Friday, April 28, 2017

The Prince & The Magician

Once upon time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three.
He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, he did not believe in God.
His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist.
As there were no princesses or islands in his father’s domains, and no sign of God, the prince believed his father.
But then, one day the prince ran away from palace and came to the next land.
There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name.
As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.
Are those real islands?” asked the young prince.
Of course they are real islands,” said the man in evening dress.
And those strange and troubling creatures?
They are all genuine and authentic princesses.
Then God must also exist!” cried the prince.
I am God,” replied the man in evening dress, with a bow.
The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.
So, you are back,” said his father, the king.
I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,” said the prince reproachfully
The King was unmoved.
Neither real islands, nor real princesses, nor a real God exist.
I saw them!
Tell me how God was dressed.
God was in full evening dress.
Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?
The prince remembered that they had been. The King smiled.
That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived
At this, the prince returned to the next land and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.
My father, the King, has told me who you are,” said the prince indignantly.
You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.
The man on the shore smiled.
It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father’s kingdom, there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father’s spell, so you cannot see them.
The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eye.
Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?”
The King smiled and rolled back his sleeves.
Yes, my son, I’m only a magician.
Then the man on the other shore was God.
The man on the other shore was another magician.
I must know the truth, the truth beyond magic.
There is not truth beyond magic,” said the King.
The prince was full of sadness.
He said, “I will kill myself.
The King by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.
Very well,” he said, “I can bear it.
You see, my son,” said the King, “you, too, now begin to be a magician.

-from The Magus, by John Fowles, pp.499-500

Monday, April 24, 2017

Create > Nature Journal

Create > Nature Journal Concentration Series

Goal:  Create a series of original visual statements based on your nature journal documents.

Concept:  Follow the prompts of each adventure.  Go outside to play, explore, document and be inspired.  After completing the initial outside adventure, make images and complete the writing activity.  Next, mindfully reflect on your experiences with gratitude.  Culminate each adventure by creating an original visual statement.  

Watch > Ben Saunders: Why bother leaving the house? >
Studio Activities:

Adventure 1:
Hike on a trail…
Make a map of your route with photos…
Tell a journey story…
Create >

Adventure 2:
Hug a big tree…
Document leaves…
Share a secret…
Create >

Adventure 3:
Turn over a rock…
Document what you find…
Describe the smell of the earth…
Create >

Adventure 4:
Find a seed pod…
Document patterns…
Make a prediction about the future…
Create >
Adventure 5:
Walk barefoot…
Document your feet & what is under them…
Write from your feet’s vantage point…
Create >

Adventure 6:
Chase a butterfly or look for bugs…
Make close-up photos of insects…
Pen a poem…
Create >

Adventure 7:
Stare at the stars and moon…
Document the night sky…
Invent a myth…
Create >

Adventure 8:
Find and follow an animal’s tracks…
Document the tracks…
Narrate an animal’s conversation…
Create >

Adventure 9:
Watch a storm…
Expose the darker side of Mother Nature…
Confront your fears…
Create >

Adventure 10:
Find a spider web…
Photograph a spider web…
Weave a captivating mystery…
Create >

Adventure 11:
Imagine things in the clouds…
Capture wide open spaces…
Make up a fairy tale…
Create >

Adventure 12:
Listen to a bird…
Photograph colors, patterns or birds…
Compose a song…
Create >

Monday, April 10, 2017

Create > Object Painting

Create > Object Painting

Goal: Use historically significant art to create an aesthetic object from an abandoned object.

Studio Activity:
Find an interesting object from the garage, attic, flea market, auction, or second-hand store.  
Pick a famous painting to use as the primary camouflage element.
Transform the object by decorating its entire surface with paint using the defining characteristics of a famous art style movement or a specific painting.
Mimic the the color scheme, brush stroke method or application and the use of subject matter.   

Art History:
Study the art style movements: Abstract Expressionism, Baroque, Postmodern, Surrealism, Futurism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bauhaus, Cubism, Expressionism

Trigger Mechanisms:
Reinterpret, Translate, Disguise, Substitution, Transform

Visual Examples: