Birth of a Painting Series XII: “World in Abstraction”.

In this series, World of Abstraction, my paintings are based upon philosophical ideas, and addressing the unknown. Paintings by Denise Hartley.

“Passage Way”, mixed media on wood, gold leaf, 4’ x 6’, 2002. Private collection.

“Passage Way”.   The opening into another dimension. How do we reach the unknown within ourselves? How do we learn about ourselves?

To Know Yourself is to Forget Yourself

So to know yourself is to forget yourself. This is to say that when we make friends with ourselves we no longer have to be so self-involved. It’s a curious twist: making friends with ourselves is a way of not being so self-involved anymore. Then Dogen Zen-ji goes on to say, “To forget yourself is to become enlightened by all things.” When we are not so self-involved, we begin to realize that the world is speaking to us all of the time. Every plant, every tree, every animal, every person, every car, every airplane is speaking to us, teaching us, awakening us. It’s a wonderful world, but we often miss it. It’s as if we see the previews of coming attractions and never get to the main feature.

 

 

 

 

“Mitochondria I, Mitochondria II”, mixed media on wood, gold leaf, 4’ x 6’, 2002. Private collections.

“Mitochondria”. Each of our cells can contain thousands of mitochondria. They are used by our bodies to convert molecules into energy. They are independent, and genetically distinct from the cell nucleus, and can manufacture their own proteins. It is thought that mitochondria originated as a separate single-cell organism that became symbiotic with their hosts, as to be indispensable. Mitochondrial DNA is a remnant of a past existence as a separate organism. Mitochondria contain their own DNA, which we only inherit from our mothers, and can be used to trace maternal links (The American Heritage Science Dictionary).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Jade Disc”, acrylic paint on canvas, 4’ x 6’, 2002.

“Jade Disc”.  This disc is called a bi disc, it is a flat jade disc, with a circular hole in the center. They were used in Neolithic times, burial objects, undecorated, about 3000 B.C.E. The jade objects represent Heaven and were laid on the diseased.

 

 

 

 

“Tao”, mixed media, acrylic on canvas, 4’ x 6’, 2002.

“Tao”. This painting represents the beginning of the universe. The red rays piercing the disc, are the sparks that create the Ten Thousand Things in our existence.

Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching

Verse 40.

Returning (to the basis) is the motion of Tao,
Yielding is the work of Tao,
The Ten Thousand Things in the universe are born of being,
Being is born of nothingness.

Verse 42.

Tao begot one.
One begot two.
Two begot three.
And three begot the Ten Thousand Things.

“Silent Passage”, oil on gessoed wood, 4′ x 6′, 2003.

“Silent Passage”. 

The reason water can keep changing its form is because it is essentially formless. Its form is determined by what is around it. Put it in a cup, and it will be cup-shaped. Put it in a ravine, and it will be river-shaped. It needs no form of its own, because it harmonizes with everything around it, taking other beings as its outline, instead of imposing itself upon others”.

Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching.

 

 

“Zen Drawing”, mixed media on wood, 3’ x 4’, 2002. Private Collection.

“Zen Drawing”.  Enlightenment, the first principle is possible acknowledging the everything and everyone is Buddha-nature. Enlightenment is possible to everyone. Enlightenment in Buddhism, or for the Taoist sage, is not expressible in words, or logical thought. Intuitive understanding is necessary, acknowledging that eternity is here and now.

“The Zen artist, on the other hand, tries to suggest by the simplest possible means the inherent nature of the aesthetic object. Anything may be painted, or expressed in poetry, and any sounds may become music. The job of the artist is to suggest the essence, the eternal qualities of the object, which is in itself a work of natural art before the artist arrives on the scene. In order to achieve this, the artist must fully understand the inner nature of the aesthetic object, its Buddha nature. This is the hard part. Technique, though important, is useless without it; and the actual execution of the art work may be startlingly spontaneous, once the artist has comprehended the essence of his subject”.

Fredric Liberman

Zen Buddhism And Its Relationship
to Elements of Eastern And Western Art

 http://artsites.ucsc.edu/faculty/lieberman/zen.html

 

 

 

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Birth of a Painting Series IX: “Solid Footing, Trees and Rocks”.

” A beautiful thing calls forth things that are 

beautiful in kind…”

                                  Tung Chung-Shu

Nature Series:

My art consists of a combination of video installations and paintings, which form an exploration of the sights and sounds of water. Focusing on a natural vista, the viewer may experience the crashing of waves, the roar of a whitewater river, and the sounds of a brook working its way downward, in the cycle of movement, back to the ocean.

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Photo by D.A. Hartley

My paintings create a tactile experience for the viewer, transforming the gallery into a visual world of life sized natural forms which mirror the existing environment. The paintings are sculptural, created on large wood panels, with deep texture, stains and oils are worked into the wood. The videos are of natural events, surrounding the viewer with the gentle or crashing sounds of water, designed to include the viewer within the artwork.

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“Lost Canyon”, mixed media on wood, gold leaf, 4′ x 6′, 2005.

Paintings in this video:

“Lost Canyon”, mixed media on wood, 4’ x 6’, 2005. Private collection.

“Blossom Peak”, mixed media on wood, 4’ x 6’, 2004. Private collection.

“Aspen”, mixed media on wood, 4’ x 6’, 2002. Private collection.

“Starlight”, mixed media on canvas, diptych, 76” x 54”, 2004. Private collection.

“Old Friends”, mixed media on wood, 4’ x 8’, 2001. Courtesy of the artist.

“Old Oak and Rock”, oil on canvas, unfinished, 2017-2018.

 

”Cypress and Basalt”, mixed media on wood, 4’ x 6’, 2006. Private collection.

“Aspens”, mixed media, gold on wood, diptych, 6’ x 8’, 2006. Private collection.

“Tao”, cast bronze, 10.5” x 22”, 2002. Collection of the artist.

Art Exhibitions for this series:

  1. Water! 2008, Conley Art Gallery, Fresno, CA. Solo Exhibition
  2. Icons, 2004, Three Person Exhibition, Fourth Street Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA.
  3. Temporal Man in Nature, 2002, Cort Gallery, Three Rivers, CA. Solo Exhibition.

Thank you for visiting my art blog,

Denise

 

Birth of a Painting Series VIII: “Water”, an Installation.

 

Water! A combination of large-scale videos within an installation format that includes an inner meditation room, surrounded by paintings and the gentle sounds of water, designed to include the viewer in the artwork. The paintings are sculptural, created on large wood panels, with deep texture, oil paints, and gold leaf. The videos are of natural events; “Lost Canyon Falls”, includes water and fire in a meditative film; “Lake Kaweah”, transforms two years of photos into a video time-piece, recording the beauty of each passing day; “Douglas Creek”, in the meditation room, includes streams, meadows, and the sounds of water.

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“Koi”, oil on wood, gold leaf, diptych, 70″ x 68″, 2008.

Paintings: “Cypress and Basalt”, mixed media on wood, 4′ x 6′, 2006. Private collection.

“Aspens”, mixed media, gold leaf on wood, diptych, 6′ x 8′, 2006. Private collection.

“Mountains, Clouds, and Streams”, mixed media on wood, triptych, 4′ x 6′, 2008. For sale.

“Silent Passage”, oil on gessoed wood, 4′ x 6′, 2004. Private collection.

Copyright 2018 Denise Hartley.

Thank you for reading my Friend Nature Blog!

http://www.dahartley.com

Birth of a Painting Series VII, “Douglas Creek”.

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“Douglas Creek”, acrylic on canvas, 3′ x 4′, 2010

 

Douglas Creek is one of many small creeks that come directly from the high-country snowmelt and natural springs. It is our drinking water for our cabin in Stanislaus National Forest, located at 6,700 ft. where the water is delivered by gravity flow. After passing by our cabin it enters the South Fork of the Stanislaus River, which begins at (9,635 ft. (2,937 m) Leavitt Peak, in Tuolumne County and eventually enters the San Joaquin River, and drains into the San Francisco Bay.

This little mountain stream and river have sustained life well beyond our time. There are parts of wagons used by the settlers trying to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There are obsidian points from the Miwok Native American tribe and grinding stones. The tiny stream banks are lined with willow, horsetail herb, mints, orchids, and many other wildflowers.

As a child I wandered where ever I wished, with the caveat that, if lost, head downhill. I have slept outdoors with bear and mountain lions as possible visitors. Deer have taken a nap beside me. Chipmunks and Golden Mantle squirrels have sat in my hands. I trust the four- legged critters but keep a wary eye on the two legged.

Climate Change is changing our landscape quickly. We had to saw down six large beautiful Ponderosa trees this year alone. They are dying at a rapid rate, from bark beetles (love the heat), and a fungus, which spreads from fir tree roots. This was all predicted by a U.C. Berkeley scientist that wrote about how pollution affects the photosynthesis process, especially in the Ponderosa Pines. I watched a fire burn this summer across the river, tree torches burning brightly in the night.

Thank you for reading,

Denise Hartley

 

 

Birth of a Painting Series III: “Blocked”.

BIRTH OF A PAINTING SERIES III: “BLOCKED, an Art Exhibition”. Fresno, CA, 2000.

As an artist, I paint when I am inspired. Everything flows; feeling great, working in the studio for hours, paint flows from my brush. The question is how to be an artist when the inspiration has disappeared, when you feel blocked from your inner self?

The painting “She Broke”, was the beginning of the “Blocked” series. The dominant orange, the contrasting blue highlights, black drips, blobs, and pools, and yes, the first block began in this painting, on the upper mid-right of the canvas. The broken figurine is real, and she is still broken, kept as a reminder of the past.

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I began this series of paintings while I was blocked! My creative solution was to paint the limitation that I was feeling. I began just to paint actual BLOCKS, placed in restrictive grids, which eventually swirled into patterns.

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The next painting is the “Eye of God”. Using the contrasting shades of blue and orange creates a boldness I had not expected.  The ‘eye’ is not blocked,  and is not placed within the grid. The ‘eye’ expands to me the feeling of what is possible, or what is enduring within myself.

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The painting “Self-Restraint”, painted in blues and greens which follows the cool color pallet, using analogous colors.  The lovely landscape is blocked by a large grid, and it is broken into drip-like smaller grids within the panes of a window. To me that exemplifies that there is beauty in the world, yet at the time I could not quite access it.

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My favorite of the series is “Creation”, warm colors are dominant, with a touch of cool blues and greens.But everything in the painting is off kilter, the edges are leaning at odd angles. The blocks and the grids remain in the painting.

The artist is still blocked, but ‘she’ is stacking the blocks in a manner that creates tension in the artwork. I am encouraged by the reddish blast occurring in the top left, breaking the grid, and the swirl in the middle, and the circular objects lying upon the grid!

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“Venus”, D.A. Hartley

This is the first painting created of the BLOCKED art exhibition. “Venus”, oil on canvas, 30″ x 48″, 1997. Venus figurines found in caves, the earliest created 35,000 years ago. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_figurines

 

 

Many thanks for your interest,

Denise Hartley

Please respect the artists copyright. 

Exhibition: Paintings by Denise Hartley:

“Creation”, oil on canvas, 3’x4′, 2000;

 “Eye of God”, oil on canvas, 3’x4′, 1998;

  “Self-Restraint”, oil on canvas, 3’x4′, 1999;

 “She Broke”, oil on canvas, 30″x 48″, 1998.

“Venus”, oil on canvas, 30″x 48″, 1997.

http://www.dahartley.com

http://www.denisehartley.org 

Instagram: dahartley222

 

 

 

BBC Program on Fracking, featuring Professor Iain Stewart.

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

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Professor Iain Stewart

***

Letter written to Professor Stewart by Lack of Environment, author Martin Lack: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

Herewith appended below is an email I sent today to Professor Iain Stewart (and copied to all those named in it).

Dear Professor Stewart,

I wanted to express my appreciation for the sensitive way in which you handled the issues in last night’s Horizon programme and for all the facts, figures and research findings it contained.  I was particularly interested in the evidence that shale gas has escaped from poorly-constructed wells in the USA.  Even if the UK can improve on the 6 to 7% failure rate in the USA, 100% success (i.e. no failures) is highly improbable.  Therefore, if fracking must be pursued (for whatever reason), this would make it imperative that the BGS establish baseline monitoring for methane as soon as possible. Would it be possible to get a copy of the transcript of the programme (or a list of References)?

Given my geological background and my MA in Environmental Politics, I have written a great deal about Fracking and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on my blog.  However, having started out very much opposed to both Fracking and CCS, my position has evolved as a consequence of ‘exchanges of views’ I had last year with Professor Peter Styles (Keele) and with Professor Robert Mair (Cambridge/Royal Society).  As a result of these exchanges – summarised or linked to here on my blog – I would agree with Peter that we probably need shale gas.  However, I believe Peter also agrees with me that we probably cannot afford it*.  I also understand that the remit of the Royal Society specifically excluded the long-term sustainability implications of pursuing fracking.

Nevertheless, this leaves me wondering whether you could encourage the BBC to do a second programme to address the consequences of humans burning all the Earth’s fossil fuels simply because they are there; and/or the need for ‘Western’ per capita energy consumption to be drastically reduced?  Having read David MacKay’s book, Sustainable Energy: Without The Hot Air, I think our biggest problem is that most people do not think holistically about the problems we face or, even worse, they seem to think concepts such as ‘ecological carrying capacity’ are just eco-Marxist propaganda.  However, although it would seem that CCS is now going to be essential in order to minimise anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), I think it is also the biggest obstacle to getting politicians to take decisive action to decarbonise our power generation systems.

Even if such a second Horizon programme is not likely, I remain very appreciative of all you have done – and are doing – to raise the profile of ACD as an Earth Science issue that should be of concern to all.

Kind regards, [etc]

ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond

* If fracking becomes the new energy boom, it is very hard to see how CCS will ever be able to be rolled-out on a global scale to keep pace with unabated CO2 emissions.

“Let Fury Have The Hour”, film by Antonio D’Ambrosio. Artist’s Unite!

YouTube Link:  $3.99     http://www.youtube.com/movie/let-fury-have-the-hour?feature=mv_sr

A documentary that chronicles how a generation of artists, thinkers, and activists used their creativity as a response to the reactionary politics that came to define our culture in the 1980s.

Director Antonino D’Ambrosio took seven years interviewing various artists who discuss how their work stems in large part from reactions to the conservative politics of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. They explain how their creative responses to what they felt were dehumanizing social changes allow them to find a way to affect the world. Among the many interviewees are Chuck D, Tom MorelloJohn Sayles, and Eve Ensler.

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Shepard Fairey, Obey Giant Room - The Creek So...

Shepard Fairey, Obey Giant Room – The Creek South Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan greet Prime Min...

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan greet Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Denis Thatcher of the United Kingdom for the State Dinner at the North portico of the White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)