Zen misconflusion

Caligraphy by 17th century Chinese Buddhist monk Nangen from Mampukuji, founded by Chinese Chan monks in 1661, near Kyoto Japan. It is the head temple of the Japanese Ōbaku Zen sect, named after Wanfu Temple in Fujian, China. The large character translate as heart, or mind such as when used with mu—無心.

The basic character for heart (below), in Mandarin pronounced Xīn and Japanese might be pronounced shin or kokoro. Japanese borrowed the Chinese characters giving a Chinese charactera a Chinese and Japanese pronounciation—in Japanese an On and Kun. While China does not have “specific only ” phonetic writing, their are more or less phonetic hints while Japan and Korea bodies using Chinese characters have a phonetic only writing.

One day in SF China town passing a “going out of business” stationary store on Grant Street with a sign in the window — SALE! Characters written $7.50 each, so I bought two, Mu and Shin 無心, An elderly man brushed them while we waited .

Below, a shin (from a MuShin) by Gengo Akiba Roshi

In writing Chinese characters there are basic strokes . . .

brushed like this

. . . written in this order. Hand brushed Chinese characters can be appreciated for their own visual qualities without understanding the literal meaning. It is different than western caligraphy which also writes the letters by hand, while the design may feel like a “thing,” a chinese character is visual representation of a thing,

Above examples from Chinese for Beginners Foreign Languages Press

The Birth of Krishna: King Kamsa had been foretold that a son of Devaki, Krishna’s mother, would kill him. When she was pregnant he put her in jail, When Krishna was born, Devaki’s husband secretly exchanged him with female newly born, Yoga Maya. This painting from the 18th century depicts the action.

Contrast Dylan’s Its All Right Ma literal image to a WPA painting on the interior walls of Coit Tower: One is in the hole and the other getting out.
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole that he’s in

Money is a black hole easy to be sucked into.

Most every day I walk four miles along Alameda Creek seeing the same things everyday. Same things ? ? ?

. . . 2? two things, the idea seems strange. Where does it come from? Are any two things in the universe the same? Compare buyers in the produce section choosing apples at $/lb or $/each, see how easily they can move from one standard of choosing to another.

If everything is unique, if we could count up all of the things in the universe, give each one a name, there would be so so many if we were never to finish.

One of the qualities of human beings is having developed a language with words which can have hierarchical relationships, meta levels . . .

This helps make “2” possible because things can be differentiated, counted and at the same time be grouped together in different overlapping hierarchical categories and structures. Things canoe the same and different at once.
Apples, oranges and pears as fruits are different, and a moment later the differences between good looking apples and bruised apples are easily defined, one moment apples are the same and the next moment they become different from each other.

This works better for material things —apples and trees and rocks—than for common ideas in society.

Science is the most reliable and practical method for doing this process in the common interest.

There are many answers which science cannot know because the problem cannot be defined or the problem is defined incorrectly. However the latter is usually discovered by scientists doing peer reviews, the process is not just “checking” but the process of incorrectly defining things is also a part of the scientific creative process and peer review often leads to a working definition for developing an workable hypothesis.

While science is based on common human empirical experiences and a community of people who commit to scientific method, individuals have unique anecdotal, non-scientific experiences which are also a way of knowing which uses faith as “proof” and when what they “know” is incorrect there is no check and balance to it—critical efforts usually end up as a personal attack. A religious experience which is not “logical” or “scientifically provable” can seem “truth” on the basis of faith while criticizing a person’s faith often has negative results.

When we see a photograph we feel its a photograph . . .

And all the way held your camera
like a bible ,just wishing so bad
it held some kind of truth.
And I stood nervous
next to you
in the darkroom,
You drop the paper in the water
and it begins to bloom.
Old Soul Song Conor Obrest

Even when we know its not real, the colors, the continuous tone, the texture, the surface of the medium and still no matter what it is, when we see a photograph we always want to know “what is it?

Pottery, clay containers which can hold liquid was an important human development. Fragments of pottery in China date back 20,000 years ago.

In general my taste is pottery made by potters. Local potters, crafts fairs; Pueblo pottery; and Japanese folk pottery.

Hagi is a Japanese pottery folk kiln— folk kiln referring to potters with a history, in a geographical area using similar materials and techniques with a similar look and feel.

Hagi is one of the old kilns, its located on the lower west side of Honshu. It can be more porous than other types, absorbing as it is used and changing color. Its its own history, a history like people, it changes color from because of its experiences and can never go back to what it was. Or you can keep your hagi bowl in a  tomobako tucked away in a drawer never to feel the warmth of tea.

The zen of pottery —get one, really like using it, its part of your life, it breaks, feel bad, get another one and really like using it, but you never forget the other ones.

An Okinawan tokkuri flask shaped for the hip. Some may have clay rings connected and a rope goes through the rings and wraps around the waist, so, I have heard, so farmers in the fields can drink when they get thirsty.

To make the pottery-zen work you need potters, people who like using pottery and people who like selling pottery and some clay, glazes, a kiln and some fire and a pottery-zen mind.

Hidasuki Bizen guinomi.. When pots are stacked in the kiln for firing they may be tied together by twine and then fired.

Pottery is one of those things that is functional and also Art. Using pottery is like having your own museum and touching the exhibits everyday . . .

Ekaratsu made in Kyushu: the “e” refers to picture same as wood block prints are called ukiyo-e . Often karatsu pots have paintings such as bamboo leaves

. . . and not paying an admission fee.

Ki-Seto guinomi and Shigaraki tokkuri from Seto-Mino area and Shiga Prefecture.

Simple bikes left outside in a corner, — the object is confused by the subject with no cares, or maybe no one cares, in this world.

Every new day dawns with seventy new landmine victims in the world. Yet two million new mines are strewn every year, increasing the appalling scourge of more than 100 million of them lying in wait, without respite, flush with the ground, buried anywhere and everywhere, for months, perhaps years, until their cruel purpose is fulfilled.

Ignasi Carreras, Consuelo Lobo, Pedro Arcos from the introduction to Vidas Minadas by Gervasio Sanchez and photographs by Juan Manuel Castro Prieto, published 1997

gate gate
bodhi svāhā,

War in the drawer

August and the anniversary of the only global event using nuclear bombs in war and a visit to Yasukuni Jinja 靖國神社.

Yasukuni Jinja was established to commemorate and show appreciation and respect to those who gave their lives in defense of their mother country, Japan, while serving the Emperor of Japan from wars in 1867-1951.
The torii at the entrance is impressively dominating.

Some of the veterans inshrined at Yasukuni were designated as war criminals and China, South Korea and North Korea view visits by politicians to the shrine as grossly inappropriate nationalistic behavour for war crimes committed against their peoples in WWII.

For many in Japan Yasukuni Jinja is honoring those who died for their country. While control of the shrine is in the hands of Shinto priests, not the government, it is not unusual for more conservative politicians to visit the shrine for a photo op.

Shinto is the indigenous story of who the Japanese are. When Buddhism came to Japan in 525 CE Shinto was critical of its “peaceful aspects,” but each seems to have found their own place in Japanese society. Some temples were famous for their “warrior priests.”

How many Americans reflect that this country was founded by a bunch of white europeans whose God told them get in a boat, go across the water to the Promised Land, while there may be people living there they are not Christians and you can kill them and steal their land—they killed 85 % of them and stole most of their land and continue to do so—and natural resources. And to continue the founding of this country, those white europeans created chattel slavery.

‘In Japan Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are a physically integrated part of everyday life. People walk by them everyday, it may be in a small corner overwhelmed by large buildings or occupy a large amount of land and neighbors regularly cut through them when out and about.

Each person can have their own relationship with a shrine or temple when they choose. There are also community events.

An Ikebana display at Yasakuni, flowers are a symbol of peace, politicians politicize war while family members of those who answered their country’s call and never returned remember them as brave, responsible heroes in their family stories.

On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in a Sraevo street, an act that set off WWI. But what that makes him in Bosnia depends on which lesson you learn.
“A hero and a poet,” says a textbook handed to high school students in the Serb-controlled region of this divided country. An “assassin trained and instructed by the Serbs to commit this act of terrorism,” says a text written for Croatian students. “A nationalist whose deed sparked anti-Serbian rioting that was only stopped by the police from all three ethnic groups,” reads the Muslim version of the event.

Chris Hedges War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

‘Nationalism means people see their own country’s history as different than others see it, even when they are in the same country.

In Shibuya Station 10 foot wide screens were flush mounted on walls about eight feet high and sometimes one image was displayed across all of them.

While other very large cities have great things, one thing that makes Tokyo unique is that you are free to wander all over the city to see the all the great things and not be worried about crime.

I regularly get my exercise by fast walking along the Alameda Creek levee, as so do many others. I do not know all of the people I see which is a good thing, knowing people always seems to get me in trouble. I had that conversation with someone other than myself about 1968.

The response was that other people thought knowing me got them into trouble, kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy so this way I can like the color, the gesture, the line and not have to be troubled by the detail of a relationship.

There are things we expect from a photograph and when we get them it feels like a photograph. When we do not get them, it feels like something is not right. When its a photograph of something that is not right, sometimes that is what we expect of a photograph such as a news photograph audit feels fine,

A photograph always feels the question “What is It?” while a painting, a drawing, a silk screen avoid those limitations, Knowing what something is, is often just having a name for it, I know what a horse is when I see one, I can say That is a horse,” but it does not mean I understand about horses. You do not need to expect anything from my photographs, there is no truth or nontruth to be experienced.

I cannot imagine riding a bike with rubber flip flops , whenI was young I rode a bike in my bare feet and scraped the tops of toes as they rounded over the front of the pedal on the concrete, just looking at this image makes my toes shudder and wince at the possible pain.

Either way and anyway makes as little sense or at least ends up at the same place, or I end up at the same place, alone and wondering where I am, and at least its not so confuisng.

Mie edukay, shun kalap says

Do you think a photograph should tell the truth, or does tell the truth, perhaps you think a photograph can lie? If you think it can lie then you also think it can tell the truth— if you think its a lie, that means there is a truth, by definition when lie is defined as not the truth then there is a truth. But can there can be a truth without a lie—for many that is God. Yet for some others the God they believe in needs lies to have meaning for them.

Black & white images are circa 1970 maybe some before, some later.


How to go from one reaction to ten million reactions on a one page ad. Only thing is you hope and pray that the next two pages are not 1) a cacophony of different shades and 2) the paper is opaque. Its different than one day can be more than one million miles, it comes back onto the page.

She was wearing my sweater, kind of cute!!! kawaii!!! かわいい Well, kind of cute in 1968 anyway, maybe she looks old fashioned now. You may think she is beautiful, I just remember there was something I could never talk about with her and I wish I had. Everyone sees different things in a photograph.

Oribe is an old style of Japanese folk pottery—nihon rokkoyo— it comes from Seto/Mino area. In Japanese folk pottery tradition is very important. In the West individual potters are more concerned about expressing their own creative individualism, whatever that means, resulting in a visual cacophony.
A Narumi Oribe chawan.

In Japanese folk pottery individualism is expressed through the tradition. When you see an Oribe chawan made 300 years ago and one made last week, your first feeling is Oribe, and then you (after seeing enough Oribe you will learn to) see the individual potters statement come through.

A Kuro Oribe (black oribe) chawan.

Also from the Seto/Mino area is a Setoguro (black) guinomi by Yamada Hiroshi and Ki-Seto (yellow) tokkuri by Kagami Shugai.

A weary wandering duck, wings ready to fly, free, into the sky, but nowhere to go, lost in the Liangshan Marsh searching for Wu Song to drink the day away. 

I made this photo for Model Cities around 1968. Ed Douthet (white shirt, LR)  was teaching masonry to these young men in a Model Cities funded program. I went to do the photo shoot and left with a better understanding of the meaning of art and craftsmanship in the everyday objects of my life. While Ed Douthet (white shirt, lr)  was teaching these young men he talked about the art of masonry, the meaning it had for people in their everyday lives and how the craftsman needs to work from their heart create that meaning . The Art crafts people bring to our daily lives is as important as the Art in a museum or a gallery and we don’t have to go anywhere special to see it, its in our everyday lives

I wonder if these some or all of these men knew each other before they joined the program, I wonder if the two men in front are assistant instructors, were “star students” or are there by random. (photo 1969),


Their faces express different feelings

Note on all grade-school teachers: that at best they are exceedingly ill-paid, and have anxiety over their jobs: with all the nervousness of lack of money and of insecurity even in that little: not a good state of mind for a teacher or the young, Nor is the state of mind resulting of sexlessness, or of carefully spotless moral rectitude, whether it be ‘inate’ or or self enforced for the sake the job. Nearly all teachers and clergymen suffocate their victims thought his sterility alone.”
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men James Agee (writer) and Walker Evans (Photographer)

Winnings and losings, beginnings and ends always overlapping . ..

Until I could not tell the difference between one and the other. When I was 30 years old Went for three years in art school. I did know if there was going to be place in art for me, but as Gene Scott once said “God did not know if Jesus would fulfill his mission.” If God did not know something that important who am I to doubt about something as unimportant as my life.

Niles California, golden hills, blue skies and green trees, a California part of Fremont where I live, well maybe not really live, I have a house, eat and sleep here and I am still above ground so I guess that qualifies. Niles was where Bronco Billy and some Chaplin films were made.

The Alameda Creek trail, where I walk four miles everyday runs past Beard Rd. East about 5 miles from where I enter the trail is Niles, which makes it a 10 mile round trip so sometimes I drive some where park and then walk. 

I believe you have to understand that the camera just shows what it shows. It may sound important to speak of moral shortcomings in photography, but I don’t think they exist.
John Loengard Pictures Under Discussion

What is not included in the photograph is as important as what is included and that is ok. It is not ok when the photograph does not include the photographer’s intention but still if the photographer is true the camera may find something else all on its own.

Compose by what you see or compose by how your eyes feel.

If you expect something from a photograph you may miss what it has to tell you.

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there
and every man
who wants to die at peace in his bed

William Carlos Williams, from the poem Asphodel, That Greeny Flower in Pictures from Breughel and other poems

Then again maybe what a photograph has to tell you is not so important.

My son on the inside looking out, if I remember correctly on that day I felt freer than him.

My aunt and Uncle, a happy moment together a memory care facility . . .

Next, after peeling and slicing the banana with his comb on the wash cloth he arranges parts to make a rectangle on his bed. He was an engineer, graduate of Case.

Daiso, the Japanese store where most everything is $1.50. but its not in competition with the Dollar Store, its got a lot of fun things to both see and buy.

Let us rejoice,
remembering all the grand
(but deserved)
things that somehow
managed to come our way.
Kenneth Patchen Wonderings

When you look at this photograph do you think it should not be me? That this person did not have the right to this body or maybe the body did not earn the right to be this person. Which is the subject, which is the object? Which would you hold dear?

Gate, Gate,
Bodhi svaha


He was taking shower 
and when done 
he got to fly freely
with good dreams in the sky


poem and duck photos by Janney

In the classes I teach there is always a student who announces that photographs lie. “They do ?” I ask., “When was the last time one lied to you?” The answer always turns out to be that the caption was wrong or an advertising slogan was not to be believed or the scene recorded ran counter to the viewer’s expectations.  No one has yet remembered a photograph lying on its own, but I remember the last time I was lied to by a human  who looked me in the eye and told me something we both knew was not true. I remember it vividly. I remember my reaction. 
John Loengard     Pictures Under Discussion 

We walked in Coyote Hills, Janney is an artist, with an artistic eye

I on the other hand am, or was, a designer will little or no concern fore the responsibilities of photography, or art.

Janney gets a right moment,

I’m not proud, I will do anything I want to an image, mostly because often what I see is something I feel and not something I see in the camera.

When I see a Hopper painting with people I enjoy wondering what the people are feeling and thinking, but when I see an A. Wyeth painting with people in it I usually feel I know what they are feeling and thinking but I know I do not know. Disclaimer: I like both Wyeth and Hopper and have traveled distances to see their work.

Barns are interesting places, farmers regularly remodel the insides to work with changes in their farming, practice. Wesley would have cows for a few years, horses, and sometimes needed more storage or bought a new machine and each time remodel the inside of his barn.

This ad came up when I was clicking too fast and/or the browser was working too slow—501® Original Shrink-to-fit Levis, only 59.50 . I am 75, wearing 501s all of my life, or at least since I was in the 7th grade and given a monthly clothes allowance which meant I had to learn to budget in the summer for the winter. In the 7th grade 501s cost $3.05/pair where I lived, only shrink-to-fit was available with no returns after washing.

In Ameyoko Plaza, Ueno, Levis 501s range from $125.74 to $275.28, with 10% off. (Today’s prices, photo from November 2018)

Once a work is completed it must always become the possession of others, not of the creator, This holds true for both scholars and artists. If people were truly adverse to this they would keep their most beloved creations to themselves, locked away in their minds and studios, and this would only be fitting and right. Deciding whether there is such a concealed work  is one of the key points to determining whether there is creativity or not. 
Issey Miyake Bodyworks    Shōzō Tsurumoto, editor

Just about everyday since Spring 2007—when I moved my office home—I fast walk along Alameda Creek. I get on at Beard Rd Staging , about 75 yards from my house and I can go about 7 miles either way—west to Coyote Hills or east past Niles.

Since the Covad19 the levee has become very different with more people I do not know, more people I do not recognize and as I get older it takes more time to do the four miles . . .

I listen to podcasts, for many years I listened to The Archers (BBC) and Bloomberg Surveillance, Coved19 changed the interactive format of The Archers and while Bloomberg Surveillance was good investment information by the time the market opens its generally outdated information. This year is Water Margin, and working on Three Kingdoms.

The more fine, true wool, the better the fleece. The more kemp, the coarser the yarn, since a large medulla means a coarse and brittle fiber. Furthermore, the fineness of the short wool fibers, expressed by the average diameter of the strands, and the amounf of crimp  or curd are also important. Tight, curly wool is more difficult to handspin than long straight fibers.
Old Navajo Rugs Marian E, Rodee

Every year for the past four years sheep and goats, separately of course, are hired to graze along the Alameda Creek trail. the sheep get along with each other, but the goats will pick fights.

Last week this turkey vulture discovered a dead turtle —turkey vultures do not kill prey , they lack the claws to do it . . .

. . . but they have no problem harrassing and stealing from each other .

A young man walking his dog, over the past 12 years I have met a lot of different people, he is very proud of his dog.

They built a fire against the side of a great log twenty or thirty steps within the somber depths of the forest and then cooked some bacon in the frying pan for supper and used up half of the corn “pone” stock they had brought. It seemed glorious sport to be feasting in the wild free way in the virgin forest of an unexlplred and uninhabitated island, far from the haunts of men and they said they never would return to civilization . . .

. . . “Its just the life for me ” said Tom.  “You don’t have to get up mornings  and you don’t have to go to school and wash and all that blame foolishness.”
Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  © 1920 Mark Twain Company. Grosset & Dunlap  Publishers by arrangement with Harper & Brothers —my copy, eat your heart out, its letterpress and deckled edges.

San Francicso along Market Street, maybe ten years ago, and I think all my life no matter how much I stretched I could never sit like that
, no , actually just kidding, I wonder what he is doing now. Every time I see my photos of kids I remember the moment and I think how old is the image and I say a prayer of hope for their lives.

A Japanese gardener in my neighbor, he used to be my neighbor until he moved but he still works around the neighborhood. We bought a pine tree, a Japanese maple and a Japanese plum tree from him. He told me when he moved I could have all the “Japanese small stones ” I could carry from his driveway for the path in our Japanese garden. He has a lot of patience, he worked on this little pine for over an hour, I think he knows every needle.

When I see someone like this, I am thankful they are doing this job, she directed me to the bathroom . . .

. . .you could say I no what I am looking fore, but it took me until 12 years after I graduated from high school, another three years of design school, one year at a Boston printer to learn about ink being placed on paper, then 35 years as Steve Naegele Design. Often when I was on press check looking for small little things like broken type, is the screen mix tint the same across the flat and other things to make the page more perfect, earning more in one hour than many people on this earth made in month . . . and for some in a year.

. . . or we could just hope to hear someone say:

Gate Gate,

The artless dodger

All through human history its obvious that people like Art— paintings, drawings, music, decoration, poetry, dance, sculpture, and so on. While different individuals may have different “tastes” in Art or they may argue what is or is not Art, people like Art.

Here I am stepping on a piece of Art, off to the side there is a sign that says “Please take off your shoes“ but I did not. Not intentionally, but when I realized it, I did not come down immediately, it was too much fun.

In pre-digital graphic design, art (small “a”) referred to anything which was pasted up on a board, photographed using high contrast film which was used to burn an offset printing plate to be put on a printing press.

Along Alameda Creek Levee , I walk everyday, well not exactly everyday, but very close . . .

We know the universe through our five senses, and and, maybe in some part, reason—another human created tool. In Art sensual feeling is another way of knowing. The eye of the visual artist feels information about the qualities of things and expresses those qualities.

Its been over five months since Covad 19, everyday walking along the creek levee with my little Nikon 8200 camera.

Where for most people what they see goes through the eye to the brain which defines what they have seen—I see a house!. But for the visual artist the image does not go to the brain, but stays on the eye and is known visually as line, texture, color, shape, gesture, and the relationships between them —the visual qualities.

Art does not have to be anything in particular, it can be political, it can be decorative, it can have hidden meanings or superficial meanings, it can serious, it can be light hearted fun. Its often said that Art is in the eye of the beholder and rules are made to be broken.

But there are some rules to Art. Visual Art, like music, is about creating tension and resolving it, visual art creates a visual tension and resolves it visually; music creates an audio tension and resolves. it.
In visual art, the tension— a visual question which seeks an answer— attracts your eye like an accident on the road attracts rubber neckers. The resolution is when the visual question is visually answered, and when this process is successful the viewer feels it instantly. for and if this is not resolved the reader moves on.

Design is different than art . . . Design is how how the pieces fit together and often what the pieces are.

Design is a part of Art, but also it is its own distinct and separate thing. Artists are often good at design, but not necessarily and designers are designers, not artists by intent. Art may often pose visual questions but commercial or graphic design, such as in designing an advertisement, or a brochure is not about posing visual questions, but eliminating visual questions. NO reader of an adorable a brochure should ask “Is this an ad Isthis a brochure? Where do I start reading? or How do I read this? What is going on here?—yet all may be legitimate questions for the Artist .

On weekends its crowded with bike riders, and a general increase in dog poop.

For the commercial designer, design is an end in itself. In marketing communications design, marketing has an objective (hopefully) and a strategy to realize that objective (hopefully). The work of the designer is to visually implement that strategy to realize the marketing objective—the feel of the visual experience of the ad should communicate through feeling any questions about how to read the ad—such as this is an ad (its not an editorial or article) ; where to start reading; where to go next; where to end reading; where is the message—it wants to get you to the message which you may accept or reject.

The goats are back again along Alameda Creek. A goat herd is hired to eat up the growing stuff along the creek and sides of the levee. Sheep were there last month.

The designer wants to minimize the time spread between the moment the viewer initially experiences the ad and the viewer getting to the content of the ad—unless the strategy of the visual experience of the ad is make that difficult. These are decisions made instantly by feelings. This is when you are reading a magazine and you turn the page “without thinking” —you are not “thinking ” but you are “knowing by the feeling of the page and instantly have made a decision to go on that honest page. The opposite is true too, if there is something on that page that interests you, you will know that by the feel of the page and make a decision without thinking.

Maine is cold in the winter time

A painting or drawing hanging on my wall would be very boring if everyday I had the same visual experience with it. Visual Art needs to have a visual experience which grows with the viewer.

When I see images of the cold in Maine I remember the fun snow is , but then the memories of the reality are automatically recalled.

Photographs as Art have their own situation, people commonly associate a photograph as a visual record of a real moment in time. If they do not recognize what they see, they begin thinking about What is it? and alienate themselves from the visual experience.

Finding out who you are can get very competitive and introverts like myself tend to try to hide among the feelings —if yuo saw me here you would think I was someone else.

On the other hand an advertisement wants to create a common visual experience. The purpose is not to encourage the viewer to have their own independent experience but to have the same experience as everyone else an dwhen that works is that common experience positive towards the content.

At the cross roads where both choices go up

We may expect the artist have the skill in their own hands to create their vision. For the designer its the vision that matters and the designer, as art director, may use others for their skills to realize their vision. This is reasonable as the designer is a “commercial artist,” their vision is to design a solution which works for others while the artist is about creating their own vision. How close do you think the artist should be to the skills needed to produce the art?

Before I came to California in 1979 I lived in Cambridge MA. Once a year Philip Guston would hold an evening presenting works, comments and taking questions,— I attended once, he showed his klan series. Link to a new exhibition of Philip Guston. In his early career before this style he was known as an abstract expressionist.

The artist practices their skill to respond to their feelings without thinking.

Daruma is the historical character of the man who brought “zen” from India to China in the 6th century. More specifically he brought Dhyana to China which became Chan and in Japan is Zen. A KnoWay Daruma .

When Japanese get a new Daruma “doll” there are no eyes in it, just two white circles. Make a wish, draw in an eye, if the wish comes true draw in the second eye. Many people buy a Daruma at New’s Year or at Jindaiji Temple Daruma Doll Fair where people come to buy a new Daruma and burn an old one.

Sometimes to much of a good thing makes yo stop wondering.

There is another interesting use of the word “art.” When a skill or profession for which there is very specific training yet some individuals have a special “knack” outside of and beyond that specific training is described as “the art of” —the art of the medicine ; the art of sales; the art of carpentry. In the West that is what often some use to separate Craft from Art.

An Acoma bowl, maybe 1950s or later? Acoma is one style of Southwest Indian pottery. If you are ever about 45 miles west of Albuquerque on Highway 40 stop and buy some pottery. If you take the tour you may get the opportunity to purchase inperson from the artist.

The sense of Art is that its a meaningful human expression beyond the ability of words. Except that using words is an Art, or is the writer just a craftsman with unexplainable word abilities, a wordsmith, theocrat of writing and only some of them have the Art of writing? (That’s a joke.)

Gary Holt , chawan, Berkeley potter, It was one of his early “soluble” (I think that was his term) chawans. It felt like Miro to me.

Last night I broke a piece of pottery, every once in awhile it happens, it tears out a piece of my heart, it reminds me how impermanent is my life—but then there is the zen of it, I buy a pottery because I like it, I enjoy using it, when it breaks, because it will, get another one.

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, bodhi svaha

From my collection of “functional pottery ” which includes work from Berkeley potters during the 1980s, other local areas of San Francisco, four Chinese bowls with hand painted roosters, one bowl from Roswell NM, purchased as a set of four from the local Art Museum and one bowl from an Old Town pottery store which featured local potters around Albuquerque.

Whatever is Art, knowing what Art is is not as important as having it.