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EMANATIONS of OBJECTS
Teapot III 1996 mixed media on canvas
Portrait of Marisol 2006
14" x 11" charcoal & pastel on paper
In this drawing the emanations that were coming from the model are depicted by strokes of color emanating out from the face as well as strokes hovering slightly above it.
Detail of Marisol
The Emanations of an Object (cont.)
Exercise 1 Step 1: A side benefit of perceiving the emanations of things is that it enriches our lives by helping us stay focused and present. In this exercise, we will begin by looking at the life and energy of color. As has already been mentioned, color is one of the main interpretive languages of emanations, especially for a visual artist. Color has its own emotional and instinctive language that you will come to understand more and more as you do the following exercise over time. It is life-enhancing to begin to feel color on a whole deeper level. As you study emanations and if you have the desire to portray them, it is important to know the expressive nature of color in relation to emanations. And we all may have our own unique way to artistically interpret emanations.
For the exercise pick out a few objects, each of a different color and material. They can be made of cloth, paper, wood, or any other substance. As you study the color of the objects become very still and alert. Notice how there is a corresponding point or points within the body that are resonating from the influence of each particular color. You are now consciously using the body as an organ of cognition. This is the first little step in a new form of perception. Using the body as a perception tool will become more and more vital as we proceed.
Also, observe the relationship of the material the object is made up of and its color. It is almost like these two elements, color, and material, are "singing" a duet in your awareness. Now sense the color becoming more and more independent of the material - a distinct phenomenon in itself. Let this simple exercise go deep within you as you let your awareness of color grow. Apply this part of the exercise throughout your day as you study the colors of the objects about you.
Step 2: Now that we have looked at color, we are ready to move onto the study of emanations. Choose an object to study. Something as simple as the surface of a table or even a rock will do, for everything has a rich variety of subtle emanations. The scale of the object also does not matter; it could be something as large as a mountain or as small as a thimble. After you have picked out an object, just sit with it, giving it your full attention. Then look at its different parts, sensing and contrasting the differences you feel. You might think of these differences as energy, vibration, tone, or what I call emanations. This may require patience at first, for you may not be accustomed to looking at and feeling something in this way.
Step 3: After you have done Step 2 and you feel ready, take a piece of paper and with colored pencils, crayons, or brush and paint, and with your new level of sensitivity of color, play with giving expression to the emanations that you feel in the object you were studying. A heightened level of awareness is required for this, so be patient. Awareness, through exercise, will grow in strength.
You may notice as you play that emanations have obvious differences in temperature and speed and you have to choose different colors to express them. Blues, purples, and greens are cooler. Their implied speed is also slower compared with the warm reds, yellows, and oranges. Additionally, the way a line is rendered can express different speeds. The use of color and line is just one method of interpreting the sensations caused by the emanations of forms.
Use the sensing of emanations to sharpen your awareness. Let it bring you gently into the present as you move through your day. And that really is the point of all this—to become more present to this rich world we live in.
About the Paintings: Many of the great masters of art throughout history were able to capture emanations. They may have accomplished this consciously or subconsciously by just painting what was before them. If we stand still before their masterpieces they mysteriously communicate emanations to us.
My paintings and drawings in this section are specifically focused on emanations and their direct interpretation, mainly through line and color, in order to more clearly communicate emanations.
Pears I 1988 9.5" x 18" oil on canvas
I would like to point to another example of emanations. This is one of my illustrations and text from my book, Tobe and the River Is. Besides perceiving the underlying mathematics in all the forms about him, Tobe (Tō•bē) , the main character, also begins to perceive the emanations of forms.
Chico Buttes I 1996 30" x 40" oil on canvas
“The universe is incredibly wondrous, incredibly beautiful, and it fills me with a sense that there is some underlying explanation that we have yet to fully understand.” Brian Greene, an American theoretical physicist, mathematician, and string theorist.
This painting, depicting the energy and emanations of the Chico Buttes in California, was the pivotal piece in my art career. Little did I know that after this piece I would never approach painting in quite the same way. What gave rise to this image? It was the experience I had painting a smaller version of it out on location. I painted it realistically, faithful to all details. After a couple hours of working on the piece and it was finally done, I held it up and looked at the surface of the painting. I was struck by the overpowering sensation of my awareness hitting what felt like a “solid wall”—a solid wall made of paint upon canvas, which even the illusion of painted rocks, trees, meadow, and effects of light shadow could not disguise or soften. Yet, when I would look over at the real landscape, it seemed nothing like a solid wall. All the forms of the landscape felt permeable to my awareness. I could feel a living energetic relationship with the forms; they were emanating to me, and I was emanating back. It was as if there was a deep level of energetic communication occurring. I seemed to be able to enter into things to some degree, as they could enter me.
No, this would not do, I told myself as I looked at the painting in my hand. Art is capable of so much more than just a realistic rendering of surfaces. It must go deeper!
I felt the excitement of a challenge growing. How does one then depict these dynamic energies in a living landscape—the way it feels, not just how it looks to the eye, I wondered.
I packed up my paints and excitedly headed back to my studio in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains and there began work on this larger version, “Chico Buttes I” above. In the studio, as I painted, I started breaking up the continuous surface detail I was rendering, creating “doors” and “windows,” making the impression of the landscape more permeable, more energetic, where awareness is free to float past the surface of things.
I worked on this painting for a few weeks and when it was finally completed, I was relieved to see that the painting more accurately captured the dynamic quality of the landscape as I felt it, when standing there before it.
Auriel and Tobe Walking Through the Wonders of Inlakesh
Then Tobe began to notice something peculiar. The rocks seemed to hum—with life. He had a strong sense that the rocks were emitting tones, and every part of each and every rock seemed to be playing a different tone. Though his ear could not hear the tones, he could perceive them. He thought, If I were a musician, I would play the rocks! Or I could paint the different tones in bright colors—not how the rocks look at all, but how they feel to the eye! What a strange painting that would be!
Then it dawned on Tobe: in Inlăkesh the eye can actually feel! How bizarre!
He was elated to find that not only did each part of a rock have a voice and sing, but every reed and willow, every ripple and wave, and every part of a blade of grass on the bank did. Every inch of everything everywhere was playing a note! Yes, Inlăkesh was alive!
“There is truly so much to see here . . . so much to feel here,” said Tobe. He grew silent in his amazement, absorbing the world about him.
(Visit the Tobe and the River Is website: www.4riveris.com)