Archives for posts with tag: discovery

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

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

As a romantic, even the simplest conversations sometimes blossom into deep, penetrating discourse because of floral expressions that embellish a thought. I had one of those discussions recently, that started as I was closing a text exchange with a friend. We hadn’t seen each other in about two weeks, as I’ve immersed myself in the process of enriching my Social Media engagement, out of necessity, to expand my network. But to paint a complete picture for you, she is also a romantic interest who has kept my enthusiasms at bay as the “third wheel”. So our conversations, even when standing on pure decorum, are always infused with the overtures that underlie the platonic structure of our correspondence. I told her, “I won’t be a ghost for much longer,” to which she replied, “What do you mean by that?”

In hind-sight, it was an abstruse thing for me to express in a form of communication as static as text, especially as someone who is trying to respect the boundaries of current circumstances. However, I also stumbled upon useful discoveries as I traversed the question in search of a multi-foliate answer, because, despite the implicit nature of that statement, I simply didn’t intend to suggest anything more than “I am in the process of Emerging”, in many ways that remain a work in progress.

The most significant of those discoveries, as they pertain to my creative pursuits, is that I am only now beginning to awaken from a deeply introverted trance that has guided me through the last several years. Meditation has not only been a way of being present in the moment, allowing me to feel and experience the world on a deeply personal level, but it is also a retreat and sanctuary, when the event of Life threatens to supplant the exerted efforts for which I have sacrificed so much. So as I now immerse myself in the effort of discovering “My Story”, I realize more and more that I have almost become desensitized to the deprivation I only occasionally used to endure (in Self-preservation), which finally brings me back to the beginning… a painting in my collection that I keep in my studio as a reminder that “I knew this would be a difficult journey”.

“Self Portrait, 2008” (below) symbolizes the decision I faced when choosing the path of the artist. That moment was a stance taken in the conflict between my Spiritual Voice, which is expressed in my work, and my physical Self, who belongs to this lifetime. I recognized then the sacrifices I would have to endure to find equilibrium between these two vivid aspects of myself. It was an epiphany, a moment in my life that has led me here, still painting and evolving alongside my expressive brush.

In the painting, the city burns in the background as a symbol of the Social Life I would have to abandon in order to find and nurture my creative Self, who is inherently introspective. But I also went another extreme, removing the threat of my enormous Love from the equation, which is sometimes even too big for me to handle, by setting my heart aside where it still rests in the box (for now).

Blog Material

Self Portrait

I came home last night to the inviting fragrance of freshly bathed flowers in full-bloom. And I couldn’t help but smile, both inwardly and out. Every year, spring permeates the air with its perfume as a reminder of this world’s unfailing tenderness, despite the harsh realities that accompany the consciously living. Springtime is Earth’s velvet touch, like a lover who ignites all the senses, which in turn stimulates the spirit. She is a fervent beating heart that feeds all our extremes and everything in-between. Or at least that’s the way I came to see her at such a late hour, when the city was drunk and drenched. I paused in gratitude to ingest another deep breath, eyes shut so that I could see the same tranquil view of everything my heart sees, a gentle panorama of life below the surface, where a constant and brutal awakening settles into calm decisive action.

Was it a dream? I don’t know. But, I slept soundly. And I remember it well.

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.

While in the process of preparing my submission to the West Austin Studio Tour, a friend of mine discovered and shared an article that helped me find my own words (for an artist statement with which I always struggle). The article is an engaging piece that truly resonated with me, a long-lost interview with the famous French painter, Henri Matisse. (link provided below)

As I explored all three parts, which cover a broad range of topics, Matisse seemed the spokesperson for the artist collective, tackling difficult questions with insight and eloquence while setting the tempo early with an unpretentious response to “the significance of subject” in the artist’s work. And it is in this brief statement that I found direction. He said, “The subject is me, and what I see.”

While seemingly simple and vague; “The subject is me…” is actually a bold statement, especially today, when more and more artists tend to reject the tradition of painting altogether and instead resort to long-winded explanations about nothing (please refer to  my last entry, “Whatever, Dude”).  🙂  But I don’t mean to paint in broad strokes here. Out of context, anything can and will appear trivial. My criticism is directed at those who abuse the use of rhetoric for lack of talent.

I used to take a firm philosophical stance when describing my work, not as an attempt to feign meaning, but because I honestly failed to recognize how inherently fundamental my process is. In fact, I am only now realizing that the bulk of my work is nothing more than an ongoing series of abstracted self-portraits, because, no matter what I start with, in terms of subject matter, the end result is ultimately filtered through the lens of my own experience and understanding, which perhaps distorts any truth I think I know about my subject. Yet, even such an assertion could hardly suggest that the work is frivolous or lacking in substance. It simply means that the passive viewer must also become a more careful observer in order to encounter the implications presented in a conversation with the quintessential Self, the inner dialogue that is outwardly expressed in all human endeavors.

(to be continued…)

Submission deadline: Feb. 20th

For your reading pleasure, here is the complete interview:

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3041469/highlights-from-a-never-before-published-interview-with-henri-matisse

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