Monday, July 31, 2017

composition 2001-1, 18"x24", 2001, #painting #art

composition 2001-1, 18"x24", 2001, available

Sunday, July 30, 2017

composition 2000, 36"x40", #art #painting

composition 2000, 36"x40", available, oil on prepared heavyweight paper

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Receptivity is a very interesting principle.  It is absolutely essential to understanding art and life.  My experience is this.  I began my art appreciation journey by approaching everything with a conceptual bias.  This bias was sub conscious.  In other words I saw everything with this conditioned viewpoint, based on a lot of built up experience and what I would call bad education.
      For example, where did this phrase 'if you like it, it is good' come from?  I imagine that I must have heard that too many times to count as I was growing up, and mostly with regards to art.  I imagine that it was the best that most elementary school teachers and/or parents could come up with, given their own lack of background on the subject as well.  What else was possible?
      This all points to the principle of how we are conditioned and educated in this culture.  I have been listening to a talk by Marshall Rosenberg on his work with non-violent communication.  He said at one point that all through his 20 odd years of education, no one ever asked him how he felt!
     Back to the principle of receptivity.  So I struggled to understand what it was about Antonio's contemporaneous work that made it so compelling to me.  I can remember this one painting he had done that he loaned me.  There was this certain quality it had that totally mystified me.  I looked and looked.  I had my attention on this thing for hours.  Now I can't remember what exactly I figured out during that time, however, I had never put my attention on anything with such concentration for such a long period of time.  The point being that art can definitely be an aid and focus in meditation and contemplation.

Antonio Salemme's 'Radha and Krishna"  first state, 23"x30"

    Around the same time time I began to understand the principle of receptivity.  My consciousness shifted from being grounded in the intellect to being more centered in the feeling/intuitive mind.  What I noticed , finally, that there was this space that was there whenever I looked at one of Antonio's works, that would almost immediately be overtaken by intellectual peregrinations.  AS I noticed this, the space between the initial perception and the intellect became larger, until finally I had this breakthrough where the intellectual/conceptual just fell away.
   This space was receptivity itself. And here it is in a nutshell,  You can struggle intellectually to discover and uncover meaning and of course that has value, but by being open and receptive, you will find that the meaning will arise from that receptivity in an almost miraculous way.  This meaning will inform a judgement that is not based on concept or intellect, but it will be a more accurate and true judgement based on direct experience.  This can be a bit scary initially because you are no longer relying on intellectual resources and this subconscious pigeon holing that the intellectual mind seems to revel in.  Rather you are now relying on the deeper intuitive resources of mind and self.  And, if art were simply an intellectual/conceptual/technical endeavor then we certainly would lose most of the great art expressed by so many of the great artists through out our meagre history on this planet.

 There are always threads of discussion possible leading out from this.

william deraymond (c)2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

zen mind, beginner's mind and art

I had been studying with Antonio Salemme for about 2 years when I had this tremendous breakthrough.  A shift in consciousness.  It was a moment in which i went from being conceptually oriented to seeing without those conceptual filters.  For 2 years I had been looking at his work and trying to 'figure out' what they meant.  In an instant, because of the time spent looking and contemplating his work, I burned through those conceptual walls and was able to understand the value and meaning of his work with immediate awareness.  It was a total shift in values as well as I realized that it was the very originality of Antonio's that I had been struggling with all that time.  His work didn't fit any pigeon holes there in my sub conscious mind.
     We all have this zen mind, beginner's mind as part of our intrinsic nature.  This self sufficient natural state is there underneath all the conditioning that has been built up through our education and experience.  Somethng I began to understand was this, "Simplicity demands our deepest attention in order to be appreciated."  This 'deep' attention and the ability to appreciate simplicity is zen mind, beginner's mind.  It is not a conceptual place but one of direct experience.
     My work as an artist is all about expressing the beauty of the medium as beginner's mind.  I call what I have been expressing and practicing 'the aesthetics of spontaneity'. I have been doing this for over 35 years now. My paintings are contemplative doorways.  In other words you can put your attention on them and they carry you within'. It is visual music.  You have to be receptive in order to hear the music.  Antonio would often say to me as I wrestled with his work to glean the 'meaning' from an intellectual viewpoint,  "Look at the brushstrokes."

Friday, July 14, 2017

All the Arts are One.

Antonio would often say to me, "All the arts are one." It always made sense to me. As such it is all music, or of the 'muse'. Right? It has always been for me, this profound communication. A language I learned basically by hanging out with Antonio and thru the process of osmosis. He also would often say, "the transmission occurs mind to mind." By sharing my work the way I am here. not only am I refreshing my own aesthetic self by the review, but I am attempting to familiarize you with the language and music of art. It is a language at once intimately personal and totally absolute and impersonal. The medium itself, ie. brush, color, motif, are eternal archetypes, grounded in the absolute. You know, like, "in the beginning was the word." Back to 'all the arts are one', coming out of that primal vibration the Christians aptly call the 'word'. Color, sound, form, light, bodies, all manifestations of that. I digress...
If one can be receptive and suspend judgement, to the vibrations of the work, in this case the color and brush and self expression, a more accurate judgement will arise spontaneously from 'within'.One will begin to hear the 'music' beyond the conditioned, conceptual mind that is sub-conscious in most. This may even be somewhat uncomfortable at times as those unconscious concepts are challenged by the direct experience of the art. This is or can be a purifying process.However this practice has many benefits, You begin to develop an inner authority quite separate from the usual conceptually oriented pigeon-holing that is so normal when most confront a painting or sculpture. You will also begin to see the world around you in a 'new' light.