Staying Conscious

Staying Conscious
oil on canvas 60″ x 60″

I am thankful
for all the words of encouragement over the years
which helped to keep me awake, aware, alive to the possibilities.
In a world where anything can happen, it does.
I’m just thrilled to get to participate. For that, I intend to stay conscious.

In March of 2019 I painted the first of my large pareidolic paintings, Heart Bomb. My thought process at that time included musings on quantum field theory, the nature of eternity, healing, mortality, and not least ,God. My wife was about to undergo surgery to remove cancer from her breasts and lymph nodes.

As often happens, my musings on quantum aligned themselves with my beliefs about God and eternity, in that they gave me hope and serenity concerning the interconnectedness of all things, the limitless possibilities available to all sentient creatures, and the confirmation that myths still abound in modern religion. The best example of that are the myths surrounding the concept of hell.

The ethereal nature of these pareidolic paintings provided another confirmation regarding these musings, in that they not only presented a fertile field for the imagination to consider those infinite variables we all encounter, but also a large area of common ground that we all share. I am speaking of the fact that pareidolia is a trait handed down to each of us (granted in various degrees) through natural selection.

“Staying Conscious” is the painting with which I decided to dig deeper into my process. I began to investigate why my process was creating something beyond what I had painted.

This painting is an example of combining abstract expressive techniques within a process of “abstract redaction.”
This allows for large, dark, expressive drawing gestures, followed by similar expressive gestures with a lighter touch. This effectively covers the previous line or lines as if “whiting out” them out.

In fact, it is the softened intersection of light with shadow that causes the pareidolic effect.

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