Category Archives: Painting

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. This art is now employed as a mirror imaged background for the composite header now at the top of each page, along with our enlightenment frog sitting as a guide.

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.

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

 

Death Poem

There is no death when...

There is no death when stars implode

A stream of atoms coalesce in some temporary terminus…

A planet, a person, a life.

We are made of stars yet blindly grope

For fame and immortality, for hope.

If we could only see our brilliance

Or that we are the true alien wanderers,

That we are one and never alone

And already home,

We would find our place in infinity.

———-

Mary E. Fleisch

Sand Castles and New Horizons

As we mark the passage of the old year and look forward to new horizons, it might be worthwhile to take a look back at our past and consider how quickly a moment passes.

Sand Castles - New Horizons
Sand Castles

Frank’s portrayal of his grandchildren a decade ago, playing in the sand, is incorporated into this 18″ x 30″ acrylic on wood painting “Sand Castles.” Also featured is the Old Charleston (Morris Island) lighthouse, built in 1876. It is the third tower to occupy that space, the first built in 1767.
His grandson is now in the U.S. Air Force and will complete basic training next month. His granddaughter will be graduating high school in two years. The poignancy of this fleeting moment of childhood is echoed in the old tower, with its outdated technology and the encroaching sea. And yet it still stands, proud, battered, the stories of lives redeemed written in every brick.
We can choose to look back with sorrow and regret or move on with indifference and thoughtlessness. Or we can bless the moment and then let it go. It is our choice. We follow our lights as we can.

“…and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.”
The last line of Moby Dick by Herman Melville

We wish you peace and joy in 2014. Thank you for visiting this site.
Please come again.

Flying Santa – Right Action

Capt. William H. Wincapaw, known as an adventurous and skilled Airman, unknowingly began a tradition in 1929. He was just a guy that wanted to bring holiday cheer to the lighthouse keepers along the East Coast by dropping packages of toys, coffee, shaving supplies, and snacks around Christmas time. He soon became known by the light keepers as the Flying Santa. Over the decades the planes and pilots changed, but except for a break during World War II, the practice continues today, now by helicopter.

This Christmas, Frank wanted to pay special tribute to the new Airman in the family, his grandson Griffyn. So, a new 30” x 24” acrylic on wood panel painting shown below is added today to Frank’s lighthouse series. The lighthouse seen in this painting is the Boston Light.

Flying Santa
Flying Santa

This painting honors those who take special care of the all-important light keepers, as well as the remote Coast Guard outposts.

Now as Griffyn has his first Christmas away from home in the Air Force, we wish him and his group a safe and enjoyable Christmas, as we thank all those who bless and protect us from above.

The Art of Zen Warriors

The Art of Zen Warriors

The Art of Zen Warriors
The Art of Zen Warriors

In Japan the samurai practiced Zen to master the sword. As long as the samurai was afraid of losing his life, he could not act with his full ability. When he was free from the idea of killing or being killed, he could just react to his enemy’s activity, and win. If he tried to win, he might lose. So practicing how to act without fear, which limits your activity, is the most important thing. Although it was a matter of surviving on the battlefield, the samurai fought his fight during his meditation practice.

Shunryu Suzuki

Welcome

Let us open our leaves like a flower, and be passive and receptive.

John Keats

Welcome
Welcome

The acrylic on wood drawing / painting above titled “Welcome” hangs in the entrance to the Art and Zen Sanctuary, to greet all who enter. The overall creation area is 29” x 50” which includes the hand-crafted 3-D frame that Frank built to emulate an Asian character symbolizing an open receptiveness.

The Mountains Know – Wall Mural

In 2002, Frank was commissioned to paint a wall mural that captured the sense of the unique scenery to be found in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. His interpretive work was completed in acrylic on a wall area approximately 120” by 80.”

Frank enjoyed creating an original, expressive and surreal mountain scene in this work below titled “The Mountains Know.”

The Mountains Know
The Mountains Know

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.

——————

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.