Friday, June 14, 2013

This post marks the beginning of the second and final phase of this mural cycle started almost three years ago.  Of the four panels, two are left to paint and the first are in need of some adjustment to improve the overall composition.  I have spent the several days working with the 2nd panel and have painted the ground on the third and a bit of the fourth.  More layers are go come but I have a sense of the whole now for the first time.

Showing the state of the murals in early June, 2013.
Status after the first week of work.

Though I wrote an artist statement I stand behind for the tall panel, I am now thinking a bit differently about how I want to approach the three shorter panels.  Here is a draft of a statement I wrote today:

Three of the 10,000 Graces
Completing Orígines; una alegoría de transformatión creativa

By Ronald Mills de Pinyas

In 2010 I painted Orígines; una alegoría de transformatión creativa, the tallest panel in this cycle of murals.  In it I sought to show the simultaneity of the arts in the psychological and spiritual formation of the individual as it is hopefully transmitted from generation to generation.  

Now, in 2013 to finish the cycle is it perhaps appropriate that I have chosen to extend the mural cycle in a slightly new way, one less illustrative and perhaps a bit more open to the movement of abstract thought.  The ambitious challenge inherent in the title of this art school, one of integration, implies that various forms of art have a principle of underlying unity.  Further, that this unity can be made manifest by multi-talented individuals as such despite the obvious technical issues fundamental to the successful practice of any given art form.  This is a very philosophical notion not far from that at the heart of the school of my own early artistic formation, the School of Creative Studies of the University of California, Santa Barbara.  

As I have worked these last few weeks I have contemplated the bounty of spirit inherent in this place, of the latency, the enthusiasm, the goodwill, and the ways in which spirit becomes sensation, manifested as music, in how music is transmuted into corporeal movement as dance, in how characters of life are vivified through improvisation in the theater of life, and of course in how vision and mind is explored and amplified through the plastic arts.   

The final three panels are therefore not intended to illustrate the separate arts, as I envisioned three years ago but rather to suggest the complexity, flow and turbulence of spirit at the root of the arts.  That the viewer may imagine they see bodies in motion or notes and shapes as sounds, the truth is that as a painter I would rather plant suggestions than define a narrative or image, per se, leaving the interpretation open to those who need only a nudge to see things the painter could not have imagined.  In this I honor what I take to be a working principle as an artist, that this unifying spirit of art, the one that invites integration, is not owned or mastered, it it borrowed and inhabited from time to time; that contact with it is the most intimate experience possible and at the same time the most public and transpersonal. 


As an add-on, I am considering painting a floor to ceiling panel in the dance studio that overlooks the murals.  (Grey panel with the poster shown below)

Dancers in front of the panel I hope to paint.

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