October 07, 2014

Passings & Credos



 Arch, line and circle, No.2 - © Sidney Kocib

My father passed on last night.  I was with him.  

He loved colour and was flamboyant in some ways: he liked to wear a corduroy waistcoat my mother made for him that was so floral the people at the care home labelled it for my mother's closet.  But he was also an unpretentious man, uninterested in material pursuits and displays. In keeping with this, and also because most of my parents' friends and family are far away, there will be no formal service.  We will toast his life and celebrate his accomplishments in a small private way.  

But, still, I want to commemorate him somehow so here I am. A few words, his own.  The "TO" Manifesto he wrote in 1981 and strove to live by:

Contribute to the Arts' Continuity ~ Create a World of Rich Sensuality ~ Enjoy Playful Vitality ~ Celebrate the Freedom of Originality ~ Exploit Any Source of Creativity ~ Understand the Arts' Universality ~ Strive for Utmost Professionality  ~ Promote Ideas of Non-Selective Humanity ~ Employ Means of Artistic Verity ~ Appreciate Quintessential Sincerity
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suspect art of easy popularity ~ reject attempts at suppressing individuality ~ fight profitable conformity ~ laugh at petrified pomposity ~ unmask all forms of quasi-ingenuity ~ forsake also formality ~ resist the temptation of cheap virtuosity ~ hate pretentious sterility ~ shun works of artistic obscenity ~ condemn vulgar superficiality
© Sidney Kocib



September 20, 2014

Subdued Passion

 
 Passion Flower
reduction linocut in 10 colours
7.5 x 9.5 inches

So we had our summer holidays a couple of weeks ago and I managed to get in enough art time to finish the print I've been working on.  Sure feels good. Specially since I wasn't expecting much time at home because we were planning a camping trip this year.

We had a destination in mind...a very scenic part of BC...we had our supplies ready. This was going to be the trip we'd planned to go on last year, also in September, a trip we didn't end up taking because, last August, we got a new puppy Rat Terrier.  Only a couple of weeks after we got her we realized that energetic untrained puppies and camping in the woods might not be the best mix. So we promised ourselves we'd go this year instead.

We took another week off earlier this summer and stole some time from house chores for a brief overnight adventure at a local provincial park, just to introduce the dog to the camping idea.  We had a great time, did some hiking, took lots of photos, and even got in a swim.  It was a short but wonderful trip and we were really looking forward to a longer one.  Well at this point you can probably see where this is heading right?  If you're guessing we didn't actually make that camping trip this year either, you're bang on.  And why didn't we go this year? 

Déjà vu. We're back in the land of puddles on the floor and little surprises left in room corners. Some half-formulated ideas, some tentative discussions, a string of coincidences, and on the Thursday night before the week of our planned camping vacation we brought home Rat Terrier number two. Our current female dog's little brother: a year (less a day) younger. They say that ratties are like Lay's potato chips and you can't have just one.  I guess it's true.  Or, as I jokingly told Nora, she was just such a huge personality that it took two dogs to replace her when she moved out.  HA!

Once again we postponed the camping trip.  Next year for sure. On the plus side, staying home gave me time to print and that was maybe what I needed too. Here are the last few stages as the print came together. 


colour 7
colour 8

 
colour 9





 

September 01, 2014

Fresh Ink and Prints on the Line


So should I hang my head in contrition at how long it's been?  Nah.  There's not too much point in dwelling on something I can't change.  I'm re-reading The Untethered Soul, a book I read about a year ago, maybe a little longer than thatI liked it quite a bit the first time around already but this time the messages are resonating so much more. I find myself stepping back at random times, mentally, taking note of how I react to stuff.  More importantly, I'm realizing how much time I've devoted, over the past year and a bit, to being sad.  And worse, to feeling guilty for spending so much time on feeling sad and then spending more time on trying to distract myself from feeling guilty and sad.  On and on, round and round.

I feel like I'm done with that now. I'm not sure if it's because I'm consciously and conscientiously trying to put the concepts in The Untethered Soul into daily practice or if I've simply just passed through to the other side of some predefined period of grief.  It's the oddest thing because nothing's changed tangibly in my life; all the things which have been weighing my spirits down for the last year or so are still the same.  Some are worse.  And yet it's as if a stone has lifted.  

For the last few weeks I've been working on a new print...one I sketched out ages ago and then abandoned.  Passion Flower. A few weeks ago, on one of my Mondays off, I  dragged myself downstairs into the studio I built out of my parents' kitchen and got to work. Tentatively. Warily.  And...the strangest thing...the ghosts were gone.  The sun flooding the room, All Classical streaming a Mozart concerto, the physical motion, it's a dance really, of rolling out ink on a glass slab, and... no ghosts.  It was amazing; I felt so light. At peace and happy and centered.  And I thought wow!  I remember this feeling.  Such a rush!

The print is going pretty well. Almost doneI still don't have a lot of time and might even have less, considering the new puppy we're bringing home on Thursday, but so be it.  Things are looking up anyway.




 
 


Ok, ok.  I know you're not normally print a lighter colour over darker but I don't care.  I wanted to see what would happen and I totally got the result I was after.  I'm glad I experimented.