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

The winds of change have begun to blow, moving through and around me in such a way that expresses who You are, You who are discernible and always present like the deep seeded vibration that awakens and animates one’s dreams, the quiet though resonant Om discovered in sustained meditation, the Vitality that must be recovered from misconception (each in our own tongues) so that You may be planted, nurtured, and harvested as Fruit. We have walked together, side  by side, for so long that I have not known a Life without You. Therefore… amid this change, amid the metamorphosis of my consciousness and the transformation of Life as I know It, I seek to discover You completely and in every capacity (spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and in all periphery) so that we may (together) express the beauty of our union, the Poetry of that Promise which belongs to everyone!

~ Feeling Lifted

One of my current projects has become a technical experiment that has awakened the nerd in me. (Oh, yeah!) After showing “Symphony No.01”  for the first time, engaging in numerous conversations about “what it would sound like”, I decided to take the next step in developing the idea and am now converting this abstract piece into a Digital Soundscape, an audible version that will later be used as a second reference for mapping out an actual instrumental composition.

A recent breakthrough came about when I discovered that the software I’ve elected to use (which will be revealed along with the recording at a later date) is designed to read white patterns during the scanning process. That realization took me back to my days as a photographer and using colored filters to create black and white images. But before any scanning could be done, the image first had to reconfigured into a “scan ready” version… and that too has been a process.

Because the original painting was created as four (stacked) movements (as it appears here)…

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“Symphony No.01”

The image had to be converted into a single linear piece, comprised of all four movements in succession, side by side (shown here).

Symphony_Strip1_Eq

Then, by converting the image into Grayscale, I was able to isolate individual colors (using simulated filters in Photoshop) which allowed me to create 7 variations of the same piece (shown below), in two Color Spectrums: RGB (Red, Green, Blue) and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). But even after the conversion to grayscale was complete, I also had to invert black and white in each image so that the software would actually scan the painted portions of the piece instead of the background (because it only reads and interprets white).

The final example below is a loose rendition of this process, using a small section of “Symphony No.01”. It shows what the 8 components look like (the inverted b&w images, in both color spectrums, plus the original full-color version) before sound is created. Each individual layer, in the next phase, will be assigned different tones and recorded separately on different tracks before being combined into a single symphonic composition/recording.

Sample

To be continued…

~ Stay tuned, for updates!

I am simultaneously excited and wearied to be releasing a print of one of my most popular paintings, exploring new ways of sharing my work with a broader audience and learning to become more accommodating without compromising integrity. So it should be a joyous occasion, right? Except, I still have to promote and sell it. (Ugh!)

Regardless of my experience as a salesperson, I don’t think I’ll ever develop a comfort with the idea of selling myself. I absolutely loathe having to reverse the lens. It’s not that I don’t think I’m a bad@ss, but that I’ve never sought the limelight nor cared for the attention. I don’t even have to be liked. I simply want to be received for what I am, as an expression of a restless spirit that doesn’t know where it belongs. (There, I’ve said it.)

I know I play the proud and confident role well. And people generally like seeing others pursue a passion, because it’s not easy. But I almost don’t even think it was ever a choice for me. I’ve just always believed that we should have the right and freedom to express what nature has divined in us individually (for better or for worse). So I simply can’t help but embody what I am.

Yet, at the end of the day, like it or not, we still have to pay to play, no matter one’s path in Life. There is no escaping having to do what we have to do (to make money), so that we can do what we “want” to do (to comfortably be). And so… here I am, in my own clumsy manner, doing my part to keep the lights on, a roof over my head, and food on the table.

“The career I have chosen is full of opportunity. But it is also fraught with heartbreak and despair. And the bodies of those who have failed, if they were piled one atop another, would cast its shadow down upon all the pyramids of the earth.” ~ Og Mandino

That’s a lot of pressure, and a daunting image to overcome at times. And so I breathe… and find myself in the wake of dashed hope, only to leap again without wings… summoning wind and water; summoning the ache of fire, and all the things that exist without form… yearning to learn their secrets as I dissolve in a panic. “Is that mountain only a molehill?” I ask and then retreat, losing myself in the tangle of a myriad Being where nothing makes sense and nothing matters; except, that it does… which brings me back full-circle to the topic at hand.

Self-Promotion… (sigh)

Perhaps the most difficult part of promoting one’s self, specifically as an artist, is learning to find a healthy compromise between the creative side of the brain (who wants to experience and express) and the voice of reason (who wants to maintain the illusion of control). It’s a balancing act that seems self-defeating when we are conscious of all our different needs, not just as physical beings, but as a species that has discovered an intellect and spirituality. Indulging in one almost necessarily subdues the others, as it seeks to be defined. It is a conflict that resonates throughout all of history, when those very same  forces (which are both complimentary and contradictory) become personified and polarized outside the self, like a projected awareness that is looking back at us. The whole world takes on different meaning that way. And at this moment, I feel caught in that back-and-forth, like a pendulum that is never at rest, though I long to comprehend it’s sweeping movement, hoping to someday adopt its tranquil and hypnotic rhythm.

I’m not there yet. So my clumsy efforts will have to suffice, on my way to learning how to grace the stage without being noticed.

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“The Gemini In Me” copyright 2011, Michael Torres ~ All Rights Reserved

In the cozy quietude of my studio, I am often reminded of how fine the line is between lost and found. Although every day is a menagerie of moving parts, to immerse one’s self in the expression of who we are, we must sometimes cross over into anonymity, where we risk “forgetting” where the story begins or ends, and how it should unfold. I was reminded of this the last several weeks, as I immersed myself in the idea of integration and all that that implies, which then reminded me of something I wrote and wanted to share.

So, from my quiet corner of the world…

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My Headquarters

The Island

I live on an island in the middle of the city. The island is my home… from where I expand my reach and vision with a solid foothold, among, but also apart from the community, the ocean whose surface I only skim, for fear of losing myself in its depths and wonder.

I am not afraid of drowning. Because, to pursue the fire is to also court death, who is always present alongside the living. But what I fear is forgetting, who I am, amidst the flow of those who never lost or gained, or never braved knowing how fire and water are truly the same.

I live on an island, at the center of myself. The island is my home… from where I exceed what is expected of me, and with a solid grasp of what that means, among, but apart from the rest of me, who belongs to the ocean.

I am not afraid of silence. Because, to seek the Self is to find yourself alone, though each of us belongs to the other, outside the body, in the way we experience and express one another. What I fear is forgetting, that the rest of the world exists, with or without me, and that it would never miss what I failed to give, for all the quiet time I spend within.

I am an island, among many islands. But this one is my home… from where I can escape, or seek refuge, whenever I choose.

After a productive month that was spent building a foundation to enhance my Social Media engagement, it’s time to get back to the creative side of my work. It’s time to welcome Spring, and new life, a cycle that never ceases. Though the business may be my structure, Art is still the substance, and that too will never cease.

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Canvas Panels

I’ve challenged myself to produce at least 10 – 12 Plein-air pieces this year, along with creating a series of Block Prints and Monotypes, because I love the idea that Art belongs to everyone. But equally important, I’ve also discovered that it truly is the little things that matter, meaning, that it’s the smaller pieces that sustain my business, while the more substantial works help it grow. So as an integral part of Building a career around my skill-set as an Artist, I’ve made it my personal mission to always provide artwork that is affordable on any budget, while still expanding my own creative language, and this simply seemed like a fun and elegant solution, which I look forward to sharing as it progresses.

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Print Making Supplies

~ Stay tuned!

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