Shadows, Markings, and Synesthesia

Anavami Center

Transformational Painting Circles

On Fridays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join us in large format acrylic painting sessions getting in touch which our instinctual side. Moving beyond the Skeleton Woman Story https://anavamicenter.com/transformational-painting/ to the medial partnership.

Marking Session at Studio & on Zoom:
In-Bodying the Field: 6 months of Mark-making from January

We are exploring mark-making as a medium to change how we have learned to perceive reality. Marking in this sense is an exchange, an interaction as marks must be received as well as made, whether on paper, a city road or in a conversation.

Books of Interest:

The Coddling of the American Mind, by Jonathan Haidt & Greg Lukianoff
This is a book for anyone who is confused by what’s happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live and work and cooperate across party lines.

Fabric of Wholeness: Biological Intelligence and Relational Gravity, Carol Agneessens, through experiential dialogues, draws us into the body to view the pulsating and vital interplay. She concludes that gravity is fundamental to the development of biological intelligence — the glue that holds together and organizes our fabric of wholeness.

Websites of Interest:

https://www.moralimaginations.com, collective imagining to increase radical kinship with the human and more-than-human worlds, present, past and future.

https://strangerworth.com
Paintings by Pamela Holmes

December Sidebar

Retreat 2022:

San Miguel de Allende Fall, accepting registration.

Shadows, Markings, and Synesthesia


Paper ‘mask’ used in monoprint

In Anavami Studio we see marking, not only as a foundation of the visual arts but as metaphor and at the same time an appearance of our relationship with the world. We are exploring mark-making as a medium to change how we have learned to perceive reality. Marking in this sense is an exchange, an interaction as marks must be received as well as made, whether on paper, a city road or in a conversation.

Our working definition of mark-making is leaving a residue or impression with movement or pressure. This can be any kind of physical trace, but also a mark can be left on one’s emotions, intellect or psyche. Marks are conduits of information as they are ways of interrelating not in the world but with the world. Our marks are informed by the very matrix in which we live. The greater field is alive, impressing on us as we in turn to press back leaving marks. There is a mutual yielding as well as a mutual learning, as we exchange information. This yielding is more than allowing. It requires an ability to give as well as receive. Just as in traffic sign, yield involves a slowing our trajectory in order to be aware of others movement and speed, which everything in the Universe has. It is a different dynamic to halt at a stop signs where you expect to take turns. The giving and receiving in mark-making as in traffic has consequences.


Monoprint using ‘mask’

I would also suggest that marks are not flat two-dimensional residue on a surface but more like your shadow stretching before you, deep blue on the asphalt. That shadow fills the space between you and the elongated mark staining the street. It is actually voluminous. When something enters the space between you and the pavement, a cat or fire engine, in the moment it is changed. Their light is disturbed. There is a vulnerability in the distance the shadow travels. There is a life force in that volume, a textural signature of its source. Like the mark it is porous, open to vicissitudes of the time and place. It could even be said to have an intelligence. There is more intelligence around us than we are like to recognize. In times of crisis an extended understanding of intelligence is valuable.

In Hidden Blessings, Psaris talks about life crisis, no matter the age as an opportunity to awaken. She goes on to say that the success of any life-crisis-transformation depends on our ability to allow the soul (ourselves) to evolve beyond the ego structure encasing it. Our ego is not only anthropocentric, judging intelligence and power as human based but also biocentric, projecting that only living things have consequence especially is they are human.


Print from folded ‘mask’

Just as habit does not recognize the volume of a shadow ego is blinded to the psychological function of its shadow, a metaphor and expanded perspectives. At this time in history, our world is in crisis with the need of sweeping new perspective. For most of us the best thing that we can do is tend our own garden, which in actuality calls for persistent courage to redefine our place in the world. Crisis asks for marks of a new order that stretch habits of identification. The ego’s shadow does not see what it is projecting on others without careful scrutiny. In shadow work we see how anything that riles us has much more to do with ourselves than the other. We can only see, literally and figuratively, the fullness of our shadow through imagination.

To tweak those perception that are so ingrained we need to cultivate the imaginal domain. It is much more a part of our life than we acknowledge. Dream worker, Jeremy Taylor described that space between conscious and unconscious as not-yet-speech-ripe. We know but it takes imagination to bring it to consciousness. The more that we call on the space between knowing and not knowing the more that it is available. In this province, as witnessed in any craft that reaches artistry, fundamental truths brought to vision. Marking is more than the flatness of streaks and strokes on a page. There is a qualitative difference between a shopping list or a poem.. And yet there are poems that are really shopping lists and shopping lists that are poem depending on how the imaginal is sparked.

Not imagination but the imaginal realm stretches our senses. In synesthesia, a neurological condition, information meant to stimulate one senses instead stimulates a different one altogether or several —music is seen in colors, architecture has a taste, or sound appears as shapes. We all have a little bit of this, for the channels are informing each other far beyond our expectations and habits. We expand our sensitivities in the imaginal, which adds another layer of information and relationship to how we exchange with our world. The volume of shadow, yielding as a way of encountering the world, the extended understanding of intelligence and crisis as opportunity are all ways of create by changing how we perceive reality.

(A mask is used in printing to block the ink from the plate to the paper. The shape of the mask was from the photograph of the shadows of two people standing together.)

 


These two diptychs incorporate pieces torn from the earlier prints as way of developing and finessing the image in collaboration with the field.

Majio
 

New Series: Marking-making: In-Bodying the Field

Anavami Center
Studio Events

Transformational Painting, Beyond Skeleton Woman: Beginning November Fridays in studio 10-1

Marking Circles:

Marking Vocabulary Circles Wed. & Thurs. in Studio Anavami & on Zoom

November: Monoprint with acrylic & oil as markings

Anavami Center

You Are Here Triptych, Cold wax & oil on canvas, 36″ X 60″

New Series January-June 22

Mark-Making: In-Bodying the Field, Exploration of the most intimate Field

Anavami Center

You Are Here Triptych, Wax, gold leaf & oil on canvas, 36″ X 60″

Retreats 2022:

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico early September

Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsula November

Anavami Center

You Are Here Triptych, Cold wax & oil on canvas, 36″ X 60″

Note that these paintings are a process and exploration, not a product.

Books:
All Art is Ecological by Timothy Morton

New Series: Marking-making: In-Bodying the Field

Where is that X in the YOU ARE HERE? In your head? In your body? And how well acquainted are you with that body, anyway? Is it a vessel, a medical diagram, your home? For most of us the body is inextricably bound with the location of who we think we are. And although body is usually the core of our primary relational-field we only know it by bits and pieces of medical needs or encounters with physical intimacy, both good and bad. Is our body contained inside the skin, and if so then what is outside is other? How well is this knowing the body working out for us? How is your identification with body aiding or hindering the greater journey? Would you like to find a more coherent way to live in your body as integral to the greater whole?

In January 2022 Studio Anavami will begin a series, Mark-Making: In-Bodying the Field, Exploration of the most Intimate Field, with the intention to explore our identification with the body. We will be using mark-making as medium to explore the unconscious beliefs of our inherited self and mark-making as conduit to explore the learning-body as process. Each session we will be initiating experientially into of the functions and relationships of different aspects of body-ness. These are some of the things that we will cover in support to develop curiosity, creativity and a new sense of coherence in relation to identity: yielding, gravity, biomorphic expression, landing and locating, participating with our organizing intelligence, proprioceptive awareness, boundaries, edges, thresholds, patterns and process. We will use a variety of marking approaches with basic water-soluble marking implements as well as mark transfers, printing, subtraction of marks and invisible marks. This exploration will allow a deeper level for those involved in the last few years and an introduction to participants who are coming to know this approach.

We have been taught conceptually to be artificially alienated from the biosphere that supports us. This separate-self has us viewing the body as a machine metaphor where we tend to think in separate parts like liver, arm, mind, but this is not the whole picture. Body is a dynamic system for which we barely have the descriptive language to express, let alone understand how all the pieces fit.

As we mark with, into and through the body we begin to experience the physical us as no longer just an object. Nora Bateson comes to our aid in articulating a concept of this kind of function with the word symmanathesy, a living system highlighting expression and communication of interdependency. In particular she says that what is key is the phenomena of mutual learning. In this series we will explore marking as a conduit for communication, information exchange and expression—a mutual learning through mark-making.

The components in Mark-Making: In-Bodying the Field support this marking adventure begins with yielding. Yielding often misunderstood as a passive surrendering or a ‘doing nothing,’ is a responsive relationship. It is a physical expression of and support for emotional and social bonding first experienced in relation to the body of mother and earth. It is our first experience of gravity that we will also explore as a radical way of perceiving the body through experiential knowing. We will overcome the remnant of the body as mechanical apparatus and let go of the separation of the mind, releasing our old language to build a new vocabulary.

We will embrace Body as symmanathesy and allow for a new kind of body organization as it refers to living systems. Systems which emerge from the communications and interactions, a relational response, in what Nora Bateson calls mutual learning, boundaries are interfaces of learning. It is so complex that there are no parts and wholes.  At one point she says, Art may be the only way to truly describe living complexity.  

Marking approaches thus facilitates a deeper experience of expression, communication and mutual learning where the body is not a vessel but a fluid element in the cosmic ocean that we are. There is an archetypal and mythical dimension developmentally which resonates with our egos in function and dysfunction shedding light on new possibilities for understanding a greater context. We have become a definitive force on this planet and need to create an opening for coherence rather than separation. This series of marking from the body is a way to become intimate with ourselves, not as object but as constantly moving process. In mark-making we begin to create a different relationship to matter and therefore to everything, animate and inanimate.

Through marking the insights and new connections have a somatic anchoring in the body so it would seem that the body is the best place to begin the query of new realities that may be covered by old beliefs. January will begin Mark-making: In-Bodying the Field with the Marking Vocabulary Sylllabus is a prerequisite for Janurary. Let me know your interest.

                  

Majio
 

Upcoming Events at Anavami Studio

Anavami Center

Upcoming Events at Anavami Studio

 

Open Studios October 9th and 10th:
This weekend is North County Santa Cruz Open Studio and I hope that you are coming out for what our community is offering. In 2019 the beginnings of this body of work was peeking through and may have caught your attention. This has been totally new and emerged as a collaboration with the relational-field, a leap from bifurcation of on/off, yes/no welcoming a third component. I just know that something new is afoot and it is recognizable. See if you notice something different. Come out for Open Studio to witness how people are perceiving and interacting with the world. See if you can look at it not as products but engagement with life.

Anavami CenterTransformational Painting Workshop October 24th, 9am-12pm:
Join us for a morning of transformational painting on Sunday October 24th from 9am-12pm in the studio for $50 or on Zoom for the reduced price of $40 (must purchase your own materials). This kind of painting is a kissing cousin to process giving voice to the psyche, that mysterious element that is out of time and space. It is best known through nighttime dreams, synchronicities and dealings with the unconscious. The psyche wants integration, wholeness and healing, and speaks in images. This will be a lot of fun with which to engage. Call Majio at 831-420-1349 to sign up. 


Transformational Painting Circles starts November 5th:
Transformational Painting sessions will start the first week of November on Friday afternoons 1pm-4pm.  Join us for fun afternoons of playing to create.  These large format acrylic painting sessions get you up and engaged with body as you interact with the canvas. 

Anavami CenterMarking Experiments Circles in October and November:
We are taking an in-depth dive into the practice of marking with image transfers and the creation of stencils for use in our markings and monoprints.  You can get involved with some of the long-term members of the community as we expand our own understandings of materials and process. 

New session-Wobbling the Paradigm: Marking from Within the field
We will be starting a new session in Wobbling the Paradigm starting in early January.  This session will be a six-month session centering on the body and imaginal engagement.  Marking from Within the field will offer members a chance to play with our sense of identity as our perceptions expand and reality reshapes. 

 

Open Studios in the Time of Story & Poetry

Anavami Center

Marking Circles:

Beyond Marking Circles Wed. & Thurs. Zoom & in studio

Events in 2021:

Santa Cruz County Open Studio Tour North County October 9 & 10

Retreats:

Present to How Thing Are: San Miquel de Allende September 5-12

Anavami Center

Workshops:

Re-Wilding; Core Expression & Mark-making:     3-day collaborative with Liz Koch on Zoom September 24-26. (https://coreawareness.com/events/re-wilding-markings-emerging-from-the-field-collaboration-with-majio/)     

Retreats 2022:

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico September

Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsula November

Skateboard Series

Open Studios in the Time of Story & Poetry

Skateboard SeriesOpen Studio Tours is coming up, October 9 & 10. I am showing work like I have never done before, something fresh and unconventional.  And it is not just me in the studio this year, there will be pieces by four Marking Circles participants that will give you an idea of how unusual this process of Wobbling the Paradigm really is.

The approach we are using may be audacious, but that is what is called for in this time. The work is not a product, nor even finished pieces in the usual sense. They are an exploration in the relational-field that is recorded in marks. As a good haiku poem evokes something beyond consensus reality these connect to the mystery. There is a lot of talk about paradigm shift and how it is needed to resolve the problems that we have created. But how well do we recognize that we can’t see beyond our own paradigm? Let alone envisioning what another one might be. We need to mix up old patterns, visualize the world as us, block out the noise and recognize the radical new organizing principle is not something outside of us but rather seeds held within our current paradigms that have, as yet, gone unrecognized.

The approach to marking we have been experimenting with rattles the concept of story. Yes, story is so much a part of who we are and what we do as people. It is our history, our mistakes and growth, and our vision of what can be. But story is often used to cement everything into place, the good, the bad and the ugly as if all of those are defined.  We need to look at story as developing, weaving and undulating, fluid enough for us to embrace possibilities. Science, interestingly, is a good example of this. It is not a steady stream of developing concepts, even though our high school textbooks would have you think so. We have been radically wrong in our presumptions many times. New information arises, old theories fade and new ones overshadow the old. It is the same with child raising and political ideas. The continuum of stories we live by do change fundamentally. While stories, personal and collective will always be with us, at times leaps in consciousness poetry is more of what we need.

Deena Metzner, poet and author, contrasts poem and story, describing a poem as a penetration into the essence of something. A poem expresses the inexpressible adventure deeply. Story and prose, spread out, wanting to speak to the mind, to the intellect. The horizontal gathers information, technique, momentum, while the vertical is outside of time, it changes our life as participant. Jane Hirshfield, Poet Laureate, tell us poetry’s work is the clarification and magnification of being. Poetry creates a vertical experience, an evocative and in-depth exploration.

Anavami CenterIn the studio, we have been using haiku in our marking as a practice to evoke the not quite articulatable beyond the edge. It points to something we intimately know. We all feel it when a haiku is successful. In that case it doesn’t just tell another story of everyday life or things in nature. It provokes a pause that startles. It suggests a much wider context. And although it is easier to sense in the haiku, it is a different matter to create it.

Stories can be true poetry and much of poetry is really story. What I am interested in is how this translates to the visual arts: visual, literary and performance, and anything in daily life that reaches the stage of art. This was hard to get until these poets helped me to understand and articulate it. Much of our visual arts is story, but we feel it when it moves into poetry. Much of the markings of those participating in Marking from the Relational-Field and Beyond Marking circles edge on that poetic quality.

Come see all this for yourself at the first Open Studios weekend, October 9 & 10 on the westside off Swift, 2593 Mission Street Extension.  After being inspired you can also join in at an introductory workshop, Expanding Sensual Connections Through Mark-Making, being offered on Saturday October 23rd at Anavami Studio on the westside of Santa Cruz and on Zoom. From blogs and newsletters, you have been hearing about Wobbling the Paradigm and, more specifically, Marking Emerging from the Field but it has not been available beyond a small group of participants. So now is the time for you to join in on this new mark-making approach. Explore through mark-making the aliveness and inter-relation of everything around us. We will play with cross-referencing our senses in terms of mark-making with three intentions. One is to extend the way we perceive and translate out relationship to ourselves and environment beyond our everyday habits. Two, is open mark-making, a dialogue with the relational-field, that is the marking materials, physical environment, memories/histories and relationship and to what is most concerning or inspiring in the greater world. And three is to tweak our consensus reality. This last one happens subtly over time, but one session will give you a taste.

Majio
 

Lenses to Explore Being: Present to How Things Are

Anavami Center
Painting Circles:

Beyond Marking
Wed. & Thurs. Zoom & studio circles.

Santa Cruz County Open Studio Tour North County October 9 & 10

Painting as Portal:
weekly 3 hour painting circle in acrylic, large format to explore personal innovation. Inquire if interested. $240 with materials

Events in 2021:

Workshops:

Re-Wilding; Core Expression & Mark-making: 3- day collaborative with Liz Koch on Zoom September 24- 26. (https://coreawarenes s.com/events/re- wilding-markings- emerging-from-the- field-collaboration- with-majio/)

Expanding Sensual Connections Through Mark- making, Re- scheduled 2-day early Spring 2022

Retreats:

Costa Rica, Nicoya Peninsula Fall 2021

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico September 2021

Books:

Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World,  Timothy Morton

Hidden Blessings, Midlife Crisis as a Spiritual Awakening  Jett Psaris

Lenses to Explore Being: Present to How Things Are

In an optometrist office when being fitted for glasses there is an array of lenses used to refine one’s vision correction. The doctor keeps asking, “which one is better, this one or this one? What a metaphor. Throughout our life there is a constant checking to see that we are viewing the world in the correct way, as those with whom we identify. It is understandable then that how we see the world is greatly influenced by program beliefs. In our retreat to San Miguel de Allende we will be exploring how to be Present to How Things Are, not how we might initially perceive them. The three lenses we will using are taken from Ken Wilber’s essay, Eyes of the Artist: Art and the Perennial Philosophy. It is found at the beginning of the book of the visionary artist Alex Grey’s artwork, Sacred Mirrors.

Wilber defines the first lens as sensibilia, how we perceive through the body with our five senses. Intelligibilia, the second lens, is how we perceived through the mind and transcendilia is when we use soul and spirit to perceive. In the making the artist uses one, two or all three. How the work is perceived, though, will depend on the perceptual capacity of the viewer. As we know many artist’s works are not appreciated, that is seen in their time. Just as the perception of images change in time so does our perception of the world. Images, music and poetry are part of the human language speaking beyond the verbal. The practice of mark-making is a way to consciously extend our perception and expression knowing it as a conversation with the materials, as well as everything with which we are in relation-the world. It is a collaboration, as we find we are not a sole agent.

In our upcoming week in San Miguel de Allende we will be using these lenses in our mark-marking as we first go into the material world to heighten and cultivate the world of the senses. Come with us on the journey, as we are all traveling anyway.  The beginning of the journey will be our first traveling day and the last one at the end will be good indicators of how much our perceptions have changed. Traveling day moves the body with belongings through space. We will go the airport, stand in line and sit for many hours. You will travel in your everyday routine but this is also the opportunity for  us to tune into how our senses apprehend the world. What catches our attention? What do we ignore? What gives us comfort or discomfort? Can we release the judging mind and just be aware of what we are sensing in the moment through our senses? We will land in a new place and you in your familiar places. Our return travel will indicate how our perceptions have changed.

In San Miguel, on the city tour we will take our marking materials to help focus on the senses by recording sensory impressions with rubbings of textures and patterns and markings of sounds and smells. It will be a challenge for us to not let the mind jump in with presumptions and habits of perceiving. From breakfast to bed we will become more and more aware, heightening our reception and expression of sensory data. By marking we interact with this data in new ways, tracking and sharing with each other to excite and inspire novel possibilities of being with and apprehending matter. In this way we will become more sensitive to what we miss and why. Our adventure out into the world will be anchored with days in the studio to consider and compare with each other our perceptions as we re-configure pieces of our collected markings and impressions on a larger substrate. Our intent is not to make an object but see what arises from our collaboration.

The morning at the Hot Springs we begin to consciously enter intelligibilia noting how symbols, memories, projections and creations through the mind are a dominant feature of our world. Relaxing in the waters encourages musings of the imaginal world, which is often the entry into transcendilia. We will begin to tease out how much of our mind is connected to our senses, moving in sensibilia into intelligibilia. What does it take to create a city, a cathedral, a meal, or a painting. What does it take to turn vision into matter. Who is involved in this process? On our ventures out for lunch we notice, who is serving, who is being served. Where and by whom the food is being grown, harvested and prepared. How is something like history transferred? How is it perceived and noted in our markings?

In the artisan market, whether fine craftmanship or folk art, we are looking for the quality beyond the lenses of sensibilia and intelligibilia. Transcendilia is often subtle in how it evokes something all encompassing, palpable yet hard to describe. Without the lens of rational thought, expectations and conditioning the soul slips in that is hidden from normal state of mind. Marking helps to extend that conversation, becoming less and less bound to narrow conventions of the understandable.

The locals say just by visiting San Miguel you will most probably come home with something special. It is a place known to stimulate transcendilia. Some carry home colors, others an atmosphere of ancient times or sense of sacred land. But signs of the spirit and soul of place is everywhere when you are available, be it your regular routine or San Miguel de Allende. Transcendental is beyond all conceptual or theoretical framework, pointing us to our creative source. We must rely on ourselves, gazing into our own souls for inspiration and guidance, as we recognize and connect through our world. Enjoy your return travel day after several days of exploration.                        

Majio