Oct 31 2009

“Four Noble Truths”

noble 3

2009 bronze and stainless steel 4′ X 12′ X 4′

originally this sculpture was ALL about “suffering” and the Buddhist beliefs based on their four truths. knowing “true suffering” which is the physical/mental pains we incur in this life. abandoning “true origins” which is the self-grasping ignorance, attachments in/of this life, hatred, jealousy, self-cherishing…all which are the creations of our own sufferings. knowing “true cessation” which is the cause to end our suffering by way of enlightenment, and following “true paths” which is not an exterior path but an inner path one is devoted to enlightenment for the sake of all living beings. this is/was the original concept for this piece however after the dismantling and reworking of its structural integrity and my contentment with the new patina i came upon this picture of a tibetan symbol which propelled me into rethinking this original work! the symbol is based on a tantric practice from an old lineage of teachings and is very rare and precious if one has the capacity and direct teachings to train under. upon viewing this tantric symbol it suddenly dawned upon me that the exact shapes were within my “Four Noble Truths”!  i had always felt there was something missing in this piece but i could never put my finger on it…until i saw the symbol again. the Dharmas of sutra and tantra were being integrated within this sculpture! how incredibly profound and what a revelation! one i cannot begin to understand, but it validates that creations of minds come from places out of our control.

http://www.theasianwelder.com/category/the-four-noble-truths/ link to the beginning of stories…

noble frontnoble 2



Oct 24 2009

A call to YOUTH

new


Oct 23 2009

stainless light

floor lamp7

2009 serenity floor lamp, stainless steel drop sheets, rice paper, walnut, 3-way energy light bulb

“Please give me the light of your wisdom

To dispel the darkness of my mind…”

floor lamp close-up cropclose-up of rice paper



 


Oct 17 2009

the core or middle of anything

agave

center

“American aloe plant,” 1797, from L. Agave, from Gk. Agaue,proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos“noble,” perhaps from agasthai “wonder at,” from gaiein “to rejoice, exult,” with intensive prefix a-. The name seems to have been taken generically by botanists, the plant perhaps so called for its “stately” flower stem.

noble, wonder, to rejoice” this agave sits out front of my gallery/warehouse. i pass it daily and only yesterday realized its “center” revealed beautiful markings from its growth. it does evoke a noble feel in color sage, silky smooth touch, elegance and strength, a wonder to look at which brings one to rejoice in their good fortune for having witnessed it. something so ordinary living here in the desert one see’s this plant everywhere and everyday, it ought to be our mantra for living here! “take the time to see the agave and find your center”.


Oct 13 2009

A Weekend of Openings!

chandelier hue

2009, stainless, chandelier

As I sit recovering from my Fall Show I find myself restlessly tired and reflecting on the weekend’s events and the path that lead me there.  It is difficult for me to evaluate the “success” of the show by traditional means but I am as proud of my work as I have ever been and I have learned some important lessons from the journey.  I guess in that respect the weekend was an incredibly successful experience!

I began this season caught-up in the social media buzz and excited to jump headlong onto the train.  I would do whatever it took to become familiar with the social media venues and use them to expose, examine and market my new work to the world!

So it began……

“Social Media” can be said to have three components;

Concept (art, information, or meme).

Media (physical, electronic, or verbal).

Social Interface (intimate direct, community engagement, social viral, electronic broadcast or syndication, or other physical media such as print).

“Marketing” is an integrated communications-based process through which individuals and communities are informed or persuaded that existing and newly identified needs and wants may be satisfied by the products and services of others.

Marketing is used to create the customer, to keep the customer and to satisfy the customer. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that Marketing is one of the premier components of Business Management – the other being Operations (or Production).

lois,me,dianeLois, me, Diane

After reading this, I believed wholeheartedly that the two work together in a successful, bliss like partnership!  As in any partnership I went in knowing there would be compromises and lessons to be learned. “Social Marketing” is what I would call it! With Twitter, Facebook, MySpace & Linked, it seemed as though any verbally creative individual could start a mass following.

I gravitated almost immediately to Twitter.  Twitter is like a giant “chat room” for adults, all vying for recognition, attention or validation of some kind.  The successful can capture the attention of the masses in 140 characters or less.  I quickly learned it can also be a venue for tweet abuse or “tweet-arrhea” as I call it.

I have a Myspace account, which I do not utilize because it takes to much time and energy. Facebook just seems like more of the same but with a wider audience of adults looking for long lost mates! Linked is a “professional” Facebook – Myspace site, again one I did not utilize because it requires so much daily attention. There are many people who successfully utilize all of the above and even some I do not know about!

I do wonder how individuals so active in “social media” find time for balance and simultaneously focus on “operations/production” which is the driving force behind the marketing, unless of course you are an internet designed business!

Decision made, I would start with and continue with Twitter!  After all, there are thousands of artists who utilize twitter seemingly successfully!  And so I did, for exactly ten months.  I now have to ask myself what I learned and accomplished in those 10 months of 1-2 hours + on the computer faithfully communicating with my new audience in 140 characters or less.

I learned that no matter how much I posted or engaged with others the results were almost always the same. To get a blog reviewed one must post it multiple times each day to get the desired result, be it…..accolades, comments, controversy, laughs or just validation.  In the end I could never post it more than once.  Did that character defect doom me to failure?  I really dislike redundancy and if someone did not see the post then it was not in his or her karma for them to read it.  For those truly interested in what I had to say they could just click on my site and read it there!  Ahh….but that is not how it works!  Twitter is designed to be quick and fast paced. You must grab the attention of the Twitter masses with your first tweet so that the gospel according to theasianwelder will spread like a “RT” (return post) virus!  RT’s = validation.

I will be the first to admit, there are a lot of non-celebrity people who make it work for them and they do get results, fantastic results!  Sadly, I am not one of them.  I can say I did make some connections that would never have occurred except for my “Twitter experience”.  There are some amazing people doing some incredible things in their lives.  I wish I had the time in a day to follow and validate their accomplishments, but I can’t.  I have to work, provide support a large extended family, and grow my spiritual practice all of which leaves very precious and limited time.

ACEO metal3ACEO metal

My goal for 2009 was to “learn how to do” social media and marketing. I even went so far as to hire two PR people I met through Twitter to help me succeed in this game! So how did I fare after my 10 month social marketing blitz via Twitter?  Like my opening, sometimes success is defined by how one measures it.  If I had hoped to connect theasianwelder with the masses via social media then I am disappointed.  I would emphasize that my goal has never been to be “popular” or “rich” but to get a wider audience of what I do to promote my works, to engage with others with like minds and to establish a network of working artists in my medium.  I did learn that of the thousands of artists out there utilizing social media, the 3D artists are sorely lacking!  The 2D painters and photographers have a medium much more compatible with the internet!  There are even individuals who label themselves art critique who proceed to proselytize one artist and then seemingly randomly berate another.  It seemed far too easy to be critical when it is non-personal.

I also learned there are many Buddhist’s on Twitter as well. Most are kind, compassionate and on a mission to save humanity.  To all those out there simply wanting to share their experience with Dharma and help others to find some sense of happiness, I commend you; it is a worthy cause indeed!  I would love to read ALL the blogs out there on the Dharma and personal stories behind them but again, my time is limited, so I have to choose my own teacher as my source to enlightenment!

Overall, I would have to say my Twitter experience was good although I failed to accomplish my “goals”, the path was enlightening and I am better for the experience.

aquarian close-upclose-up “Flowers in My Yard” recycled metals, film, cactus, flowers

Saturday, October the tenth was my latest art reception “The Age of Aquarius”.  Many locals posted it repeatedly via Twitter and Facebook.  Ironically, no-one from my community of local Twitter followers showed up for the event!  Neither did either member of my PR team.  Who did attend?  Friends, family, long time patrons, people I personally met with, sent notes to, my Sangha community and some who found our flyers placed at businesses around Tucson by me and my daughter.

Perhaps that was my most profound lesson.   It all comes back to that personal connection.  It is to easy to be a cheerleader, critique, supporter and friend on Twitter but not come through when it takes more than 140 characters!  Human connection has proven to be my true source of social media!  All the hours I spent promoting the event through the Internet did not result in a single individual interested or caring enough to come to the event except the ones whose karma found us on their own or thru my own personal connection.

When I took a hammer to my cell phone it was my most liberating experience to date.  Deleting my account with Twitter….a close second!


Oct 6 2009

attachment

w

steel hook/chain, granite remnant on wood



Oct 3 2009

josei~she

josei logo

josei translates from japanese to english as she.

above was my grandmother’s “hanko”.  she was an artist, poet and renaissance woman. she wore pantsuits in japan to my mothers teacher-parent conferences back in the day when women not only wore kimono’s on a daily basis but pants were purely western and discriminated upon when a woman wore them. i miss my grandmother(obachon), even though we could not verbally communicate we still understood her. once when i pulled a living flower by its stem from the ground she gracefully sat next to me placed my hand in hers and proceeded to pinch the top of my hand so hard i yelped! she then quietly said in my ear…”itai, itai, itai” (pronounceed ee-tie) which translates to “ouch, ouch, ouch” in flower/japanese! i remembered once when she raked leaves in our front yard and then as a child seated herself smack dab in the middle and laughed like a giddy kid! she always made me smile….even her cooking was enriching!

when she passed years ago i regretted not having taken the time to learn the language of my mother’s tongue. as i grew older and became aware of my creative side i knew i wanted her spirit to live on thru my work.  so after much family discussion they conceded her trademark or stamp (hanko) to me with the understanding and commitment that i would sign with my name and utilize her hanko as a visual reminder.

obachon laurel, Obachon and mariko celebrating her 78th birthday!


Oct 1 2009

circles of life

circles of life

circle’s of life 2003 commission for entry to a private residence which sits on a hill.  lichen covered stones, steel with “peace” symbol cut-out. at night the spot light shines thru the cut-out and casts a shadow onto the ribbon inside. the thought to this piece came quicker than most, i knew they did not want anything massive that would obstruct their views of the mountains and sunrise.

circles of life from above

i learned a great deal on this project!! the lichen covered stones CANNOT survive in the full desert sun during summer months! i even installed a drip system with sprinklers so they’d survive…to my dismay!  the constant moisture from in the ground made the steel rust and bubble the patina, so after the lichen died i plugged the drip system sanded off the stain and acrylic sealer on the metals and let it rust naturally. thankfully and grateful that my patrons love the piece and commissioned more works!  such is the great circle of life…