Gracy’s Lagoon

Frank thinks back, “Decades ago, I hiked down into the Feather River Canyon with my daughter Gracy to explore a hidden treasure I had discovered off the beaten path. You could hear it before you saw it…a thirty foot waterfall, flowing into a beautiful lagoon. Not too long after that visit, I began to do a painting of this magical place. Over the years, I’ve found opportunities to do a bit more work on the picture, including a couple of parrots known to travel the canyon…escapees from pet owners.
Today, it looks like I’ve got the finishing touches in place. And in honor of Gracy’s birthday today, here is the 48″W x 36″H acrylic on canvas…
“Gracy’s Lagoon”:

Lagoon
Gracy’s Lagoon

Oh…yes, Happy Birthday Gracy!
From Dad, Mary and Ziggy

Trying to be as Zen as a Lighthouse Light Keeper

Frank’s lighthouse series brought a commission for a public wall mural. The mural below, painted in the reception area of a Silicon Valley business, is a takeoff on Frank’s Pigeon Point set. The scene is a rare sunny day setting for Frank, but more typical of what the pubic likes to view.

Office Lighthouse Mural

Several organizations use a lighthouse theme, portraying themselves as a guiding light. Frank is more interested in the diligent work of the keeper, who in a Zen monk-like way, maintained the life-saving beacon through the night, keeping the oil or kerosene topped-off and all systems running.

Inspiration from the discipline of the light keepers played a key role in the completion of the mural project.

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Backstory: Frank was asked to paint the mural over a weekend to reduce impact on the business. Frank agreed, as long as the wall was prepared with an undercoat on Friday evening after hours, by a pro, according to Frank’s specifications and color. That way it would be dry and ready for the art on Saturday morning, which Frank estimated would take the entire weekend, if all went well. The wrinkle is that when Frank showed up Saturday morning to begin, the wall had not been painted. The “pro” didn’t show.

Frank set about immediately to shop for and find the paint to do the necessary undercoat. The primer coats were done, but the wall was not dry enough to begin the painting until Saturday night. Thinking of how the keeper of the light would work through the night, Frank could not shrink from his duty and painted all night, collapsing to nap occasionally on the seats in the picture.

By late Sunday afternoon, Frank thought the picture done, and invited his wife Mary and others to come view the production, and take him home. Everyone raved when they walked in the door, while Mary showed Frank a quizzical look, after studying the mural. Frank knew that look and placed high value as always on Mary’s artistic eye. Taking her aside, she offered her view toward perfection, suggesting to Frank that the perspective on the two windows on the side of the keeper’s house was a bit askew. Frank stood back, a little bleary eyed, refocused, and saw exactly what she had pointed out while others still went on about how cool the painting had turned out. After thanking Mary for her valuable assistance, it took about 15 minutes to paint the correction. Then a smiling Frank, with Mary’s concurrence, declared the lighthouse mural done.

The business owners were very pleased Monday morning when they showed up for work.

Beauty and the Muck

Today’s post features a painting hanging in the Art and Zen Sanctuary.

Beauty and the Muck
Beauty and the Muck

This work is painted in acrylic on a hand-crafted custom wood panel, painted around the 1.75″ edges and measuring 96” x 24” with rounded corners.

The significance of the lotus flower in the Zen tradition is about beauty rising out of the muck where it grows. This is similar to freeing our minds through meditation, rising above the mess around us in the world today…the mess we all need to deal with everyday. How about we work together to clean up what causes us to suffer and rise like a beautiful lotus flower.

Bless you all as you deal with task of finding the best space to elevate your consciousness.

 

Perfect

Frank's staff
Frank’s staff

There was an artist in the city of Kouroo who was disposed to strive after perfection. One day it came into his mind to make a staff. Having considered that in an imperfect work, time is an ingredient, but into a perfect work, time does not enter, he said to himself: It shall be perfect in all respects, though I should do nothing else in my life.

Henry David Thoreau

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Frank carries a staff with him on some of his walks. It was hardly crafted at all from a fallen branch in our forest sanctuary, being perfect in its natural form. It becomes more perfect all the time as Frank adds a natural patina from his handling of this tree, often admired by others he encounters on his walks.

We are perfect, and getting better all the time.

 

Backup Your Hummingbird Feeder…

Frozen Hummingbird Feeder in the Art and Zen Sanctuary Video (2:15):

If video window does not display above, this is the YouTube link below: http://youtu.be/2_wCAj0tpV0
A Big “Thank You” to Jingle Punks for providing the music for this video!

Please remember to assist others when you get the chance…thank you.

Happy Halloween to All

Happy Halloween to All

Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwn, ˈn, ˌhɑːl/) is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It initiates the triduum of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. Within Allhallowtide, the traditional focus of All Hallows’ Eve revolves around the theme of using “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death.”

Wikipedia

Life Lesson from Robin Williams Tragedy…

As people try to understand the death of Robin Williams, it is valuable to find a teaching that helps us all deal with many of the same issues in our lives.

This post is about moderation. Without becoming judgmental in any way, it is important to realize that we all must moderate our actions if we are to strike a balance with life’s experiences. Ultimately we can experience joy throughout our lives in such a way that every moment is precious.

It is difficult to consider moderation in our age of exuberance and super sizing. But, Zen teaches us about moderation and taking the middle path. This practice is life saving and ultimately a more joyful experience. Extremes take their toll in causing us pain and suffering in the long run. It is better to enjoy our lives and reduce suffering through wise choices and moderation.

Take a deep breath; then exhale and consider where you are, and wisely take your next best step.

Moderation

Moderation

Taking your own life or that of another living being is an extreme act, one of finality. Pain and suffering are part of life, an important element of our existence. As Sakini put it, “Pain makes man think, thought makes man wise, and wisdom makes life endurable.”

We don’t have to face suffering alone or take extreme measures to avoid it. Moderation allows for small adjustments that can overtime reduce suffering to a tolerable level.

Life can be taken in sips of both the joyful and the painful. This is our life to live, we should not throw it away, no matter how hard it may be…it is far too precious to everyone in our world.
Be blessed…bless yourself.

Hope Returns…

Things have not been going well for the grays in the sanctuary lately. It seems like the browns are asserting themselves and taking down their competitor species. So, to do honor to the grays, here is a repost of…
Hope…Standing for Nature in the Art and Zen Sanctuary 


A squirrel… stands then and there for nature.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If video window does not appear above,

here is the YouTube Link: http://youtu.be/MTDWK88UbJc

“Thank You” to Silent Partner for the music used in this video.

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When is a Painting Done?

When is a Painting Done?

After thinking “Gracy’s Lagoon” was completed a few weeks ago, the birds have flown back to the easel for some touching up, along with the rocks…etc.

Gracy's Lagoon 2
Gracy’s Lagoon 2

Seems like hanging it on the wall was an invitation to enjoy and examine, only to see things that might still be “improved.” And…back to the painting studio.

So, when is a painting really done? Some famous artists have carried their work around for years, like Leonardo and his “Mona Lisa” which he loved so much he carried it with him wherever he traveled. It could be that a friendship develops with some works and their creators. It could also be that the relationship is heightened when others show interest in a particular piece…making the artist more aware that others are looking at this work, so it better be as good as they can make it.

Perhaps, it is not until the work finally leaves the artist’s possession that the work is really completed.

The original and official ArtAndZen on the Internet.