Unexpected Result

By now I should have expected something like that. But every time something of s sort happens there is a slight feeling of surprise. As i wrote in more then one article here already, my father in-law without much interest or expectation has discovered to his surprise what i told him now and then, for years. I still view myself as somewhat of an artist and there was a time when I exhibited, sold and even answered questions, all in regards to my artwork.

Much has changed since then. America is where I am now and I read, write and speak in English with some degree of proficiency. Computers came and took over, pay ohones all but disappeared, together with music and book stores. Cell phones now are viewed as ultimate gateway to happiness (just think of azure coast line screen saver that one can get with a purchase of a $1,000 device that can do invariable more and more of the things that never needed to be ever done). All this is here not just for me but for many.

And so my father in law asked me on several ocasions to paint his portrait, that sounded really good to me. I have not painted for 18 years at that point but never thought that I have laid down the brushes, it’s just that I was not in the right place to do so. And so, I bought a few canvaces, a pallete knife and investigated into new paint producers to add to the selection of now antique tubes of paint (all purchased in Pearl Paint in NYC – art materials poit of piligrimage that does not exist anymore).

My 1st attempt at the painting did not result in anything that I felt I could finish, although the composition came together neatly and character of the old man somewhat reflected in the moment. Still I was playing with the ideas too much after all these years and I abandoned the canvas. Quickly painting just a prominent portrait with noting much in the picture in a way of distraction.

However when the old man came over he said that he is intending to take the half finished, half erased, half not meant to be canvas home and i can come and work on it there, finishing it as i please. I was amused, telling myself: “Guess what I will have to do something to finish this one as well, to some degree, he wants two portraits now”

And here we have it, yet another canvas lives to be signed as a finished work.

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An actual signed return

IMG_20180528_181150I hope so, there were always plans to paint things, but when you pay astronomical rent, run a restaurant or have to merchandise 2,000 Lbs of cheese, all invariably 6, not five days a week, all these painting plans have no chance to take hold, none at all. Finally father in law after looking at many of my older canvases had a eureka moment: “you are classically trained artist”. I was like: “you can say that, in some past life, – I had not painted for about 18 years”. He could not resist and asked for a portrait. So, here it came to pass, I am painting again, not as “seriously” but obviously just as seriously.

Baby elephant mind

IMG_20180613_134219Title: Baby Elephant Mind. Media: oil on canvas. Size: 40 by 30 inch. Price $1008. #elephant #elephants #elephant_painting #painting_of_nature #sherabpainting

This is some of the best of everything. Legendary NYC art supply dealer of 20 years ago David Davis stretchers, -mine have Mercer Street address, it is from the time when they had a store in the basement of “Guggenheim Soho”, then canvas from fabric wholesaler (that does not exist for many a year) on Lower Broadway, and a finished painting that was started 18 years ago, all feels very, very special.

Man-Cave

I love, love idea of this term “man-cave”. If you twist it around enough and away from popular American culture, you arrive at most surprising things, as in somewhere there is “Vajrayogini Cave”, or a cave in which Milarepa meditated, or whole Maratica Cave where Guru Rinpoche the Padmasambhava meditated on Amitayus, demonstrating accomplishment of that practice. IMG_20180611_142805

Alas “man-cave” is usually in the basement of the house where one lives. ut ability to bring an occupation of life-long interest into that with healthy degree of solitude, that is just breathtaking.

Somewhere along the lines of the effort to make more room, while still in NYC I lost my easel. But then again, my best paintings were somehow painted on the floor.

 

Do not forget to throw some money away

We love, treasure our efforts and results of our labors. With complete appreciation of all that, here in is a chance to throw away some of these perfect results.

It can be same as throwing paper printed with green images into a fire, up into the sky to have the wind pick it up and carry away, scattered. Or a wave of water carry it off into wast expanse of an ocean. And in same time not the same. As our mind dictates our personal phenomena and so we can regret the money to be wasted or view it all as offering mandala transforming into pure vision of spiritual practice.

What donations are used is much like that, light, fire, smoke offerings. Blessings going up in smoke, to be carried off by the wind and swept away by the rain.

IMG_20180531_141742There is persistent purpose and beauty to it all. So, if you are unable for one reason or the other leave your work, sit down on a bench to bask in the sunlight, might as well sponsor any of these activities that without doubt always  have focused and sustained the elusive, indescribable positivity in this world.

2018 Summer retreat will present me with opportunities to engage in some of the study, contemplation, prayer and meditation, praising and offering and dedicating, all in a well known location. Palyul Retreat Center, upstate NY, for a month starting around July 10 and winding down around August 10. My attendance is in no way contingent on donations received. But all donations received will be offered to the various activities during the retreat.

gofundme link for this year: https://www.gofundme.com/summer2018retreat

-With dedication of all past, current and future merit of all beings towards clarity and wisdom inseparable within all of us.

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Paintings of sounds

I really miss Pearl Paint art supply store. Throughout 1990ties shopping there for oil paints, brushes and sometimes print paper as well as anything else from woodcutting chisles to gold leaf. That was really the store that had all sorts of art materials all at good prices, I will never forget that they had sale on some Old Holland oils 3 for $10, more then once. I still have some.IMG_20180529_124520

Here is one of my personal favorites. This was painted as a result of a purchase of a perfect stiff bristle brush (I usually use soft sable), I was so inspired to work with it that I finished this “Flying sax player” working through the night some time in winter of 1993. Missing Pearl Paint a lot, best location, best prices and best selection of art materials that I ever saw. #sherabpainting #paintings_of_sounds #nyc_paintings #jazz #music

Painting the in-laws

Mother-in-law Kimchi, it is a somewhat known brand of the world famous Korean pickle. I hold unimportant distinction of situating it in a supermarket chain by recommending it once to the purchasing department and somehow the owner, a beautiful glamorous woman came over and said “thanks”. What can I say? -Only in New York City. (My reaction was, well my wife is Korean and this store did not carry any Kimchi at all, you know, life-or-death situation for some people). There is subtle irony to the whole thing of mother in law anything, it is that impossible to reach high standard that comes with a bit of imposition. But guess what, sometimes you just get a jar of already made pickle.

IMG_20180528_181150So, the in-laws come and look at my youth exploits covering the walls, at some point i was very well internationally received painter. And father in law goes: “How long will it take for you to paint a portrait, for me?” To that I am like: “ok, this is deep waters (thinking to myself, as I did not paint in 20 years) to him I am like: “you should not worry, I can work from a photograph, the bigger decision is to pain or not to period”.

And so I open my old paint tubes that I would not be able to afford now and contemplate with deep, deep excitement in front of a canvas. Amazingly 20 year old oil paints by best makers like “Old Holland” do not get old, they just don’t.

Grandfather is an older gentleman that has lived through 60ties and 70ties and without doubt had bell bottom suits back in the day, There is some sort of imperfect sense of glamour about him that only time was able to damage, back in the day (I saw the pictures, the whole family looked positively cutting edge). IMG_20180528_181133

Here is 1st painting I did based on imprecise recollection of how I thought he came across during his youngest son wedding. It is unfinished piece. Please do not judge. The background was not done before it was abandoned as a study of what to do, as well as face and general final touches were not laid down.  It is a small piece as can be seen from this picture. And it was a miscalculation because the goal was to produce a portrait. So, setting this attempt at style, for the memorial day visit an actual portrait had to be affected, and now I knew that I can always just paint. IMG_20180528_181150 And here are paintings to the world, ever-so-slight “make an offer that I can not refuse” as well as myself thinking that, who knows maybe the Old Holland paint tubes did not dry up and what  a joy it is to put paintings out there, one of a kind, painted with your very own being, no matter how fast or slow. If you wander about the reactions, everyone seemed to have loved it.