Category Archives: artworks by Wizard of Eutopia

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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Filed under artworks by Wizard of Eutopia, musings by the wizard, sculptures in progress

The Dove sleeps in the sand

Well actually she is vigilant. Times are troubled. It was good to get the white limelock sealer on and paint the eyes and beak, see her come alive… And to sit inside her head and rest awhile. And to carve the spiral and bird and sunflower at the ends of the wall. Also the sign under her beak – ferrocement works well for signs too – won’t rot, is cheaper than signboard and very strong…

Names that have been mooted to go on the sign: The Flying Ark; Dove’s Rest, Be Here Now…

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The archetypal power of the dove and ark are there, but they are non-threatening and friendly, and lots of people – even locals! – have approved by thumbs up or toots as they passed, or by actually stopping. A little boy and his dad yesterday had a look in the head too, and the boy climbed up and heard the echo..

now, of course, the Ark needs repainted. Maybe white with green or blue trim… Then the front rooms to be converted to retail space for Jenny’s fashion and my jewellery, and maybe other things too…

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The Passing of my Mother, and a Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

My mental finger has been hovering over the ‘reset button’ of my life as I approach the sobering age of sixty (On June 25th 2014). More so since my mother unexpectedly caught pneumonia and died last week, aged 92.

Leone harris funeral sheet  page two monday 2  june 2014

Such is the reality of all process – it is governed not by what has gone before, no matter how often, but by systems of cause and effect – 60 years with a mother, now suddenly no mother. The human body being what it is, and the Western diet, etc, this was not unlikely. The human psyche being what it is, it’s not surprising that it caught us all a bit by surprise. We were settling in for the longer haul, as she had stabilised and seemed quite perky. Raewyn and I were looking to try and buy a house in Whangarei, start a ‘Eutopian flat’, practicing the principles of Eutopia in the microcosm of a homely house, and taking turns with sisters Penny and Rose and brother John to visit mum every day until she turned 100 and beyond, if that was to be…

Now? Well the night she took a turn for the worse, I had begin moving my stuff into the bigger studio in the Quarry Arts Centre. Yesterday after the burial I completed that move. Now that we have sold the physical Eutopia in Kaiwaka, the Quarry is the closest thing to a stable manifestation of Eutopia (a ‘Good Place’) in my life. So we may stay on in Whangarei and keep doing Eutopian things at and around the Quarry, and buy that Eutopian house. I don’t know…

[Trivia alert!] Meanwhile here at my sister’s barn where we have lived since mum was in the rest home, we have a menagerie of one old cat Max, which younger son Robert brought back (originally 17 years ago found as an abandoned kitten by daughter Xanthe), Honey, Anna’s yappy doglet who kept waking Bruno her baby son; big dog Zoe which elder son Daniel left with us upon taking off to teach English in Kazakstan; and our own Poppy mother of Honey, also a bit of a barker. Last night Max climbed a painting ladder up into our garret and set Honey off barking hysterically. I staggered up and threw Honey out and shut the door. Cat feet padding across the bed alerted me to the cause of said barking. So I got up again and threw cat out, apologised to Honey and let her back in. Woke up a bit depressed, feeling very mortal, first day without a mum above ground. Took dogs for a walk, big dog Zoe got over-excited playing fetch and bit onto my hand as I held the stick up to throw it for her. Was thinking of doing some ferrocement work, begin the couch to put by the waterfall at the Quarry:

A vision of the Quarry Arts Centre, Whangarei, with domes on the high ledge. Painted in Gisborne October 2013, in acrylics on melamine-coated mdf I found dumped up the hill on reserve land. Photoshopped to make the sofa bigger!

Now I might get to do some painting before day is over.. if I get up the gumption – the market value of my art works is… unknown but approaching zero market cap, like me. I bought this painting, Dark House,  back when it surfaced on Trademe auction site. See it on my pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/pin/173740498099294937/[/embed]

'Dark House' by Peter Harris c. 1970, labelled no. 5 from the Denby exhibition. Someone told me it was for sale again on Trademe and I bought it back - I don't remember who bought it originally, but it had ended up in the estate of a painting restorer in Auckland, and a trademe dealer bought it in ?March 2014. I paid $55.55 for it - a bargain at half the price! :)

As the only bidder, I got it for NZ$55.55 (I wanted to bid a figure that would strike awe in any other would-be bidder) .

Sigh… Good to have it back though. For me. And pretty good to think I still can pick up a brush and paint, just like 42 years ago when I painted it, even if left hand a bit sore from dog bite… Painting has always come easily to me, as has carving. Which is probably why I’ve mistrusted it and not done it full-time. Protestant work ethic, thanks a lot – NOT! So I mostly did ridiculous things with my talents, like make spinning wheels and photoframes and print other people’s books. Thanks to brother John, I have written some fiction books, about  three quarters of a million words I guess by now. But these too lie undiscovered, apart from the ebook volume one of the Apples of Aeden, at 200,000 words a bargain at $0.00 on smashwords. That one has rung up about 4,000 free downloads but no known reviews (I would have welcomed one star even, if only they had bothered to say something). and volumes 2-4 priced at $3.99 have combined sales of 360 copies. There goes 15 years of my life…

YET I am not now despondent.  Now I am free of any present lure to tow the line, sell out and prosper, I am quite joyfully resolved to write and paint and sculpt and start Eutopian flats or new systems of investing in the Flow, for ME, not for any protestant work ethic or other shoulds of any external kind.  (And Raewyn now knows it’s our only chance of anything like a living from my side of the partnership, and is resigned to peter the artist in a garret).

Why do I trust Me rather than these shoulds? Because Me is authentic, and external shoulds are not. Of course I do have internal shoulds, but they are of the living kind, authentic, first-hand, dynamic. So many millions of folk have died never having authentically lived past nine or so. I have some life left, lots of experience, many memories of wonder and creation, and much clearer focus now than 43 years ago when I set out as an ‘Artist’ off to Art School.  I could have begun then painting and sculpting and keeping the inner fires burning bright, but my fears of damnation if I should die without knowing the ‘meaning of life’ kept me from it. Once or twice it seemed the Empire of Sacred Shoulds seemed to have got hold of me for good, but I wriggled free, impoverished and bedraggled, but free, on the outside of the Great Wall which separates the beneficiaries of the Empire from those in outer darkness/wilderness/wasteland.

A painting inspired by a ?1970 visit to Limestone Island, Whangarei, with its ruined brick limeworks. Oil on canvas board, ?1970

Now I realize I should have stayed on the outside all along, built something there, until (as does happen) the walls opened up and accepted some of the outer ground I colonised for the majority on the Inside to enjoy. Because of course the Empire is the Status Quo, Robert Pirsig’s Static Quality, the realm of the tried and true, That Which Works (more or less), and we need it, directly or indirectly. In my philosophy it is the Purple Zone, and around it are the Dynamic Zones of Blue and Green, Yellow and Red, where the new new Thing is discovered, tried, tested and applied for the first time. The Bleeding Edge. That’s where people like me do their best work – sometimes their only work… It’s not so bad out here, if you know that’s where your lifespring is. And out here, age doesn’t matter so much. When you say Me, my Creation, my Work, my Bliss, you are just being the Child you always were. Become Yourself and do as you will, and all things will be full of life and energy, and light (adversities notwithstanding). Or bow your neck to the yoke of the Empire of Should, and all things become heavy, laborious, lifeless imitations of real Life (prosperity, security and wealth notwithstanding).

Thus spake Zarathustra/Pirsig/the Wizard of Eutopia/the Child Within.  Or as writer Gaiman says, whatever life throws at you, “Do good Art”. See the speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI

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Well, I’ve inspired myself. The golden afternoon sun is shining through the garret window, and Raewyn is coming home soon. I hope she likes these magic beans I’ve traded the afternoon for. As for me, I think I’ll plan my first post-parental painting. An epitaph, maybe, set in the Quarry in the golden afternoon of my life. Sun, keep shining a little longer on all of us who dare to really live, and are willing to sell our last holy cow to do so…

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Vitruvian Human

This may be a more comfortable name for them – wo-man,  sheman etc are all perhaps a bit odd or biased one way or another… So, here they are photoshopped to look like… well, like the vision in my mind, more or less… The sculpture won’t have the glow, unless at night…

sheman vitruvian drawing facing inward SYMMETRICAL 19 06 13 copy

 

The little people on the woman are (from volume iv of the Apples of Aeden) the refugee fairies of Aeden, who get taken on the ship to eastern lands, seeking Avalon.  see https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320474

The woman spreads her arms to the horizon, loving all the earth, while the man reaches up and makes contact with heaven, in the form of the diamond World, and the heartstone which ascended.

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the Vitruvian Sheman project

I drew something like what I was talking about last post, for the front of the Eutopia ship, as a symbol of the  (re)balance of the divine masculine & feminine.

sketch of prow with vitruvian sheman 19 06 13 

sheman drawing 19 06 13 copy

watch this space! i will upload more sketches. This one i photoshopped a bit, it helps for cleaning up.

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The Chair of the Wizard

The Chair of the Artist as a Young Man:

the chair of the artist as a young man reduced

Today I posted in wizardgifts.wordpress.com to say that THIS blog (which you are reading) is where my general blogging will happen, and I got a little flurry of (mostly automated spammy) follows to – yes, wizardgifts. So if you are here, you are in the right place to follow the uncertain pilgrimage of the wizard of Eutopia. Thank you!

I have recently revised my focus onto art rather than abstract communications. This is mainly because I was starving, so to speak. No one much, it seems, has the time or head space for new ideas. They’re too busy working to pay their inflated mortgages and the latest iphone/ipad, and rushing home to go on facebook and twitter, catch up on the latest reality TV, read the latest ironic dystopian novel, and shop on Trademe or Ebay… I guess, though I don’t know many of them personally.

Enough about them. Let’s talk about me. Just joking! ‘They’ are so unused to passionate minds that they assume I’m just talking about myself when I enthuse about the things which captivate and obsess my mind, such as the vision of eutopia, and the ideals of Love Beauty Truth Freedom – and ways to express these in real 3d non-vitual, non-ironic life.

So, in this blog there will be Eutopian sculpture, romantic, heroic and unabashed. There will be carvings and paintings, and announcements of the latest ebooks if I manage to fit any of that in. And of course news about the place  which by some miracle I still own, Cafe Eutopia aka Dreamspace. There is where I hope to ‘lurk’ and sculpt, build said sculptures of ferrocement, and hopefully even have meaningful 3d talks with pilgrims to this place.

I’ve been collecting images of my artworks thus far on Pinterest, so here’s the link to that: http://pinterest.com/wizardofeutopia/ Any of the graphics or sculptures may be for sale – I’m hoping to get that side up and running soon. Meanwhile if interested of COURSE email me and I’d be thrilled to do something for you!

I plan to make a sculpture garden/wizard world/hermit cave out the back of eutopia. I’d love it if you chose to follow this pilgrimage and adventure here! and comment from time to time, of course! or email me at wizardofeutopia at gmail.

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