Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oddity of the Mind

  I want to take a moment to divert from talking about actual pieces to jot down some thoughts about the mind.  Risking 'unsubscribe' from my readers I will warn you, this may get freaky.  I talk a lot about 'becoming' fearless, 'being' fearless.  The intent of my art is actually a form of self exploration - an effort at coming in touch with my own form of consciousness and its relationship to the world.  Here is an interesting analogy - for my visual artist subscribers and friends, you may relate to this immediately, for others, try this someday.  When you 'look' out at the world around you, your mind actually makes a lot of 'assumptions' about what it 'sees'.  For the most part, the mind/brain for all its computing power is very, very busy and wastes little on visual processing.  It 'sees' stuff, and fills in the blanks with enough detail for 'recognition' to take place.  This is why painting and drawing can be so difficult. One has to actually get beyond the process of 'seeing' and actually see.  OK, that's kind of freaky - what does it mean.  The process of 'seeing' is a brain / mind interaction.  When an artist sits down and observes and begins to draw, the more they can remove their 'assumptions' about what they are viewing they begin to notice that strange shapes, colors and lines emerge and the world is not their original assumption.  So, this is true of all of life.  Our mind, for the most part, creates a story and then we go along for the ride.  We create a story about how successful we allow ourselves to be - although for many of us we don't use the word 'allow' because that ruins our 'story.'  We create a story for who likes us, who hates us, what troubles us, what thrills us.  For me, becoming 'fearless' is the process of recognizing we are walking through a house of horror of our own making.  If you have children, and you've ever taken them to a scary house - unless you are seriously disconnected - you don't walk through the house being as scared as the child.  Why?  Because you 'know' that a bunch of adults got together to create the 'experience' known as 'scary.'  It's fun.  When it comes to our own life, though, we don't recognize the exact same thing is taking place.  It can be difficult to step back and observe that our understanding of what it means to know what we have identified as our 'life' is a cocoon really.  An envelope in which things come into and out of our consciousness to create experience and identity.  So, I hope you're enjoying me as part of your 'story' - if not, the unsubscribe button is at the bottom of this e-mail - *smile* *smile* *hug* *hug* :)



At April 20, 2009 at 10:47 AM , Blogger Kathy Ostman-Magnusen & Dennis Magnusen said...


Your reasoning is why drawing upside down, from an upside down photo, works so well. We are forced to 'really' look at the image, lines, shapes,angles, and see what is truly there, not what we 'think' is there. Best exercise ever; drawing upside down. The other factor is color. Mountains are not always green or brown.. purple and blue are in the distance.. maybe a few more today, I'd have to 'look'! lol.

Good blog today Robert,


At April 22, 2009 at 9:45 AM , Blogger Lisa said...

Bravo Robert
Really enjoyed reading this post
Just as we the artist allow the shapes the images to take form on the canvas is it not the same in real life to be the observer once we get out of the way.

At May 18, 2009 at 2:22 PM , Blogger beth♥ said...

"The intent of my art is actually a form of self exploration - an effort at coming in touch with my own form of consciousness and its relationship to the world."

As well it should be. Lovely post. I'd wager a guess that you didn't alienate any readers.


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