Category Archives: artworks by Wizard of Eutopia

A t shirt full of ancient stone

I had an interlude on the old Kaipara today, an impromptu quest for the smooth heavy brown stones that I’ve carved from time to time – including lately as I live alone in the Hall of the Ark while I finish relining the hall for the hopeful new owners (who want to teach yoga in it). I put a crystal on the brow of the Bird and made holes in the pupils so you can sit inside and look through its eyes…:)

It was just an interlude between taking sofas and gas tanks from the land before handover day and going back to the Ark to cook dinner and prepare to get back into the renovations, but a bit of magic opened up by doing it.

I have written a whole ebook on the subject of these stones, kind of – it was discovering them that set me to thinking about loving stuff, all stuff, beginning right here with what is to hand that we relate to. A dollar on Amazon How to Love Everyone and Everything….Starting with a Stone  and free on Smashwords  Here. And I did relate to these strange, ancient smooth stones, all sitting on a section of the muddy shore in a kind of ancient convocation unearthed by time. So, now we have sold the land which is close to the Kaipara, having loaded the trailer I thought why not walk the dogs and seek a few more of these sacred little stones, so unassuming but like gold for a carver…

 

It’s a bit hard to do a good selfie while holding 63 heavy pebbles in your t shirt!  Funny, when I counted them later – that’s how ooold I’ll be this year… So, maybe I went a bit greedy prospector, but I know eventually I or someone at Dreamspace – Tiana are you reading this? -will probably carve them all. Some could just be polished a bit and left as found objects of great antiquity, too…

The lone mangrove tree marks the spot. In the sunset it was like a tree of life standing in the tidal mud and oyster-covered stones…

Magic. Oh yes the carving is my evolving take on ancient fertility goddess figurines. And the adzey thing is a chisel I angleground today from a piece of hard old steel I found inside the wall of the hall.

Next post here I may already be back in Gisborne to stay, creating more things I ‘know to be useful and believe to be beautiful’. Here’s to Dreamspace Gallery and workshops!

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Writing again, naturally!

Ah, it is a fateful thing to begin writing! It always demands more until the tail of the writing wags the dog of life… so to speak! Or the world of the tale bends around and swallows the writer whole.  See here for my post on what is afoot in the world of Apples of Aeden, a world big enough to swallow an army of writers! https://applesofaeden.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/the-narrator-staggers-back-to-the-desk/

This painting I did last year is one little image from that world. I hope to do some more images, this time sketches or illuminations to go with the text. Another tail that could wag the dog!

enthorned they dream copy

 

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Why do Christmas?

Ask this boy! 🙂

bruno with plane at airport

 

 

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Grandson Bruno (here wearing my sparkly hat and glasses) is waiting patiently for his third Christmas  and the pine smell of the tree is already bringing magic into his house.  This is a year I decided to once again try hard to DO Christmas. Why? Because for once I wasn’t trying to cram an impossible eleventh-hour achievement of this year’s goals into the last two weeks of the year – I’d given that up early, for once 🙂 Grandchildren help you to do that…something has to give!  So, I was free to look at what we HAD done – and had – this year, and celebrate it, however wistfully and frugally.

Yes, there were hopes and goals that didn’t materialise; but by Jove! (as my father was wont to exclaim), though ‘much is taken, much abides’, as Ulysses says in Tennyson’s inspiring “Idylls of the King.” I remember the best Christmas and holiday we ever had as a family was one year when we decided to have a ‘poor man’s Christmas’. We bought a leaky clinker dinghy and went North to stay with my parents and go boating on the Whangaroa harbour and swimming in the local creek, and other things that cost nothing but a little planning. After the holiday we sold the boat again and so it was virtually free. And we still have the photographs…

As I said in my last post here, the making of a photographic record of 2015 for a christmas card was a great thing for the igniting of gratitude in the midst of the ever-present struggles of life. Since then I have redone it to put in a few more images for something like balance, though still very far from completeness. Here are jpegs of the card, and if you didn’t receive a printed one, accept this as our offering to you this Christmas. Oh, and let’s all reread the wonderful “A Christmas Carol”, by Dickens! (another exclamation of my late father’s, God rest his soul).  (Did you know that Dickens was in dire financial straits when he had the Scrooge inspiration and this one little book, self-published, brought him back from the brink!)

The first page of the card now includes a little stone from the beach below our land in Kaiwaka that I carved. Picking it up made me realize what a gift the natural physical things around us are. One little brown stone accretion, probably deposited millions of years ago… mine for the picking up and taking home. A precious epiphany.

Christmas card A4 07 12 2015-1

Christmas card A4 07 12 2015-2

Page two – now with Crocodile and Caesar’s penny from our Siblings Great Australian trip after our mother’s departure. And a Hyde Park squirrel, jumping for my potato chip 🙂

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, rich or poor!

Love from Peter Harris

AKA the ‘Wizard’ of Eutopia

AKA grandpa.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sleepwalking through a wonderland

I realized today that’s what I’m doing when I’m ‘busy making other plans’ all the time and miss the staggering wonder of life – people, babies, children, dogs, cats, birds, trees, flowers – a cascade of things and beings, most of which are not out to get me or ruin my life, and some of which (take dogs, for example, ok Poppy and Honey) have amazing, unflagging love and devotion for me. If you are also lucky enough to have someone who lives with you and puts up with you and even occasionally tells you they love you, well  – thy cup runneth over!  Then there’s children and grandchildren – a huge theme of this year for us as our second grandson was born.

Why the sudden appreciation of all life? A near-death experience? No, mercifully all it took was a few hours collecting some of the photos we took this year, for a pictorial Christmas card. Some of grandchildren, some of children, some of my art labours. Here’s the draft.

Christmas card A4 2015-1Christmas card A4 2015-2

Maybe this WAS a particularly lovely year to look back on and wish I had been more ‘present’ to it. (Yes – thanks to brother John were were even in Paris and Oxford, and Florence and Cannes this year, and nobody shot us or anyone of the peaceful multitudes we saw). But really, life is so abundant and fractally amazing, even a year in gardens looking at leaf patterns could have done it for me – if necessary! Those adorable beings which periodically invaded our Appletree garden were a fantastic bonus.

Life is like the transfinite numbers, from which you can strip whole infinities of lower order and they remain the same (!!?). That’s why I suppose many of those who have least have learned the secret of appreciation of what remains – and can see ‘infinity in a grain of sand, or eternity in an hour’ WOW! Right on! And I am not even (and never was) stoned, either!

Why not try making a compilation celebrating YOUR kaleidoscopic, fractally infinite, year of 2015?

 

 

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A new blog site just for art’s sake

Sorry, it had to be done…

g3 cutout bit dark 11 09 15 copy

http://www.altarsofart.wordpress.com.

It’s what I am doing a lot of and it needs to be together in a dedicated place, kind of an altar to art. See what you think, follow it if you like what you see…

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The Dawn Station

Well… the painting is nearly finished – or, ground to a halt somewhere short of any ideal I had for it. It’s of the Station, where I still hope to have my studio and also a little yard for hobbithavens…

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The Vintage Railway trust has the lease from the iwi, and sublet to artists, a bronze caster, and now (in faith!) a hobbit cabin builder. But through the person who ‘liaises’  with them I hear they don’t want a ‘builder’ near the station, as they plan to have it open for excursions for their vintage steam engine and carriages when these are overhauled… Sigh… I think I need to talk to them direct, and explain the many advantages and allay their fears of huge power bills etc. People do jump to conclusions when they know almost nothing – after all, it saves them the trouble of finding out the facts and changing their mind… I love the little area of waste land at the end of the platform. It has a big apricot tree and an oak side by side. The Balance… We wants it…

The apricot tree is on the right… Not yet in blossom of course! the pond is really just an oval of grass. But the birds are all around…

So, now I’m at home, a bit under the weather from a cold, carving and painting and trying not to worry about things like no flatmates yet for Appletree… Now there’s a blank canvas. Dare I cut away from the plethora and choose one subject and begin? A maditation (I mean, meditation…freudian slip! Not a bad one though. This mad pursuit…) in the dark might help – something will come forward and entrance me – at least invite me to follow it onto the painted world. Watch this space…

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Meanwhile the grandfather does his bit.. We took Bruno to the Baby Disco last night. We thought he’d be dancing till dawn, but he was quite overwhelmed.

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At the Station, the Gisborne beach is behind the trees. We went there too, with the doglets.

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The unfolding is so complex to our finite minds, it makes my head spin if I try to hold in mind even just the disparate threads in my own life… The Ark in Kaiwaka still with two empty rooms and a giant dove unused… The land… philosophy and writing ..aghh! But it’s ok. I’m learning to roll with it and float on the near-chaos. And make art. It’s Life, they say…:)

oh yes, carving… restained the greenstone Lady of the Boat:

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Where is she sailing? Maybe she doesn’t know. But she nurtures the baby, and trusts.

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When Zarathustra was sixty years old, when Christmas came he said to his soul…

…there have been fewer christmas cards than ever this year – sent or received. Hm.. Is this part of a general overwhelm leading to apathy, or is it part of being sixty and a bit washed up? Must reread Tofler’s ‘Future Shock’… Is it finally upon us, but everyone is too busy/jaded/overwhelmed with stuff/lack of stuff/money worries and techno-socialmedia angst to notice or bother to comment?

Here at the land by slowing down I am regaining some gumption after the rush and social overwhelm of Christmas. Good old Nature! It’s like coming home after long journey in the desert to find a beloved still as fresh and beautiful as ever. Of course, I know, some people find it in people. I rarely do. They’re too sped up, I’m too sped up, too much in shoulds and should nots and projections. the reflection of the true self is best seen in the stillest water.

After the Bird, I struggled to begin the hobbit cabin I was planning. Angst about money and going to the Bank… physical tiredness and symptoms… approach of Christmas… blame and complaints from certain ones expecting more sooner quicker and better… sigh… But Barry Brailsford sent a greenstone rock for a ‘Mauri stone’ for the Dove boat of the Ark. And I saw a Lady and child in it…and a sperm whale and ship with dolphins and mariners at the bows. So I carved it:

magdalene greenstone back view magdalene greenstone front view

The Magdalene sailing to France…Got a numb thumb for a week from pressing with the vibrating dremel handpiece… needs padding in it! I will make a mould of this one too…

Now I’m doing a Lady in an egg (a big ‘gempod’ with two halves joined by magnets. See www.magnut.co). Finishing needed. On the outside I think there could be a masculine image – the Lady is within. The Anima. Or, it could be the exterior face of a woman – the Magdalene being her real self within… sailing into the West and a new life.

inside of Lady gempod 2 1 15

Now I’m casting some of the new gempods for jewellery. How hard it has been to keep up the conviction and optimism to develop these and make them easy to cast! Jewellery for me is a sideline, well down on Maslow’s pyramid, a market bauble really. Sacred artefacts yes, but anyone could do them. What am I leaving undone while I do these? Flowshare, the books… But I know these will sell. Straight off, unlike  the higher things. In between is the sculpture. Higher but correspondingly less sure to sell. And dollar pressure continues. Ah, life! I am over-rich in good, little, imperfect unfinished things. Time for new resolutions, I suppose…

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