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Artistic Process

by Kim Packard
Created October 2010 The only films I’ve watched on this list are The Quince Tree Sun (painting,) Gabriel Orozco (installation art) , A Poet’s Life (poetry), Sopyonje (traditional songs), Howl, Irma Vep, 81/2, Pina and Vicky Cristina Barcelona but I have high hopes for the other films. So far I am not disappointed. Interview with Paul Reynard by Jacob Needleman, Oct 10, 2011 " Henry Miller once said that one day art will disappear and only the artist will remain. The sacred has to do with life, with the art of life. What you see in the tradition of Japanese Zen is a good example of that. There is no special honor given to painting or… Read more

Created October 2010

The only films I’ve watched on this list are The Quince Tree Sun (painting,) Gabriel Orozco (installation art) , A Poet’s Life (poetry), Sopyonje (traditional songs), Howl, Irma Vep, 81/2, Pina and Vicky Cristina Barcelona but I have high hopes for the other films. So far I am not disappointed.

Interview with Paul Reynard by Jacob Needleman, Oct 10, 2011
" Henry Miller once said that one day art will disappear and only the artist will remain. The sacred has to do with life, with the art of life. What you see in the tradition of Japanese Zen is a good example of that. There is no special honor given to painting or flower arranging or other things. There are simply ways to understand how you can make order out of your life, really find a certain order, to understand better why you are on this earth." Paul Reynard

Personal musings on artistic process:

If I were to pursue art as a serious hobby, what should it be about? Meditation? Conversation? Adding beauty to the world? What do I want my art, however modest, to be saying about the world I inhabit? Which media do I want to explore beyond the foundational graphite pencil drawing?

Pondering such questions guided my exploration of the art supply market and lead me to the discovery of environmentally friendly products: graphite pencils made with ecologically sustainable wood, wood-less colored pencils made of nontoxic mineral or plant pigments and coated with resin, plant-derived oil pastel pencils, charcoal and pastel pencils made with acacia gum binding, watercolor made without ox gall, watercolor paper made without gelatin sizing, wax crayons without beeswax or tallow, charcoal pencils without tallow, walnut ink that spares squid and cuttlefish ink, non-waterproof ink without shellac and so on.

I realized that limiting one’s art supply to products free of animal ingredients need not hamper the process of elevating mundane objects to the realm of Art in still life, botanical drawings, life drawings and more. In an ideal world, all products would be 100% biodegradable or recyclable, avoid animal cruelty and environmental pollution, and prevent deforestation or unfair trade practices.

However, this turns out to be a tall order, since production of books or art supply involves technological processes that consume a great quantity of paper (made of cotton or other plant fiber, wood pulp, polyurethane,) pigments (mineral, animal, plant,) animal-derived glue and binding, natural or synthetic chemicals that can be toxic, non-biodegradable plastic and packaging, consuming nonrenewable energy for mining of natural resources, manufacturing and transportation of goods (ingredients and finished products.)

In this respect, Zen calligraphy has yet to reach its full potential in terms of true enlightenment. An interesting alternative to animal hair brushes may be the Yunju Zen brush .

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