Fall Colors II

_KJE4415Copyright Kyler Evans 2013, All rights reserved.

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Symbols give us the ability to reconcile opposites as well as utilize something that points to a transcendent reality, which in turn, can assist in the process of unveiling the unconscious mind and expanding our sense of self. When we look at a symbol of say a cross, it means many things to many people, the trinity perhaps, pain and oppression, the death of Christ, or an entire set of values and religious affiliation. Not only can the cross hold these types of meanings, but personal meaning as well as maybe a tie into memory and experiences that we have had. It is the transcendence of symbols which Carl G. Jung felt to be of such value to individuals on their quest for wholeness or individuation (as Jung referred to the process of achieving a state of balance). Think about how many meanings something such as the cross really does have, and to even deepen this all further, think of all the meanings that this symbol has taken on throughout time! It is really quite amazing and we can use this knowledge to begin to understand parts of our lives or what the universe or psyche is trying to show us exists.

For myself, the number 3 seems to be coming up for me lately. I see this as a correspondence with the 3rd Chakra in my case through the process of self-inquiry. The Chakra system can be likened to 7 centers of energy and awareness that is held in the body. It has been around for thousands of years and is not as some ignorant people like to pretend “new Age.” The 3rd chakra sits around the navel and corresponds to the stomach and parts of the digestive system. Within the 3rd chakra is held: willpower, self-confidence, self-development, self-control, feelings, sensitivity and most important Power. One symbol of this chakra is the triangle (surprise, surprise) and the element it is likened to is fire. Manipura (meaning “shinning jewel”) is the Sanskrit name for this chakra and you can imagine the issues that crop up if we are in excess or deficient by looking at what it holds. The third chakra is considered to be rich in energy and is traditionally portrayed in gold and yellow colors which are two colors which I have not connected with myself for a while now. As we can reflect on personal power, it is something that I have had great struggles with in my own life for many reasons (see my post In Progress if you are interested). In accordance with any symbols in my life that crop up they are everywhere; in receipts, photos, lines, art, everything that I involve myself in. So here is one of many symbols that my own psyche is throwing at me to heed the call of the 3rd Chakra. Enjoy and reflect on symbolism in your own life, as it is always there, you just need to wake up and see it!

Meeting the Shadow

I have recently been teaching a class entitled Creative Arts & Self-Inquiry which focuses on the testing of reality from various theoretical orientations and understandings as well as an inquiry into the Self. Using Jung as a jump off point and bringing in Neo-Jungian concepts has been a return to the shadow for myself as the universe always seems to have an interesting way of throwing things back your way.

Hate and rage is something that most of us deal with at one point or another in our lives. And to look at the state of society these days one can see that there really is not much hope in looking to others unless we are able to look into our Selves and reconcile some of the opposing forces in which we deny or run from. Jung explains this as our persona (our public face), which is essentially a compromise between you and the world. For example; as a student you may receive a low mark and be enraged at you low mark; you approach your instructor and repress the anger and rage as you know that it is not socially acceptable to release your anger on someone in that context and would probably be concerned that you may get yourself into trouble. Where do you think all that anger goes if it is not released? Into the shadow that holds all our unwanted emotions and parts of our personality, which is held in the unconscious.

Art is a great way to release the shadow, or at least begin to accept and befriend it. As we begin to touch the dark seedy part of us all, we begin to expand our sense of personality and thus can understand that we are a sum of our parts, not just one aspect as we tend to believe. This assists in having a wider view of ourselves and the world around us as we can see that so much of our struggle and strive in life is by our own creation.

Below is a shot that I did after an intense session of writing, drawing, and painting in which I feel really brings this concept to life – feeling an intense distaste the entire time.  It speaks for itself.

Kyler

Right Handed

So I am predominantly right-handed, but do a lot of things left-handed as well. And am very right-brained as well – anyone who knows me or has read through some of this blog can figure out the right-brained bit. Right brained individuals are said to be more creative, which I can attest to, but can also be a way for ADHD to manifest in an individual. Thats sort of me in a nut shell, lots of great ideas and creative ability, but lose focus pretty fast on most things. My brain chemistry is a little different from most because of this whole right-handed/left-handed bit as well. There is a clinical name for how my mind is set up, but of course I can not remember what it is. The only reason that I even know about it all is that a good friend of mine, who is set up with the same right/left weirdo anomaly that I have, was tested for some reason and told me all about it. Funny too because we are both very alike in many, many ways.

Anyway, I am right-handed but golf, bat, shoot (in hockey), and do most things like this left-handed. That is the whole thing of it. But here are a few shots that I have taken lately to illustrate different points. The interpretation is always up to the viewer, although some may strongly disagree, but this is the reality…we all walk around with our own ideas, and ways in which to see the world. My right hand…

Oh yea, the tattoo on my thumb was done in NYC in 2003 as a momento of the whole experience. I knew it wouldnt stay, stay on my thumb; and have had it gone over probably 4-5 times since. It is there but is fading for sure, as all tattoos do over time.

The larger tattoo over my wrist is three parts. The top 1/2 says “Nowhere to go” Meaning this moment is all we have so we may as well just relax into it, amoung many other meanings which I will not write about now. This is a Zen ideal. Along the side (right side of wrist) is a small lotus. If you dont get the lotus symbolism look it up. “At home in the muddy water” is a good analogy for life and the peaceful warrior. and on the bottom of my wrist is the Buddha’s eyes in a meditative like state. Blue highlights all over the entire piece. Anyway…

Self Portrait Project

Here it is….

Take a self-portrait and post 3 things about yourself: I already posted this to my flickr site so thought I would set it up here as well.

1.) I took a break from report writing to do all this. Something I probably should have had done 3 weeks ago – give or take.

2) I am enthralled with the idea of the self-portrait as a way to create a new awareness of the individual and to capture a diary of sorts of an individual. Rembrandt, Van Gogh, De Kalo (Frida), are 3 artists who did this throughout their lives and captured amazing pieces of themselves while doing each and every one. They were not photographers, but painters, and amazing ones at that. I can say that as a photographer, it has really taken me a purchase of a compact digital – where I can look at the frame of the shot – to get any self portrait at all. But did thoroughly enjoy my drawing session, doing a self-portrait with a large mirror in front of me as it was done by the 3 artists mentioned above…

3) I went off way too much on #2 to include a #3….

Visit Flickr to check out the photo, just at the top there, ya at the right….There you go.

One Love

The Suchness of Reality

'06
 

  I uploaded this painting a while ago and it just sits in the side bar in “drafts” cause I dont know why exactly I uploaded it so I thought I would use it first. This used to be my favorite painting (that I have painted) as it seems to convey a certain mood.

 

 I had moved to Kimberly B.C to do a practicum (2006) and was spending alot of time alone, writing and painting and just doing those kinds of things. I started to really witness the universal reality of sadness and the absolute connection with all around me. It was an interesting time in my life. I was overcome with intense feelings of sadness almost all the time for a period. It was a very transformational experience.

The whole thing of it is just the reality of existence, things fade in and out of existence and we are faced with life and death everywhere we look, it is only a matter of opening our hearts and our minds to what else is going on around us. We need only begin to move a little away from our egoic existence in order to begin to witness the world – and our own egos – in a different way. We are terrified as individuals to really embrace sadness, but sadness and emotional intensity does not have to be something to fear. As we look further intraspectively through contemplation,  meditation, and yoga (I also use art for meditative and reflective purposes) we the grip of the ego begins to loosen and provide a newfound freedom that we never thought was possible. I will quote the Heart Sutra here as it gives such a great description of this;

            O Shariputra, form is no other than emptiness,

            Emptiness no other than form;

            Form is precisely emptiness,

            Emptiness is precisely form.

            Sensation, perception, reaction, and consciousness are also like this.

            O Shariputra, all things are expressions of emptiness:

            Not born, not destroyed; not stained, not pure; neither waxing nor waning 

 

 

This is a great conversation between the Buddha and one of his students. I feel that the Sutra really speaks volumes to challenge what we think we know about everything around us. Another quote I did want to include and comment on is in regards to therapy (as a therapist). This quote is from Mark Epstein who is a Buddhist psychiatrist out of  New York:

 The traditional view of therapy as building up the self simply does not do justice to what we actually seek from the therapeutic process. We are looking for a way to feel more real, but we do not realize that to feel more real we have to push ourselves further into the unknown.

Such a great quote to give us a new perspective on things when we are looking at life and especially the internal verses the external reality. As we look outside of our “selves” and build our “selves” up more and more we begin distance from the consciousness that we are. To feel “more real” as Epstein says, one must begin to look at the structure of “self” itself, and deconstruct certain “fixations” and “illusions” through the process of what many others  call inquiry. As Maharshi states; “Self-inquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source. It is not, therefore, a case of one ‘I’ searching for another ‘I.’ 

 

So to start simply take up the contemplative practice of “who am I?” It is not just a thought “who am I?” It is a contemplation on “who am I?”  Not thinking about it, contemplating it. Similar to a Zen koan in which it is a question that may take the practitioner years to answer, or realize that there is no answer, the self-inquiry of “who am I?” is a long deconstructive process by which we can begin to know Self/consciousness. Enjoy…

 

(C) Kyler Evans, All Rights Reserved

Windy Night in the Cemetary

The wind was howling and roaring as we shot in the cemtary last night and our eyes played tricks on us. Seeing glowing lights in different areas of the area, we never did go far enough in to see what the light was. It seemed the longer we were there, the more the wind was working up the courage to ask us to leave. We took the hint and left after an hour or so. Some nice shots, or so I think. An interesting night and a good reason to go back there on a clear, non-gusting night.

So I Finally got back to the cemetary last night to shoot. I was also able to borrow a FiSh EyE LEnS to take the shots which was wonderful. I love the effect and the angles you can get with a fish eye, so wild. Here are a few shots, I only did one HDR which is the first shot in the series and remember you can always go onto flickr to view in a larger format:

Pathway to Darkness HDR

Cemetary Tree

Flowers and Headstones

FiSh EyE TrEe

2009 Kyler Evans, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but must include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me for my work, Kyler Evans.

Link to be used…(https://arisingphoenix.wordpress.com/)

A Simple Koan

I have been doing a lot of responses to what my unconscious mind seems to put down on a canvas or paper or whatever I am using at the time. This is just the simple process of expressive arts and using art as a path in itself. Anyway, the piece iself is oil pastel, and is called

 

Fluffy Bunnies: Theres Heaven, Theres Hell, then there is the Balance of NOthing that lies in-between. 

Fluffy Bunnies: Theres Heaven, Theres Hell, then there is the Balance of NOthing in-between

So that is the piece itself, here is the response to it, note I tend to have many images of faces turn up in almost everyone of my paintings. The unconscious is an interesting thing.

A Simple Koan:

 

Faces,

            Faces,

                        Faces with no face at all,

 

To whom to come;

            To whom to fall,

                        For they have no names at all,

 

The Faces…

                                       So many Faces,

                        Eyes seem to call,

 

“nothing”…

                        “nothing at all.”

 

For it is only in my mind,

            That there is such a grind,

                        To create such a scheme,

                                    Or,

                                                Is it all just a dream?

2006-2009 Kyler Evans, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images and Poetry is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but must include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me for my work, Kyler Evans.

Link to be used…(https://arisingphoenix.wordpress.com/)

 

 

One

One

Pulsating pathways,

                A flexible muse

                                Rolling & twisting,

                                                Cracking and vulnerable.

 

The Rhythm is earth,

                The world interconnected.

                                Weaving the pearl within,

                                                Aching waves of movement.

 

Ancient unions,

                Historic relationships;

                                Journey.

                                                Far reaching strength.

 

Wisdom and guidance,

                Braiding ball and chain

                                Intertwined forever;

                                                Life.

Balancing noose,

                Fluid breath,

                                Shaking in infinity;

                                                Beyond.

2006-2009 Kyler Evans, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but must include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me for my work, Kyler Evans.

Link to be used…(https://arisingphoenix.wordpress.com/)