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July 12, 2015

Title:          Mudd Pi

Medium:     oil on copper gilt cracked plaster on panel

Price:          $250.00

Size:            12″X24″

Artist:            Blake Wilkinson

just trying something new

July 12, 2015

Title:      Time After Time

Size:      18″X24″

Medium: oil on copper gilt cracked plaster on panel

Price:      $350.00

Artist:       Blake Wilkinson

Time is an illusion…

July 1, 2015

Title       Lake Marie

Size:       18″ X 24″

Medium:  Acrylic on Canvas

Price:       NOT FOR SALE

Artist:        Blake Wilkinson

Landscape art is a stretch for me, i am more comfortable with abstract and loose form, or sculpture in plasticine.  But my mother asked me to paint a landscape on canvas for her, so  i did. And i found out that i can. I will be painting more of these.

Emergence

January 20, 2010

TITLE: Emergence

MEDIUM: Cloth and Plaster on plywood

PRICE:  SOLD

SIZE: 79″h x 46″w x 17″d

ARTIST: K Hawkom Thomas

This particular piece was sold before the show opened. But neither the buyer nor I liked it on first glance. (for me it was because I didn’t want to deal with hanging it). After it was in its place on the wall Larry Cole and I were looking at it and i mentioned that it had taken on a rather inspirational quality for me. That I could see how it could symbolize humanity rising up from the primordial ooze of creation, or perhaps some form of baptism. All of a sudden Larry was buying it. (It’s down now awaiting packing and transport to the show in Texas, or to Larry’s home, I am unsure).  When I consider the work that went into this piece, not only the planning, and labor of the artist, but the sacrifice of time and comfort of the model who allowed herself to be covered in a sheet and molding plaster to be poured over her entire body, and the discomfort of breathing through a tube and the discomfort of the heat generated by the plaster setting, i am in awe of this piece. I doff my hat and bow to the lady that could stay still in that environment until the plaster set.

ART/FAITH

January 18, 2010

TITLE: Hold

MEDIUM: Oil on tulle on panel

SIZE: 97″ x 48″

PRICE: $3,000.00

ARTIST: Shannon White

This one is difficult to write about. Perhaps because Shannon is in the same age group as my daughters. Perhaps because she and her husband are friends of mine and i witnessed first hand some of the trial they experienced through Caden’s cancer and ultimate passing. As part of her prayer process she sketched the draft for the painting last year. As part of her grieving process she painted the picture. It is one of many works of art that she and Darin created (and are creating) in “The Healing Series”.

In this particular piece there is much spiritual symbolism. The heart in the upper right has a veil of tulle covering it bringing to mind the veil of the Temple that was “rent in twain” the instant Christ on the cross gave up the ghost. There is atleast one scripture that describes the human heart as veiled and nearly unknowable. The true reason she placed the veil over the heart is because the rules of the show are that all the creations must be white or mostly white, but the symbology behind placing a veil over the heart is a confession and a prayer. A confession of the veiled anger which is very much a part of the grieving process. A confession of not understanding that anger, or “WHY?” and a prayer of a grief asking for understanding and wholeness and healing. And none of those things are an event as much as they are a process.  Another symbol I see in this piece is the vertical “dripping” appearance of the vertical formation in the painting. In her discussion with Samuel Kho, she said that it needed some vertical accentuation and nothing more. It is difficult for an artist to put into words WHY we do things the way we do them sometimes. The symbology I see here is not only a symbol of weeping and tremendous sorrow, as tears flowing to the lake below, but also as prayers, flowing upward to God in Heaven and God’s comfort flowing down-to-her-ward and surrounding and embracing her in her grief. Finally the water covering her feet: in Jewish/Christian tradition there is the washing of the feet which in scripture represents the cleansing or refreshing of one’s walk. in a word–repentance–which is change, which requires a paradigm shift, a change in understanding and thinking. To come to the understanding that our children are not our own, that they are here on loan from God is a tremendous step. To understand the words that Christ meant when he said, “and he whosoever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my deciple”…  I like the words in another book “Knight in Rusty Armor”, at the end of the story the main character is clinging to the side of a high precipice and sees the inscription in the wall: “Though this universe I own, I posses not a thing, for I cannot know the unknown if to the known I cling”. To be truly free we must be willing to let go of everything that we know, believe and understand.

Art and artistic expression has been a part of mankind since the beginning, it is referred to in nearly every religion, and practiced in some way in nearly every religion. Art is an expression of faith, as well as a prayer as well as a praise… as well as meditation. The book says we are created in God’s image, part of that image is the ability and need to create art. We are God’s children, and that was brought home to me about 4 or 5 years ago when Shannon was making a portrait of me in pastel and I observed her sketching and drawing it out and ultimately finishing it. What I saw in that time was not Shannon White the adult, the mother… I saw Shannon the child come out to play with her colors. There is a very child like quality to the artist at work. And that is as it ought to be, after all we are God’s children.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

January 16, 2010

TITLE: Paradigm

SIZE: 48″ x 48″

MEDIUM: copper gilt gypsum; 2 step patina; artist oil; on panel

PRICE: $2,501.00

ARTIST: Blake Wilkinson

If i were a proper writer I’d write about the closing reception of the White Show and Samuel Kho’s thought provoking and interesting presentation. He talked about food and fine art. His presentation brought to light and language things that most artists probably already know intuitively such as how it is that cooking and the creation of meals is in fact art. Something I already knew, kind of. When I was 16 I got a job in a restaurant as kitchen help which is mostly dishwasher and general gofer. The owner had managed to hire a true european trained chef, (neat trick in Laramie Wyoming) every meal he served was a presentation. I once commented that his meals really shouldn’t be eaten, they should be hung on a gallery wall. George said that is how it is supposed to be, that dining is intended to be an experience not only for the olfactory senses, but visual as well. As with food, tastes vary for visual art. But I am not a proper writer, so i won’t in this post, write about the similarities of visual art and food.

After Mr. Kho’s presentation, and since he was the juror of the show, there was a discussion between artists and himself about why he picked their particular piece, and the artist was encouraged to share the inspiration and methodology of their creative endeavor. Methinks that I’ll write about Shannon White’s work in a later blog, because there is much to write. Besides for me the piece is heart rending and I don’t feel like crying tonight. Add to that: I don’t have a picture of it to present just yet, tomorrow I plan to help photograph each piece of the show before it is taken down and moved. So I hope to get an image and permission to use it then.

So I’ll write a few words about inspiration. What inspired me to create that particular piece? Truth be known: I was bored and wanted to just play around with textures and papers and processes and see what it looked like gilt with copper and etched with solutions. The piece in the show was originally aged copper leaf, umber and green. When Darin said my submission had to be white or mostly white, i thought of finishing another piece and gilding it in silver and doing a whitewash over it, but that turned into too daunting of a task because that piece begs to be copper not silver, and with greens, umber, ambers and coppers. So i snagged the one I called Tinman’s Laurels, and i changed it to Tinman’s Laurels in White by gilding it with composition silver (aluminum leaf) and painting it, then burnishing the paint back. I do pieces like that because my career consists of painting walls and buildings. Creating “faux” finishes is very much a part of what I do so I incorporate that into my artwork. So much for high inspiration and hoity-toit “what is the artist trying to express” (or “just what the hell was he thinking?” when he did this mess). Though much of my work is out of spiritual expression the Tinman series really is mostly experimentation and learning. That people like it isn’t an accident either, people like the special finishes I create, so I kind of figured I was on to something when I started that series.

The dragons… I’m not sure I have the ability to put into words the reason I gild dragons. Perhaps being a derelict  drunk living under a bridge has something to do with it. On one particularly cold winer night in Denver, (must have been around ’81 or -2), I was wondering the streets with nowhere to go and nothing to drink when I came across a large cardboard box behind a furniture store. I crawled inside it to get out of the wind and snow and discovered some candles, so i lit them for warmth (surprisingly it actually warmed the place up a bit). I couldn’t sleep because i hadn’t drank enough to pass out, and because of that the dragons came to visit and talk with me. Yes, that’s crazy… my life was a huge trainwreck and I was crazy. Alcoholism is crazy. And alcoholics are crazy. Anyway I have a propensity to feature dragons in my art. God knows I’ve seen (and talked to) a few.

OF GASBAGS AND TELEVANGELISTS

January 14, 2010

I miss the days of my youth, when I was so cocksure of myself and I was so saved and christianized that I could pass arbitrary judgement on those around me and the rest of the world. And I could rationalize it all by quoting Bible scripture to support my many and wise and righteous views…if only the rest of the world would agree with me then all would be saved.  Something happened to me since those days of my child hood and early adult hood…I grew up (you might try that Pat, it isn’t as bad as it’s cracked up to be). So the powerful and majestic televangelist Pat Robertson said that the earthquake in Haiti was because God was finally getting around to getting them for making a pact with the devil some 200 years ago. yea god. you go get ’em god. rah rah sis-boom-bahhhhhh humbug. Now he’s backpedaling and saying he thought it was Hades that got all shook up… oh come on Pat, even I could do better when I was a homeless drunk talking to dragons in a cardboard box during those cold colorado winter nights. Hades was never ruled by the French (now THAT is an IMAGE!) And the denizens thereof didn’t revolt against the French. (There is yet another image). Besides, Hades, if it even exists at all, isn’t a place subject to earthquakes seeing as how it is not of this earth. Grow up rev. own your screw-ups, admit you don’t know as much as you want the rest of the world to think you do. Quit lying. Drop the facade. Everyone wants to call fire down from the heavens like Ezekiel did,  but no body wants to live in a cave in the wilderness.

The Book says: “…we rejoice in tribulation, knowing tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed for the love of God which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us…” I’ll let you get out your own concordance and Bible and look it up for yourself.  Earthquakes, terrorist attacks, tornados, hurricanes, the passing of loved ones, and all the calamities that befall us do in some way work wisdom, grace and compassion into our hearts and being if we let it. We are not to judge calamity, nor are we to run from it. And i’m not foolish enough to say that we ought to like it. But a wise man once advised me that there is no avoiding calamity and that I ought embrace it and be grateful for it, for it would pass. See, that’s another thing about this world. Everything passes.  Says so right in the Bible, you can’t hardly turn a page where somewhere on that page it says “and it came to pass” no where does it say “and it came to stay”…it’s always passing. and calamity will pass, perhaps not soon enough, but it will pass.

IMAGE TITLE: Phoenix 9/11

Medium: coppergilt gypsum on masonite panel, oil

Price: NFS

Artist: BLAKE WILKINSON

QUANTUM MUDD PI

January 13, 2010

Title: Quantum Mudd Pi

Size: 25″ X 19″

Medium: Copper gilt gypsum: anaglypta; oil: on masonite panel

Price: Donated to Lawrence Art Auction a few years ago, i don’t remember what I valued it at or what it went for.

Artist Statement: Artistic creation and expression are how I connect with the Maker of galaxies, for if He is the Creator and if I am made in His image, then a part of that image is my ability and desire to create.

Artist Statement on “QUANTUM MUDD PI”: God is without time, and not limited by space. Time , time itself, the gestalt of time, does not pass though we experience the passage of time, it is we who are doing the passing, not time itself. The issues we experience in this life, are really not a big deal when considering the big picture. Now I have no words to explain my understanding, hence the picture(s) this is why I am an artist. What I’m trying to say is: God is outside of time and space, and consecutively also in time and space.  That is the reason I blend texture, color, and metal into abstractions. To express my meditations and communicate my understanding. It is simply my desire to express meditation. No one can presume to understand another’s meditations, for meditation is the deep and personal communion with the Maker of galaxies. It boggles my mind that in this infinite universe there are galaxies ad infinitum, and things unimaginable and incomprehensible to our minds. And certainly beyond words.

PARADIGM BRIDGE

January 12, 2010

Eddyville Trestle, watercolor, 32″ x 14″, NFS,

Artist: Dori Lewman

My lovely and talented wife painted this several years ago. She’s a genius with watercolor, I find it a most unforgiving medium which is why I use oil on copper leaf.

My own son crossed over about 4 years ago. (or was it 5?) He was murdered, shot three times through the head by a man with a belly full of booze and a heart full of anger. And that could have been me. It could have been me that got shot long before my son was even conceived. It was Spring of 72, before Jakan’s birth I think, I had a job flipping burgers at the Munchies hamburger stand several blocks from the commune. I remember it was payday, and i so wanted to stop at the bar next to Munchies and cash my check and have a few. It was difficult to go straight home but I did. I remember walking up the driveway and smelling booze and seeing a very drunk man talking with brother Bear (he wore a smokey bear hat, hence the tag). The bear always had good things to say to people and I stopped for just a second to hear what the bear was saying to the guy. As I turned to continue on into the compound I found myself looking down the wrong side of a loaded Smith and Wesson .38. The guy asked me what i’d do if he blew my brains out right there. I’ll say right here, my life did NOT flash before my eyes….I remember waiting for just that to happen but it didn’t. I told him that if he shot me, the bullet would enter the front of my head and take my brains out the back and leave a mess on the wall behind me. And the battle would be over for me, (and part of me wanted him to pull the pin, so i wouldn’t have to live with that insane gnawing of wanting a drink, it was really a battle to pass by that bar earlier). But that he on the other hand, would be left here on this planet, to face whatever consequences there were to face, knowing that he had ended the life of a man that had done him no harm. And he just stopped. He raised the gun skyward and released the cylinder and allowed the 6 rounds of .38 special hollow point ammunition to land at my feet. He handed the weapon to me. I picked up the bullets and put them in my pocket and walked him to his car where i placed the gun in the trunk of his car. I kept the bullets and carried them around for years, loosing them along with everything else in a backpack i left under a bridge in San Francisco thinking i’d return for it. (I was on a toot having just divorced wife number one, it was 1980).  Sheth was alot like me… the day he got shot i don’t know if he had been drinking, I do know he didn’t have a weapon. And i do know he drank like his old man. And I know if he hadn’t started drinking yet, he was desperately wanting to.

And i was much like my son’s killer. Life wasn’t fair and I was mad at God, and i couldn’t go a day without booze. The only difference is that I wasn’t one to point guns at people. I didn’t go anywhere with the idea that I was going to shoot somebody. I left the guns at home. But it could have been me doing some years behind bars for doing something really stupid if things had been just a hair different.

And I spell the name of my son “Sheth”, which is short for Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, (the son of Saul), whom David loved. The second book of Samuel. Chapter 9.

I don’t have the word to describe my feelings and thoughts here. I am not a victim, nor is/was he. At the same time we are victims, as is the killer. I’ve walked through the grief, and have forgiven. I’ve forgiven myself, I forgave Sheth for being too much like me and for getting himself killed. And I’ve forgiven his killer, who as far as I know is still unrepentant. And i visit forgiving again and again and keep myself, my son, and my son’s killer forgiven. See, God has forgiven and it’s a done deal as far as he’s concerned, it’s my heart that will hurt and me that looses sleep and me who will suffer if i don’t keep people forgiven…that’s the bridge. to forgive. and that’s the paradigm shift. to stop being the sad victim, the sorry (former) drunk. to forgive and be forgiven. and be free.

PARADIGMS AND SHIFTS THEREOF

January 11, 2010

“Wherefore seeing we are encompassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside the sin and every weight that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith”. This image will have to do. When Jakan Boaz Schoenstien died it was sudden infant death syndrome. i think it was about the spring of 1972, and i was living in a commune in Fresno California. The picture i drew then was of a stick figure wearing laural leaves sprinting away from a pile of trash and weights, I drew the whole figure of a little guy wearing a porkpie hat sprinting along side of him, in the hatband i printed the word “patience”, they were looking at and running toward a rainbow. It may seem callous and egocentric talking about images when discussing the death of children, i don’t mean for it to be. The imagery is important. To run with patience the race, to face adversity, and the pain of loss, and discover the well of courage and faith (in retrospect) that is in oneself and thereby connect with God.

About Jakan: that infant was beautiful. And I mean it. He was gorgeous right out of the chute so to speak, I know this because the midwife who delivered him brought him out for all to see immediately after he was born. Babies are  all red and wrinkly and their heads are misshapen, and they are usually very upset and screaming, and he was doing a fair amount of hollering, but he was really beautiful: light complected, not all red, wrinkly some and he had a head full of black fine hair, and a very cute little face. The only child I can honestly say was beautiful at birth. (it even took my own children a couple of weeks to shed the “birthing looks” and pretty up). But that kid… he was pretty right then. And 30 days after his soul entered his body in that first gasp of air it left his body in the night while all were asleep. Vic and Nan mourned and grieved and had the support of the group in the commune, but there is no comfort for that kind of loss. A parent simply must walk through it one step at a time, one day at a time. No one “gets over it”, grief is a process and it includes anger and that includes being mad at God and that is o.k. He is big and he can handle it. We don’t stay mad, but we mustn’t deny the anger when it is there. And the WHY? The answer to WHY? that answer is given on a need to know basis, and we don’t need to know… and i don’t like that and God didn’t ask if I liked it… He does not need my permission.

Life after the passing of Jakan continued, Vic and Nan remained in the commune and the days turned into weeks, and the weeks, months, and the months, years. The Schoenstiens had a little girl and she grew up a happy healthy well adjusted person i presume. The communal life ended for us all in 1977. The last I saw of Vic and Nan they were living in Fresno, most of us who had lived in the commune were bound for divorce, i don’t know what happened with Victor and Nancy.  My life became somewhat a train wreck for a while. (and perhaps it still is, who really knows these things).

Our children are not our own, they are given to us “on loan” as it were, for God’s devine purpose. We love them, we raise them, we support them, and sometimes we bury them and sometimes they bury us. This is how life on this planet is. This is somehow in God’s plan and design which is perfect, and which we do not understand. And He doesn’t tell, does He?