Explaining the Painting ‘Raw’ in the Rock Art Series
Please recap on the last blog here, “Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’
As I go further and further down this rabbit hole that I labelled the ‘Rock Art Series‘, I am beginning to uncover a quantum field of bizarre and amazing coincidences and realizations about myself and my role that I find myself stepping into (there will be more about this in next weeks blog, as I go mixing the melting pot of Harmonic Convergence and visual healing therapy).
This painting maxed my abstract potential and what I thought was achievable through a state of ‘mindless’ painting — it brought out something in me that I will call guided art.
Who’s guiding me?
God alone knows! My soul? My guides? The man on the moon? Jeff Buckley himself (for those of you who don’t know, Jeff died in a drowning accident in 1997)? Or a mixture of all? Probably…
Tapping into the Matrix
For more information about Jeff Buckley, click on this picture.
There is an information highway in the ether — a kind of universal computer hard-drive that stores everything and anything for posterity. I think this could be a good description for what I’m trying to tap into with this art.
How do you capture the essence of the message from the musician and put it onto canvas?
Music is multi-dimensional and speaks straight to the soul. When you are able to pull this kind of cosmic sound down into the third dimension, it has a powerful effect on the listener. See an article about ‘The 8th Chakra and the Universal Heart’ HERE.
Now, the question is: Can an artist tune into the message in the music and translate it as art?
Well, here it goes:
The Emotions of the Music
These are the emotions that came up for me as I was painting.
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- Simple Beauty
I wrote all these words down on the side of the canvas as they were arising in me. For those of you who know who Jeff Buckley is, you’ll probably be nodding your head and saying ‘yeah, that’s him alright’.
For those who don’t know him…let’s start you off with this song (although it is not his original song, he was reported to have said that it is a song he wished he had written as it encapsulates all that he is — and he performs it admirably):
Lilac Wine (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN)
If your appetite has been whetted, I suggest you move on to this song with the addition of some tasty visuals of the artist:
Moving on with the painting process…
Feeling Presence, Photographing Orbs and ‘Ghost’
I was completely ‘in the zone’ with this one — otherwise what I referred to as my ‘mindless state’. Working purely from the heart and feeling rather than linearizing and thinking it through.
- The first thing I did was spray paint a big red heart onto the canvas…I stood back and thought, ‘a bit kitsch, isn’t it?’. Then I decided to trust the process and see where it led me to. At that point, I thought that even if I painted over the heart, I suppose it will still be imbued with that heart presence — the heart would remain the core of the painting. As it turned out, the heart became the focal point.
- I started mucking about with clay paint (a kind of textured acrylic and a lot of fun to get your hands in! Really squishy and messy). I used a palette knife to apply it to the canvas.
- I felt as if I wasn’t alone, it didn’t freak me out or anything, I just went with it. I then dropped the palette knife and started getting my hands into this squelchy clay-type paint (I think this is the point where I wrote down the ‘earthy’ emotion — being grounded, getting ‘real’). I felt as if my hands were being guided, moving over the canvas in waves of delicate caresses which led on to vehement scratches (very sensuous, darling). I have to admit it was a bit like the scene from the movie ‘Ghost’ — you know that part when Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze were sitting down at the potter’s wheel getting all down and dirty in the clay. To coin one of Jim Carey’s phrases, I was starting to get a bit swampy in my pants.
- The whole time I was painting, I would stop every now and again to take a photo for the pictorial process blog. Imagine my surprise, when in one of the pictures I saw an isolated, huge orb (see picture to your right)! I give you my word that it is not part of the painting even though there are other ‘orb-like’ circles, those are gold spray-paint ‘blob’s and the orb is white. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the orb phenomenon, please click here. Otherwise, in a very small nutshell: Some people believe it is the camera’s ability to pick up on what we can’t see with the naked eye — yes a bit like photographing spooks, or rather, balls of energy (UFE — he he…unidentified flying energy). Others feel it is just light bouncing off dust to create this effect. What they don’t know is that my studio is a dust bomb and if this was the case, the photographs would be Orb City. Besides, I rather like the story where Jeff is helping me to create this work of art — nobody wants to be alone at the party, you know what I mean?
Close up of the orb – as you can see it is completely circular with a kind of aura that surrounds it, completely different to the gold painted orb below it.
- When I re-sprayed the heart and saw it dripping in and mixing with the clay paint, I got a real feeling of being ’embodied’. You know, the whole tethering your soul to your body type-thing?
- I then went on to add some words that I had torn out of a magazine. I’ve not really done this before so had no idea how it would turn out. I like the effect and just happened to synchronously stumble upon the most relevant-to-Jeff descriptive words imaginable. Like: ‘Shaken, Stirred’; ‘Stay in touch’; ‘Beautiful’; ‘History and Heroes’; ‘I think I’m on the planet Mars!’ (lol, don’t ask!); ‘lovers, this one’s for you!’; Made with unrestricted access’…you get the picture (I hope!).
- I then added on some finishing swirls and details to embellish and make the painting really ‘pop’ with pleasure.
And that’s it! You’ve got the low down of the inspiration behind the art.
Here are some more Jeff Buckley performances that you may enjoy:
Yard of Blonde Girls
Lover, You Should Have Come Over
Everybody Here Wants You
Where is The Rock Art Series Going?
I’ve had a few questions about this series that I want to clear up or probably make more hazy:
Am I selling individual pieces now? No, I am going to exhibit all 10 paintings when it is finished so I need to keep them as a unit for now.
When do I plan on having this series finished? I am working my butt off to have it all done by June 2013.
When and where will I be exhibiting? No clue at the moment but I just know the right place, venue, person will present themselves when it is ready to go on the road.
Can I buy prints? All the pieces I have done so far are available as prints.
You can view the Print Gallery HERE. Or click on the pictures below:
Have Your Say and Avoid Being Bitten
- What does this painting say to you? You can be honest, I promise I won’t bite or take anything personally (just leave your name and street address where I can find you alongside your comment! lol).
- What does Jeff Buckley’s music mean to you?
- If you didn’t know who he was, did you feel enticed to listen to his songs?
- If yes, what did you think?
- Did you feel that there was no need to listen because you ‘got it’ straight away?
- What emotions arise when you listen to him or look at this painting?
- Are they congruent?
Spill your beans, please. After all, I told you I got all swampy in my pants (the ice has been broken and melted all at the same time) — you can’t get more personal than that!
Hitting the Nail on the Head
To get the interpretation ball rolling — I sent the final picture to a musician friend of mine who didn’t know much about the artist or his music.
I found what he came up with remarkable for someone who wasn’t familiar with Jeff Buckley. It’s as if the information of the music was transported through the painting. Perhaps, as was proposed earlier in this blog, artists can tune into the message behind the music and translate it through visual arts. I’ll let you be the judge…
This is what my friend had to say:
“One definitely does see the emotional – hmmm… turmoil(?) this guy had during his life. What music do you suggest I listen to to get a deeper understanding of it?
The silver foil on the left reminds me of those staples they used to use on operations patients… i.e. a broken but patched up heart, one that’s been severely injured and not healed completely but very good physicians.
The green hand is definitely somehow connected with it, perhaps someone slipping away that was responsible for it — losing someone? Trying to hold on or not quite being able to touch the heart
The (hand)print ON the heart is interesting too — someone definitely left their touch on his heart.
The (hand)print on the right is almost like a hand in the background — a shadow, someone in his life that he never really have his heart to or allowed to get to know his heart.
The silhouette above that (looks like of a person) sort of underlines that message — especially because it looks like he’s looking away from the heart, the heart dripping very obviously also indicates an injured heart.
All the noise, colour and excitement below the heart, to me, is like the experiences and life he had, on which his heart is based yet nothing that grounds him or supports his heart. It’s up there in the air, surrounded by chaos — although beautiful chaos at times.
I wonder if the damaged heart has something to do with the experience below in the words “stay in touch”?
“lovers, this one’s for you” is very interesting as it’s on the “non-accessible” or shadowy side of the heart.
I love the reddish brown eye on the bottom left — something that’s weaved its way into his life that’s severely affected it (negatively)…tearing away at his foundation?”
~ Steven Rafferty
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