Now I can boast I have painted a wall in Mexico, there must be something in the tequila.. 1.6 x 1.6m Acrylic on Textured Wall. Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
Working from an exposed studio on the rooftop of a Berkeley warehouse complex, I spent a couple of weeks hanging out with the excellent people from Sacred Spaces Village and made them an original painting for their camp at Burning Man 2014. Conceived as a sacred geometry dancefloor, the project went from an unrealistic oversized work of epic proportion to a more achievable scale as the backdrop for the Sacred Spaces stage. My design concept was to create a Metatron’s Cube as the astral projection of Buddhas third eye connecting with an overlay of the sacred proportions of Buddhas face. The exposed studio environment posed a challenge when it rained one evening and destroyed several days work. As the story goes the stage ended up being too small for the painting so someone decided to hang it from a school bus.. which is fitting because as they say, Burning Man is a place where plans go to die and immediacy and impermanence rule.
Arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal three days ago for two months of Himalayan magic.
Today I asked a Thangka gallery in Thamel if I could visit their painting school to learn about the techniques and traditions of Thangka. They where more than happy to show and tell and organised for a student and a master painter to drive me across town to a small neighbourhood where they teach and create Thangka. We spoke about the preparation and stretching of the canvas using yak gum, the stages each painting goes through and the process of novices tracing, colour blocking and shading before handing over to the master who paints in the facial detail. My lovely student host also described the breathing and meditation techniques involved in the Thangka painting process.
Afterwards they led me to a small room in the building next door where monks chanted the story of the universe and I was blessed by one of the most important Lamas in Nepal/Tibet. I love Nepal.
Starting off my residency with Ne’na in Chiang Mai painting large scale op art. And what a mess I’m making, beginning to look like a real artists studio.
Offiicially living the good life. Wake up in the Thai jungle surrounded by mountains.. literally pick my own fruit for breakfast. Take a walk through rice fields to the village past a gold Buddhist temple to buy locally grown produce, spend the rest of the day painting in a studio with a chandelier, cook dinner and watch the sunset on the verandah with a glass of wine, more painting, go to sleep in a teak four poster bed in a huge traditional Thai wooden house. I’m going to have to come up with something absolutely ridiculous to top this