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
Ink drawing by Bill Hendricks
Going with the Flow

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
Ink drawing by Bill Hendricks
Going with the Flow

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.

Documenting, Drawing, and a bit of Photographing

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

Mark Twain, Rescue Time
Sunny Morning in San Diego
Sunny Morning in San Diego, CA

Light through the Tree, Hendricks © 2021, Digital Work

Currently, I am updating my sites and documenting work I have completed over the years while teaching at Minneapolis Community Technical College. After earning my MFA, at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, students, technology, family, friends, and my Quaker community dominated my life. 

While those activities captured most of my attention, I was producing work. I didn’t have time to display or share my work as frequently as I would like. So now I am working to document it and display it. Apple Photo and other apps didn’t do me much favor. Many original finals are lost, but enough can be found that I am able to create digital galleries. 

Today I created a new page to share with all—

“Seeing is Believing”, a series of photo impressionistic work I have produced.

Currently drawing more… mostly surrealistic work. That will be the next gallery I will work to create. 

Seeing is Believing?

“Wondrous as it is, our sense of vision is clearly not without certain limitations. We can no more see radio waves emanating from our electronic devices then we can spot the wee bacteria right under our noses.”

Adam Hadhazy, 27th July 2015
What are the limits of human vision?
Wind & Particles, a drawing by Bill Hendricks 2020
Winds & Particles, a miixed media drawing, Hendricks©2022

Untitled or Titled

“I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.”

Jackson Pollock The Healing Power of Art and Artist
A Drawing of the Known-Unknown
A Drawing of the Known-Unknown, Hendricks©2023

Titling work is hard… In the past, I frequently titled a work only to retitled it later when I have exhibited the work. To me, that underscores that work does have a life of its own. The meaning changes as time, culture, and viewers’ experiences change. I guess the artist’s experience changes too.
This work is my latest, inspired by both the Greek myths and the book “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch.  I settled on the title-Created. I think it could be Losing it too. Maybe soon, I will think of another. 

A great article in The New Republic, Art with No Name, by Ruth Bernard Yeazell, discusses why many untitled works were produced in the 18th Century. As it examines the subject, it brings forward as art becomes more mobile the need to title a piece increases to provide an entrée into the work.

Titling, as E. H. Gombrich has observed, “is a by-product of the mobility of images,”; and before the rise of the art market, the growth of public exhibitions, and the development of the reproductive print, the mobility of images was distinctly limited.

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