Wilhelm (work in progress)

This is a sketch that has been stashed in my desk for time enough. It is a portrait of scientist Wilhelm Reich as a child, interspersed with the “Diagram depicting psychosomatic identity and antithesis” that he came up with in his later years. Reich was the pioneer of psychiatry, cloud-busting technology, and the science of orgone (life-force energy) collection and dispersal.

I am interested in portraying individuals with a sense of depth into their inner lives. There are personal symbols… things that people identify with or express, or else representations of personal evolutions as seen in images of child, adult and elder.  This and works of Reich to follow are an ode to him and his work to honor and validate the basic forces that inform our lives.

“Love, work and knowledge are teh well-springs of our life. They should also govern it.”*

* Reich, Wilhelm. The Function of the Orgasm. 1942, 1948 Orgone Institute Inc.

Ram and Sage (work in progress)

I began this piece some months ago, on a big piece of weathered plywood. I started with a permanent marker, outlining the two main forms on either side, with the wood grain as my guide.

I have become so enamored with this way of working; letting the appearing of natural textures and lines inform my seeing of the whole work. I feel that with this practice, as with others such as outlining and detailing coffee or wine stains, I as artist can step out of the arbitrary looping of thought in my mind, and engage with something that is already there, just waiting to be “seen”.

After the initial marking and framing of composition and difference in the piece, I went in with acrylics, then later oil, building up certain parts in the base and casting light washes in the sky. More markers on top of the acrylic parts have followed, and now I stand on the precipice with oil paint pens and oil paints in hand.

Because I have in some way removed my conscious thinking from this work, it has and still reveals itself to me. I look upon it as a story that I did not write, and yet hope to understand. A host of characters have emerged, from the lone sage standing across the divide, to the Krishna-like Ram at the top of the cliff, to the those unsettling and disturbing in their apparent grasping and manipulation of those around them.

Whatever is going on, it seems to be rather epic. I am enjoying the ride deeper into the full revelation of the story and the appreciation of its contents.