View Full Version : A Crude Sketch of a Sacred Creature

P. D. Dinkles
09-28-2011, 10:29 AM
If ever you find yourselves in the woods where sacred salmon struggle, take note. They are whispering the secrets of the universe. Show them honor for you travel together.

D Akey
09-28-2011, 11:41 AM
I'm sure the Native North Americans would agree and I'm inclined to go along with that.

Must be wonderful living up there with a world of Native culture around, not to mention the natural beauty. Hard to ignore there's a lot to be experienced in a place that just sings, let alone whispers, like the Pacific Northwest. Very inspiring.

Nice image. PD.

09-29-2011, 03:30 AM
PD... well spoken and a nice tribute to this sacred animal... I have walked along the streams and seen them in their last struggles and being carried away spent and dying by the river current... an incredible sight.

this is interestingly made up of many small strokes like the scales on the salmon... great choice of colors...

P. D. Dinkles
09-29-2011, 04:01 AM
Quite right D Akey. Simply enchanting. You would not be the same person ever again.

A holy scent lifts from the soils as you in reverence pass silently as in a great place of worship as you approach the sound of the river's flow. Within small side pools 10 miles from the ocean shore, and 2 miles in altitude gained, huge, now emaciated salmon lay, consummate their purpose. They struggle for awhile to ensure their eggs are well covered from the rivers flow and die.

Our lives parallel theirs.

If I could write one more book ( I have not written any so that would be two books) or had the talent to paint the edge of a river pool where adult salmon lying on their side in shallow water gasp for air. It would sum up pretty much everything I had to say about everything.

D Akey
09-29-2011, 05:44 AM
Well, PD, if you can see that stuff you certainly have the wherewithal to say it, whether in words or paintings. It's about getting what's inside to the outside. Your voice. It's the best that any of us have.

What you wrote here say's it's there and it's coming out ready or not. The cool part of it all, the part that keeps it interesting, is that we, as artists, get to invent new ways, creative ways. We as artists get to re-invent ourselves as living Art as the dynamics of life shift for us.

The way I see it, and I've had some experience with what you're talking about, is that yes, after struggle (it's nice if it's noble as in service) there is a death of sorts. But it's merely a death of that phase of life. One does good or what one can, and when that experience has run its course, one then moves on to another adventure or lesson.

Unfortunately or fortunately, we take with us who we are inside. The outside world is not always respectful of our past. I suppose in some backhanded way that keeps us centered, and keeps us moving.

There are lots of animals around us, each having their own take on the world, each with their own voice.

But that you connected with the salmon, understood the connection, interpreted it, and were able to do what you did, that's pretty amazing. Your empathy and what resonated inside you is probably the same thing that made you a man of great service in the Fire Department, Captain.

And that's what you're bringing to you art, along with your other dimensions. You dip into that with your brush, and you will be doing some amazing stuff. Technique comes with time. But you have it in the right order. Painting from the inside out.

Let's see some more, eh?

P. D. Dinkles
09-29-2011, 07:48 AM
D. Akey

How can you write the thoughts of another yet spoken with such understanding? Do you sense other than words that lead to understanding?

I have never experienced this. You know me.

09-29-2011, 09:20 AM
We all in some way travel together and hopefully create something worth the path we have taken P.D. we might struggle like the salmon but with good friends the struggle is worthwhile:)

D Akey
09-30-2011, 08:11 AM
Yeah, kind of a trip, ain't it. There's a lot to it and very little at the same time.

Here's how I understand your situation based on your past that you have shared with us in the forums:

I think you're easy for me to understand because I can extrapolate from the bits you've revealed along the way, and I know how people in general are in certain circles. When one exists in a strata of society that encourages strength and bravado and courage, as with people who risk their lives, e.g. first responders and fighter pilots and astronauts, they are a breed apart. But, there is also rivalry and competition because it helps keep them sharp, a much needed consciousness.

Add to that, there are incredible high moments that come in the course of their work in which people show their gratitude and adulation overtly but it goes away shortly. A key thing is that the company can keep the glow going among themselves. Very useful. And they mirror the strength to one another as a way of reminding themselves what they're about - heroism, basically.

But, there comes a time when one leaves the game, because of retirement or injury or whatever. And then the mirror is no longer sustaining that heroic reflection to the ones who still have to carry on that bravado. One gets off the truck while the company keeps going into danger. And so while they may be polite, who you are to them has changed. It's sort of natural. And the general public, they don't like reminders that they are vulnerable beholding to anyone any more than they can get away with it. I don't think that's conscious though.

And for the one who has left the battle, the good fight so to speak, they have a period of decompression, because the world at large doesn't operate in the same way.

This is age old. Homer, the Greek poet, wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey, to work together. The Iliad is about the war and all that heroic stuff - 10 years of war (or so). The Odyssey as the flip side of the coin, also covering around 10 years, has symbolically in fables the warrior decompressing and re-assimilating to where he could be in regular society again.

And look at Tolkien, at the end of his war story in Middle Earth, the main warriors had to leave their homes and sail off. The one guy, Sam, who stayed (of the good guys) had fallen in love, and thus had a reason to be there that outweighed his hugely key attachment in the past to Frodo. So it's natural to suddenly find one's self in unfamiliar territory.


Here's the other part of it that you may have been talking about where you said I know you:

Where I'm coming from, my story:

Since we are artists, that covers a lot of ground. I got into art originally for the promise it held of encompassing the whole human being. However, circumstantially, I spent my past career incarnation doing the shallow art trip where I became really good at technique. But it was very unsatisfying because it was devoid of the deeper stuff. It just had no place in the rather competitive and elitist world of commercial art. And my life was passing.

So I broke away with some difficulty. I had not learned how to wire me to my art and there was a lot of flailing about because I expected it to be at the level I had gotten to, only with that elusive thing that I believed Art had to offer to the artist.

But my life pursuits took me deeper inside, and that took me in a spiritual direction, embracing many paths seeking answers. The spiritual seemed to at least acknowledge that there was more to us than just on the surface. And while on this road, there were amazing things to experience, and a whole lot of movement inside me. It sort of exploded me out of the old ways. And the spiritual, not the part that people have corrupted but the real essence, is about Love.

And in answer to your question:
I have looked inside to become an artist who works with as much of what's out there and in me as I can. And so I look at Art as a handle for understanding and therefore a way of pulling things out from the depths to look at. Writing is better for me for doing this. But I'm picking up visual art again. It is great because one can paint in symbols, who by their very nature are less limited, and create a dialog, as broad or as specific as the viewer chooses. They are more alive, and potentially speak far more than I can say in specifics. Doesn't necessarily mean that one is not a good craftsman and a realist. The form can be anything.

Well, to shorten a very long story, in our lives we have a choice of doing the individual dance, or the group dance. Both are valid. But I did the individual dance before and it was limited. But I have been doing the group dance, the one where empathy, compassion, love is important. This is sort of esoteric.

Of the human being, the more surface stuff one has operating, like ego, personality, personal interests, the more likely that with bring out the same on others and there will be more chance for friction for no reason other than the agendas are going to not match. But the deeper one goes, the less personal stuff is a factor in the interaction.

At the deepest level is Love (capital L) and it's the level at which we are all connected. So I have found that by going into a level of empathy with the other person(s), I know a lot about who they are because on that level we share the bond. We can find their joy, people are likely to enter that energy, and the rest is a pleasure. And there's no limits. Strangers become instant old friends and one kind of picks up on their story.

And then after that is all blocked in like an under-painting, the surface stuff washes in with details added suggested by what is broadly there and taken to a more defined level of the person's particular story which can suggest details about where they are. And that can come across as 'picking stuff up' and mysterious.

And sometimes that happens that suddenly one can extrapolate stuff with some startling accuracy. Some can be rationalized, but when one repeatedly goes to that space, stuff often just pops to understanding fully formed without having to go the long route.

Hope this makes sense. From the inside out. And this works for animals, for everything really. They give up their secrets, so to speak, because there is a bond established. And we honor it in whatever way that works for us.

And life then becomes filled with good surprises. Our eyes become fresh. And that makes us better people, for sure, in which we can have our knees bent and flexible as life comes to us.

And in that compassion and Love, the service consciousness becomes a natural condition of one's life.

I employ that consciousness here when I post to people. I come in wide open, and I try to find where people are and guess where they're going naturally, and in support of that, if I have a slightly broader perspective based on my experience with art, I can perhaps suggest something that they can use or not, but it's somewhere that they are naturally heading, just a couple steps ahead. But that's what I do here. See where they're going and suggest a way they might get there. And it's really handy to drop my persona to see through their eyes.

One last little tidbit, the Zen masters have a little trick called a koan. The student approaches the master and the master says, "Grasshopper, figure this one out and then come back to me. Take your time." The trick is that there is no answer to the connundrum given the student, but the student puzzles and puzzles over it, and in so doing, he brings all his faculties into action. And it produces an endless amount of wisdom from within the student, rather than from without. I think that is what life's about. We're getting to bring all our faculties to bear so we live completely. Art is a koan for me. Life is as well. Gotta love it. It's also how symbols can work.

The heart that you know and I know is in you is always there regardless of the outer circumstances. And the way we invent to express it is a form of grand Art. So being an artist mocks up that changing process time and again in the many paintings one constructs. That's where Art and Life merge -- in the consciousness that leads to forms. We can make it Art.

09-30-2011, 10:30 AM
Nicely put and a great painting:):)

P. D. Dinkles
10-02-2011, 09:19 PM
Thank you all. D. Akey, I am still astounded by your insight. It came at a good time for me.

GXH, coops, mannafig, my friends.

10-02-2011, 10:58 PM
A living culture older than the Inca, Maya, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans still exists today...the Cherokee. A people so attuned to their to their natural environment and the spirits of their plants that their medicine men had a cure for every known ailment eons before penicillin.
PD, my grandmother taught me many things....and I enjoy your painting and meaning. Very gentle, yet very powerful...just like the earth and water.
Fish and animals can teach us many things...if we would just tune in.
We all must make that upstream swim...eventually we surrender and for the great Salmon, they live on through in nourishment to not just the bear and animals, but the soil and plants that give us oxygen to food to eat...the circle of life forever. I hope that I will leave nourishment somehow after I am gone. Even words are seeds that may be planted.

D Akey, I enjoyed your comments too, beautiful.

P. D. Dinkles
10-03-2011, 08:36 PM

Have we ever talked about the movie Koyaanisqatsi. In the Hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means "unbalanced life." If you have not seen it I am sure you can find it on the net. They do hold a certain type of wisdom that is not obtainable to us. Thanks Alex my friend.

10-03-2011, 08:53 PM
I find very interesting this mosaic of directionally given and similarly shaped drops of colors composing the salmon head shape.
The stylization makes really a sort of powerful totem of this "sacred sushi".

10-04-2011, 12:40 AM
Nicely done! :):)