Indefinite Hiatus

What follows is a somewhat lengthy account of why I have been so silent on this page for so long. To those who have reached out, I am very grateful. However, I will not be active as an artist for an indefinite time, and here is why:

Sometimes life takes strange turns. When I started this page, it was because I very much wanted to make art a major part of my life. I had or made time to practice drawing as well as fairly consistently make progress on paintings and projects. Around four years ago I started to develop symptoms of focal dystonia, although at the time I didn’t know what it was. To make a long story short my right hand wouldn’t obey my commands. It would spasm erratically and sometimes painfully. It became difficult to write, draw, or hold a guitar pick without excessive and sometimes extreme tension in my arm and hand. Over the last four years it worsened to the point that I was no longer able to write, draw, play my guitar or type without intense and often painful tension in my hand and arm.  This often sent me into bouts of frustration, anger, anxiety and depression.

I eventually resigned myself to learning to do what I could with my left hand. I taught myself to write and even draw with my left hand. I even learned to play rudimentary guitar with my hands switched. You see, focal dystonia is. . . well, very focal in that it can be very task specific. I could hold a pencil or guitar pick in the air and pretend to draw or play, but if I actually sat down and tried to do either my reaction would manifest. So I found some hope by training myself to be more left-handed. However, it didn’t stop there.

Around a year and a half or so ago (around early summer of 2017 I believe) the reaction began to spread to more day-to-day activities, such as brushing my teeth, using cookware, washing my hands, and eventually to just about any activity requiring me to interact with an object. At its very worse, I wasn’t even able to move my hand into certain positions and ranges of motion without sometimes debilitating and painful tension.

Now, I have for my whole life been a very active and physical person. I did traditional Kung-Fu, I was a runner, I lifted weights for a short time, and around the same time my focal dystonia began to appear I started body weight strength training and hand balancing. At first none of my physical training seemed to directly interfere with or suffer from the dystonia. I felt that gaining better proficiency and beginning a career teaching body weight skills and fitness would be a positive change of direction for me.  However, over time the near-constant tension  in my arm caused dysfunction to the point that I was unable to bear nearly any weight on my hand for around four months’ time, and that puts us at the present day.

To end this on a positive note, I spent the last year reading the books of Dr. Joaquin Farias, who has worked with and rehabilitated dystonia patients for something like twenty years. I even traveled to Toronto to attend one of his seminars. After months of grueling re-training, endless hours thinking (and ruminating . . .) and more patience than I’ve ever had before in my life, I am slowly recovering. I can (usually . . .) bear weight on my hand, and am slowly, if not always consistently, moving better and in more natural ways.  My wrist still hurts somewhat erratically, but overall seems to be progressing, even if very slowly. Consistently making art however, may be a long ways off, as I have decided to pursue an education in some field of physical science with the hopes of someday being able to help others to move more freely, whatever shape their life may be.

If you happen across this and wish to follow my movement and fitness journey, I will be posting content to @Force_and_Finesse on Instagram.

 

Much love,

-Jeff

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Changes

After a lot of thought over the years, I am making changes to the way I do business with art. For a long time, I have struggled with the idea of making money from art. Perhaps this came from Alejandro Jodorowsky, for he certainly seeded the idea, but regardless, deep down, I do not believe that art is something to be sold. If there is an exchange, it should be one based on freely given support. Let me be extremely clear that I am not judging anyone who wishes to do so, rather, this is my opinion about the way I wish to do things. Many people would like to buy original art but simply cannot afford it, and many artists like myself do not have the wherewithal to mass produce the pieces they have.

Some elaborations: If you are not doing something to make the world better, even in small ways, then what are you doing? Yes, the world contains your individual ego….and healing that will help the world in its own way. Art as practice is one thing. The artist is merely honing their craft to the point of being able to express what it is they desire to express accurately. Art as expression is another thing, even if the audience interprets it differently than the artist originally intended. Placing an abstract value on expression is a strange concept to me.

Art, when sold, places the imaginary value of “money” into the head of the potential buyer. If a dozen paintings are placed on sale, each with individual prices, one buyer might not be able to purchase the piece which speaks the most to them, to their inner being, while another buyer, who might collect for more superficial reasons like status, will be able to purchase multiple pieces, none of which really mean something deep to them. Or, the buyer with less money might feel an imaginary need to purchase a piece, and since they cannot afford the piece they really want, they might settle for a piece they don’t really want. They will never feel satisfied with that piece. Of course there are many variations of this example, but in the end, the meaning is the same for me: If I make a piece that really speaks to a person, why should they be denied that piece? There is a communication from my mind/soul to theirs, and I do not see why I should deny them that.

So from here on out, I will make sales of original pieces based on a sort of donation system. You can pay me what you think it’s worth. I realize the implications of this, and can already see what many friends will be telling me about why I should not do this. The bottom line is that I like creating art for my own sake. I don’t like being a “business person,” who has to “sell themself as an artist” in order to “make it.” Yes, I would love more time to make what I love to make, but I cannot deny who I am and the way I feel.

I will not deny a sale, though I might not put everything up for sale, at least at first. I will, however, ask that any potential buyer write me a short letter explaining why they would like the piece. I don’t need an explanation for why they are paying what they are paying, rather, I would like to know what it is about the piece that they like, why it speaks to them, etc. I will also, for each piece, include a short text describing how long the piece took to create, to give potential buyers an idea of the effort required to produce these pieces.

I will also entertain the idea of trades. If you have art of your own, would like to reproduce a piece for me, make tee shirts, etc, I would be happy to give you an original piece or complete a commission. I am also a musician, and will happily entertain trades of musical instruments and gear based on what I need. Please email me with any inquiries.

I will continue to sell prints as I have the funds to make them, charging a flat rate for each various size. I have not yet worked out if or how I will deal with licensing images to people for use in band artwork, tee shirts and the like, but I will be happy to talk to you about it should you write me. To those of you who have purchased originals or prints in the past: If you feel that my shift in sales practice is unfair to you, please write to me and I will be happy to work something out for you.

Lastly, I realize there will likely be kinks that will need to be worked out as this practice progresses, and for that I ask your patience.

“All original art, unless otherwise noted, is for sale, the only price being what the buyer wishes to pay, and a short letter describing why they like the piece, and why they are buying it (in the case of purchasing it as a gift for someone else) but not why they are paying the amount they are. Commissions will be considered based upon the same criteria. Please also write with any inquiries about trades.

For more information and an explanation of this, read here:

https://howlingfalcon.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/changes/

Please email inquiries and purchase letters to: tarotdevil@gmail.com

Thank you”

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Tarot prints

I’ve recently made some 8.5″ x 11″ prints of the tarot pieces you can see here on my site.

$15 each, plus shipping. I’ll package them as bomb-proof as possible, and guarantee that if you don’t get them safe and sound, you’ll be reimbursed or I’ll re-send them.

If you live in the Denver, Colorado area, email me and it’s possible I can meet you and avoid shipping costs.

Thank you

IMG_0682

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A new direction

Matrikas in Battle with Raktabija (from the full battle scene)Mostly left -handed picture of some left-handed imagery. Check in my “mythology” section for the whole piece. Thank you.

https://howlingfalcon.wordpress.com/mythology/kali-battle-full-spread_med/

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New things on the horizon

It’s been a long time since I actually entered a post here. I spent a large portion of my winter dealing with tendinitis in my right forearm, which made drawing and painting nearly impossible for a few months. I’ll leave the details of that for another post.

But for now, I would like to announce that I will be showing my art for a RAWartists showcase in Denver, on Thursday, July 23rd. Anyone in the Colorado or Denver area is welcome to attend. Show information, tickets, and some more blurbs about myself can be found here:

http://www.rawartists.org/tarotdevil

Thank you.

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Buddhism

I spent most of the summer and some of my fall learning about Buddhist imagery. The fierce aspects of some of the Buddhas are so interesting, and certain elements of Buddhism have captured my attention more than before.

Gundari Myo-o

Gundari Myo-o

Gundari Myo-o

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More mythology

It has an endless amount of reference and inspiration.

Artemis (Diana)

Artemis

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