Archives for category: Meditations

In silence and solitude, where our conversation with the universe takes place, I lose myself, hoping to return with more than what I carried into that vastness, more than the substance I encompass and its portrayal, which is projected into the aether until a mutual exchange blends consciousness with the mysteries of existence in a single breath, inhaled and exhaled, and carried in a vibration, where I am both a part of and severed from the tangle of life and it’s myriad impression… always a memory (with each passing second), a memory that is integrated within the Self who is also consumed and discarded before the next draw of breath. And in that flow, both giving and receiving, everything that is conceivable, and its antithesis, are unified, though each expression becomes a different interpretation of the same encounter, a different point of view that is not in opposition, but in perfect harmony within the same focused confusion that created the world and all of its compliments and contradictions.

Transmutation

In February of last year, I began excavating the subconscious in search of my own story; the triggers, motivations and intended purpose of my work (if any). I wanted to discover my meaning, as the person behind the expression. Though, before anyone asked or wanted to know about it… I hardly cared. (read Who is Michael Torres? for the backstory)

A year later, the simple process of Commitment (to the search), and the not-so-simple process of observation (recognizing stimuli and tendencies), analysis (of early work), experimentation (with promotion and presentation), formulating a hypothesis (about how I fit into the puzzle), testing it (in the market), and modifying suppositions (to begin the cycle again),  has unearthed more than I could have imagined. But, because the full scope of these findings is too extensive to be properly addressed in one long entry, let us begin with the basics first, instead: The what, when, and why (continued below)

Excavation

When did I realize I was an artist?

Well… the honest answer is that I think I’ve always “known” (instinctually) that I was an artist. Since childhood, in fact, already practicing my signature, I was somehow imbued with a sense of that calling. And, although not fully developed or fully recognized at an early age, destiny has guided me through a slow transformation that has ultimately become an awakening.

Why do I paint?

It would also be easy to say that I simply paint out of necessity. Because, it is true. But I never would have understood the full extent of the “Why” if I hadn’t revisited my early work. Because, as I proposed in a previous entry (Who is Michael Torres?), I don’t know if it’s possible for any of us to fully comprehend our own motivations (though we may act on them) when we are still at the heart of those experiences, immersed in them, moment to moment.

The journey backward, on the other hand, has proven immensely useful, because it forced me to step out of my own shoes to investigate the root of my own intentions as a tourist who has been removed from the center of the past by the passage of time. And that journey has substantiated a fundamental truth about the nature of my work; That the creative process is my way of filtering my life experience; not purely for its own sake, but to allow the exploration of my own condition to serve as a key in deciphering and understanding the shared phenomenon of our sentience (as conscious beings).

Artistic expression is the only way I know how to make sense of the world around me, as well as the world within; my own emotions and proclivities. But, at times, painting is also purely cathartic… a necessary release that simply enables me to continue through the wilderness of this lifetime unencumbered by the past or by the weight of current circumstances, even if those burdens are only momentarily lifted (by deflection). The act of release and its ensuing reprieve still purchase stamina, an emotional steadiness, and a sense of composure that allows me to scrutinize the event of Life on more secure footing.

What my paintings are about

Although my own encounter with life is the source… the primary subject in my work is the Human Experience (in general), which overlaps on common grounds and is shared. My approach has always been “to understand” this encounter, whether hit or missed through the work itself. I seek essence and vitality. And I seek to express what it simply means to be human, through a visual interpretation of the senses, where the imagery is the language. Though, whether the work speaks to you or not… I can only hope.

Either way, the lexicon grows. And, although spoken silently (through shapes, colors, and textures), through refinement and repetition, it is also given meaning. But more important than what the work hypothetically represents, it’s true significance rests in the fact that when the image has enough gravity to draw you in, it truly becomes your own internal dialogue and a shared experience whose meaning is purely subjective. The work becomes your story to tell, just as rightfully as it is mine, because you recognize the expression (even if only vaguely) and are now part of that conversation.

Conflicted_Forms

 

From the outside looking in, as a traveler revisiting forgotten relics, I have finally seen the patterns and have heard a voice emerge from the repetitions, saying “At long last… you’ve arrived.”

Those words…

More of an imprint than a sound, buried themselves without preamble. Though its intonation unearthed its roots and anchored itself firmly into my walls, sprouting  like a seed that springs without need or nurture, all at once becoming divined and purely nature, the implications climbing and spreading like branches from a spark who rejoices at the promise of fire.

I found a reflection of myself in that moment, underneath the accumulation and in-between the here and there, as if stretched like an echo that knows it will be remembered, long before it is even dead.

through-the-wreckage

Having spent the last two and a half months entrenched in administrative work, behind the scenes, I finally feel like I can come up for air again, to breathe, and to escape the unshakable machine of my resolve, which never sleeps.

Consciousness is a battle field. It is an everyday confrontation of abstract forces at work, each fighting to command space and time within the Self. And when the mind and spirit are fully engaged and unified in their efforts, they are relentless in achieving their objectives, furiously striving to conquer a perpetual new set of conditions that challenge each new goal.

Thankfully (for me), I no longer consult my conscience for permission to carve out creative time. I have fostered my expressiveness long enough that it is indelibly linked to all activity born in me. After all, the story expressed in the image is the heart and soul of my endeavor, regardless of obstacles or barriers that require breaching. And the encounter itself, which can be defined by any number of circumstances, is a human experience… not just my own.

untitled_02

I started this blog in 2012, not entirely sure what purpose it would serve or from where I’d draw inspiration, amid such a broad spectrum of ideologies, methodologies, experiences, observations, and inner dialogue. Yet, despite the ambiguity of the endeavor, this blog has remained a faithful companion who has inadvertently become a quiet proving ground for a much larger campaign, one I hadn’t initially planned to undertake (though, in essence, I needed to learn); that of Content Marketing.

Guided by a furious undercurrent of “Urgency”, a steady persistence to avert starvation and remain steadily afloat this now fluid landscape (of online marketing), I’ve relished the opportunity to conduct my own research with every published entry, using Analytics to evaluate Reach, Engagement, and other measurable Insights on a diverse array of topics. And while the amalgamation has not been entirely seamless, it is also not far fetched to believe that, with just a little more consistency, I can efficiently synthesize my professional/creative life with its parallel universe, in cyberspace.

New Work, 2011/2012

“Becoming Aware” copyright 2012, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

I am an introvert by design. So the real significance and beauty of Social Media is that it furnishes even the most reclusive person with the ability to reach beyond his/her own confines and engage with the outside world. This intermittent interaction has not only kept me sane at times, when fully imbued with the creative fire, but it has also improved many important relationships that, in the past, merely hung in limbo during those prolonged creative periods. Social Media has allowed me to remain both isolated and connected. But more important, it has taught me to listen in a new way… by observing metrics (through which you, my audience, have a voice). Truly “Listening”, after all, is about being present and becoming wholly aware of one’s Self and one’s environment, whose conditions include the internet.

Learning to listen with the entire Self is certainly an obtuse idea. And yet, when carefully considered, it’s not difficult to recognize that when we are truly present in the moment, we not only listen with our ears, but also with our bodies, and with our consciousness, which tells us how we affect and fit into our surroundings. We listen not only to our own voice of reason, but also to our intuition, when internal signals are triggered by an external influence not always seen. But even more profound, is the idea that everything is relative, inexorably because everything we personally encounter is filtered through our own interpretation. This implies, incidentally, that the people we think we are… and the people we are perceived to be… are oftentimes two very different individuals. And I’ll be the thirst to admit that since I finally removed the proud suit of armor I once wore, to preserve “Who and What I am” , I have learned more about myself than I would have previously dared admit was possible. That’s not to say that I’ve altered my natural way of being, but instead, that I have improved the way I present myself, by listening. So as I pursue a state of complete harmony with the universe, learning to enhance intimacy with significant others, to understand my own inherent and indelible Self, etc… Listening has become a permanently open door to such discovery. And it has become the foundation upon which I now build a career from a quiet, creative life.

New Work, 2011/2012

“Projectile”  copyright 2012, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

In 2012, I was only just beginning my journey, fully committed for the first time. However, by acknowledging the fact that I had no idea how to tackle the enormous task of “Building a Brand”, I allowed myself to accept the universe’s guidance, through Active Engagement and through Discourse… through the everyday conversation of Life. I immerse myself daily, now, in that aura of mutual exchange, and it has enabled my own design and destiny to reveal and express themselves, oftentimes incalculably, simply by getting out of my own way and  admitting that I don’t have all the answers, even though I may clearly see my destination and have already embraced my dream as my reality.

You and I, when engaged, occupy the same time and space

And are outward projections, taking place

Whether actively or passively… You and I

Through inner-dialogue are conceived

Beginning with a question, asked privately

For in that moment, discovering

One’s Self within the other

We are then compelled to participate

And to seek some revelation in that exchange

Whether you are pursued as a confirmation that I exist

Or I’m received as a reflection of your own expressiveness

Everything is relative.

And everything is intertwined…

Through your eyes and mine

Where we are both roots

And where we are furnished with the potential to grow

Into one cohesive truth

Though we all go our separate ways, we all still lean on one another for balance… All of us, finding strength and weakness in each other, at some point, are perfect compliments and our own contradictions, all born into this same union, this vast sentience that resembles a single body in turmoil, a tumultuous dream, and a frenzied dance within time and space where the push and pull of Life are always at odds, yet simultaneous, congruent, and a continuous ebb and flow, sometimes giving and other times receiving, until one at a time our cups are full and we recede into the light, the long enduring shadow still in view, shoved into the margins of our consciousness, but never quite forgotten, and never quite a memory, because all that is buried remains a seed.

Ballet Austin

Copyright 2005, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

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