Thursday, October 15, 2015

Painting the Hero-ine's Journey in 5 Steps - Stage 3 - Reward - All the way to heaven is heaven itself

My painting continues. My heroin'es journey continues. There is a poem I read in Zen and Creativity on Tuesday that reminded me of the Hero-ine's Journey:

All the way to heaven
is heaven itself.

I didn't paint on Wednesday.  I don't know what happened.  I had the day off but I ran out of time.  I did do a lot of art because I went figure drawing for 4-1/2 hours.  But that will be another post.

I woke up early this morning and ended up doing 2 layers of the Hero-ine's Journey, layers 3 and 4.  This post is about layer three.  The 4th layer is outside right now drying as I type on this computer.  I want to recap a little because these layers are just layers so I feel I need to put them in context.

Layer One: Call to Adventure

Where the spirit does not work with the hand
there is no art.
- Leonardo Da Vinci

Layer Two: Trials and Tribulations

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead 
where there is no path and leave a trail

Layer Three (Today's Layer): Reward

Charles Olson describes this stage as "obtaining some kind of boon, which may or may not have been the apparent goal at the start."

Vogel calls this stage Reward or Seizing the Sword: "The Hero has survived death, overcome his greatest fear, slain the dragon, or weathered the crisis of the heart, and now earns the Reward that he has sought."

Lost - yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, 
two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. 
No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.
- Horace Mann

I have painted a diamond coming out of a plant.  I am not exactly sure where it came from.  The jewel is a very obvious choice for a reward. Maybe it is because of the story I have been working on for years the hymn of the pearl about a jewel. I feel like I have seen this imagery before but I can't recollect where.

On the whats your sign website is written: "Overwhelmingly, the diamond symbol or the triangle symbol motif expresses itself in terms of clarity, ascension and wisdom. Not of the ordinary sort of wisdom though. I speak of a clarity and wisdom that transcends the banalities of our everyday realm."

That seems good to me for the Hero-ine's journey.  When the reward is given there is an opening, a clarity, a renewal.

I have always stayed with the initial rhythm of the painting.  I am not sure if that is keeping with the intention of the exercise but I could never let the rhythm go.  There is this dramatic motion to the upper right corner.  As if the painting itself wants to escape the canvas.

Perhaps the stylized foliage is a subconscious homage to one of my favorite painters, Rousseau

And as before, Georgia O'Keefe is still influencing the painting.

I feel this painting is a very selfish act.  I never have been an abstract painter and there is something that feels very self-absorbed about it.  So I am struggling with that as I remind myself of this poem

To study the Way is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self,
To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things..
- Ethei Dogen

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