making sense of it all

“You, yourself, are the eternal energy which appears as this Universe. You didn’t come into this world; you came out of it.” – Alan Watts


I’m in studio working a portrait of my brother. I am wondering how beingness exits form. I draw the physical expression though it’s the subtle that motivates me.

With that said, my notes
I think about the 5 sense organs and how we experience the physical world. The physical senses include hearing (audition), sight (vision), smell (olfaction),  taste (gustation) and touch (somatosenastion).

The sense organs collect information from outside of the body…directing it…to…inside the body.  The receiver of external signal is the nervous system which sends information to the brain. Consequently one moves in the direction of that which is perceived or one moves away.

As I paint, I consider both the subtle and physical. (There is more to the senses that I won’t get into here.)

Does being enter the physical body, one sense at a time? Does the body light up slow and steady with awareness? Does being exit with each sense that goes out…going off-line…one perception at a time? And then might the infinite, as it receives being, light up?

And my study
The olfactory nerve, the first and shortest of the cranial nerves, supports the sense of smell. Smell connects to taste and also serves the respiratory system.
Note: It is the only cranial nerve, that if damaged, may repair itself.

The olfactory bulb ↓ makes me think of a Q-tip, filled with with sensory neurons.
(Note: The nerve also  plays a role in emotion and memory sending data to the amygdala and hippocampus.)   #ICanSmell

The sense of taste (aided by the sense of smell) is responsible for perception of flavor. Taste buds can be ↓ found on the tongue, palette and throat. Their taste receptor cells (gustatory cells) are triggered by food and/or drink as it dissolves in saliva. I’ve learned about various epithelial cells in the body and here I learn about the epithelium of the tongue which holds the papillae (the small bumps visible to the naked eye).  A tongue has 2,000 – 8,000 taste buds. If one is  damaged, it can be replaced within 48 hours.

Below ↓ is the organ of hearing. I read somewhere, hearing travels with the mind.  I don’t know what this means exactly, but I like thinking they come and go together. Included in my inner ear study are the organs of balance (spool-like shapes ↓ at the ends of the semicircular canals).
(Words I want to keep that connect to this organ: receiver, amplifier, transmitter, electrical, vibration, frequency.) #IHear #IListen (more and more each day)

The eye-ball is the organ of sight and vision. It supports ones ability to see. We use our eyes to look, judge depth and interpret information. Eyes send signals to the brain that can impact hormones, sleep, and various chemicals. #sunrise #sunset
Pupils, because they track information, are a readout of ones internal state (note size of pupil).  The retina is actually a part of your central nervous system (the brain) that sits outside of the skull. #ILook #ISee #IAmVisual

brain cap. eye ball.

There is no one, single sense organ related to touch. If I had to choose (and I don’t) it could be the skin. Is touch one of the first senses to develop? It occurs across the entire body trough receptors in the skin. I focus on the fingertips ↓ because they have a large concentration of nerves. The receptors send signals via spine and lower brain to a strip curving around the cerebral cortex known as somatosensory cortex that I place into the cap. Touch is in the body and in the mind. #ITouch #IFeel

In: Oct 10, 1964. Out: July 8, 2020.
#AWaveOfLightDrawsYouIn #AWaveOfLightDrawsYouOut

My brother would like this portrait of him. I think he’d like the (brain) cap most especially.
#WorkInProgress


First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed. The total amount of energy and matter in the Universe remains constant, merely changing from one form to another.

 

peace out brother

“We all shine on…like the moon and the stars and the sun…we all shine on…come on and on and on…” ― John Lennon


I speak to my brother Monday evening, he’s not feeling well, has no appetite and is complaining of dizziness. Tuesday, he sees a doctor (telemedicine) and is prescribed something for vertigo. Doctor’s orders also include he be tested for Covid. By Wednesday morning he is gone. He tests positive for Covid-19, postmortem. (WTF!!)

There is a lot going on for our family. I know we are not alone. There is much going on in our county and in the world.

For now, I work a portrait of my brother because travel is limited and so are burials. It sucks that the family can’t be together. And while I always come to new work with focus, it’s not happening this time.

One of my sisters has a photo of our brother with his New York Yankees baseball cap. He smiles and holds out a peace sign. Puro Chacho, the capture is perfect. I decide to use it.  I don’t know yet if and how the image will translate into a study.

The ground work, a city map of El Paso, focuses on the area where we grew up and where he still hung out.

For a good while now, each time I fly back, he and I make a habit of taking a Sunday afternoon drive.

I lay down the map and recall some of those drives. Chacho enjoys driving, has an excellent sound system and likes loud music. The sound comes down when he wants to point something out to me. I’ve been gone a long time and I know he enjoys re-introducing me to the city. We often look for murals. The streets of El Paso have some fine street art.

In my studio, the dilemma…
My brother is no longer in body. I’m piecing things together and formulating a picture.  I don’t know exactly how to move forward. I’ve never worked this way. I’ll figure it out.

I miss you brother. Way to young to exit. I wish you’d stay’d around longer.
Peace out Chacho.

FYI…Chacho is short for muchacho which means boy in Spanish. He grew up the only muchacho among 5 muchachas.


Pay attention, take care of yourself and others. Stay alive.
And VOTE. We need strong, intelligent and caring leadership.


 

roadside attraction phx

ROADSIDE ATTRACTION, brainchild of ArtFarm PHX and practical art gallery (AKA Patricia Sannit, Chris Jagmin, Lisa Olson and Lani Hudson) takes art (art work and in some cases the art making) outdoors, to be seen by the widest variety and largest number of people, given our current restrictions. Opportunity was created for valley artists, representing different viewpoints and media, to express their diverse voices.

This experimental exhibition not only encourages art experiences in new, unusual and surprising locations, it also allows for a self-directed, drive-by, bike-by, stroll-by, physically  distanced, socially engaged art experience.

Come and go, as you wish!
Info → artists, photos of work, artist statements and location map.

 


Invited early but arriving late.

I spend days (weeks) this summer wondering do I want to teach drawing next semester. I learn Zoom (for on-line art workshop) and Canvas (on-line college teaching). And while I appreciate technology and use it regularly, organizing this current phase in time sometimes feels confusing and unnatural.

Listening to a neuroscience IGTV (thanks Huberman Lab), I come to understand human progress as the consequence of 2 things:  neuroplasticity (brain and nervous system’s ability to change in response to experience) and technology development (build and create new things that allow us to extend beyond our own biological limitations).

Nueroplasticity reflects changes and connections between neurons (nerve cells). Nerve cells do not connect directly they have a space between them called a synapse (chemicals and electricity).

I know that as an adult, if I want to roll with change I need focused attention (what I want and/or how I want to feel), a sense of urgency (so apropos to the time) and rest (focus on/focus off).

Enter: Roadside Attraction invitation…and all I can think is that I’ve wanted to paint one of our perimeter walls (so out of my comfort zone).

I read an article about bee swarms and how they are like a giant brain with each individual bee behaving like a neuron in the human brain. #ImPaintingBees

FYI…bees are eusocial flying insects. #SocialOrganization

In the days that follow I complete my Canvas training while breaking to make stencils and begin painting bees. It doesn’t matter that it’s June in Phoenix. I work in afternoon shade as neighbors drive by offering a nod and/or a thumbs up. A few want to paint bees on their perimeter wall (I offer my stencils).

I can’t help but think of Jackson Pollock as I use black and gold house paint and brushes. I know why action painting is likened to dance.
The wall buzzes with form and movement…heading towards center.

Thanks Roadside Attraction…I needed this. #EverythingsConnected

#PhysicallyDistancedSociallyEngaged #ItsAllAnArtSpace
#RoadsideattrationPHX #MonicaAissaMartinez


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