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 IV: “Nobe Young Falls”

Birth of a Painting Series VI: “Nobe Young Falls”.

“Nobe Young Falls”, oil on canvas, 3′ x 4′, 2010

Nature influences my art, every aspect of nature in the wild is so precious. In California we have been experiencing an extreme drought, which is causing fires, and tree disease and plant die out in our Sierra Nevada Mountains. We have lost thousands of trees in the last few years, and the loss of natural habitat is shocking.

My painting “Nobe Young Falls”, is a landscape created in oil paints. Nobe Young Falls are in Sequoia National Forest. I used to have a home in Camp Nelson, and the falls were near my home. It is an area that was homesteaded by my son’s great, great, grandmother, Nellie Marshall (the niece of John Marshall, discoverer of Gold! in California). She homesteaded 200 acres near Ponderosa, CA. in the Sierra Nevada’s of California, in 1870’s. She married Nathan Dillon, a gold rush businessman, and owner of land that is now Dillonwood Sequoia Grove in Sequoia National Park.  Dillon Wood

Nobe Young Falls are now a destination, when I hiked there it was an unmarked trail. If you would like to visit these falls there are now directions posted. https://www.world-of-waterfalls.com/california-nobe-young-falls.html

Here is a map of the Giant Sequoia Groves in the Sequoia National Forest. Camp Nelson, Ponderosa, and Dillonwood are located on the second map: Giant Sequoia Groves in Sequoia National Forest.

Thank you for reading this post! Denise Hartley

 

 

Birth of a Painting Series: “Blossom Peak”.

Article by Denise Hartley

In the Birth of a Painting Series, I try to give examples where the artist finds inspiration in creating an artwork, and how the creative process develops within the artist.

Painting, Blossom Peak, by artist Denise Hartley

I begin this series with my painting “Blossom Peak”. It is a 4’ x 6’, mixed media painting on a wood panel, created in 2004. It is in a private collection.

The inspiration for the painting “Blossom Peak” began on a hike I took with my son. We climbed an iconic peak in Three Rivers, California. Three Rivers is near the entrance to Sequoia National Park, on the banks of the whitewater Kaweah River. The park is the home of Mount Whitney, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. It is famous for its giant sequoia groves, jagged peaks, and glacier polished valleys, rushing rivers, and wildlife. As a resident of Three Rivers, hiking is an important experience, as well as white water rafting and swimming, and it is the backpackers dream location.

My young son I enthusiastically began our hike at the base of Blossom Peak, and headed straight up hill, we rose above California’s Central Valley, hidden by fog. After reaching the top, we could see the snow covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada, signed the book, made our cell calls, and then my son looked over the steep edge, and slipped. He somehow caught himself at the last moment at the precipice, a 35’ drop to the rocks below.

In the spirit of jubilant thankfulness, we began our descent. The inspiration of this painting was based upon the high emotions that I felt that day, and on our return, I began this painting, “Blossom Peak”.

 

Video: Birth of a Painting Series: “Blossom Peak”.

 

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.