An Echo, a Shadow, Nothingness…Whoa!

In order to experience a poem, we must understand it; in order to understand it; we must hear it, see it, contemplate it—convert it into an echo, a shadow, nothingness. Comprehension is a spiritual exercise.

Octavio Paz,
Alternating Current, p. 49


Floating through Space and Time
Floating through Space and Time,  Mixed-media,  Hendricks@2023

I don’t think I am creating anything as profound as Paz describes, but as I said many times in this blog—I am on a path, which is not totally visible to me. I get glimpses, but never too sure what I see.
I do want to say that just because I post works of art, I do not think they are grand, that the technique is refined, or the lines sure and sharp. I know they are not. However, as I do and study my ideas, my voice and path will clarify.
There is one thing I want readers and friends to know, and that is that I believe in a power greater than ourselves, and there is a piece, a bit, of that power, that Light within each of us. I don’t know if I am a theist, non-theist, pantheist, or panentheist. Whatever I am, I seek to reach, connect, and engage with that Light that exists within me… and you. I am saying this partly because I have avoided saying it in the public eye of art critics and peers.
OH MY GOD! I just came out again.  😆

The Painted Work—What’s mine?


What I saw before me was the critic-in-chief The New York Times saying: In looking at a painting today, “to lack, a persuasive theory is to lack something crucial.” I read it again. It didn’t say “something helpful” or “enriching” or even “extremely valuable.” No, the word was “crucial.”

Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word, 1975
Drawing working with pen and ink
Experiment … Part of the Process, Mixed Media, Hendricks©2020

The quote above was written in response to an article in the New York Times, on Sunday, April 28, 1974, by art critic Hilton Kramer.

This blog is a journal of sorts, featuring my artwork and my ideas about art as I understand it. After 67 years of living, I now get to start practicing what I believe I am meant to do. That is to do art.

As I work, read, and reacquaint myself with myself through my art and studies, I seek a theory of me. It is becoming more and more apparent that I am emerging both intellectually and spiritually through my art.

I have never been keen on the significant art pubs or the art critics. Only because, through big words and lengthy explanation of what they see or how they interpret, the work often shuts out, divides, or disqualifies the everyday joe or mary from viewing, collecting, and enjoying art.

I guess part of objecting to the art authoritarians is that I never felt like I fit in being a blue-collar Catholic boy that is gay, not queer, dyslectic, alcoholic, and Quaker. So I often had to forge my own beliefs and codes of conduct.

That being said, I do believe there has to be some theory, some idea, path, or journey the casual viewer might need to understand my work or any artwork better.

Although, Wolfe is critical of Kramers’s reference to the “crucial” need for a perspective theory. Wolfe doesn’t say no knowledge is necessary. Thus every artist usually provides an artist statement for the viewer and gallery visitors.

I guess Artchangeslives(dot)com is where I work to find the theory of Bill.

Not Preaching, but Experiencing


Every work of art is the child of its age and, in many cases, the mother of our emotions. It follows that each period of culture produces an art of its own which can never be repeated. Efforts to revive the art-principles of the past will at best produce an art that is still-born.

Wassily Kandinsky Excerpt From: Wassily Kandinsky, Michael T. H. Sadler. “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.” Apple Books
Wind & Particles, a drawing by Bill Hendricks 2020
Winds & Particles, a mixed media drawing, Hendricks©2022

Every work of art or artist needs a story, so Art Changes Lives (dot) Com is mine. This blog is about finding myself through art. While working on my master’s, I was interested in studying and understanding metaphysics (the nature of the mind) and how it works and understands reality. Now that I am retired, I continue my studies on the mystical aspects and piecing together my understanding of the universe. That means investigating the mind as to how it works, consciousness, unconscious, location, dimension, and our perception of time and matter. Now that I am retired, I have the time to continue my studies. The artwork that you see in this blog is only a product of my studies.

Right now, I am torn into so many directions where I might go in this next paragraph. I may have already spoken about why I draw on such a small piece of paper. The Single-word answer is humility. I don’t, at this point, have any big answers or statements. What I can understand and the process is only a fragment of the world. Why on found paper? Well, because it presents a challenge, the color, the value, the texture, the coating all a challenge. Would it allow me to perfect the craft better… Maybe, but every moment is a challenge of sorts. Lastly, to perhaps repeat myself, I love not knowing how long the paper will endure time. Kind of like me never knowing how old this body will last… Never know.<

Please, anything you read that sounds like I know, and I have the answers and can tell you how to live your life. In all likelihood, I am talking to myself. I am processing. BTW: I am using Pigma® Microns by Sakura.

Subject to Change : )

The function of art is to open for us the doors that lead to the other side of reality.

Octavio Paz, What is Art? – Octavio Paz and Art


The Current, Hendricks © 2021, approx. 5″ x 5″, mix-media, found paper

This year I have learned much. I read several books about physics, cosmology, the mind, consciousness, and artists. I seem to be centering on the surrealist. Octavio Paz’s book, Alternating Current, moved me more in that direction. It seems he was a friend of Andre Breton.

Breton being best-known as the co-founder and chief apologist of surrealism. He wrote the Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as “pure psychic automatism.” Paz brought to the table helped me understand how the unconscious was tied to the automatic writing/drawing process. Not sure where I am going to go with this. Right now, I am reading, Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky. I am finding how closely some of the ideas spoken both by the Surrealists and presented in Kandinsky’s book are very close to ideas and beliefs of the Religious Society of Friends. 

As I was creating the work above, it occurred to me, one dot made by my pen can influence or change the composition. The substrate could easily stand-in for the universe…. the dots, the individuals that exist within, and how one dot and every dot… or every person contributes to the whole. By the decisions we make, each of us changes our surrounding environment or the universe in some small or big way.   

This is nothing profound… Just thoughts and where I am at in my journey.

Surrealism, Automatic drawing, and the Spirit

The old frontiers are disappearing and others opening up; we are witnessing the end of the idea of art as aesthetic contemplation and returning to something that the West has long forgotten: the rebirth of art as collective action and representation, and the rebirth of their complementary opposite, solitary meditation. If the word had not lost its strict meaning, I would call the new art a spiritual art. A mental art, then, which will demand of the reader and the listener the sensitivity and the imagination of a performer who, like the musicians of India, is also a creator. The works of the new time that is aborning will not be based on the idea of linear succession but on the idea of combination: the conjunction, the diffusion, the reunion of languages, spaces, and times. Fiesta and contemplation. An art of conjugation.

Octavio Paz,
Alternating Current

Going with the Flow, Hendricks ©2021

As I work with photography, digital, and tactile media, I am continuing to work to understand time, space, and matter and our perception of reality. Still harkening back to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and my understanding of the brain acting as a receiver for our consciousness’s data can understand and act upon. It is only a small fraction of reality.

Thus, I blend  Realism, Surrealism, and Impressionism blended experience to understand better my relationship to what I may call reality. 
Please visit my most recent gallery of drawings before April 2021.

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