Consciousness, Indeterminacy, Reality Models, Shamanism, Psychedelic Medicines - oh my!

Terence McKenna at his best? Episode 426 ("Alien Footprints") of the Psychedelic Salon podcast is one of the most succinct raps by Terence McKenna on his favorite topic of hyper-dimensional reality and our highly evolved monkey mind.

“The truth about reality is that nowhere is it writ large that monkeys should be able to elicit the final understanding of it.”


Tara Variations (Dual Portraits)

These most recent Tara variations are created as actual dual portraits in one panel, rather than like the previous post describing side-by-side diptych panels.

Tara Variations

For the new year, I began a series of Tara portraits and variations. Here are a pair with floral offerings.

When output and installed for a show, one of the panels would be reflected (reversed) so that the figures are looking toward one another, like this:

Happy New Year 2015

Here is my New Years card for this new year...

Forest Goddess Variations

My recent Pachamama series got me interested in playing around more with the emergence of a figure from (within) the positive space of a veil of leaves. Here is a selection of Forest Goddess image variations including some calling upon her guise as animal spirit totem.

But a few of the Goddess variations I played with stand out in terms of 'hidden mystery' and embodied forest spirit energy. Check these out:

Offering Mandala for Pachamama

I've been thinking for quite awhile about Navaho healing sand paintings. As part of the ceremonial process, real objects such as stones, herbs, flowers and meaningful "trinkets" are incorporated into the visual symbology of the mandala. These temporary mandalas can often be built-up via layers, reminding me of a Peruvian shaman's medicine bundle offering (despacho).

Cut flowers are as transient as any ceremonial sand mandala when it comes to making "art", so I decided that I'd construct a digital version of a floral offering... using photos of actual blooms from my garden - in this case, Mexican Sage, Rose and Datura.

This is one of the images I came up with based upon what I had been making for the Pachamama series (showing her hidden spirit face emerging through forest leaves.

Pachamama Offering Mandala

Fractal Ocean of Being

OK, so I renamed this series from when I worked on the first image... As originally posted last January (1/30/14), I had been playing around with a new fractal generator (for iPad from Kai of Kai Power Tools fame) and got very intrigued by the idea that the infinite froth of space / edges within a fractal map might be a great visual metaphor for the for the unseen particle froth of the quantum realm. From that, it was a short step to thinking about the infinite expression of Tara throughout space & time as being like the quantum foam.

Below is the original image from this series and a follow-on images using essentially the same elements ('deity particles') but a different space/time foam.

Green Tara Emerging From Ocean of Being #1

Green Tara Emerging From Ocean of Being #2
This image (below) from the fractal series is a "close up" of Tara's energetic self-manifestation and blessings for all beings.

Green Tara Self-Manifestation

Dakini Redux

Early in December I had my 60th birthday. One thought that bothered me concerned what would happen to my artwork when I'm dead and gone? Would anyone really be able to trundle through endless directories of work on my computer to discover everything? True, a lot of stuff is posted on my various websites, but... So, over the holidays I printed out a bunch of my images and organized them into presentation binders.

Well, some older images bothered me greatly and I decided to go back in to rework them. Below is an example of the before and after state of one of my Dakini images. By removing a lot of the background (photo of a golden geometric pattern from a ornamental door) and remixing the figure's layers, I think the newest version is much more dynamic and allows the Dakini figure to be read better.

Dakini "before"
Dakini "after"