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Archive for October, 2011

19th Oct 2011

Inspiration Happens Only Now

A good work of art is original.

Not necessarily an original – since personally, I’d take a good reproduction of a van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet, etc., over some of the “originals” I have seen recently in various galleries.

By original, I mean that the artist’s vision is unique and inspiring.

There is a great deal of good art, beautifully rendered work being done today. I know artists who have talent and training and they paint lovely paintings using oils and watercolors, especially. Just one problem, been there seen that. Who is painting what is really new and will change the way I see the world? I want to see that.

A good life is original. Each person has his or her own path. Attempting to follow another’s path only manages to take one off one’s own path.

It’s an interesting thing about paths. We can only take the next step. We cannot undo past steps, but we can correct our course if we have rambled off our path. But, a path is walked one step at a time. Try to run ahead and one goes off one’s path.

A step takes time, even though it may seem to go rather fast, such as during a brisk walk.

Imagine a step shown in slow motion. It happens second by second, bit by bit, movement by movement: the lifting up of the leg, leaning forward, the shifting of one’s weight… It’s an easy accomplishment for the average healthy person, but for a baby becoming a toddler or a person who has a foot or leg injury it takes more concentration. The time seems to stretch out. Taking a simple step demands focus and being present.

No one can walk with The Divine in the past. Nor is it possible to do so in the future. All we have is now.

The Divine is always present in the Now. It is our challenge to let go of our past baggage, worries, concerns, unresolved emotional difficulties with others, anger, and what ever else is running through our minds – and take the bold step of focusing on the immediate now.

Click here: Genesis Dalet

Take a deep breath. Concentrate on just breathing in then breathing out. Experience that breath. Look around. What do you see? Not what needs to be done – but what is actually where you are? What is now? (Please, give it a try — now.)

This blog was inspired by a Collector Family member who wrote me that she is having a problem staying in balance. She is very busy with a life that places many demands on her time.

Being out of balance means not being in the moment of now with the Lord. Even busy people only have now, although it may seem otherwise.

Jesus said, “I do nothing but what the Father does through me.” That’s about being in the now and focused on the Father.

Deuteronomy 6: 5-7 commands a daily ongoing relationship, in the Now, “5. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. “

Echoing this, in the Christian Testament Paul said, “Pray without ceasing” — meaning be in communication as prayer is communication that goes both ways. Paul is taking about a constant relationship with The Divine that can only happen in the now.

Hillel said, “If not now, when?” Hillel is asking when can we actually do anything except in the now?

They are all pointing to the same reality. We cannot have a relationship with our Creator except in the now. And, if we are not having a relationship with the Lord in the moment, as we draw each breath, then we are indeed going to feel out of balance. Other words we apply to our lack of being present in the moment (and therefore in relationship with the Creator) are terms such as stressed, harried, out of sorts, upset, etc.

My life is very out of balance in the way of the world. Experts might disapprove of my path. That’s their problem. I am focusing on staying on my path.

I am working to stay, moment by moment, step by step on the path that the Lord has for me.  Sure, I fail on a daily basis. I stumble, trip and even take spiritual pratfalls. I get lost in my thoughts of the path and future. Then I pick myself up, brush myself off and get my focus back on The Divine and what is now. I ask, What do I do now, Lord? I ask this as often as I can remember to do so, many, many times a day and I have been at it for years. What do I do now? What do I say now? There is always an answer, just not necessarily the one I want. And it is always simple and immediate, dealing with the now.

Most of us ask for guidance during times of crisis. I have learned to ask on an ongoing basis, even when I think I can handle the situation myself. On a moment to moment basis and more of my moments are spent that way. You can do this too.

We can only relate to The Divine (or anyone) in the moment of NOW. We cannot do it in the future or past.

When I have my answer, and act on it, such as late and night, when I get the sense of inspirational feedback, like, Go brush your teeth … then when I break away from the painting or the PC screen, I have a sense of balance of peace of being on my right path. (The teeth brushing thing is generally followed with the move towards bed.)

When I am busy with the many tasks that I wish I could give to the staff I don’t have yet, I try to be present in that now, focus on The Divine. Moment by moment. Easy to say, not as easy to accomplish.

For instance, putting together my shipments of prints is a task that is routine but uniquely specific in detail for each package. It is work I could mostly and gladly hand over to a competent assistant. However, it is still my own task and I have learned that there is nothing so mundane or small that the Lord does not wish to be there with you and share it.

A great painting is created one stroke at a time. The inspiration (for me communication with The Divine) that the artist had when each stroke was made shows in a painting. A great symphony is written note by note and again, the inspiration is evident. A great piece of literature… well, you have the idea.

Great works of art out continue to inspire many generations and so seem immortal.

If we live our lives one moment at a time with the Lord, we will live great lives that will inspire others. That is what Jesus, Paul, Hillel and many other great teachers have tried to tell us. In Genesis , it says that Enoch walked perfectly with The Divine and then was no more – in other words, Enoch never died. I find that amazingly inspirational.

Inspirational enough to inspire me to create a whole new theory of art, Post Conceptual UnGraven Image, where the focus is on the stroke: tiny strokes – one stroke at a time in the ever expanding and inspirational now.

* * *
Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.

Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

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05th Oct 2011

When It Looks Like You Have Arrived at a Dead End

One of my favorite places in the world is a beach that begins at and surrounds a dead end. The painting, Dead End at National depicts a sunset I witnessed there. Several of the works in the Genesis: Sunset: Sunrise series are from sunsets I have observed and photos I’ve taken within yards or half a mile at most from this very spot.

Locally, we call this beach “National” since it borders the land of the famous National Golf Links. However, since all beaches are owned by the public here, there is access via the dead end. On one side one can fish or from the other side swim, when the weather permits. I have taken my dog(s) for walks throughout the year along this beach. Even the winding drive to the area is a treat during all four seasons in any weather safe enough to drive through.

Dead End

Dead End At National, 2007

Genesis: Sunset-Sunrise series
Texts used for strokes: Genesis 1-2:7, Deut. 6:4, Psalm 20 frame
24 x 30 inches, acrylic on canvas

I have swim here in the summers and collected shells since I was a girl. It is where I went fishing with my Dad and then many years later my then own young son.

I prefer to leave my vehicle and walk along the beach. That is a much different experience from cruising along in my Honda Passport. However, it is also a good experience. The experience of time and space is differs from driving along a beautiful winding road to walking along a quiet beach, with pebbles and shells crunching beneath one’s steps. Sometimes the way we experience life, its joys, sorrows and challenges seems to change the perception of time and space also.

For instance, we all share times in our lives that we remember exactly where we were when we learned specific news. Boomers know where they were when they learned that JFK had been shot – and likewise John Lennon, and for many MLK and RFK also. All of us know where we were when we learned of the horror of the jets flying into the Twin Towers . Our memories are not only of where we physically were visually, but most of us can recall the temperature of the place and even the scent, and perhaps, even the sound of the voice of the news. Time seems to expand and the moment becomes super real and forever etched in memory.

Moments when life changes, when we wonder how we will go on — what we can do—how life as we know it can go on, are challenging and changing. Yet often it seems as if life just continues on somehow, but the way we see life, our unique interior views, have forever changed. These are dead ends that are openings to transformation.

In the painting Dead End at National we are standing at a dead end yet overlooking a beautiful sunset. There is more, there is beauty and glory, even hope and promise beyond the dead end where the viewer is poised. The question is, will we decide to reach out and move beyond the seemingly solid dead end and embrace the promise and beauty beyond or will we turn back and scurry into the safety of the paved and familiar routine?

I have swam here in the summers and collected shells since I was a girl. It is where I went fishing with my Dad and then many years later my then own young son.

I have walked, bicycled and arrived by various vehicles to this dead end. There are many ways to reach a dead end. For me, this very real dead end means the achievement of a wonderful destination. The first time I was in Southampton again and back on my bicycle, after years of fighting and finally overcoming acute and chronic Lyme’s disease, I headed for the dead end at National. I wept tears of joy upon reaching that destination, when just five years prior I could barely stand or walk.

So, although the sign says, “Dead End”, it also signals beginnings and good times, which are blessings.
* * *
Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

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