sometimes, the wiggling is important too because you end up going sideways, which can lead you to all sorts of interesting places. Just don’t get stuck there for too long and forget the point.
Talking of points, I do have one and if you’re still with me then I shall certainly come to it very soon.
So with all this new found, deep knowledge and faith in the things that will and won’t be, I’m more content than I’ve ever been and when life starts to rub me up the wrong way, I remember, it’s because I’m the one wiggling too much.
The universe forced my hand today and although at first I felt anxious that I had lost out on potential painting time, I then realized there was a reason. There always is.
I have recently acquired a studio space which I have utilized as much as I can whilst working 35-50 hour week to afford said studio. And like, you know, food.
I have been very dedicated to my painting which is an intricate mixed media piece in the new style that I’m experimenting with. It feels almost masochistically detailed sometimes.
This style came in a flash of inspiration when trying to draw together concepts that I find fascinating and techniques that I adore using. The initial idea was to acknowledge the conscious realm and the unseen energies that exist around us. This is not intended to sound arty farty or even, heaven forbid, airy fairy. I would like to remind you that the very fact that you can read this right now relies on a complex set of wires and wireless technology, floating in the air around you. Still, very real.
Also, let’s not forget the spectrums of energy we can’t see or hear but we use every time we change the channel on our TV or glide our computer mouse across the table. Not to mention the fact that I can transmit my thoughts this way. Electricity forms ideas inside my brain, transforms to computational electricity outside of my brain to then reforms itself back into cognitive electricity and then finally (hopefully) understanding in yours. Amazing.
Now here’s a quote to bolster my ever elusive point.
“I don’t think you could discover consciousness if you didn’t perturb it. Whoever discovered water it certainly wasn’t a fish, well, we are fish swimming in consciousness and yet we know it’s there. Well the reason we know it’s there is because if you perturb it then you see it, and you perturb it by perturbing the engine that generates it which is the mind/brain system resting behind your eyebrows.” You can find the two minute audio clip here which is an excerpt of a longer talk.
I love this concept by Terence Mckenna. I love Terence Mckenna, (which is why I chose him for one of my first experimental pieces, blog to follow on this). We cannot be outside of consciousness because it’s what we are. It’s ad infinitum everything that we can ever behold. It is and therefore we are the universe because everything anyone has ever known about the universe has been seen through the sea of consciousness. Or the lens of conscious observation. Not to mention we’re physically made of the stuff of the universe too. I feel these very basic points are not talked or even thought about on a day to day basis but really do help put things into perspective.
So sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees but the more we surrender to the idea that by knowing what you truly want and focusing your conscious energy on it, you can paddle your way through life towards it. And by doing this you change the currents.
I couldn’t work tonight on my painting due to circumstances that were out of my control and alongside that I was painting myself towards what I thought was a dead end, but actually, it was perfectly in sync with itself, just not in the way that I had initially imagined.
Firstly, due to not being able to hide in painting anymore I was forced to start considering where the hell I’m going with all of this, because for a while, I was relying on mostly gut instinct with a blurry concept that was pretty flakey.
This was important though. As an artist, gut instinct is essential. It’s what makes you put the line down in exactly the right place and at the right time. But it will only get you so far when you actually want to say something, not just express inner turmoil or something. (which is still valid)
So I sat down tonight, at the right time, in the right head-space and the volcano of ideas and concepts and readings and podcasts and conversations and experiences and aesthetics, plumed into an almost perfectly formed concept and statement that quite synchronistically-ly does tie into the current piece which I’ve ploughed 30+ hours into so far. No wonder I couldn’t sleep.
And the reason I’ve spent so long explaining this is because, this is it. We do create our own universes. We focus our prospective lens’ on the external world and form it into… something. There is a balance to be found between the physical realms and the unseen metaphysical realms. We must try let go of so much physical control and acknowledge our gut. You’ll know when you’ve found the balance because the co-incidences and alignments make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside (or as Terence puts it – the cosmic giggle).
My work will focus on this fact – that consciousness exists, it’s real somewhere. We have entire universes inside our minds. Infinite. Eternal. We forgot this at some point and forewent it for our shiny toys, (which ironically, as mentioned before, utilize the invisible realms of energy almost entirely).
So yes, all I have to do now is put these words and thoughts into images that will visually strike and conceptually resonate with as many people as possible in order to bring about some kind of conscious stability in the world and draw in (see what I did there) a new era of world peace and contentment for all personages.