Spirit of the Land (breathing landscape)
This is a course that focuses on painting (water-based paints) and printmaking, In every tree, upturned sod, weathered and worn stones, weeping rocks and parched tracts that cut through the land, each mark and building signify the presence of man, of living beings, the landscape a living sentient world of which we are always within and yet without.
Who walked along these tracks in ancient times, what acts occurred where we stand, can we hear the past here in the present. See the ever-changing sequence of rebirth, youth, maturity and old age in the plants, the flowering, fading colours, rain, wind, sun, and moonlight.
Gurdjieff believed that people cannot perceive reality in their current condition because they do not possess a unified consciousness but rather live in a state of a hypnotic “waking sleep”.
Humans live life in sleep, and in sleep, s/he dies. As a result of this, each person perceives things from a completely subjective perspective.’ Gurdjieff
Exercise One: Before we paint, draw or print we think and immerse ourselves in the place.
Immersion and Recollection Re-engaging with the basic.
1. ‘Unfocussing’ To be unfocussed is to be immersed without intention –our surface levels of thinking are overwhelmed each moment by the restless undisciplined distractions of the rational world. Our thoughts go backwards and forwards between past and future, anxieties and day dreams, that keep us from engaging in the life we are truly part of.
2. Finding your place; Go out and find a place where you feel at peace, at ease, this may take time. To see what is hidden in plain sight, to see no only what our eyes see but what our other senses ‘see’.
3. The artist no only observes but ‘see’s’.
Being an artist is a meditation on life, of nature and the human presence in nature, we as nature and not separated from it. There are those who break through the veil that cloaks the eternal, the reality that truly exists beyond that invisible barrier that society maintains and we accept.
4. Feel the world not just through the eyes but breathe it in exhale yourself into it, this is a connection with the living universe of all things.
Absorb the presence of light, shape, forms and colour. Experience those things that are near and those that are far. Let the minute changes of time and duration enter as one feels the movement of things, its continual flux and change but at the same time is a timeless process of renewal. Return a number of times during the day and see what has changed.
5. Ask yourself
· How well do you know reality when you look away? That is to the page.
· What is remembering?
· What have we forgotten?
· What is it that distracts us?
· How close to the reality you imagined the scene to be, compared to that which you have transcribed?
· How much have you absorbed from the experience of ‘seeing’?
6. Think about
• Immersion – letting go, no thought, eschewing control
• Inhaling and ‘seeing’ by absorbing
• Recollecting without looking – memory
• refocus, resetting seeing –
• Manifesting the invisible
7. This is to be a contemplation through making the invisible visible, it requires absorption to be within nature as part of nature.
8. Create a space that is ones place as part of the universal, the eternal which we have lost.
9. A continuance: That we are a part, a continuity, in the continuum of all things.
10. A visual Language (as in how we manifest what we absorb, recollect, remember, renew and think afresh VISUALLY
11. Relinquishing control by using tools that resist control – make your own pens, paint with something you made. Let the unconscious run free.
Each course has some background reading if you wish