December 1st, 2015
After completing my last painting on Apep and the Duat, I was inspired to explore paintings expounding upon my perception of time. It seemed that this was a missing piece, or rather a question that was asked to me, from that painting. I needed an image to describe my perception of how time interacts within one's subjective universe.
As an operative working approach to this painting, I revisited some of the techniques from the older paintings soon to be featured in the Bhel gallery. To me, there is a certain mind state I achieved in the process of painting those. It was being and creating in the moment of extended inspiration. I did not plan, but I did have an image in my mind I held. I did not attempt to sketch out ahead, but let it change shape as I painted. I painted the entire painting in its completed form across the canvas from one corner to the other. I have tried to find the in-progress photo of this, but no luck, it was a diagonally blank canvas on one side and the completed painting on the other.
In the painting described in this document, I did not use this technique across the canvas. Although, I was able to accomplish the present mind state to paint in a manner I feel is akin to my old, more true and iconic to me style of my early paintings. Why am I more prepared to paint in this old style again than ever before?
It's 9 years later, and I feel parts of myself from that time Remanifesting. Along with the recent changes in my daily life - buying a home to make my own, and changing my job position within my company - these have made my objective life very different from what it was even a month ago. I feel freer, perhaps in expression, but also because I'm regaining the sensation in little feelings and perceptions. I allowed myself to be deadened to a lot this past year. While certain things still won't get a rise out of me because it's irrelevant, things that do resonate to me feel fuller.
Conceptually, I read from a variety of sources on time and consciousness, contemplated, sketched and and made notes, but left the painting process up to intuitive adjustments. I went with it as an experience to see where I ended up. The ideas laid out in the back of my head, I got out of that and made myself freer to create something that's a little more interesting in its feel and less formulaic.
At first I considered a triptych, to be stylized like my paintings of last year, 12 in. squares, central focal point. These images would separate the ideas I wanted to communicate into three parts, not showing the interaction point. Now, looking at the final painting, I see the interaction point as the most dynamic point of the endeavor to make the painting that describes my understanding. Looking over the triptych sketches, I began sketching a fourth painting that would combine the three images into one. I also considered how I could make the composition not look too much like other recent paintings. Since I was looking to use a similar technique as my old pig god painting, I looked to that for possible dimensions, and obtained a larger canvas than I've worked with recently. I set up a dedicated painting area in my new home. Through the development of the fourth image, I decided to drop the triptych as unnecessary. I began one painting - combining the three aspects I was originally going to make as a triptych. Automatically, I began sketching one perspective focused images with symmetry, I recognized this and altered it for a balance of movement and asymmetry.
There was one dilemma I encountered in the painting process. When I analyzed certain aspects of my works of art I find the most successful, they usually contain a character. This image was not centered on a character, but I still enjoy it, because I feel I'm able to regain my own style in this painting. The new environment and chaotic/friction-filled life I've built around me pushes the envelope to almost collapse, but not quite. Instead I can get in that mind state to paint how I like again.
There was one poor choice in process. I attempted gold leafing on the ouroboros. The flat effect was not appealing. It doesn't shimmer and shine like you imagine. I went back and reworked him to have dimension.
Elements from the three separate painings for the tryptich were combined to create the one whole painting. As seen in one minuscule sketch.
On the right, the spiral represents Urd, the past, the Known, what Is and what has been formed, the already occured, Djed, what has been established. This is less of an organized spiral, but more of a woven tapestry. It has chaotic areas of happenstance, and more organized and porpoisely created areas where one has been able to create according to their vision. The weaving has taken place, the cord has been woven into a spiraling tapestry of memories and experiences. This web exists in what could be seen as water or space, visually in my painting. I see these two kinds of areas as variations of the same theme.
On the left, the circle and squiggles represent Skuld, Neheh, the chaos of subatomic unpredectabilities, the Unmanifest, the future, that which is unknown until it becomes observed in the center of the ouroboros. A singularity origin point for the chaos in the black circle, the central dark point that is emitting the particles of potentials. These are magnetically drawn to the center of the consciousness to become manifest. The potentials of What Could Be arise from that, the haphazard matter that could become woven into the tapesty of the Known.
In the center, is the Self conscious in the Present moment, the Now. If the painting could move, this part would be spinning around itself in 'space.' The Ouroboros circling on itself, both outside time and time itself - it always exists right now. The central point inside it is where the self transforms all the chaos of the What Could Be into the structures of the tapestry of What Has Happened. It is not time as a linear progression of events, but as a collection of bits of occurrences to create one's world and life. It is a horizon point where the unknown becomes known. We transform the chaotic coils of unknown matter into the formed known. This action is shown in the center of the ouroboros, like an energy field with the creation and transformation point in the center.
In a dream I was inspired to add something supporting the ouroboros. The branches below are a tree, representing the life energy that supports the existence of the serpent to do its work. It includes both the blood that flows within the tree and the flame of inspiration that burns around it. It is more akin to the physical body we have as we create our worlds - made of physical matter and forming more physical matter. The ouroboros it supports is the consciousness, the I that sees.
Sources of inspiration during the process:
Anthony Peake's Labyrinth of Time
Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning
Anthony Storr's Dynamics of Creation
Susan Blackmore's Consciousness: An Introduction
Richard H. Wilkinson's Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art
Arnold Federbush's The Man who Lived in Inner Space
William S. Burroughs' The Western Lands
The Book of Leviathan