Potential

Updates here are getting more and more interesting. I am happy to say that I am getting acclimated to my graduate school experience while I am studying library and information science. The field stretches, as I am learning, into librarianship, curatorship, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions including the arts. I am working somewhere in between all of these categories. I think I would like to start working at a library and then possibly for an institution of my own creation that looks at knowledge, awareness and art as catalytic and transformative elements in life with a mission statement that says art can be the craft of life.

If you are not already, please come and join my newsletter through the link on this site. I very much enjoy collaboration and learning with others. I have recently redone the website here to reflect the philosophy that I am dealing with that says how art can be life. I came up with a term Life Art as a way of describing it. That term may be in use somewhere in the world but I have not seen it yet.

My ideas and vision regarding all of this, the website, the Instagram feed, the blog, the YouTube channel and so forth are in flux but they are united by this sense that art can be life and that life can be art. I am thinking about writing a book that will be all about this progression of art merging with life over the history of art with particular attention paid to the last hundred years. The book will also tell of practical actions and practices that can be taken to live this understanding for a full and abundant life.

I am working on some longer form posts that may make it to Medium or a talk I give locally of some kind. Not sure yet. I think writing this all down is going to be the best though, to get the whole story of my own with the story of the philosophical idea as it is in development and the power to help folks in the present and future. It is essentially a new story and shares a lot with mindfulness but goes further. It shares with manifesting, visualization and maybe even a kind of secular prayer. As I have said before we can paint with reality now. That is what Life Art is all about. I am inspired by Alan Kaprow forming Happenings and doing research into the merging of life and art. I am going to start collecting all of the instances from throughout art history with attention paid to the last hundred years as a way of laying out the story of this development.

I am so grateful for these blog posts. They really are my salvation in a way. And right now I am just writing from the heart about the projects I am involved with and the ideas that I am working with. It is starting to get interesting now after what is turning into years of research, practice and thinking in regards this burgeoning field or lifestyle of art as life. I still love saying it, Life Art. I think there is a ton of potential.

Art Life Art Life Art...Life

I am writing more freely now. Writing feels comfortable. I think I will do more with this blog. Blogging seems like it might have passed out of the contemporary lens but I feel drawn to write here and this seems like a good way to just write and sort of make the work, my life, as I go through affirmations and realizations that arise in the the writing.

I am going deeper into my vision with my grad school work and feel really quite excited about the possibility of all of my work coming more and more in line, focused, channeled. I feel like the many disparate facets of the work are working more in tandem now. I worked through calling my brand, which is not a brand, simply my name Jon Keppel. It is work to become a voice for good in the world, simple goodness in the face of so much misinformation and non-truth.

I am working with two names for identifying a site/movement/concept within my thinking these days as well. Those names are AKA (which stands for Awareness, Knowledge, Art and/or Also Known As) and The Undulating Nexus. It is a way for me to be a part of the art world. The one that has been around since the 60’s or so. And also the art spirit that has been going on since the cave paintings of Lascaux and similar creative acts in deep history and prehistory. I have started to call my conception art life as a continuation of the term art world as it was coined by Author Danto. I saw recently that David Lynch made a film called The Art Life. I have that currently ordered through the library. I feel like after watching the preview that it is not at all, meaning not all of what I am looking at when I use those words but it could be a significant part of it.

I used the AKA in part to bring some humor into my life which is my work, within me, my self, which is the work. I wonder very much is there anyone else out there doing this? Is there anyone living their entire life as art? And if so what is that like for them? How would our art, our lives be different and how might they be the same?

I think sometimes of having a show at a local art site but then I think more readily that I might like to start an art site and have conversations with people there as art. Simple conversations about people’s dreams or whatever they want to talk about, just meeting people, conversing. Sharing knowledge and experience.

I have had a vision since I went in I think 2018 to the Armory Show in NYC. The vision is that at the fairs out there the live programs of talks and panel discussions basically switches spots with the huge warehouse of physical space made for things on walls. Nothing against things on walls but what if they switched where at the biggest art fairs out there or biennials or whatever kind of art gathering or otherwise you can imagine the talking person to person was done in the booths with artists there talking about their ideas and lives. What if the conversation, the knowledge that was shared, the experience and emotion was the art so to speak. What if it was like TED but face to face where the artist sat with you in each booth and told ideas and knowledge face to face, eye to eye, sharing physical space. Groups of people could crowd around or it could be individual sessions one on one. There could still be talks and panel discussions. And then in a much smaller space, like 1/16 of the overall area there would be things on walls. What would that all be like? I wonder. I think it could be really cool.

Just something different. Something new. Something fresh.

Also I think many times what would such and such idea be like in outer space? Person to person or transpersonal art is also good for the environment as there is no remainder of things. Talking with the heart, mind and soul.

AKA

I am super inspired with the website right now. I spent some time reading through older blog posts and got just as inspired as when I wrote them. Today I am restructuring the website to reflect the current understanding that I have been working on in my life which as you probably have heard many times now is..that art can be the craft of life. I simplified the website consolidating much of the conventional art of my own with the idea that I could invite others to share their work on the site as well acting as a kind of umbrella for work being made in a very contemporary vein. I also have put a section called AKA which stands for Awareness, Knowledge, Art or Also, Know, As. It’s a bit of humor something that has been much needed in this realm I have been working on and in. That realm is of course life itself.

I have also started to express a library here as a part of this site. I have not yet had any kind of funds to do a separate website for these new ideas. AKA is supposed to be an idea that can act as a new art site eventually in brick and mortar but also and perhaps more importantly as a movement for art being the craft of life where the whole artist is treated well and good. It is art as wellness as much as anything else. I still have The Art Fire running which is a social network for folks who are artists, by life or profession, conventional and unconventional. This is an unofficial and non-profit endeavor that I am doing for the betterment of all people everywhere. I do not have infrastructure to lend books at this time but the books included in the library here are ones that I have read and focus in at the intersection between art and life which when zoomed in close enough becomes everything.

I hope to really focus in on what it is I really want to do in my life now and use everything I have learned to be the person I truly am, thrive and help others. I continue my own practice of reading and meditation daily. At the moment I am reading a lot of audio books about mindfulness, art and so forth. My meditation practice is ranging from 3 to 30 minutes a day. These two practices mixed with good sleep, eating and exercise habits are absolutely changing my life for the better and I want to be able to share that good energy with others as I go along in my life. I am sure not everyone will relate to the idea and practice that art can be the craft of life but I do think, know and believe that it is relatable to everyone in the end. We are all always creating just by being alive, we help to make the world, we help to bring it into being, we manifest, we dream, we think, we breathe. Our heART pumps and we are brought to life, in life, ever-becoming, doing and being simultaneously.

The work here starts with the idea that art can be the craft of life. It looks at mindfulness as contemporary art. It looks at something I am referring to as art life as a continuation of what has been known as the art world (as pronounced by Danto). Art life finds art everywhere and in everything, in every person, as every person, in life itself. The idea of making conventional art that goes towards exhibits is still there but it stands as a facet of a much deeper and broader understanding of what art can be and has become and is becoming. It is the full breadth of art unlocking for betterment, peace and humanity. This art of our times will address and engage through awareness with current technology like A.I. (artificial intelligence), DNA editing, virtual reaility, augmented reality, and much more. It will address issues of our time like climate change, global relations and technological disruption. It will also incorporate the good-natured art that one wants to make just for the sheer pleasure and joy of it regardless of what current world trends, issues, concepts and challenges exist as a way of honoring the liberation of sheer creativity in us all.

I hope you will join me in this endeavor. Come join The Art Fire. Come sign up for the newsletter. Read a blog post. Get inspired by one of the many books that will be referenced in the library. Come to a Meetup once they begin. Start to practice art as the craft of life in your own life and unlock the truly awesome human potential that we are born with and always have with us. Take time to savor a meal, dream deeply and with vigor, walk calmly in the fresh air and come to life in all it has to offer. Don’t just be the artist of your dreams, be the artist of your life!

Rising Within

It seems very much to me that there is so much one could occupy their mind with. All of this work that I have been doing which deals with reading, listening to podcasts, watching TED talks and so forth and then making constructive creative connections in the mind and heart, has been about being the artist I feel I was born to be. I get how to listen and to pay attention are two exceedingly important traits of the artist now. We are all always creating just by being alive, just by breathing. That is the genius that we all share. The absolute mystery of it all, at all times. The beautiful part is that we all have this innate instructive reasoning at our disposal to a certain extent. It is the content of breath in a manner of speaking. In this sense then my art is the whole and small of my life. It is exactly where my life and life itself meet. I have made my own life the work of my life. I am the art. I think we can all do this if we want to. To make our life be the art we make or co-make is to live in the world at hand summoned by a good within. My work has been about accessing presence within myself and the present in the world so that the two can come into being as an one. I use love, humility, wisdom, grace, gratitude, care, innate goodness and peace as guides in this endeavor.

Musings and Care

I just want to chime in here. It has been awhile. Not too long, but a bit. I am starting into my graduate studies now. It’s hard because I don’t know if anyone reads these transmissions. Then again I guess none of that really matters if I approach this in the right way. I write for me. I write to share also.

It is important to me to say we have to keep thinking about the planet and our connection to it. It is important for me to say how we must stand up to Trump and be the face of good in the midst of his ugly charade. We must find the light within ourselves and scatter it all around.

I am listening to a sound artist named Jana Winderen. The piece is called “Out of Range.” It is made with bat calls including other sound sources. I think it is really good aesthetic stuff but at the same time. Oh and also I should say I read the first 10 or so of some art world people speaking to what is contemporary in art.

The thing is I want to help myself have a better life so that I can be in a position to help others. The art world can eat you up. And you can eat up the art world as well. But beyond all that, I thought, kind of in a John Cage sort of way, about why or how is sound put forth as an object of focus be it this piece by Winderen which is really gorgeous or the Jonas Brothers? What is sound without an in stream, context, a multidimensional context coming from many autonomous sources from many different directions in space.

That brought me back to art as life. I am still doing this art as life thing. I just can’t go into headlong the seemingly trap of sound as art and the manner of presentation of any kind. Have it unfold organically in space, in time as a part of lived reality. As an aspect fine art presentations are a part of the life flow but it seems to me very important to not go into that aspect or element as if it were the whole, because it is not.

This piece is really good though but it seems decadent to make too much of a hobby of this sort, for me anyway. I appreciate the abstract unconventional conventional manner of it. Also I have to say that, as I have said before, if one follows the trajectory laid out by Marcel Duchamp (beginning of last century) and John Cage (middle of last century) the beginning of this century, in my opinion is life as art, art as life dealing through living with notions of the planet and society and culture. Conventional art like sculptures and paintings in exhibitions will and should go on but just not as indications of the historical development of Western fine art. In fact it seems very much that that narrative has dissipated and become infused into the very life flow we all share.

I do think conventional practice should certainly continue to go on and thrive. Just because Western fine art has come to an end in a conventional sense should not mean that conventional practice should not be used as expression and communication. In fact now that I think of it, conventional practice may for the first time really surface in all its many splendor without the institutionalization and matrix of the art world. Its a fine time to make good spirited art of any kind. Peace.

No to Trump

This post is to affirm my rejection of Trump and his dehumanizing agendas.  I feel more and more that we each must speak up and so I am taking the time to do that here.  From what I have read and learned Trump has gone against the idea that climate change is real and needs to be addressed.  I reject that misguided viewpoint and affirm that we must do all that we can as a people to address climate change.  Also, Trump has talked disparagingly about people based on race, intelligence and gender to name a few.  That is wrong and we should not accept that kind of bad talking from a supposed leader.  This country is better than all of the hate that Trump is helping to incite.  In the end we are one race, the human race, one family, the human family and share this same beautiful planet as our home and heart.  Take some time to honor simple goodness in your life to counteract this ugly hate machine that Trump is helping to produce.  We are better than this.  Love will conquer all.  Love is the answer.  Peace.

We Rise

This is going to be the first of what is hopefully many more messages to come.  I say first because I am going to begin here getting into how I believe that we all must stand up to Trump and Trumpism in the best possible ways.  Writing this blog post is how I am beginning.  We all know how lousy Trump is when it comes to human civility, respect and compassion.  He is bad at all of those perhaps lacking them completely.  The thing is we can rise up in our own lives.  We definitely have to vote him out of office and that is probably our biggest chance to have an impact.  But beyond that we have to continue to cultivate in ourselves the love, respect, civility, compassion and hope for folks and ourselves even as Trump is doing so much damage.  Trump needs to be removed from office and replaced.  We all know that.  But in the meantime we have to allow for our innate goodness to shine through, our resolve and our tenacity, our patience and dignity.  We are people of love, a global community, a human family.  Resist!

Help Yourself

This one may be a long one.  We’ll see.  Firstly, thank you for reading this.  It is a great joy of mine to be able to share good ideas with others, ideas that have helped me and which I believe can help others.  I begin here with an idea that I picked up from the buddhist monk Mingyur Rinpoche who shares in his 2019 book In Love With The World.  He summons the memory of Gandhi in posing it.  Mingyur Rinpoche says be the change you want to see in the world.  Help the world by helping yourself.  That is so special and poignant and true and good I believe that I am going to put a space here to signal a pause for the reader to consider, one that can truly allow that sentiment to sink in.





I urge you to go back and read that sentence again.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Help the world by helping yourself.  I mean that is truly poignant and I am thinking about making that my motto for the next 6 months or so, maybe much longer, years or even a lifetime and so on.  I will be turning 40 in September.  I am only a few years younger than Mingyur Rinpoche.  He has had a ton to teach me.  The idea that the essence of meditation is awareness is a very big and important idea that I learned from Mingyur.  The ideas that one can do formal meditation and informal meditation where formal meditation is a sitting practice for example where one sits for ten to twenty minutes and focuses on their breathing.  Informal practice is where the fruits of that meditational sitting practice are infused throughout the day in every aspect of life.  


That was a part of my own revelation about art being the craft of life as well.  I had come up with that through conversations with family and friends but it really came to light in learning from Mingyur via online videos and books.  I have to say at this juncture how pivotal the internet has been to my learning.  Currently I am learning to be an all around knowledgable person on a vast cross section of present day issues and topics.  These include but are not limited to AI (artificial intelligence), DNA editing and CRISP, autonomous cars, climate change, the geo-political nuclear scene, knowledge, consciousness, evolution, faith, inclusivity, peace and many many other topics.  


I discovered Mingyur online and really have received so much learning from his videos.  His format is similar to others that I have learned from online informally including Brainard Carey (art) and Ashely Turner (yoga, psychotherapy).  Also I have learned from countless TED talks and related content.  So much knowledge in this way.  Good knowledge.  Useful knowledge.  I see so much promise in the TED community and it is not something you live in.  You have your own life of course.  But it is a seemingly indefatigable resource from which to gather new knowledge which has good hearts and character at its core.  And that is so important.  That is why I love TED so much.  It is almost like they have taken the addictive quality of media online and used it for good purposes to make us smarter and better people.  Thank you Jesus.  And it is not at all religious either which I find another plus.  


I am also learning a TON from a gentleman named Rob Reid who I learned of through TED as well.  He has talked about drones, synbio, Fermi’s paradox, AI and much much more.  As he puts it his programs are to bring the listener to knowing a top percentile of something important.  That is so key.  That is what I feel like the internet has the capabilities to do in general.  So much good content out there.  If we focus in on that good content the bickering that sometimes erupts fades away.  


I am seeing more and more how this idea and practice of helping yourself in order to help the world is so very important.  It is about concentrating in on the things that you can control and really growing your own garden so to speak.  Cultivating your own dynamic potential.  You don’t need to wait for anyone to do that.  That is what my entire revolution of art as the craft of life is all about.  I do believe that we are all artists and that our lives, ourselves are art.  This is so apropos with things like DNA editing coming to the fore along with artificial intelligence how we will be looking for meaning outside of regularly scheduled work.  Empathy, compassion, joy come to mind here.  I think of Ashley’s saying how comparison is the thief of joy.  I always remember a director in my local art world telling me how my paintings would never be in museums.  That kind of down-talking is exactly what we don’t need more of.  We need more empathy.  More compassion.  More inclusivity.  More understanding.  The art world as it has been set up has a tendency to allow for individuals to arise and seemingly have power over the people that want to make good art from their heart and also be relevant in the present day art world.  That power is ultimately an illusion.  I have seen it vanish for myself first hand.  There is an art in us that no director or curator or even other artist can take from us.  We are enough as local musician Angie Haze says.  That is the key to all of this.  That is in part why I have the community that I set up called The Art Fire going.  It is a place to share conventional art but also art as life and talk about our innate value as artists (read as people).  We are all artists.  My aunt helped me to see that.  A few times now.  I also understood it for myself and I see that when that is the case, meaning that we acknowledge it we are freed from any sort of bondage that may be lurking in our lives or subconscious that are simply remnants from outdated power structures in the art world and life itself.  


It is not about power it is about empowerment!  It is not about angles it is about agency!  It is not about ego it is about presence.  Eckart Tolle has taught me so much via his books on tape that tell of the power of now.  An online blurb I saw recently also intimated the power of presence saying that when we are focused on the past too much we are depressed and when we are focused in on the future too much we are anxious but when we are in the present we are at peace.  This is so important.  This is the key to mindfulness as taught and shared by Jon Kabat Zinn.  Being present, with attention, on purpose and non-judgmentally is what mindfulness is all about.  This too is where art as the craft of life emerges as a truth.  As a power within us to be blossomed.  It frees us.  Art as life frees us from the stricture of thinking only or primarily in terms of exhibitions.  We already have the art within.  It is in our breath and is the very work I believe that Kabat Zinn, Tolle, Turner, Carey and Puddicombe are working with.  It is what I have been seeing with this connection between presence and getting to what is the very most contemporary in art.


It was my goal to get to what is absolutely the most contemporary in art and I did this through going to traditional exhibitions locally and nationally which also had international works displayed.  I read and read and read.  And thought and thought and thought.  And felt and felt and felt.  And let go in so many ways of what was not serving me in any way shape or form.  I always wanted to be like my heroes like Van Gogh and Picasso and I realized that in order to do that I would have to be unlike them paradoxically because they were trailblazers.  In order to be like them I would have to blaze my own trail.  And blaze somehow without ego.  That is another revelation, that ego can be left aside.  We can keep self along the way and maybe a small amount of ego is healthy but all in all we can let go of always having to be right without losing our own individual platforms and perspectives.  Community is great but it is not everything.  We can’t just allow ourselves to be consumed in community.  It is so very important that we get to know ourselves, truly.  To spend time cultivating our own garden and sharing from what we find if we choose to do so.  I do think it is important to share what can help others.  But first as Mingyur is saying, help yourself.  I am doing that through this writing.  It is so very empowering and freeing to share this writing, these ideas, this knowledge with my friends and all who are truly looking to learn for themselves.


I am doing conventional practice still and there is a bit of hypocrisy there sometimes in that I talk so much about the death of the exhibition yet I still make paintings, why?  Well, it is because I have felt called to make art from since before I can remember.  It may be that one day we will have transformed enough to be doing more things with our energies than making statements in the forms of exhibitions.  As I think about it here I do see how exhibitions are important.  But what I really see as important is the voice of people being represented and we can do so much of that on our own now through in person meetings and online exchanges.  I don’t believe that you should live your life trying to be too perfect.  I still want to have a big beautiful show of my SSG work.  And from time to time I think about doing my lifework in the form of an exhibition just to see how my ideas would translate.  But the truth is I get so much more excited about it all when I think about how I can learn from people through TED for example, people from MIT and Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge and all kinds of other places beyond ivy league circles.  It is about the democracy of our life and world as global citizens.  The world is changing.  Big factors like Yuval Noah Harari has said are climate change, nuclear weapons and technological disruption.  Deep listening to programs like TED and Rob Reid’s After On podcast bring you to an understanding about relevant topics of our day like DNA editing, artificial intelligence, the preciousness of our oceans as they relate to climate change and so much other knowledge about are quickly changing world.  Crypto currency is another one.  We could take all of this information and make some exhibitions or we could live our lives as art.  All of it.  And really see how much we can cultivate and change ourselves in the process for betterment and right action.  There is so much potential in changing yourself for the better.  It is about transforming, transmuting and growing.  The internet is allowing us to learn, learn, learn.  It has been my contention that thinking about art as the craft of life with knowledge and awareness as key components can be a way in which we transform or blossom from our innate goodness into living goodness and keep goodness throughout all that we do.  Don’t try to be perfect.  Be you! 


I am grateful for this chance to learn about myself and help myself by sharing it here for others to read.  I am grateful to have a mind with which to read and write.  I am grateful for peaceful surroundings in which to work and I send good energy through thought and intentions to folks who are facing a storm coming in the south of the United States and also all the refugees in the world who are just trying to live a good life.  Blessings to all with a good spirit.  Love to all.  Peace.  Strength.  Hope.  Empowerment.  Agency.  Life.  Love.  Peace

The Gift of Learning

The delicate balance of beauty and nature is very strong with me.  I feel totally filled up by the depths of the source of the cosmos, as unnamable and awesome as it may be.  There are so many ways of thinking of reality.  People have taken it apart in so many ways through theory over the many years that humanity has been around.  I feel blessed to have a mind with which to apprehend and comprehend all of the majesty of thought.  I feel connected to being in this way also.  I have read the thoughts of Eckart Tolle and find a deep and profound truth in what he has to say.  At the same time  I check myself not to be too taken too much with any one person’s take on the universe or multiverse as it may be.  We are magical beings.  I know this to be true.  We are awesome, truly.  Our abilities are quite staggeringly beautiful and wonderful.  To not be taken away by this thought is to be able to live within the bounds of its beauty.  We can think.  We can move.  We can feel.  This is so very much, truly.  


I find also a truth in what Jon Kabat Zinn has to say about mindfulness.  Also in what Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche has to say about awareness being the essence of meditation.  I have so much to learn from each of these people.  Of course there is Ashley Turner as well.  And Brainard Carey.  It is all quite beautiful.  I feel lifted up and filled up by this writing as well.  I can see my personal library from here sitting on my humble shelf and it is very good.  I want to grow this library of learning and knowledge and growth and purpose.  I feel at ease in my conception of continuing to learn.


Art Life Manifesting

Hi Everyone. I am just so grateful for everyone and everything in my life. So blessed, truly. It is amazing what you can do when you begin to train your mind, heart and soul to be the very best you can be in all ways imaginable. Imagination is such a gift. I had a thought today that my painting is my life. I have said that before with different words, namely, paint with reality. But it is so true. My life itself is my art now. I still make conventional practice, meaning paintings on canvas, chorus/ verse music and video paintings and much more really. But beyond that I make my life as with poiesis. It is in everything that I do. The whole day. All day. Everything is art. I, myself, am art. The world, life itself is art. The profound and the mundane is art. And in that sense I am always sculpting, always tweaking, always adding a dab of sometimes metaphorical sometimes actual paint. That is what it is like to live art life. I find that I really am getting into gratitude, kindness, love, appreciation for the simple things while still keeping my imagination open to be captured by the big ideas of our time, new technologies and new knowledge.

i am currently exploring what it would be like to be released from the construct of the exhibition. Looking at what if all of what we do is art and we can live our art. If you are a conventional artist who does exhibitions then that is a part of your art, but my work is looking at what if art does not at all necessarily culminate in an exhibition at all. Every day is art. It is really quite wonderful. I am not sure if it helps to be a conventional artist or what to really appreciate this. Because for years I was training a pencil or brush and having energy channel through those instruments to enact art. Now breathing itself is art. Beautiful. Growing in the spirit of art. Serving in a way the spirit of art. Being the best me that I can be and going further in thought just as in science, knowledge and conventional practice. This could really open up a whole new expanse to see our lives as artists. It brings about the work that for sure could and i hope will span many life times and generations. It opens up an entirely new way of thinking about being creative. This conception shares an essence of gratitude of the practice of manifesting. We have the power, through an attitude of gratitude, to craft and co-craft our lives as art to be beautiful, know love and be absolutely brilliant in our discover of the mysteries of life and all its bounty. So blessed. Thank you so much for reading.

Art

Hi All. Just an update to communicate some things. I am continuing to share these ideas that I work with. Some of them come from me. Some from friends and family. Some from my reading and viewing of talks. Some are hybrids or multiple hybrids. The point is I am doing my art as the cultivation of these ideas and practice of life as art, art as life and so on. The website, which has highlights of my conventional practice is a start. I really get into the spelling so to speak of things in every blog post, Instagram post and paper that I write, every YouTube video. The content of those works, the ideas coalesce into something quite extraordinary I feel. That is the work. This is a lot of what I do. It is my art. I don’t really show much in galleries and so forth, not at the moment anyway. This website and other social media is the way that I do art along with just living my life, which is a big part of it as well.

Inspired

Hi everyone. So nice to write to you today. I know that there are not a ton of people following my work at this point. Truth is there might never be. That is not the point though really. Whether one person, a hundred people or ten hundred people tune in, it is really the privilege of a lifetime to even be able to write this. I am so grateful for my mind, my heart and soul. So very pleased to be able to come to you in this way and really share some good, good energy that I have. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be reaching people and know that some folks are tuning in. That would be cool as well. If you are out there and you are reading this please do “heart” this post so that I know you are out there. It really goes a long way. At the same time I realize that I am doing this for my own growth as much as I do it for others. They somehow become a one in the same pursuit. It is important to grow one’s personal garden and then share from that bounty.

There is a lot I have to say today. I am just filled with hope and possibility. You know I don’t always just have to talk about my own work. Other people out there are doing amazingly terrific things. I could go on and on about them all but I will leave it to them to communicate their wishes to you the reader. I do see how we can help each other along in our pursuits. It has to be genuine though I feel in order to really come to fruition in the right way. I like spreading the good word about people who are working hard at being good people and super artists. There is strength in knowing that we all have power and potential and that we can use it everyday to our humble advantage to make our lives and the lives of others a little bit better. Sometimes a whole lot better.

It is an honor that I am able to bring my ideas to the world through my blog here, the rest of my website, YouTube, Instagram. So many great outlets in the world. And I am grateful for it. I do my best, truly, to walk in gratitude every day. It is like a constant state of gratitude. Thankful for my family and friends. Thankful for my health. Thankful for my art. Thankful for my life. I mean wow, what a tremendous opportunity to some amazing extraordinary things OR NOT as long as you keep to love and kindness and so forth I don’t think you have to do much of anything at all. We don’t all have to go out and craft big humungous lives if we don't want to. We can live the life we want to live. Beautiful.

I like being a part of an ecosystem that is constantly growing and changing and coming to know itself better and better. I feel like watching the show Genius about the life and work of Albert Einstein gives me so much inspiration. See it is fine if I am a nobody to the world. Ultimately there is so much that can happen or not happen I feel that goes into what our lives become in the collective conscious. I am happy learning on my own and growing. It is a life wish of mine to make a significant contribution to the culture of my times. It is something I strive for but I also know that that may never happen and the true fulfillment comes from the learning and growing of my own life in my own unique way.

Humanity of Art

I’m on vacation this weekend looking at what to do. I guess there is a feeling of just wanting to be more than doing anything. I have it in mind though to try and get my music and sound work up on Spotify, streaming. I feel like as the days go by with my blog posting I become a writer more and more. That over the years now writing is piling up. I want to write more books but just as much I want to be delivering my ideas in as contemporary a manner as I can. For that it seems like podcasts, YouTube and Instagram are the best for that. I see how Yuval Noah Harari spent 6 years on his book Sapiens. Then my mentor Brainard Carey suggested it and since then I have read all 3 of his books (Harari’s) and gone deeper with my art as the craft of life theme.

Brainard is brilliant and there is a part of me that want s to move to Brooklyn and well but really no I just want to go deeper with the art that I have established for myself here. What I would really like to do is get in touch with more people from throughout the world via email or Skype and meet people that way because I live in a small town and have a calling myself to somehow make a significant contribution to the culture of my times. I have been waiting to spell that out for myself for a long time. Essentially it is very similar to what Marcel Duchamp did with his readymades. All of art changed. I see Duchamp, Warhol, Cage and a few others as being extraordinarily important. Where sound itself became music. Where every “thing” could be art. Where fame gets transcended with Warhol a la social media. These are the types of things I am thinking about and acting on these days.

As much as I grew up wanting to be alongside my heroes in art museums and through record sales I see now that to be like my heroes I have to be unlike my heroes because they were trailblazers and pioneers and so I have to do something different from them to be like them in a paradoxical way. For me this notion of art as the craft of life is just that a completely revolutionary way to do art for now and the coming future. It is like what Ashley Turner does for Yoga only I am doing it for contemporary art, meaning crafting our lives and even potentially our being. It is a way of doing art that grows out of what has so far been a lifetime of studying the artists who have come before me and having long meaningful conversations with among other people my aunt who sees everything as everything.

There is an unmanifested realm beyond any category that I think is available to us all at any time. It is just that for me, art has always been the way in which I understand the world. I think in some ways that I could grow beyond art as did Duchamp and Acconci. But at the same time I still paint from time to time and do a conceptual piece here or there. The truth though is that I think there is immense power in looking at yourself and your life as art and doing work with that. Reading and meditation are the two main ways in which I practice this kind of understanding. And the two statements that currently seem to sum up the goal or point is ENHANCING THE QUALITY OF LIFE (one’s own and in general) and also DEVELOPING UNDERSTANDING (one’s own and in the collective).

I do this blog and my Instagram and my YouTube videos and my meditations that I have begun to create and it is all about sharing the beautiful power of life to be an edifying journey of self discovery and love above all love. I am just one person in a small town but I know, absolutely know in my heart that I have connected with the spirit of the art world, truly. Through travel, study, conversation, practice and so much more and that what is coming out of a deep deep and profound love for the calling of art is to help art transform us, to let go of ego to be the change you want to be and see in the world. I will keep communicating through these channels because I know that the message is important, so important that as Angie Haze a local musician says, we are enough and how Eckart Tolle says you are not your life situation. There is something beyond all that. And you can tap into it at any time, especially through a meditation practice. As Harari says (and I am paraphrasing and continuing with interpretation of my own here), to know yourself objectively, to just focus in and explore the reality of your breathing, one cultivates the ability to see the whole more clearly as well to be able to tap into what is happening globally and understand! To connect and be able to take good action towards what it is we can be as a people and as a global community.

So many things that we face in the world right now in 2019, climate change, as Harari says, technological disruption, nuclear concerns, artificial intelligence. So many things. And I think, not only believe and feel, but think that we could learn to address these things as individual and as people when we come more fully to what it means to be human. In that way then art transcends itself. Everything does become everything and we are free to be individuals. To find community with all of humanity. Compassion and empathy as Amanda Palmer says. DNA editing comes to mind as another situation that we can learn to craft responsibly.

I need to learn more about the DNA editing but it is just a start to be aware of what is going on. We can really learn about life itself. And as art can be the craft of life so any conventional artist can learn to take care more and more deeply of themselves along the way while people who never thought of themselves as conventional artist may begin to paint and draw and all of that. There is a place where the world and art, the art world and the life world so to speak, just the world itself become one. Laura of Platasso talks about that. This is a coming of age story for humanity. Galleries and museums are not that far off from the caves of long ago. painted imagery on a wall in an enclosed space. That is wonderful and important but there is so much more and life is calling out that we come to understand what the next few chapters of the story of humanity will be.

A Message of Peace

I have so many thoughts going on right now. Looking to share some updates and ideas. Just had a lovely dinner, tomato soup, pieces of rustic baguette, bean salad, honey dijon chips, parsley potatoes and water. A warm chocolate filled butter croissant with fudge swirl ice cream. I started a large format painting tonight. Went through like five brushes. Settled on using two sort of in tandem. Want to start really treating this work like it is worth centuries meaning that my ideas or rather ideas that I help to facilitate can live on and are bigger than me and have societal value. It is freeing to be able to share this online authentically and genuinely. I have been going for something like Marcel Duchamp where an idea that I helped to birth became a signpost for a pivot in artistic thinking around the globe because it tapped into a subtle but very meaningful truth. I am talking about the urinal here. And how readymades absolutely changed art. By revealing a truth that anything can be art.

I want to take some time here to say how precious we all are. How valuable the human experience is. How valuable our lives are. How gratitude is so very important. Speaking your truth. Being true to who you are. Caring about the values that you feel strongly about. Love. Being. Strength. Peace.

I am working on a painting and music and thinking sometimes what it would be like to do more conventional art and continue conversing metaphorically or sometimes actually with the convention of an exhibition. But more than that I think about doing life as art. Living my life including conventional art, yes because I identify as a conventional artist as well, I paint and draw and write stories and make music but that is really just the bits and pieces of art. Art, I feel is so much more expansive than all of that even put together let alone on an individual basis. We art the art just as much as anything that ends up on a wall and so forth. We must take care of ourselves. And love ourselves. And each other for God’s sake. We are beautiful in our essence. We are strong and can overcome anything. We have innate beauty in us and strength and peace.

I am looking at becoming a librarian now. I can live my life as art in that way, work with knowledge and people. Continue to write. God know I have written, on blogs, in morning pages, in countless documents for myself and others, writing stories, poems, a book, comments online, so much writing. I am a writer. But just as much as I am an artist a builder is an artist too to paraphrase my aunt. And in my own words, cooks, engineers, tennis players, policemen and women, everyone is an artist. In that art can be the craft of life. No hate. We can transform ourselves into brilliant life improving, stress-free, ever-growing in the spirit of knowledge and love. Awareness raising. Consciousness raising. And firemen and women and teachers and construction workers they are all artists too. Art is a magnificent mystery. It is time we delve even further into its depths and enjoy the full range of its powers for the benefit of all. We are artists and we are art. Life itself is a kind of artist. This was hinted at by Duchamp and I am unpacking it further to share this message of peace and possibility. When we become the art our imagination can truly grow to new depths and heights and perhaps most importantly ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF OUR LIVES! Character building, strength, hope, peace, unity consciousness, getting through this, getting through all of this and caring, believing in ourselves and each other. Loving ourselves and each other. We are more. And we are fine just the way we are but paradoxically we can ever grow as well, grow in the spirit of life. The essence is the effect is the eventual. So much possibility. Believe in yourself. Be who you truly want to be in this life. Come to life fully and be who you are every day, every minute, every breath.

Discovery

I think I am just going to start doing this daily as a kind of log, kind of how I have done in the past but with a purpose of really growing in the spirit of my ideas about art as life. I think there is tremendous work to be done and life to be lived in those regards and I feel like it has been difficult internally for me to want to try and send my ideas to traditional publishers. I feel like I can operate better with being free here through my website and YouTube channel and Instagram to get ideas out there and across in a contemporary way.

It is kind of like it is a log of discovery. As I go along unpacking ideas I can take note and this can be a kind of ongoing journal open for public consumption. I may start a physical journal as well. But I really like the idea that these instances online through the blog and YouTube and Instagram stay online and are available to people looking to learn and grow just like I am doing.

I want to do a blog post a day. I want to do an Instagram post a day. And I want to be putting up YouTube content on a regular basis. Maybe 2 to 3 times per week. This is said out of a wish to do more learning and sharing of the awesome ideas that I am coming into contact with and what worth I can generate on my own in my own way as well as far as ideas go. It is about discovery. Check out my newest YouTube post coming soon called My Story May 17, 2019.

Whole

I am blessed to have this chance to write today, truly. So grateful for the opportunity to share the fruits of my labor, from research including reading many books, and articles to doing daily meditations unpacking what it means to me to be living life as art. For me it is about enhancing the quality of my life. I have learned from so many great teachers truly. I am coming into a phase now where I can do conventional practice and also enhance my daily life as well. Reading and meditation as I have mentioned are two pillars in that endeavor. Getting a bit of news, thinking mindfully about what I eat and being conscientious about good and timely sleep are also a part of it. Of course it is so much more than that. It is all of the little things. And the big things. And all in-between.

Update: May 15, 2019

I am super inspired today and want to share some of that very good energy. I am seeing more and more how I can help myself through reading and learning. And that as Mingyur Rinpoche says, help the world by helping yourself. I think that is so key. We have to love ourselves fiercely and tend to our own experience first. That sets the stage for everything else afterwards.

I am experiencing a kind of binding factor to doing a blog post a day along with an Instagram post a day. It is a way of bringing together all the good energy that I focus on in my studies in order to share it with others while giving me a way to formulate what it all means to me. These are updates of my inquiry into being but they also serve as a sounding board for anyone interested in similar themes: compassion, love, reducing suffering, awareness and so forth.

Sometimes these updates will be just about what I am doing that day, no big deal. Sometimes they will unpack ideas that I have had the privilege and honor to consider in recent times or at any time for that matter. I like the interplay between those two because that is how my life goes: thinking deeply sometimes while also learning to appreciate the precious present, its abundance and good energy in the sense of Eckart Tolle.

I like being able to cheer people on towards their best selves. I like helping people out truly. I like sharing in the abundance of the mystery in good ways.

Update: May 13, 2019

I am just writing from the heart today as I normally do. I am so grateful for the people in my life. Anyone who reads this blog or other content that I share is much appreciated. I do my best to try and give to the world something good and worthwhile. It is a blessing to have access to a computer and the internet and to have this amazing platform with which to share my own ideas. I do not take it for granted.

I would love if you have not already to sign up for the newsletter that I send out (about once a month). On there I give updates about what I am working on and so forth. This blog is kind of a semi-regular version of that as well. I am so grateful to have an audience. It is truly a blessing to be able to connect with people and share something special.

I still very much am pursuing the positive impact of art as the craft of life in my own life. Meditation and reading are the two big ways that I do that, along with conversations. So it is about knowledge, knowledge sharing and awareness or awareness raising. Those two together seem to work really well for enhancing the quality of one’s life as they put one in touch with what is going on in the immediate and farther away world.

I want to definitely make some new YouTube videos in this vein. To share the positive message about art being the craft of life which circles around wellness, mindfulness, knowledge and peace. I may even do one or two of those tonight. I also want to work a bit more on my large format painting that I have started. And for sure, play some guitar.

I hope your day is going really well. Thank you for reading this update. Be well. Be you!

A Longer Form Post

Hi again all! I am enjoying getting to share with you all these updates. It is helping me tremendously in feeling through where I want to go next with my life and work while also I hope sharing some good insight into my creative process and the art both conventional and as the craft of life that I am involved with. Doing the blog more frequently is a very good practice I find to keep me to my dreams. I hope it inspires you somehow to do the same for your dreams.

I am still thinking about getting some photos of my Instagram art made up to give away free at shows. Would any of you be interested in those? I hope so. They are pretty cool I think. They come from mostly a really good place with energy that comes through in the mundane nature of the imagery that coalesces to become something more when brought together.

Speaking of that. I am still working on trying to promote my song My Love with the lyrics video I put together. The imagery in that one is from my SSG series. I find that bringing together my different ways of working helps make a strong good feeling. I am planning now on having a show eventually of visual art that I will be calling S H A P E S. I hope to be able to show the video in its entirety that is used in the My Love lyrics video. I am also looking at doing a kind of installation with many smaller sculptures of varying sizes and perhaps colors. They will most likely sit on the floor. Then of course there are large format paintings.

I think while I have this chance that I will dig into a bit what this is all about for those of you who are interested. I am making work still for exhibition of a kind. In terms of being really, really present and making work that reflects my times I do that more with my conversations and YouTube videos that talk about art being the craft of life and issues we are facing like climate change and developments like artificial intelligence. For me talking through that and taking action based on awareness is what is most important to me in those regards. So for the most contemporary art that I do currently I do not procure exhibitions but find avenues to learn about life and raise awareness mostly through reading, talks and meditation.

I think it is alright that there is a bit of a contradiction in my practice. I have indeed written the essay The Exhibition is Dead. Since writing that I have tried to incorporate a sense of exhibiting still somewhat because I still feel called to paint but also because I want to be able to talk with people in the artistic community. Maybe one day there will be more to the art world than exhibitions as the primary device. I think that could be practically magical. Of course we can always keep exhibitions but I or rather and I feel that to do art anew though we can incorporate a new dimension to art thinking which is all about the craft of life itself. I want very much to schedule a book reading at a local book shop where I will read from my book The Art Flame. I almost wish that I could just read the entire thing. It only takes about an hour to read. And it is free for consuming on my website. That has been a way of being environmental and also forward thinking. No paper. And it is held in the backdrop of the rest of what I am doing. I believe that I talk about taking a break from galleries and museums in the book. I do think that is important. Even if one chooses to keep on exhibiting as a primary course of action I think it is almost like a retreat in meditational terms. Taking a break from the art world altogether is a beautiful thing. So there is that too.

Creative projects and life

Hi All! I am just continuing organically with blogging, Instagram, the newsletter and so forth. I have minimized some things here on the website for the time being. The past couple of months have been like a retrospective of all of the work that I have completed over my lifetime. Right now there is still a ton up on the site but it is not all of what I have done. This is for maneuverability’s sake. I am exploring as I continue to do all of the connections between conventional practice, which for me works with making songs on guitar and with vocals and making paintings. As far as crafting my life through art I am continuing to practice meditation and reading. I come back to the idea of lifework which is something I mentioned in the show statement for my exhibition of paintings and animations a few years ago now.

The whole thing is malleable. I think it is worth the exploration. I really don’t miss the conventional art world in comparison to the mind opening and heart expanding levels coming through via my meditation, reading and viewing of TED talks. That practice has been absolutely transformational in a very positive way. Nevertheless I am still called so to speak to paint a bit. It’s just that it is not the only way for me to enact art. Not at all. Nor is writing or music. There is more to the spectrum of art. Sharing ideas is the most fruitful I think and recently I have been doing that through YouTube. The work is my life. And my life is the art. Lifework is artwork. It’s a beautiful thing.

I am looking at applying or auditioning for TED 2020 as I continue to want to share this notion of art being the craft of life because I feel it has so much potential for positivity and change. I am looking at doing a book reading at a local bookstore and playing music at a local music venue. A few of them actually. I would like to put out the cassingle for my song My Love sometime soon. I am looking at getting professional packaging and labeling to go along with that. Ultimately it would be really cool to put out officially a ton of what I have created over the years. But it is a balance as always. I appreciate getting a chance to share all of this with you all. I get that it is so cool that we can share on this level with each other about our creative projects and lives.