Posts Tagged ‘seeing’

The last week or so I have found time and space to push on with a few art-book projects I have been wanting to complete. One is a printed paper copy of “The House of Trees”. It is quite a long poem, but even so a little short for a stand-alone book – at least one that feels like a real book rather than a parish church guidebook! So I have been working out how to interleaf the text pages with image pages. Originally I was thinking of one image page facing each new section of the poem, but practically, because of the varying lengths of the sections, this did not work so well. So I have decided to greatly increase the number of images so that each spread has one image page facing the text page. This has the advantage of consistency, and also of increasing the number of pages to about eighty or ninety – quite a nice thickness! Luckily, I had taken quite a few photographs on the Isle of Skye, upon which the poem is based. On of the most interesting things on Skye was the number of high quality artist’s galleries. I was particularly attracted by several woodcut artists. Woodcut and print are a match made in heaven, so I tried to see if I could get that jewel-like light and dark richness by working with my images.


I have used quite simple techniques (complexity is beyond my computer skills), mainly playing around with contrast and gradients. The end result depends quite a lot on the original colour photos, but I have managed to get some rich, deep tones that remind me of wood engravings, and others that more resemble aquatint etchings. Here are a few that I like. Most of the images I am happy to present as near abstracts, suggestions of landscapes, textures and grains of wood and stone. As they are complementing, rather than illustrating, the text, I want them to set an atmosphere as much as anything else.


You may remember some of the photographs that I used to accompany “The House Of Trees” as I was writing it and posting it here earlier in the year. I have used some of the same images but made many of them more graphic.


I expect I will try printing some of these out for myself on etching -type archive paper, to see haow they fare as objects in their own right.


I hope the juxtaposition of panoramic spaces with close up textural detail will keep the interest of the eye as it moves from page to page.


Somehow the tonal reversals suit the nostalgic, Otherworldly flavour, where mirroring and transformations are a common motif. Also somehow fits in with the eye of memory and metaphysical meditations also….


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Thoughts from the Earth: Reality is approximate.

I was thinking about some friends who were going through difficult times, and thinking also of the pressures of the modern, rational worldview on other more traditional ways of seeing things.
A great, possibly the best, way to stabilise emotions and strengthen personal energies is to make a conscious connection to the planet. Simply feel a flow of energy from the base of the spine, the whole of the pelvis, down towards the centre of the Earth. When I do this in a quiet, receptive state often concepts and ideas clarify ( or at least, emerge), in my mind.

The following words arose and contain some interesting ideas…

What we consider ‘reality’ is what we are focused upon – what we consider important to us.

It is a lens that brings into focus what we choose to make central to our experience.

Everything else becomes unfocused or invisible. It may still be there, but we can no longer see it, no longer experience it.

We do not “make” our “own reality”.
Reality has no substance.
Reality may be what ‘is’.
But we cannot know what it ‘is’ when we are focused in a particular way.
Seeing a bigger aspect of “reality” then, is not about our focus but about how we can relax our focus.
It is not about finding what is important to us, but relaxing into the experience of whatever we are experiencing.
What we chose to consider important or real, the view of reality we take, is significant for our emotional stance, but not necessarily any more useful than any other stance in terms of achieving freedom from limitations.

However, one focus is no more valid than another.
If one dominant world-view is heavy on our lives, choose another view that is less oppressive – but do not mistake that one is ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’.
It’s just switching channels: you are still being mesmerized by something that has no intrinsic holistic experience..

Reality is approximate….

( ” Reality is approximate:
What you believe is true
Only holds from a limited viewpoint.
From every other place, it is untrue.”

” What you think
Is not what you are,
But what you think
Holds you in its patterns.” )

quotes from “A Guide to the Power Plant Spirit Cards”. Simon H Lilly 2006

“everything is possible” is not saying the same thing as ” everything is easy”.

Acting in accord with the energy of the world requires letting go, relaxation, acquiescence, flowing with the energies manifesting – but not fighting or giving up; giving up but not relinquishing; relinquishing but not dissolving; dissolving but not dissappearing; dissappearing but not falling asleep…

Becoming the world – becoming smaller and becoming greater….

Whatever language we use the words that represent an object can never make the object, never be the object.
The words can echo some qualities of the object, but not the tangible experience of the object. The same is with reality.
However we choose to describe reality, in whatever terminology, in whatever storytelling way, it is never the same as, or equivalent to, the reality itself.
Thought, logic, language can never experience or define what is real in any complete way.

Open sudden clarity is the only door to melt and unfold the Real….


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