It’s Not About Panic…

Kay Emig:

A gem from the conclusion of this post:
Indeed, if you are an observant Christian you have, your are, and you always will be a revolutionary of the most dangerous kind. Your life becomes, over time, a living witness, by contrast,  to the nature of the lies that undergird much of what has been considered “normal”. You live as a citizen of another world whose rules often stand in stark contrast to the prevailing spirit of a lost age. You destroy, not with violence but rather with light. You do not kill but you have within you the power to transform yourself and others. You are evolving into something that will, over time, look more and more like God and the people, powers, institutions, and principalities that have a vested interest in the world as it is will take notice and do what they can to divert or stop you because if you succeed the people they have made captive will be set free.

So when you see the great powers of this world use force and law and the easily manipulated mood of the herd against you there is no need to panic.  Such things must be and it is a sign that having failed to convince they resort to force. Endure. Love. Do no violent harm. Pray. Grow deep. Shine. We are watching the end of an empire and the beginning of redemption.

Originally posted on The Beautiful Path:

when we hear about the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, pushes against observant Christian people and institutions in our culture. After all Jesus told us such things would be a routine part of our life and what makes us think that as Americans we have some kind of exemption?

Powerful interests in our culture have reasons to marginalize, or indeed eliminate, the existence of observant Christianity and why should we be surprised to see them act in their own self-interest? The idea of a transcendent faith, vision, or morality strikes at the heart of the myths that pervade our godless consumer culture so why are we so often dumbfounded when the institutions and people who stand to benefit from such an arrangement want us to go away?

Moral human beings, especially of the Christian variety, need very few laws so why should we be puzzled when the state, which…

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Shirking Our Duty…

Kay Emig:

This is most profound, any very timely.

Originally posted on The Beautiful Path:

gun ad

Did you know that there was a time when you could buy firearms right from the Sears catalog? Anecdotally I have heard that in the earlier part of the 20th century one could purchase dynamite at the local hardware store. One would think, then, that the culture would be full of violence and mayhem, school shootings, and teenagers blowing each other up and away on street corners. After all, back in the “old days” all you needed to do was show up with money in hand at your local hardware store and walk away with a pistol, no questions asked.

Yet it didn’t happen. Why?

Because people were different. Yes there were criminals back then and violent people as well. Yet there was something more that kept the whole thing from turning into the chaos we often see in our present. There was, even if people didn’t always follow it, a…

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Blazing Cat Fur: Hunger Games remade with Cats

Blazing Cat Fur: Hunger Games remade with Cats.

Sometimes it is good just to laugh at stuff. Laughing is good for your insides. I bet the folks that did this excellent video would have just the purrfect sensibilities to do a version spotlighting the shenanigans of the new UN Human Rights Council featuring new members Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic (?) of China. We’d need lots of plastic ants for that.

I gave my heart to my husband’s cardiologist…

heart

It seemed right and proper to give this beautiful thing to someone who could appreciate its structure. It contains Fulgurites; the little glass tubes left in the ground sometimes by lightning strikes. Have no idea how the new Toon Town Big Government Crap Weasel Obamacare World of Medical Delights will go about destroying our little corner of the woods; am sure that when that when it strikes us, the results won’t be pretty. Am also sure that our Liberal Elitist Insect Overlords will blame the dysfunctional system they’ve created on their favorite whipping boys while successfully escaping any responsibility for degrading yet another aspect of life. The progs have been trying to bury their socialist hook deep under our gills for a very, very long time.

And they don’t believe in catch and release.

detail

Sin – as defined by Our Dear, Dear Leader

Our Dear Leader Obama’s response when asked for his definition of sin was this: “Being out of alignment with my values [i.e., ideology].”

Hard as is it to comprehend that this arrogant little quip was deliberately released into the air, here’s a link to the interviewre’s source for it:

Obama on faith: The exclusive interview | The Dude Abides.

Thank your prog/liberal/marxist/lo-fo neighbors for this, pals. We’re in the tragedy to farce section of the feedback loop, on the way to the Surreal-Super-Fun-Happy-Slide. Rod Serling is sorely missed; he could have narrated this ‘new normal’ nonsense with the right touch of caution and wonder confronting the absurd.

Words To Remember

“When gold paint flakes from the arms of sculptures,
When the letter falls out of the book of laws,
Then consciousness is naked as an eye.

When the pages of books fall in fiery scraps
Onto smashed leaves and twisted metal,
The tree of good and evil is stripped bare.

When a wing made of canvas is extinguished
In a potato patch, when steel disintegrates,
Nothing is left but straw huts and cow dung.”

These stanzas are from the poem “The Spirit of History”
by Czeslaw Milosz, published in 2001 in “A Treatise on Poetry”

Playing In The Ruins Indeed

“If you do not trod on others and you help see that others are not trod upon – you’re doing well. If you actually live that way you’re doing better than many Christians. But you are a child playing in the ruins of a great civilization and many of your ideas (like not treading on others) are the legacy, an echo of that civilization. You have an instinct for kindness, but that very instinct is a legacy of a Judaeo-Christian ethic. I’m glad it’s working for you. Your children and grandchildren will not be so fortunate, as the legacy begins to wane. There is already a quiet and tolerated holocaust going on around us, but, hey, we all die.
 
No civilization has existed without transcendence. Even Carl Sagan was looking for extraterrestrial substitutes for the transcendent before he died. Hitler had his racial theories that served as his transcendent. Stalin claimed to be following Marxist theories of history. Our grandchildren will find something if it’s not God. Their “gods” may not be so kind – time will tell. By then you’ll be dead so it won’t actually matter.
 
For myself, I believe that meaning is dependent on something outside itself – something that transcends it. Those who do not think this are treading on the safety of my children and my children’s children. Their self-referential cultures have murdered nearly 100 million in the 20th century. So, no thank you, I do not agree to stop suggesting that the lack of transcendence is meaningless and that meaninglessness results ultimately in mass murder. Seen it all before. No thank you.”
 
comment by Fr. Stephen Freeman, 5/31/12 RE: blog post “What is Man,” from blog Glory to God For All Things

For the Loving Rememberance of a Mentor: Rip Woods

studio corder

Was thankfully able to visit briefly an 80th birthday celebration for the late Rip Woods given by Dee Dee, his family and friends last Saturday at 934 on Southern Avenue in Phoenix.

Rip was a beloved mentor, to whom I offer two Quotes from Eric Gill:

“The training of artists, therefore, is twofold. First, there is the training of the living. The child brought up in a dark cellar or in an art school will know nothing of humane life. Art training is first of all the training obtained by living the ordinary life of the time. Thus the mind is nourished on reality and not romance.”

“….A fool may be a Saint.
A villain may be an artist.
A fool may be an villain.
But a fool cannot be an artist, nor a villain a Saint.”

Dear Rip, mentor and friend – Moriendo Modulor.

Just in time for Christmas

In that “art is life and life is art” frame of mind, I spotted a post over at Sultan Knish that connected with a J G Ballard recollection someone posted lately (if I remember where I’ll update with the citation) In reference to Ballard’s childhood in pre WWII China, the post noted that:

One morning, while biking to school, he and his father encountered a closed checkpoint and were forced to sneak over a fence and through an abandoned casino to get back to the road. Ballard was struck by the overturned roulette tables, shattered glasses, and scattered betting chips. Gilded statues and ornate chandeliers threw glimmering light everywhere, “transforming this derelict casino into a magical cavern from the Arabian Nights tales.” This casino served as inspiration for a number of his later works: “I . . . felt that the ruined casino, like the city and the world beyond it, was more real and more meaningful than it had been when it was thronged with gamblers and dancers. Abandoned houses and office buildings held a special magic and on my way home from school I often paused outside an empty apartment block. Seeing everything displaced and rearranged in a haphazard way gave me my first taste of the surrealism of everyday life, though Shanghai was already surrealist enough.”

The post continued by saying: Ballard dug through the dime novels at the local bus depot and eventually discovered science fiction. He was less interested with novels about outer space than he was with those stories that looked at the present or near future and examined political trends that were present after the war. While he viewed “writers of so-called serious fiction” as primarily concerned with the self, he wanted to focus on “the everyday world, which was just as much a psychological construct, and just as prone to mysterious and often psychopathic impulses.”

A fellow traveler indeed. His ruined Chinese ballrooms and casinos were a world away from the decayed Arizona motels that caught my attention, but that sparkle of recognition that the ruin is speaking is the same one.  The appreciation of the utter strangeness of that “everyday world,” of it surreality, of its “mysterious and psychopathic impulses” came back to mind after reading the post linked above. And then, of course, there was the news that Time magazine readers voted Kim Jong Un “Person of the Year” for 2012.

Didn’t need to read much science fiction after the mid 1980’s, because the everyday world was becoming as bizarre as the fictional one. A trend that becomes more pronounced every day. Ballard’s works were some of my favorites back then, but I doubt that even he, with his appreciation for the darkly absurd, would have foreseen a world of “mysterious and psychopathic impulses” where the likes of Arafat, the inventor of airline hijacking, would have been given a Nobel Peace Prize.

Black market lightbulbs anyone?

Drive-Bye

YellowThis is my first blog attempt after a handful of unfortunate events partnered up; Cox dropped my webpage, my hard drive and auxiliary hard drive crashed, plus a few assorted non-technical events. Putting something back together from the pieces has been strange in unexpected ways…

In the process of tracking down an article date to verify it, I ran across an auction site that had an older work up for bidding – one that I hadn’t documented. A lot of time has gone by since then.  Was kinda shocking to sit back, and remember making this thing, this moment, this place to stop, to put things together for a while.

Why make art about/from old Arizona motels?

Honestly, there isn’t a simple answer to this question. This isn’t nostalgia, wanderlust, or escapism. It’s a mystery to me. The colors, the shapes, the history, the surrounding Arizona environment,the cheerful tackiness of it all, even the decay – especially the decay, have captured my attention for well over twenty years. And it’s not just any classic period motel that will do – it is the Arizona ones that got caught in my eye.

This aesthetic exploration took an unexpected direction in the late 1990’s with the inclusion of beadwork, hammered copper and or recycled aluminum. The larger exclusively beaded works usually require a minimum of six months to bead.

Part of the humor or irony in this latter development dwells in the concept of time. The “classic period” motels themselves were designed for short stays, and are rapidly disappearing. As cultural artifacts, not destined to survive very long. Yet they have inspired this contemplative and vastly time-consuming beadwork; which is then viewed by a contemporary audience with an attention-span that is measured in seconds. . . .

Beading

Prior to the incorporation of beadwork, the paintings were typically a minimum of 48” x 60” in size. Here, the Arizona motels became darkly magical and threatening places within the Sonoran Desert environment. Cacti, desert creatures, rocks and that harsh desert light populated a colorful motel world. The motels themselves provide much of the color palette; every element in each work was exploited for it’s metaphoric potential. Each one was a multi-layered look at contemporary Arizona weaving together local natural history and sharp observation, through the lens of imaginative interpretation. If you’re looking for labels to describe my work, it has been christened “figurative expressionist with surrealist leanings and an abstractionist bent.”

Given the connotations of the word “large” today, I hesitate to use it; the current works are so much smaller than these earlier paintings that it’s necessary to use “large” as a comparative term when referring to the body of work as a whole. Originally an oil-on-canvas painter, chemical sensitivities forced a switch to acrylics. Technically, the move made me a better painter, but lacks the pleasant aroma of the turp can, and lush textural feel. Had to eliminate the solvents from printmaking processes also. I love working with my hands, and am trying not to poison myself or the ground with chemicals.

Check out the ‘Joe Doe’ page for kind of an explanation about the motels.

Please forgive the clunkiness here in my little parlor; am not technically savvy. Am just an artist trying to clear the darkness out of my eyes in order to pay attention and learn something about this strange and wonderful place, this gift of place, and time, and love.
Arizona Motels