Some funky bubble wrap painted in acrylic. Was thinking it will be good for wrapping up paintings with for postage. And the recipient may decide to keep it, which means one less piece of plastic in the ocean.
Great article about how artists should never under-price themselves; and some advice on how to decide what to charge for your work. She recommends that if you feel even a twinge of resentment selling your work at a certain price you need to put the price up till you feel no resentment at all.
Not sure what this one will turn out to be yet, reminds me of a dragon taking a shower (-:
I have now got a free Wordpress website up and running. Going to post my paintings and writing on there. People will also be able to download good quality scans of my paintings and print them for free for their own personal non-commercial use. People will also be able to buy the original paintings from there and there will be links to where professinal quality prints and other merchandise featuring my artwork can be purchased. Also a donation button for anyone who can afford to and wants to support my work.
Not got much on it just now, two posts so far, one a painting and the other an article, but I aim to try and post stuff on there regularly and over time gradually get all my paintings scanned and on there and available for download.
Website address is: https://thestonecub.wordpress.com/
One cannot change the past, but one can honour it by learning from it and making it into a pearl of wisdom.
Feeling much more motivated today. Started my Python revision and surprised myself by being able to get into it. Opened the window wide and tidied up my room a bit, much easier to do that now the weather's cooler. I am determined to make it into a Zendo one day! However long it takes. Even managed some painting. My paintings are taking me much longer than before, there's some I've been working on now for weeks, and they still aren't finished, consisting of more and more layers and changes to colours and shapes. The process is very much keep doing that until some part of me says 'Aye that's done now'.
I am going to have a shot at selling the paintings themselves eventually. But will keep scanning them and sharing them freely online at the same time. I believe art should be for everyone, not just something hoarded by an art collector. Eventually I will have a website of my own where people can download the scans for free and print their own copies, and also links to where they can buy high-quality prints if they want.
Also going to try and write a book, and have a go at selling that online when it's finished.
I keep going for regular walks to stretch my legs and get some fresh air, sometimes the weather defeats me, so I will just stand on the porch and listen to the rain. I am lucky that I live near the sea, woods and some meadows, they are all within a short walking distance. Sometimes I like walking along the seafront, it is nice to see people about and I love the Victorian architecture here, it is magic. Even if I never say anything to anyone, I like remembering that I live in a community of other people. I try to remember to practise metta, and stay attentive to the energy in my heart area, wishing others well (silently in my head) as I walk passed.
Am disillusioned with this world, not much passion for anything just now. Career, painting, technology, science, books, music, films, romance, intoxicants, pleasure, pain. I no longer care for any of it, it all feels so unsatisfying. Politics is a load of crap, same old story of the wealthy shafting everyone else and the planet. Victims of greed they hoard and hoard, and never feel happy or content, there's always that niggling feeling of dissatisfaction in the background, and to fill this they automatically grasp for more wealth and power, but they never fill that emptiness within, never cure that feeling of how unsatisfying everything is, why?
This modern world we live in is fuelled by greed, hatred and delusion. And all of it is doomed to end, nothing lasts, all things are being constantly chomped away at by impermanence, everything is in a state of entropy. Is why I just stick my paintings to my walls with masking tape, I don't give a shit, I know they're impermanent and I am not attached to them. I don't even know who paints them, it doesn't feel like the Richie tapping away at the keys here, some other geezer and we are both impermanent, empty, and always changing.
Is it possible to feel happiness on the spiritual path? The happiest memories I have are the days in my youth dancing at rave parties high as a kite feeling connected to everything and feeling free. Those were the best feelings I ever had, nothing else I have ever experienced has been as liberating as that was. Full of immense love and empathy for everyone around me, and they also feeling the same way towards me, all of us one, smiling and expressing our good nature, a feeling of unity, of oneness, being completely at ease with everyone and everything. In that place I forgot who I was, forgot my story and didn't care a jot about it anymore, It didn't matter who anyone was, nobody cared, we were all the same, no judgement, no shame, no exclusion, just goodwill, friendliness, and a shared feeling of connection and space to be who we are. Those beautiful memories stay with me, even now at the age of 46, and they remind me that deep down, all of us, whoever we are, have a good nature underneath all the layers of shit. We all want to love and be loved, to live in peace. I believe that our original mind before it is tainted by the world is good-natured.
It makes me think of the spiritual practise of metta. Metta means unconditional love, kindness, friendship, warmth, benevolence, and jovial good will. Metta also has a good-natured sense of humour, which can help one to not take things too seriously or personally. Metta is the Pali word, but there isn't really a satisfying equivalent that captures it in the English language. So I just use the word metta, as it is easier than listing all the qualities it embodies. It is a nice feeling, and there have been times when practising metta where I thought I came close to how I felt at a rave party (but without the dreaded comedown). Equanimity is also a nice state of mind, and very useful. It is the best one to look at reality with. Not a cold dry dead equanimity, it is alive, warm-hearted and kind, but doesn't take the suffering of the world upon itself. With equanimity one no longer clings to anything, no longer chases after anything, and one doesn't get shaken or swept up by the random nature of things, one is centred. With equanimity one remains calm in a crisis, unshaken and unsuprised by the changing nature of the world, in that lucid state of mind one can look at reality with clarity and see things as they are.
A Zen teacher said that my feelings of disillusionment with the world are a good thing, they are the first noble truth. Disillusionment means one has seen through the illusion.
The second noble truth is to see it is my attachment to the illusion that causes me suffering.
The third noble truth is to come out of the trance and let go of the illusion, stop clinging to the inner story of self.
The fourth noble truth contains the practical instructions on how one trains the mind to let go of and go beyond the self-centred dream. To (through the gradual training of the noble eight-fold path) reach a state of mind that doesn't die, doesn't suffer, and experiences a profound freedom that remains and never ceases - nibbana.
One of the three brains in the 'Triune Brain' model. The reptilian brain is the oldest and largest of the three brains and still retains a parietal eye, known as the third eye or scientifically as the pineal gland. (Some lizards still have a parietal eye today.)
The reptilian brain regulates the bodily functions, and is responsible for fight or flight, feeding, reproduction, automatic behaviours and survival instincts. It governs the language of the body via sensations and impulse.
The other two brains which rest on top of it are the mammalian brain which is responsible for our emotions, feelings and unconscious memory. And at the very top, the homo sapien brain which is responsible for executive functioning, thought and verbal communication.
Sometimes when meditating and one becomes still enough, a nimitta will appear. Nimitta is a Pali word that means: sign. A sign you are getting into a deeper state of concentration/samhadi and close to absorption. The nimitta is a mind generated phenomena, and varies in appearance and behaviour depending on what is being used for a meditation object . It can involve any of the senses, but for me mostly appears as a visual or tactile sensation. Once the nimitta is clear and strong enough it can then be used as a meditation object itself, which can then take one into even deeper states of stillness. There is often an otherworldly feeling that accompanies a nimitta and they can be very weird but in a good way, and certainly nothing to be afraid of. These deeper states of stillness feel very freeing and healing and one can encounter what is known as original mind which is beautiful beyond description.
I am finding words increasingly dissatisfying to use, it feels good to be silent and just observe phenomenon without the internal commentary. It is so easy to get tangled up in thoughts and our stories about what we think is really happening (which are often wrong). It can be difficult to untangle oneself from them.
Words are good to start with, if one can get some degree of control over the thinking process and keep it directed towards just one thing, it can be used to talk oneself into a more subtle state of mind that goes beyond words, and using the breath as a tool as well to help energise and relax the body, one can glide on the momentum into deeper states of mind.
To switch off thinking feels very good, in fact I wonder if most of the suffering we all feel comes from thinking too much, the brain is always trying to analyse everything, solve everything, do this, do that, the wanting, whether that's something you desire, or wanting things to change, the guilt, the chasing, the pain, the suffering -- belieiving that which you are wanting will make you happy and your life isn't complete without it.
Thoughts and words can be tyrranical, and keep us imprisoned in our heads, yet thoughts aren't all there is to the mind, the mind is much bigger than our thoughts. It feels so good to switch them off and go somewehere beyond the internal dialogue - fly free from all the wanting.
An abstract painting of a rockpool.
Prints available at: https://lnkd.in/drPth84D
Still studying and learning about computing, just completed and passed a Java module with the Open University. I guess realistically getting a job in computing is my best chance of earning an income, but painting will always be my first love.
Have been getting into painting again, still very much learning the craft. I am not into photo-realitstic drawing or realistic depictions of reality, those kind of paintings don't do much for me, and I find drawing a bit tedious if all I am doing is drawing something exactly as it appears in front of me. I am very much into abstract and the inner world and playing with colour and form.
I am currently designing my own website, but it will be a while before I have it online, as going to have to go over some of the materials in the web technologies module again, as I have forgotten a lot of it.
In the meantime I have scanned my paintings and uploaded them onto two websites where people can buy prints, but not sold any yet, it is hard to make money with art, but what the Hell, thought I would give it a go anyway.
The sites are:
Here's one of the paintings:
Can also be a flower deva...
...or sparks from a camp fire next to the sea, carried away into the night by a breeze:
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