I have written about Steiner’s economic ideas in the past. The above link is a good place to start to understand what those are. As artists we still have some part in the economic sphere Though we are spiritual laborers like priests and educators, and must think differently about how to fund art without compromising the freedom we need in the cultural sphere.
.”Free Columbia is located in the very center of Columbia County, NY. The area is known for its rural beauty, small farms, many artists, and cultural organizations and initiatives.”
Free Columbia always has interesting things going on. Below is some of their recent work mostly from recent emails and some from their web site.
M.C. Richards Program
The program is named after M.C. Richards, a pioneer of Black Mountain College, a poet, potter, essayist, painter, and teacher. The program is one contribution toward her question: “What are some practices to strengthen and enliven living images, in contrast to mechanical and life-destroying images? And how may thinking itself be taught in ways that promote life, rather than estrange us from it?”
We are happy to announce that we have recieved a grant from Bridging Divides, a grant program of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. The funds will support a project offering a series of workshop/discussions on racial justice led by Roxanne Wilkins. There will be background videos and reading that addresses the subject. The intent is to build a diverse community of people interested in the subject. The next meeting will be on Saturday February 13 at 11 Maple Ave in Philmont, NY at 11 am. If you are interested to join this work, in person or by zoom please let Laura Summer know. 518 672 7302In January the MC Richards students spent 4 intensive days working on artistic projects related to life and sequence. Here are some results.“Powerful trees: A journey of breaking down walls. Staying rooted to childhood while looking forward, planting new seeds and opening to growth.” Kyra Moyer“Faith in Trees” By Isabel Dancey (Painting/drawing/collage) Series based on personal childhood stories and pictures related to nature, festivals, and attending the service at church. “My Insides: Small Giants and Gentle Monsters That I Had Been and Am” Kai Naor“This mosaic was inspired by a piece of glass I found on the bank of the Hudson River, when I first arrived in New York. I wanted to work with this glass, as it was plentiful and though I am far from home, it symbolized a connection back to my roots in Michigan, where I grew up in a family of glass blowers. As these chunks of multi colored glass were washing up around my feet, I felt called to honor that part of my upbringing, as well as pay tribute to the gifts Columbia County has brought to me during my time here through repurposing local materials” Lucy Nordin“ A view through a window: an exploration of polarity and composition through textiles, 3D objects, and forms found in nature.” Sara Cruz“compositions of spaces and sites where most don’t wander” Aiden PaulEvolutions of Earth “Imaginations of Earth Evolution as described by Rudolf Steiner”. Artistic renderings in watercolor. Sergio Rico“Red and Yellow” Felipe GarciaEve Hindes and Stefan Ambrose working on crankies. An expression of free culture | 2019 | Free Columbia These messages are sent to supporters within a roughly 90-minute travel radius who have already interacted with us.
I have been thinking about Gandhi’s practice and teaching of satyagraha, “a policy of passive political resistance, especially that advocated by Mahatma Gandhi against British rule in India”, and adapted by Martin Luther King during the civil right’s movement in America. I read a book about this when Nancy and I were involved in protests against waste sites being located in southwest GA, areas predominantly poor and black. Real solutions to the waste problem, the problem of equity, and many other social problems can rarely, in our time be solved with violence. Violence begets violence. A counterpoint to this is the Bhagavad-Gita, a book influential in Gandhi’s development,. It is set in the midst of battle when Arjuno in despair encounters Krishna, an embodiment of the divine spirit. The text is also an expression of this divine nature and support for those who exist in this realm in human form, met always with hard choices and trials. It is a call to action, participation in this realm and a call as in Christian doctrine to act not through the lower ego, but through the Logos, “Not I but Christ in me”. Americans should look not only to the founding fathers and the constitution but to souls like Emerson, King, and all who truly seek liberation for all of humanity and by spiritual inference, our mother the earth and its creatures, even down to it’s mineral substances, spinning as it is in the greater cosmos of form and spirit.
I will get around to something more cheerful soon, but this is what emerged from my last session of drawing. I had the title as soon as I started the scribbles. The boy is like younger boys that were in illustrated books by Garth Williams I had as a boy, or I should say we had, my sisters and I. There was the boy who caught the leprechaun and there was the story book about Crispin’s Crispian, the Dog Who Belonged to Himself. I experienced an odd occurrence I associate with an illustration in his book Elves and Fairies when I was between 9 and 11 or there about. I was up in the playroom in the Gaskin Street house and opened the book to a picture of one of his leprechauns. It came alive and it terrified me. I shut the book quickly and left the room. When I was older I looked at the book again and tried to see what I saw then but couldn’t. My rational mind had blocked the intuitive child. I try not to block that intuitive child any longer. Both are needed to get at the truth. Thus the title for this drawing on the last day of 2020: Babble.
By the way, I always thought that Mr. Dog, the title of the book mentioned, was a mild form of propaganda. It clearly states that Crispin’s Crispian was a conservative.
This image can be catalogued with my resent “insomnia drawings. I started only with the idea of depicting some form of benevolent female spirit: the divine mother, Sophia, Anthroposophia, a group soul, the holy spirit, a guardian spirit, a redeemed benevolent form of Lucifer, etc. When I had come close to finishing it, I thought about a title. First thoughts were “Queen of Heaven and Earth”, then “Egalitarian Queen of Heaven and Earth”, to dispel any idea of exclusivity due to any apparent racial archetypes, objectification of women, or any other flaw due to my own ineptitude and prejudices, subliminal or otherwise.
It is obviously influenced by integral art that I have looked at in the past (I have done chakra images before), but there is one obscure influence that I should bring up. When I was young, we had a large drawing on brown paper hanging in our house, done by one of my father’s students, if I am not mistaken. It was of a blond female figure with flowing hair and gown, with the words “And Ye Shall Find the Fields Filled with Great Golden Chariots”, in block letters above the figure.
My wife and I together, during a very stressful time, once saw a hovering orange spirit in the corner of one of the rooms in our house. We were the only ones around. It is not as though she or I have hallucinatory visions, but we both sensed or saw in a non-physical way, a spirit bathed in orangish light and acknowledged this to each other. We have been known to finish each other’s sentences, have simultaneously the same thoughts, and know what the other was thinking, but this experience was singularly unique.
An odd thing happened when I went to write the title on the back with my signature. I had settled on the long name “Egalitarian Queen of Heaven and Earth”, and clearly had this in my mind as I was nodding off. When I went to read the title the next day, it read: “Egalitarian School of Prayer”, and I guess that is what it is, a prayer to an all encompassing compassionate spirit.
I have struggled with insomnia since I was a teanager. Lately I have had a resurgence of insomnia. Usually I eventually make up for lost sleep but in the meantime, I struggle. It is not that I never sleep, just that I cannot sleep at night for a normal 7-8 hours and have to make up for it later. Someone once said I keep jazz musician’s hours. When I was self employed, this was OK. Most of my adult life I have had to hold down a job employed by someone else. Luckily these were jobs I enjoyed, working in a living history museum for 19 years, 3 years as a graduate assistant and now, 10 or more years teaching at the college and university level.
My way of coping with insomnia has been, since 15 years of age, to put the time to good use making art. For 19 years, I painted in my attic.The past decade, I have played the piano with headphones on, and I have always written poetry. For the past several months, I have been drawing completing one or two drawings a week. sometimes more. Most of these have been non-objective. I have finally had to embrace my eclecticism even if it is not a good career choice. If you get known for one thing and then you switch to something else, you loose your brand so to speak. Of all the art Picasso made, his ceramic work was panned initially. Eventually this work was seen as groundbreaking in the field of ceramics. I am not claiming to be Picasso but I have learned to embrace my eclecticism weather others do or not
Here are my drawings from the past few months, some influenced no doubt by the current state of the world. I could be called a neo-modernist or neo expressionist with a predilection for Steiner’s ideas on art, and goethean color theory. I am a student of art of all kinds and of nature and of my own experiences.
I do post my own work on this sight and sometimes feel uncomfortable or embarrassed doing so. I am open to posting any artist with a connection to Anthroposophy or any artistic endeavor influenced by Rudolf Steiner, or articles about art in general from a spiritual perspective and possibly some connection to Steiner’s work. So far, I am an editor of one for this site. Thank you for viewing.
I consider myself an artist first and have been immersed in art from early childhood. I have a background in music, theater, poetry, painting, sculpture, and pottery, among other art and craft forms and media. Because of my work at Westville and my teaching, I am known mostly as a potter I apprenticed with my father at 15 working with some of his college students in the late 70’s in what was then called Sugar Creek Pottery, later just Hawks Pottery. My father’s textbook for teaching then was Charles Counts book Pottery Workshop: A Study in the Making of Pottery. Both he and my father were influenced by Marguerite Wildenhain who studied at the Bauhaus. I saw countless potters working growing up, mostly in GA but my first pottery memory is from the Cole pottery in NC.
I worked later with Ron Meyers at UGA, Don Penny at Valdosta State, Jeff Kaller at Columbus State, and Holly Hanessian at FSU. When I began working at Westville in the late 1980’s, early 90’s, I interviewed D. X. Gordy who started the Westville pottery, watched him work and visited with him a few times both at his home and at Westville. I also did extensive historic research starting with Edgefield pottery and tracing the forms and craft as it migrated throughout the south, including some of the other origins that were specific in the development of GA pottery including places like Salem NC, etc. Technical ideas came from disparate sources on wood, salt, and slip glazing including Denis Parks and the whole Leach/Hamada/Cardew tradition.
I began to do face jugs at Westville and writing on some of them, in dialogue with Ned Berry, after my studies of the original face pieces from Edgefield SC. My father and I did face pieces back in the 70’s outside of the southern tradition more connected to a broader history of effigy ceramics. The totems came about somewhat outside of the traditions as well, though most of mine were slip and salt glazed, and wood fired. I had always admired Joe Bova’s work and am also a lifetime student of esoteric spirituality, specifically Christian esotericism as expounded on by the philosopher and early 20th century teacher Rudolf Steiner. My totems were directly inspired by a simple line drawing that Steiner did of the seraphim (also traditionally called the four evangels) as they relate to the human spiritual body, like the orientation of the chakras of eastern esotericism. My other totems are more comical and are closer to traditional face jugs and figurals.
The imagery of the four Seraphim, is a part of Judeo-Christian spirituality. It can be found in the old testament in the book of Isaiah and in the new testament in Revelation. They are later depicted in Medieval illuminated manuscripts of the 4 Gospels. In many manuscripts, images of the four figures were ornately drawn on the first page of each gospel, the eagle being associated with John, the angel or human figure associated with Mathew, the lion with Mark, and the Bull with Luke.
The piece shown at the beginning of this article was the 2nd in a series of approximately 9 around the same theme, in many ways the best, still in my possession along with one other. The rest which maybe 7 were completed, exist in various collections. The other one I still possess is an Americanized version, replacing the forms with a buffalo, a mountain lion, a Native American and a bald eagle. I have one more in this series yet to be completed and only exists in my mind and drawings and includes Anubis at the top as it came to me in a dream. Some of this is difficult to explain.
The serendipity of experiences extends to this specific piece as it had a kind of spiritual power and life of its own, which I do not claim as coming from me but from something higher. It also approached me, after making it, in a dream. During the firing, it withstood one of those kiln disasters you hear of; stacks of work in front of it collapsed. Consequently, it was blasted full force by the flame, ash, and salt which accounts for the patina it has. Many other pieces in that firing were not so fortunate. Things like this happen when dealing so directly with the elementals and other spiritual forces that sometimes make your hair stand on end.
Below is an email message I received from Lightforms Art Center. I do not really known much about Albert Steffen’s Artistic work though I have read about his life and some of his writing, but this was years ago. In retrospect I can see his influence among anthroposophic artists. I have been aware of Gerard Wagner work for a while and if my memory is clear, I did some of his painting exercises several decades ago. Hilma af Klint, I have posted about in the past. Her work, though it effects me strongly, as does abstract art in general, I have not been initiated into her content and do not feel that I can truly speak about her work with any clarity, other than the feeling content, and by assessing the elements and principles of art and design within the work. These come out of modernist deconstruction but have their usefulness, especially if one does not simply use them to dissect without any feeling or thought for the overall intention of the artist. I will investigate Albert Steffen’s artistic practice more and perhaps post on my findings later. I may also write about Gerard Wagner as well.
Hilma af Klint, Albert Steffen, Gerard Wagner For the second half of our Hilma af Klint Show The Spiritual and the Divinewe are excited to pair Hilma af Klint’s work with two of her contemporaries: Albert Steffen and Gerard Wagner who worked in Dornach, Switzerland at the same time, creating art works inspired by the lectures, indications on the inner path and artistic work of Rudolf Steiner. We selected paintings of both Steffen and Wagner that touch on the same themes as the Hilma af Klint series here in the gallery at Lightforms. Plants, angels, nature beings and trees. The Tree of Knowledge Series by Hilma af Klint is an abstracted version of a tree in which flowers, birds and angels feature prominently. The striking difference of the style, approach and artistic expression of each artist is a strong testament to the ethical individualism that Rudolf Steiner encouraged with his writings, lectures and private consultations. We hope that the comparative juxtaposition of showing these three artists simultaneously is offering a small glimpse into the lively interactions of the members of the anthroposophical society in the early days of its existence.
The Reverse Ritual has its origins in the realm of the highest, deepest & most comprehensive world reality in which the human being, the gods, & the cosmos existentially live, weave, & are present.
For the human being the experience of the highest divine unity is threefold.It is not just a passive thinking, feeling & willing – it is an active, creative, co-thinking, co-feeling, & co-willing with the Godhead.
The body of the Reverse Ritual consists of human thoughts, words & deeds that are ever striving to grasp & further spiritual knowledge, vis-à-vis a cosmic-artistic enlivening, creating paths in the eternal being of the human soul.”