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Why I do what I do

This website will give you a glimpse into my work as an artist,  community builder and activist. I have been negotiating the world through the lens of a creative entrepreneur for the last two decades. It's been a wonderful journey with a lot of learning and collaborating with people I deeply respect.
In the coming years, I believe that creative thinkers will be crucial to document, stitch, hold and present the world. We are at the very edge of collapse on one side, and of a future that can spin out into unimaginable wonders on the other. I believe we can get to the happier side by working together!

Completed: Flashlight / Snakes & Lotuses

January 23rd, 2008

Flashlight 1 | Oils & Acrylics on Canvas | 12″x12″

Flashlight 2 | Oils on Canvas | 12″x12″

Snakes & Lotuses 2 | Acrylics on Canvas | 10″x12″

Click on the below image to view the sketches:

Girls, these are the completed works. With Flashlight 1 I was using the symbolic forms of snakes and lotuses (tulips my mom says). With Flashlight 2 I was trying to work in my poems in a non-obtrusive way. With S&L 2 I converted the Madonna figure into a self portrait study, which immediately felt more true to the idea.

Also, here are some thoughts along the way:
1, Objects can tell stories
2. Self portraits can tell stories
3. Blurring between depicting a physical reality and depicting an emotional reality is interesting
4. When looked at as a series – the human subject can be objectified by placing it in a similar context as an object. The converse is also true
5. The female gaze on a female subject might be an interesting view-point (but certainly done before?)
6. Oils restrain spontaneous movements in different directions, but enhance a more thoughtful approach as compared to acrylics
7. mediums influence the way a story is told in a subtle way

Well those are my lessons for the past weeks. I am eager to go off on a self-portrait trip. For some reason I think this will help me take this idea of Snakes & Lotuses further.


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  • Hey Arch, I think I said pretty much what I wanted to when we spoke yesterday. I like the self portrait a lot. I think that you’re starting to hit on something there. It feels more “on”, and personal. I love the fact that you’ve included your hand. It kind of makes the painting.
    I can see where you’re trying to go with the flashlight series, and I think it will help you to decide whether you want to go literal with the work, or more symbolic. I think you have to ask yourself some questions – like what the flashlight means to you. Do you have to have the literal form? Is that more important than the words that are concealed behind the flashlights? Right now, it seems like you’re caught up on the flashlight image itself, and less on what it means.
    I think these studies that you are doing will definitely help you answer these questions along the way.

  • Oh, the sketch book is great. I love the drawings.. the way you have captured yourself. I love the line quality. I think you have the development for a series right there.

  • pooj – thanks a ton for your pointers and encouragement :)
    i have been thinking very seriously on how to reconcile the words, sketches and studies into a cohesive painting. im currently working on a self-portrait with snakes and lotuses and words. will post up where ive reached on wednesday – but im excited. i do think that im on the right path. i hope this is not a dead-end.