Archives for posts with tag: Destiny

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

 

Advertisements

I started planning my upcoming exhibition in 2014, knowing that countless variables (some determinable, others unknown) would ultimately decide the scope and scale of the project. Orchestration, as it pertains to a career, is a multi-layered process that requires patience and finesse. So, while I must remain wholeheartedly engaged with the business at hand (day in and day out), each consideration and effort must also remain simultaneously focused on the future. And I must say, “What a glorious view it is, amid the vastness of today and tomorrow!”

I maintain a two-year calendar, which is nothing more than a dated string of markers/occasions I use to celebrate my journey, and short term goals that keep me on track – actively LIVING my dream. And as we quickly approach the next milestone, my Fall Exhibition (2015), I thought it would be fun to offer you a rare glimpse at the chaotic final stage of preparation – when all the big decisions are made.

The date is set.

Opening Reception: November 20th

Other Details: To Be Determined

~ Stay tuned!

WEST is still two weeks away, and everything is falling into place. I don’t think I’ve ever been so prepared. Or if ever I was, it certainly didn’t feel like it.

I think the hardest part of “Emerging” in any profession is learning to juggle the joys of Life with the business of making a living. In the past, I would immerse myself entirely in one or the other, tending toward a feast or famine, all or nothing approach, which inevitably bled into the rest of my day-to-day. But something has changed over the last few years. As I’ve established a (flexible) routine of creativity, networking, and being present (in the moment), Life (in its purest expression) has intervened and revealed a myriad of pleasures, both new and neglected, along my path that has allowed me to confidently stay the course. That doesn’t mean its been smooth sailing all along the way. But, just as I have never felt so prepared… I have also never felt so Loved (by the Universe). And for that blessed feeling… I am Eternally Grateful.

But I digress. For the matter at hand, the West Austin Studio Tour is fast approaching!

The last two weeks have been intense and busy. But my showcase pieces are just a backing-paper away from being complete, and they look amazing! So, all the effort of the last four weeks – retouches, varnishing, framing, correspondence, and the creation of Special Edition Prints (exclusively for this event) – is beginning to evolve into an evocative, soul stirring experience that will truly be a feast for the senses. I almost can’t wait to open my doors… but my work is not done yet.

So, for now… you’ll just have to settle for this teaser.

Press Release: 04/27/15

The West Austin Studio Tour presents: The Home Studio of Michael Torres

The long-anticipated follow up to a 2008 debut. Take the tour and discover art in Hyde Park.

May 9th & 10th: 11am – 6pm

May 16th & 17th: 11am – 6pm

For more information: findmichaeltorres@gmail.com

Invite_Image_RGB_Eq

During these last long days, amid the whirlwind of internal change, my consciousness has finally alighted upon the moment, a precarious position I created out of uncharacteristic impulsiveness, indulging in what I often deny myself. All the while, the oppressive cold of winter prevails as a reflection, prolonging its stay while intermingling with rain, which pervades and saturates my escape. Wherefore I remain. Within.

But in that great distance, tucked away in my own unfathomable depth, where I am perched in silence, I meditate and pray. Though I also listen, not only to the heart’s beat, which is only proof of life, but again, to the rhythm I am to become, the cadence of a continuous flow. And I am almost there. I can feel the reverberation as I once did in the womb. I recognize the life force just as I could perceive my mother’s voice, not as a sound, but as a frequency that traveled through me. She was at one time all I knew of nature, before I embodied my own, and now, before I am able to express a greater whole (of which I am only a part).

I had to go back home, to the beginning. I had to subdue the growing cacophony, feeling worn and threadbare, feeling pinned beneath the weight I never had to learn to lift on my own; for I am propelled by Love, eternally aware that I am also saved the selfsame way, with nothing truly at risk except, perhaps, remaining the same… Only dreaming of tomorrow, safely, from my cradle of Love.

As I begin to understand my own journey through the wilderness of Life, presently seeing steps and passageways instead of obstacles, I’m also discovering how to breathe. And because I want to experience, I walk through my day, taking time, not only to smell the roses, but also, to consume its flesh with every faculty I possess, to perceive and preserve its essence, intact. We become an ingested whole in that encounter, its meaning revealed in our shared intonation when, in that very moment, I become its velvet petals, expressing Life’s own lust and longing to be devoured… so it can bloom again.

I traverse each day as if it were an unending dream, undaunted now by the threat of disappointment. And I inhabit a Will that wants to savor the myriad nuance of feeling, infinite in interpretation and portrayal, assuming the vast implication offered in every second seized, where a message is conveyed and stretched across relentless fathoms both deep and dark; expressing light; expressing Life, which is The Light. It says, “We are free, and self-determining.”

It is said that, “Those who move against the grain rarely fair well.” (Author Unknown) And that’s probably true.

Despite the odds, however, as the predisposed maverick (that I am) who refuses to play the game of (my) Life by someone else’s rules, I feel quite optimistic about this new year, riding a slow but steady momentum, a machine in the making. I’ve somehow managed to keep the puzzle pieces in check while wandering astray, revitalizing.

I spent much of 2014 remembering; WHY I strive; WHY I sacrifice so much; and WHY any of it matters. But more important, I spent a large portion of 2014 remembering HOW… to live the Life I want to live (now, in the present).

I strive because I can, because my conscience compels me to be more than any set of circumstances. But I also strive out of obligation to myself, because I have freely chosen this life, the life of an artist, which is the purest expression of who and what I am (in this infinitesimal space in time). Although the cost of leading this life is much greater than what can be measured in money, the reward is also much greater than can be expressed. But that doesn’t make the journey any easier. In fact, it’s fair to say that I have struggled enough to satisfy an unflattering stereotype, that of starving (much to my chagrin). But that too has been by choice, when the choice has been presented, armed with the understanding that the Spirit is enough to sustain me when summoned to carry this relative mass I assume. And every bit of it matters… as an expression of my will; to feel and endure, and to be reborn; to thrive under the tremendous weight of Life, and to conquer (an inculcated mindset of doubt).

It has taken many years to find this place, this horizon that overlooks the valley of yesterday’s mistakes. And for the first time in my life, I finally understand the meaning of Self-Actualization, which I shall put to the test.

The fulfillment of one’s own potential is an “Act” of Faith, not a passive Believing (in something), nor the process of becoming. It is an active Being (this very moment) the precise “something” one intends, having only then the conviction to embody that “something” every day. Because, “In the end, we are what we pretend to be.” (from, Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut)

Though “philosophers postulate that a human being is the universe in miniature form. It is more true that the essence of a person is the whole from which the cosmos grows.” (from, The Masnavi, Book IV, Rumi)

~ ’til next time

I have no idea how long it’s been since the last time I visited this quiet space, But having hobbled along in a sober drunk with this blog, I now take my hat off to anyone who can steadily stay the course. I thought it would be a leisurely stroll through the park, an almost involuntary plucking of topics, like wildflowers, from a field of ideas. But, alack! Alas! I was wrong. And it’s a little embarrassing, to say the least, feeling like I’m starting over almost every time I sit down to write.

Oh, well. What can one do, but keep doing. I’ll figure it out eventually. There is content everywhere, I know. I can hear the taunts swarming like bees. Though for me, it’s still an incomprehensible cacophony, an active analytic mind mixed with an active imagination that is racing in too many directions. Maybe I’m just trying too hard. Or perhaps, it’s just that little voice inside my head that still doesn’t quite believe I have anything worth saying. (Screw him! That jerk!)

Equipped with a brush, these hands are poets who lament and rejoice in painted verse, eloquently expounding the encounter with Life, expressing in evocative shapes and radiant color what I only wish I could say in words with as much meaning. Writing, however… is a real effort… almost the result of an argument with myself in which I typically feel dissatisfied, as if the most important parts were left unsaid. Sure I have my moments (without a doubt) like most people, when inspiration is brimming. But the point of this was to chart my journey through the sludge too, to document all the ridiculous missteps leading up to the rapturous height, to capture the “Ah!” moments as they are being realized, or perhaps to induce those epiphanies by laying out the framework in a way that I can see and interpret.

Instead, Life simply happens. And this blog becomes the afterthought, the clean slate, when the dust has settled and the real adventure has been experienced and expressed in other ways.

(Insert sigh here.) Sounds like something I’ll have to remedy.

~ ’til next time

%d bloggers like this: