Tad Spurgeon oil paintings


about me
the work
the book

sound practice
black & white
putty medium
just oil
putty tutorial


      A Sunday look at process and product.

january 10

      Waning moon, new moon around midnight on the 12th here, more on that below. Continued with the relatively intense but fun Wim Hof Tummo type deep breathing, also started working with an other method called resonant or coherent breathing, combining 6 second inhalation and exhalation for 5 breaths per minute. These two are a good yang-yin combination. Energetically, this has already stirred things up in a good way. Wrote out a declaration of personal sovereignty this week, a contemporary spiritual practice that I'd always liked but never actually done: it just came out one day in a way whose intensity surprised me. Had a dream the next night in which a long-standing issue with one of my long dead parents was resolved in a way that was even more direct than the declaration. The magic of the written word. Had a decent week with painting in spite of the waning moon and ongoing election fraud, a good sign. With three stages, the process has more options within it, meaning the possibility of images that are more nuanced. I used to think of the underpainting as just something that wasn't done yet, but now I'm seeing it as an opportunity. Another one of those great duh moments when an unconscious habit or prejudice comes to light. This was supported by a funny dream last night in which I was the coach of a soccer team that made paintings instead of scoring goals. Looking forward to the new moon and what it brings to the work.


      I forget about Japanese Sweet Potatoes and when I remember them it's always nice. Steamed cubes here with some ground black sesame, scallions, ginger, a hint of red pepper, and salt. A little white miso is good is you're okay with soy, a few chopped walnuts too.


      Well, I had really hoped that the sword of Damocles of the presidential election would somehow fall this week, but now I realize it was for the best that it didn't. The cosmic goal is to wake up people who are asleep to the way they have been lulled and gulled by the endless lies of the media, and Congress overturning the electoral college vote would not have done that. At least now we have some idea of how totally corrupt Congress is, not to mention the obvious false flag breach and violence included in that protest. Social media censorship is also increasing, the demonizing not just of the President, but of key figures in the administration. These companies are afraid of the fraud story getting ANY airplay because it is so well-documented, yet this also means the public can now see where these companies stand. So, there are still ten days before the new administration quietly rolls out Agenda 21, and America is quietly annexed by the CCP. I don't believe this will happen, but part of the plan may be for it to get close to happening, as in, really close, because this is the scenario that will expose the most. The media continues in lock-step to call the accusations of election fraud baseless and unproven: a flagrant lie but mission-critical: all the human trafficking and pedophilia arrests in the last four years have really eaten into profits. Yes, it's all about the ultimate sacrilege, turning people into money. Right under everyone's noses, the ultimate hideous joke. The endless presentation of fraud as fact is about trying to reduce people who are aware of the fraud to despair. This can only work if people who are aware of the fraud give up hope, and, so to speak, surrender. From the vibrational perspective, it is important to take a deep breath and remain focused on the inevitability of the far from seamless fraud coming undone. Given that the larger focus of this is the way the false god of the media has hypnotized so many people, I wonder if the next step involves revelations about how that world actually operates. If just one well-known mockingbird develops a conscience and starts telling the truth, instead of selling their country out for a paycheck, the whole house of cards comes down in a hurry. The carefree mockingbirds might consider how well the Nuremberg defense worked. A public that is shocked and confused by how badly they have been misled by their sacrosanct hard-hitting news anchors is much less likely to support violence than a public permanently riled up by lies. Another intriguing Hail Mary possibility is the monoliths, now at 163 confirmed worldwide, although they're mostly in the US and Europe so far. These aren't getting any airtime whatsoever because they can't possibly be explained in terms of any earth-based technology or agenda. Someone has gone to a lot of time and effort here, to no apparent purpose. Of course, having been raised by earnest materialists in the most two-dimensional environment possible, I think it's cheating for the Universe to simply bombard the planet with unity consciousness energy until lies can no longer be successfully told. But, on the other hand, it won't exactly be the simplest experience for the hypnotized to go from sitcoms and Twinkies to oneness with everything overnight. And unilateral enlightenment is also the method that entails the least potential violence. New moon on the 12th at midnight, here on the East Coast the sun-moon conjunction is within a degree of Pluto in the 4th house of home, safety, intuitive sense of environment. Pluto is sort of the ultimate bete noire in astrology: the relentless unmasker, relentless destroyer of old patterns, relentless revealer of the truth. All of this is in Capricorn, the sign of large organizations, seen or unseen. So, a clue to the theme of the month there. Also, Venus in Capricorn (corporate woman) conjunct both Quaoar (connection to Source; a trans-Neptunian, my experience with these is that, while small, they are intense in aspect) and Icarus (taking a chance that involves both freedom and risk) in the third trine Uranus in Taurus (sudden change in values) in the seventh, this could be a key female whistleblower emerging from within the system. The 14th looks like a good day for this to happen. At the same time, please be on the lookout for more false flags or fake news from the cornered and desperate media designed to cause panic. The pandemic is so yesterday, how about a nice nuclear attack, or alien landing, etc. The bigger the panic factor, the more earnestly all the networks come out in fervent lockstep, the more likely it is to be a hoax designed to generate as much systemic instability as possible. Hard to believe the Creator loves everyone sometimes. Anyway, in larger terms, I know I should leave this tangled web alone. There's so much going on behind the scenes that it's nearly impossible to develop an accurate model, and it's much easier to stay positive and trust the divine plan without going anywhere near red versus blue. But I'm fascinated by how the Universe is finally going to wake up a population that would much rather wait forever for things to go 'back to normal.' Normal! Oh my sainted aunt. When I first read about angels laughing at humanity for giving up its birthright so easily, for pursuing less so relentlessly when it had been specifically designed to become more, I was sort of offended, but had also read that angels can be kind of blunt or tone-deaf to the earth experience since they have typically never been here. But now I can see what was meant: total dedication to looking through the wrong end of the telescope. But, with the discord of the Kali Yuga over, this situation is also about to end. Not exactly without a tantrum, and I definitely expect turbulence to dominate before the new year actually begins on March 20. The important thing is to focus on being peace, meditating on the battlefield, to neutralize as much negativity as possible as it emerges. According to the Arcturian Council, operating from the perspective of the 9th dimension, we have already created a more positive new time line as a result of inverting despair, or working creatively with negativity. Also, here is an especially elegant overview of the current situation, via one of my all time favorites, galaxygirl, from the Galactic Center. The Galactic Center is, well, pretty centered!



      The Refining Linseed Oil PDF is now available in a French translation here courtesy of Canadian painter Vrishaketu. Merci beaucoup, Vrishaketu!


      Something from April of 2020, simple but the previous one had been too complex so decided to leave it this way. I was excited about the shift in the medium last Spring, which made these dry brighter and allowed more accurate carving into the paint. But then came the Pause, and I had to wait.


      Changed the colours digitally to start a new version of the composition. The idea is to use the earlier frame of reference, but alter it to the point where it begins to vibrate or fall apart somewhat. Like the way this process keeps the sense of the paint, but introduces glitches and more nutty colour combinations. Didn't quite want to make this exactly, but its difference made it feel like an interesting place to start. That may be a good approach with these: to start with a reference that's imperfect, that requires attention to develop it.


      Backed the chroma off the image above to do a printed version. Some interesting changes occur to how things read as a result of these different iterations. This one looks surprisingly good in life, a nice balance of the shapes and colours. Sort of an accident given how this process operates, but nice when it happens, gives me something inscrutable to ponder.


      First layer on the actual painting. Want to indicate the major masses but keep it all pretty airy. The ground is absorbent, so the paint sticks like glue, can be moved a little bit but only with firm pressure. Sort of brut but I like the results for this stage. One of my favorite pet theories is that Too Much Facility in the Opening Causes Redundancy Issues in the Conclusion. As it needs to move from lean to fat, it needs to move from sketchy to complete. The next layer is still thin but is more mobile, fine, can do the details in the model easily but I'm not sure that's a good idea, might be best to wait until the third layer. It's definitely fun to think in this process, won't really know what happens with each one until it does. 10x12 inches, oil on gessoed paper.


      Lily got a Christmas present! My brother sent her a felted wool sleeping pod, dense and well-made, very nice. The heat situation here is a little odd, feast or famine due to a single old and quirky thermostat in the apartment below, but when it's cooler at night she hops right in.

january 3

      Week of the full moon, it was a pretty intense one for me, felt really energized that night. Although it might also have to do with the Wim Hof deep breathing, started doing this this week and really like the combination of energy and relaxation it produces. Historically not the easiest time to focus, but began to get some work done this week on the new system. So far, so good, certainly fun to paint again. It may take some time to get it all functioning smoothly, but that can only happen by doing it. In larger terms, am happy with the concept of working on these in three distinct stages instead of trying to plough through them alla prima. I liked doing that for about a year or so, but it got to a certain point and I was puzzled about how to take it further. Or maybe didn't want to take it further, wanted to retool it into something that could have more options. Less of a sense of hurry, more of a sense of spaciousness. But basically, I was in too much of a hurry myself to see what those options might be. Removing painting from the equation totally for most of 2020 effectively solved that: the tortoise sees more than the hare. Speaking of 2020, it's finally over! Happy New Year! Although the 1-1 date is arbitrary, the real new year begins on March 21st. I can feel something new wanting to happen, and get aligned with it now and then. This energy is very gentle, welcoming, but also huge. It is a challenge to let go of the old while still existing within it, but that seems to be what is being suggested. I would always have said that human potential is infinitely more than we have been taught here on Earth. This 'educated,' but radically dumbed-down, materialist version of humanity is the fundamental lie, and fuel, of all first world cultures. But it's interesting, after having waited and wondered for so long, to begin to feel this more. In a sense it was there all along, but it's closer now, much closer. There's sort of an entrance requirement, though, which makes sense, seems reasonable. More on that below.


      Okay, I've debated about whether to talk about this for some time, but have decided to because 1) it seems likely, 2) its potential to cause disruption is large, and 3) because this event is not exactly getting media attention: very much on purpose. And if you're in America, especially if you're in a metropolis, you may want to plan. In the week to come, on the 6th, at 1 pm, the results of the Electoral College will be reviewed by Congress. This is something that is in the Constitution, and happens after every presidential election. In the past, it has basically been a rubber stamp operation. But, it's not going to be this year. The results of the election are going to be objected to in Congress based on the Mt Everest of evidence, relentlessly marginalized up until this point, that the election was extremely fraudulent. So, the way the process works, the chances are very good that the Electoral College results will be overturned. This is going to go over very well with the mostly small or medium town and rural people who believed their candidate had been cheated, and not very well at all with mostly urban people who believed their candidate won. And have been told in lock-step by the media that the claim of widespread election fraud is a selfish temper tantrum by that narcissist cartoon villain (whose administration keeps on arresting pedophiles and human traffickers). But, more importantly, it may also mark the point at which some misguided people, who are surprisingly well-armed for 'spontaneous protestors,' attempt to take the law, i.e., the country, into their own hands. Because each side has a good general idea of the other side's plans, this may escalate pretty quickly into a civil war, especially in urban locations, and result in martial law for a while, etc. So, this is the final act of the old year, to be fully completed by the Spring Equinox, when the actual new year begins. Everyone feels like 2021 will usher in positive new changes on all fronts, or at least the beginning of them, but first, we have to get over this final hurdle. In a battle, the traditional response is to choose sides, and get good and mad at the other side: for weeks, maybe even months, on end. This is how we do things here in duality. And of course our dear friends the mainstream media will be doing everything possible to create disinformation and discord from this opportunity. But if you want to get a jump on what 2021 is going to be about, consider making an effort to be peace or unity consciousness instead. This means choosing not to choose sides, and is the fastest way to neutralize discord or conflict, as well as creating a more positive experience for us when we practice it than descending into fighting fire with fire mode. But this is exactly why it is so powerful to go in the opposite direction, vibrationally, of yet another round of artificially amplified discord. You may think that you don't matter. But that is another basic lie we've been schooled here to think. Each of us is equal, and has the same weight in the eyes of the Universe, so what each of us does matters the same to the outcome. When we choose not to go through the door of duality, we enter a different space. This is often called the zero-point field, which is a term from quantum physics and has become contemporary codespeak for the Creator. Because we are all fractals of the Creator, this is a real place in consciousness, yours and mine, and the origin of all creativity because it exists beyond, and without, judgement. This is where ALL the new stuff comes from. So, it from here that we can exert a tangible influence on the events of the next few weeks. But the thing is, this place can't be faked. It's about transforming the forms of judgement we each contain into non-judgement. On the surface this is a tall order, but the support we have in this process is tremendous. Infinite.


      I used to sit down for the alla prima version of these, decided to try standing up to give more energy to the process when it is necessarily more systematic due to the three separate stages. Moved into the kitchen table since there's better light there now in the morning and Lily is often asleep in her berth in the studio window. I'm working from a photo of the acrylic underpainting from 12-20 below, but with the colours radically altered. Don't want these carnival type colours, but thought their energy was fun. So starting here means I can't get too involved in copying it.


      The completed underpainting, there are a few puzzles still but nothing major. Have a feeling these are going to end up looking more and more sketchy or incomplete, as a way to leave more white space for luminosity, and to carve back to. Also, the colour in this stage doesn't necessarily matter that much, can be quite simple. The goal of this stage seems to be mostly about balancing logic and goofiness in the way the shapes interact. The knife tends to simplify and geometricize shapes, so the more organic and curvy they are at this point, the better. Looking at this type of underpainting for a few days as it dries also naturally suggests different ways of tweaking the shapes and their relationships, which is fun. Serious and austere abstraction this is not! 10x12 inches, oil on gessoed paper.


      Second layer on the first lean, ultra-sketchy beginning from last week. Used the same medium as for the small Cotman study, more saturated than the first layer, but still designed to dry matte. Felt good about how this worked, and how it looked when dry. Built in lots of small colour glitches as these will be subdued by the thicker, fatter, smoother final layer. 10x12 inches, oil on gessoed paper.


      Second layer on the second underpainting from last week. This one departed more from the model, left it in a simpler place than the first one. Will one approach seem be better, or will they just lead to a different type of final layer? The original technique was all wet-in-wet layering. This three part version is getting involved with learning new things about layering colour over dry paint. 10x12 inches, oil on gessoed paper.


      Second layer on a third underpainting. Another development of an older composition, this one will get lots of strong changes in the next layer. Tried inserting an element here, the red stripey stuff, that will be submerged in the next layer, then carved back to see some of it again. Learning how to do this type of thing will take trial an error, but I really like the idea of the final layer, the one where it all has to come together and be finished, happening with a new, full day's worth of choices. This is where the old system became difficult: needing to finish something that already had several hours of work in it, and sometimes not having the same degree of resources for the end as the beginning. Am sort of concerned that the surface of these may get too opaque, so held back the amount of paint on this one. This is two layers of paint that are about 1/64th of an inch total, pretty thin. 10x12 inches, oil on gessoed paper.

december 27

      Nutty weather, the snow melted, then we had a very windy rainstorm, then more intense cold. Christmas sort of died years ago with my parents, more sad than bad for about a decade, but had the most neutral post-parental Christmas yet, which felt good, the work I've been doing this year on informed neutrality passing a recurring test. The post-solstice energies continue to be very strong, positive but also a little nutty, or maybe just different, into territory that is new in a new way, if that makes sense. What if we each had further dimensions to our consciousness and they began to come online bit by bit? It feels like that, like biting into an apple but having the apple taste more complex, and better, than it ever tasted before. Continue to work on letting go of duality, polarity, and judgement, this is truly halfway to the wall forever, but this year the progress increased. This is exciting because the present moment is where all the creativity is, but nothing pulls me out of the present moment faster than judgement. Spent a lot of time this year thinking I had to be informed about what was really happening, but the more I found out, the more incommunicable it all became. It's interesting to have old friends act like you've become a lunatic, but that was just another one of the interesting tests of this year: to let everyone come to their own conclusions, that everyone's version of the truth is equal, even if some are based on lies. I always thought the truth mattered, but it was just my version of it I was championing. And of course, there is no other version for any of us, so this issue really becomes an exercise in the paradox of maintaining our own perspective, and maintaining unity at the same time. Was able to get some painting done this week, things were a little rocky at first, but led to progress. Have never had to wait as long I did this year, exciting to begin again as a beginner.


      Chart for the moment of the solstice, Sun in 00.00.00 Capricorn, did it for here but it would be pretty similar in New York or Washington DC, the wheel shifted a little bit, but not the planetary relationships. This chart is also called the Capricorn Ingress, and these are often used in mundane or predictive astrology to explore what is going to happen in the coming year. Began to explore it that way this week, and it told a surprisingly cogent story. We have the official beginning of the Age of Aquarius in Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Aquarius in the second house, which is about values. What we value mundanely, like possessions, but also what we value as attitudes or behaviors. So, both the structure of our values (Saturn), and their application for greater good (Jupiter), will be shifting from more material and business oriented Capricorn values to more collective and global Aquarian values in the year to come, although Pluto is still in Capricorn and will be for three more years. Both Capricorn and Aquarius tend to be oversimplified in these discussions. Yes, Aquarius values will introduce lots of new ideas that are helpful to everyone, not just people who can afford them. But Capricorn is organized and methodical compared to Aquarius, and we are very used to that. The intense Aquarius desire for change can lead to intolerance and chaos before a new order is established. This chart has a close square between Pluto in Capricorn and Mars in Aries, meaning a lot of tension between the old established values and a very strong desire for something new to begin. Both of these planets are in close conjunction to bodies that are very much about about disharmony: the asteriod Lilith (1151) for Pluto and the dwarf planet Eris (goddess of discord who tossed the golden apple in the Judgement of Paris myth) for Mars. In contemporary astrology, these are often labelled as troublemakers, but this is not necessarily 'bad,' in that disharmony points out what is either hidden or not working, and, as always, these energies occur in octaves. So, especially for an individual, it's all about how the energy is used. On the other hand, in terms of the collective, the lowest octave is capable of the most intense discord, so this, and coping with it, will be part of 2021. Still, the Moon in Pisces is 60 degrees (sextile) from Pluto, and 30 degrees (semi-sextile) away from Mars. The sextile is harmonious, the semi-sextile less so, in that it seeks to relate energies that are very different, and, in this case, planets that are quite different as well. The Moon is the collective emotional field or subconcious, and Pisces, as the last sign, tends to be about learning to let go, or see things in larger terms. The Moon is conjunct Neptune, which is the collective unconscious, so this makes the activities quite deep in the fourth house of home or the unconscious. The Moon is also closely conjunct the asteroid Persephone, which gives the option to be in psychological winter, or summer. There are three asteroids opposite the Moon in the tenth house of outer manifestation: Sphinx, which is about mysteries, or the unknowable, Atlantis, which is about technical and spiritual elitism and fear of destruction, and Minerva, which is similar to Athena, the wisdom goddess who solves problems. So, a variety of possibilities for how the Moon conjunct Neptune energies will manifest. Positive possibilities are enhanced by the applying energies of the dwarf planet Orcus on the midheaven, which is out near Pluto with a similar elliptical orbit but slanted the opposite way, and rebuilds a new structure once Pluto has destroyed the old one. The asteroid closest to the ascendant in the first degree of freedom-loving Sagittarius is Astrea (5), which has to do with having difficulties letting go, and exact conjunction here. So, given that America freaked out over the potential loss of Twinkies, Orcus has its work cut out for it in 2021. Summing up: to the extent that this chart broadly represents the collective energies of 2021, it is sort of balanced between the perennial doom and gloom of the MSM, and the endlessly receding cosmic carrot of bliss the channeled material I read depicts; that is, because we make our own reality, everything is fine if we envision it that way. This makes sense in terms of the choice in the chart of how the Pluto energy is used: discordantly through Mars (as in the recent car bomb in Nashville, and 'inexplicable' explosion of the hydroxychloroquine factory) or more harmoniously through the Moon and Neptune. So, in the year to come, the polarity choice we each made long ago will begin to manifest in two types of experience: one that is more, and one that is less, harmonious. The more harmony we can generate, the more harmony we can project. Once again, as usual, forever and ever, in a free-will Universe it's all up to us.


      Decided to try developing one of the more equivocal acrylic underpaintings further in acrylic instead of oil. As was often the case when I worked in acrylic a long time ago, the process moves so quickly that interesting things can become lost: the second version seems to be the most interesting to me now, but is long gone. I like solving the puzzle of how to get the last one to work, but wasn't sure I liked how the paint itself looked being so opaque. This is also a recurring issue with this approach: the version I like has the most transparency. The underpainting creates unity but this also compromises the colours. And, perhaps most importantly, the option to carve the top paint back exits very quickly. So, overwhelmed with things I had taken for granted in the oil process with these, it seemed best to move on to something else!


      Small study in oil from last summer that I ended up liking. 9x10 inches, oil on Arches Huile.


      Decided to use it as a point of departure for something in acrylic with a different medium concoction. Felt like this would provide more functional awareness of the difference between the two types of paint. Ended up liking the look of this paint better, but it still dried pretty quickly. I sped up to compensate and liked the idea of putting in lots of small color glitches in one layer that might or might not be covered in the next one. But overall, I still ended up feeling kind of rushed. Which I didn't like. Well, this could be solved by using a retarder, but it felt like I'd learned what I needed to learn from acrylic for the time being. Don't feel this is done, but it's further along than anything else made in acrylic this year, which seems to be more about exploring questions than providing answers. Which is not a criticism. May come back to it at some point, see if I can keep it from mutating completely into something else, but it feels like the impetus of the process is somewhere else. 10x11.75 inches, oil on gessoed paper.


      So then I went back to oil, with the idea of using an underpainting that was as thin and lean as possible to set up the composition on the first day, then finish it on the second or third day. Just as working in acrylic was a great relief for a while, working in oil again was a great relief after working in acrylic. This is a good example of how the process really doesn't care about destinations, it meanders around like a river but learns much more that way than by going in a straight line. 10x12 inches, oil on gessoed paper.


      Did another underpainting in oil, using two of the studies from 2019 as references. Began this in primary colors, made a few secondary colors from there. Pausing at this point gives the question of how to develop it next more time and space. It's interesting to review the options now, before they've happened, instead of reviewing them while they were all going on, which is what I did before. Nothing bad about that, but I wonder what these will look like if the completion pressure is spread out over more time. It may just lead back to doing them alla prima again, but with a different sense of the sequence. 10x12 inches, oil on gessoed paper.



december 20

      First week of the moon, winter arrived here abruptly with a storm. This featured a mix of snow and rain that might have turned the neighborhood into a giant ice rink, but thankfully didn't. Did some shoveling early the next morning, it was sunny and felt very much like Vermont outside. Which was very nice, but a surprise since there are three times as many people in this county as in that state. But, for a while anyway, nature prevailed here over the all too human malaise, and the few other people who were out walking dogs or shoveling seemed to feel the same way. Had to take a book to the post office, but knew it would be okay because of having four wheel drive. I get to actually use this about once a year, but it's fun. The post office was just getting set up, so they were more informal than usual, kind of excited about their snow day, this was also fun. The energy of the morning was so unusually positive that I checked the planets, and this was in fact the first morning that Saturn was in Aquarius. So, that was a high point, of course more than balanced by the lengthening shadow of election result anxiety, several packages that are now weeks late, and a sense that the people are going to wake up to what has really gone on this year, to what it means going forward, very, very slowly. There's been a lot of hype recently about the solstice tomorrow, as a turning point: mass meditations for peace, a higher timeline, etc., and this is fine. But this is just one more station on a journey away from centuries of lies and distraction, back towards the truth of who we are. Perhaps as a result of having consistently hoped for way too much reveal from 2020, I am now reluctantly accepting that 2021 will necessarily also be hopelessly slow. Wouldn't want anyone to miss their sitcom. Still, there are some clues emerging about what might be termed the larger plan. There is an interesting discussion of this here. More mundanely, it is always a good idea to know where the aircraft carriers are. Home for the holidays!


      Started some new work this week, that was fun after such a long wait this year, but sort of asked as many questions as it answered. It felt like the most important thing was to work on the process itself. The importance of the composition to this work led to overemphasis on it sometimes, they felt too static. Yet shifting to more loose paint and execution didn't quite do what I wanted. How to keep the composition strong, yet be more fluid, able to evolve more within the process? Did a few of these loose underpaintings in thin, dilute acrylic to establish something dynamic, but not have it be too tight. At first this one seemed to have a nice balance of information, not too much, not too little. But as the week went on, they became simpler. So, the next step is to develop a group of these in oil, and see what happens in that stage. This type of underpainting is a different stage, and may need some fiddling to integrate, but feels like it will offer more to the whole process.

december 13

      Last week of the moon, another week of very mild weather, nice but a little bizarre. Lower energy the last few days, new moon on Monday, will be very interested to see how this one feels. A foot of snow is predicted for Wednesday, that's a lot for here and it looks like it will actually be around for a few days. Got to make a small painting this week, a nice feeling after so long. In larger terms, the next two weeks may get intense as the great election melodrama is played out for all to see. I feel the election was stolen and the results will be overturned. Just as the 'pandemic' was actually a cover for something else, so is the 'election.' At this point the final act of 2020 will begin, the big wake up call for everyone who is still hypnotized by Tell Lie Vision. So the chances are it's not exactly going to be subtle. No matter what seems, or is 'reported,' to be happening, the important thing is to stay calm and focused in the positive. Differentiate between outer lies and inner truth. If they want to keep lying, let them lie one last time. Up until the Solstice on the 21st, the days get shorter. But after that we are headed out of the darkness, and into the light.


      Have wanted to try a specific shift in the medium for a while, less saturation, more mobility, realized this approach would probably make a nice realistic study medium, so tried this composition, the top half of a Cotman watercolour. Which was sort of a surprise. Yet, could not get myself to make it more in the semi-decorative or planar Cotman style, which was what had interested me in the first place. So just worked on it until I couldn't see anything anymore: an approach familiar from a lot of outdoor landscape work long ago. Had planned to work on it a second day, but it was dry the second day, which was sort of a surprise. At least it was matte, which is was supposed to be. Felt rusty but this was sort of fun. I miss this kind of nature, which was part of my life for so long in Vermont, is part of my ideal world. The familiar sense of lots more to go, but not sure when it will happen, am more interested in using this paint to do something else. At least, ha-ha, I think I am. Ideas about what happens next are always forming, but it's also always proven best to let the energy of the process direct the show. About 7.5x10 inches, oil on gessoed paper.


      Lily and I are playing a lot at night these days. She's been getting me up at 12:30 to play out in the hall, she hops up on top of a stack of cardboard boxes and we go several rounds with my hands and various toys. She gets this great pugnacious look, and we're not done until that goes away. I used to have to be pretty careful when we played, wore gloves and an old sweatshirt sometimes, both of which she shredded over time. Now she's more careful with me, just takes a shadow bite when I make a mistake and she gets a chance. This is another favorite spot, up on top of a stack of old paintings in boxes on the shelf unit next to the desk, she's above me, attacking down, a favorite of hers.


      More casual hunting occurs in in the afternoon. She likes this piece of doubled clothesline, it didn't take her long to figure out how to get both ends with one paw. She'll get up on her hind legs for this too, but that's mostly at night.


      She lets loose a little more when my hand isn't involved. Yikes.


      Still infinite. Still here.

      Which you is the most important? The you that you are, the you that you have been, or the you that you are becoming?

december 6

      Waning moon, a quiet week, time to be, not do. Everyone needs to do it their own way. Sometimes this is hard to watch, especially if their own way is actually someone else's way, and based on lies, lies, lies. One of the things I learned early was that it's very difficult to make anyone aware of their own program, the program being the limitations that they have adopted and called 'reality.' Surprise: no one wants anyone else's advice! I then realized that it was possible, just barely possible now and then, to work on my own program, or rut, and have concentrated on that over time, because, when anyone expands, this gives everyone the opportunity to expand. Last year an awareness began that my personality program was beginning to disintegrate, and this year the process ramped up considerably. Instead of being on the inside of the personality, looking out, I'm on the outside of the personality, looking in: a really different perspective. I can see now how who I defined as 'me' was a role I assumed in order to learn a pretty detailed set of lessons. In a way, those lessons are still active, but they also seem more optional now, no longer compelling in the same way. It's been interesting to feel both panic and relief about this over the last few months: relief because the all too familiar program was clearly ending, panic because the rut was my rut, and all I had ever known. My instinct is to try to do something about it, when the whole point is that obsession with doing, with fixing things, was all part of the program. Yet, here I am, still, in this prolonged lull. At the same time, it could well be that this is about the end of one cycle, admittedly a pretty large one, before the beginning of the next one. So it will be interesting to see what the next few months bring in terms of change. It would be really fun to see the old program, the massive labyrinth of materialist lies, finally disintegrate, and real life, in collective terms, based on universal opportunity and equality, begin. Our intentions create reality, so the more we envision, and believe in, a new way, the likelier it is to occur. Yes, the most fantastic irony of all: it is as simple as that. Who dares defy the apocalyptic Tell Lie Vision, and hope?


      This week is Lily's anniversary. She arrived under the porch five years ago, this is the first picture I took of her. Little did I know! Sid she know? Oh yes, I think she knew.

november 29

      Waxing moon, full moon early Monday morning here. Another oddly gentle and still week, some really interesting colours in the remaining leaves. In spite of the general murkiness, the incipient fog of war, things became a little more creative this week. Not much, but heard some tectonic plate creaking that feels promising. Seven weeks until someone is inaugurated as the next President, the suspense was challenging at first given the potential of this situation to generate chaos, but I'm getting used to it. Came to the conclusion that hoping for the best for the country was better than hoping for a specific candidate, more on that 'non-dualistic' process below. Had a personal revelation, namely, that I've always looked to create quality results, and assumed that this would create quality time, rather than creating quality time, and allowing this to create quality results. This happened when I was making something utilitarian in the basement on the tablesaw that took longer, and was more fiddley, than I had planned on, which typically would have bugged me, at least somewhat, as a 'waste of time.' But I didn't care, just liked doing it, let it take as long as it needed to. Wow! A small thing, but also a huge thing. Of course, as reported a few times, Lily has been working on this all year with me using the staircase. I would tend to just take her up the stairs when she came in, but she started to stop, and stop again, all the way up, to make me stop too and consider the stairs as both a place and an experience, rather than as just a conduit. Anyway, something is finally shifting there, which is really exciting for me. I could see that being slowed this year, then stopped, then beginning to dissolve, might be part of the plan, yet that didn't make it any more fun. Now I can at least see that the way forward is to put the quality of the time itself first. Which means that being now officially comes before doing, oh no! Well, I would have said that I knew this, but really, I only knew it in my head, not my body. This is interesting because, in the book, I had the sense to stress the physical, as opposed to mental, or intellectual, aspect of painting so dear to the 20th century, but didn't realize I had only scratched the surface. There's always more, but sometimes it occurs in a place that is sort of subterranean, and less obvious. The deeper the place where it occurs, the more it changes the layers on top of it. There's always more, but sometimes you have to wait. There's always more, and the wait tests your faith. But there's always more.


      Thought about taking the paint shard idea in another direction, and made a few 'sheets' of colour with acrylic paint on freezer paper. But it stuck better than I thought it would, and the formula for the paint itself didn't have a lot of elasticity or the right look. So, this wasn't is the right approach either, but it gave me a different idea. I'm going to keep working on developing this, the concept of working with pieces of dry colour seems really interesting as as a way to balance colour that has always been wet.


      It is looking increasingly like the election controversy in America is going to continue to escalate, with both sides claiming victory regardless of what evidence may be produced to demonstrate who actually won. How far this will go is anyone's guess, censorship of 'other side' opinions is increasing on social media platforms, even those of an essentially spiritual nature. If the early oh-so-jubilant media estimate of the result, the done deal, is overturned -- again, regardless of the amount or quality of the evidence that is presented -- there will at least be protests nationwide in urban locations, probably much more than protests.

      What I would urge you to consider now, before the great media-contrived vortex begins to slip even more addictive poison into the collective well, is the larger goal. Regardless of the candidate you favor, you are probably more interested in peace than war, love than hate, truth than falsehood. This is a good time to consider, then, that no amount of falsehood can ever create truth, no amount of hate can ever create love, and no amount of war can ever create peace. If you find yourself feeling a strong negative emotion, notice the escalating feedback loop of negativity it creates. Does this feel good, or bad? If it feels bad, you can begin to take steps to first contain, then disperse, the negativity. And it just so happens that reclaiming your mental and emotional sovereignty by developing freedom from negative early training and emotions is the foundation of all the world's spiritual practices. Yes, it takes time, but there's no time like the present. And once we start, we realize there is in fact a way out of the artificial maze that has been so deftly presented to us as 'how life is.' As human beings, our thought process is tremendously powerful in terms of manifesting results in our lives. Do we want hatred to manifest, or do we want love to manifest? This is a very simple choice, and a choice beyond the political arena, yet can be applied to any situation we are in. Someone has just been rude, or someone has just said something we disagree with strongly. Do we respond with anger and hatred, or can we respond in a way that keeps us in a larger emotional space? That keeps us out of the fray? Because our thoughts create our experience, it is helpful to state our positive intentions, especially late at night, or early in the morning, when things are more quiet. During the day, it is helpful to have something simple to repeat inwardly that is calming and centering, for example: 'Let there be a new world of peace, love, and joy for all.' The Hindu tradition contains many of these mantras, a simple one is 'Om, shanti, shanti, shanti.' Shanti means peace, Om is literally an illustration of the process we experience as human beings in the universe, see image below. You may not think this is 'doing' enough, but if you consider the drastic difference in the chemicals created in your brain by a positive or negative emotion, along with the fact that we are all fractals, or aspects, of a universal whole, it becomes easy to see how much a positive choice influences reality. Looking at the images of water responding to positive or negative sound photographed by Masuro Emoto, it is easy to see how sound can influence the emotional state of beings that are at least half water. Are we listening to positive sounds, for example, such as what we hear in nature? How can we minimize negative, all too human sounds? This type of activity locates consciousness outside duality. We are still voting, but not for one candidate or another, rather for a specific manifestation, and allowing the Universe to decide how this comes to pass.

       A great effort continues to be made by the mainstream media to focus the collective on fear to the point of a persistent psychological panic that makes logical thought impossible. This has been relentless, in lock-step, since the so-called pandemic began. The simplest way to get what is actually an advanced mind-control program out of your life is to turn off the TV. Does that sound reckless, or irresponsible? Or like a great relief? How did the TV become the defacto cultural deity? Once you turn it off, you may go through a kind of withdrawal, because you are not being spoonfed hatred disguised as 'hard hitting truth' any longer, you are not being encouraged to blame Everything That Ever Went Wrong on One Person Only. But what if nothing ever went wrong? What if the Universe is unfolding exactly as it always has, which is exactly according to plan, only we need to look beyond the self-deified media and their carefully orchestrated hysteria for a reliable understanding of this process? What if the larger answer is not political, economic, or medical, but spiritual? What if this answer has always been within each and every one of us, by design, waiting for the right moment to be found? What if this process is inevitable, and coming soon to a wise and patient planet near you? What if you could be more than a petrified bystander? What if you could use your consciousness to actively participate in the transformation of humanity?


      Lily in her recently more cold-proofed sleep area during the day, and at night, below.

november 22

      Well, I lived through it, never any doubt of that really. But don't know where to start as far as explaining what happened this week. Probably for the best! Fall down seven times, get up eight. The news will return next week for more fun and frolic. Some odds and ends below, and links to places I visit daily for information about the bigger picture.


      Late afternoon light across the railroad tracks.


      Have been making a semi-sun oil for a couple years now on the front windowsill in small jars covered with cheesecloth. This is the refined Italian walnut oil from Jedwards, about as thick as stand oil after a year or so. Full sun would of course be much faster, but this works too once you're somewhat ahead. Took a pretty thick film off the top, below, scraped it with the palette knife for oil that was still liquid. This level of yellowing is pretty good for a walnut oil of this thickness.


      Have wanted to try something using shards of dry paint for a while. This was fun and there's something here but I'm probably not going to explore it further.


      Lily liked to spend the night outside over the summer. Then she began waking me up sometimes by sending me a dream. It was always variations of the same image: her standing up with her front paws on the bed and whacking me on the wrist: just what she does in life. When I went to the front door, she was always there waiting. Recently it's been been so warm that she started to stay out all night again. And early one morning she woke me up with a dream again. This one was a little different. I was already dreaming, one of those detailed but arbitrary cinematic scenes that sometimes occur, sort of like treading dream-water, when her trademark image interrupted. It was like an early video game version of Lily, 8 bit, not that many pixels, very funny. I went down to the front door and she was right there. Another Lily dream: in this one, she had wings, sort of early Renaissance, with varied earth colours in stripes near the base. She was navigating her favorite wood shelf unit: the wings blurred like hummingbird wings and took her from one shelf to another. So, I don't know how much Lily is in charge of presentation with these dreams, but there's an element of comedy in them that's strangely consistent with how she operates.


      There was quite a celebration here about the projected election results the evening after they were announced, and when I went out to let Lily out early the next morning, someone was asleep in the old wicker sofa on the front porch, with Lily's blanket over him. We said good morning to each other. Lily looked at me from a few feet away from the door, as if to point out that this was not exactly normal, and to get my take on it. I wondered if she was concerned, and told her she could come inside if she wanted, which she quickly did. I was upstairs considering what to do about the guy on the porch, when other people nearby got involved via the phone. When I got back out again about fifteen minutes later, he was gone, and Lily's blanket was folded up on her chair again. Which I thought was a nice gesture. Anyway, to make a long story I had nothing to do with short, we now have new lights with motion detectors on the front porch. It got colder this week, and I thought about making Lily's chair nest a little more protected: the more she can stay out over the winter, balance outside with being inside, the better it is for her, and for us. So I put two cardboard boxes together with duct tape, then put her blanket in there, with a folded up scrunchy bathroom rug beneath it to make up for losing the padding from the chair to the box. I like it better, but I wonder if she'll go for it. She might not like the depth of the enclosure, the way it is both a nest and a prison: this is the kind of thing she is really sensitive to. So, it may be better to cut the top off: less protection from the weather, but she can hop out quickly to the right or left. Once I get something I know she likes it might be fun to do it more permanently in plywood, with foamboard insulation. On the other hand, I kind of like the 2020 look of this. Anyway, this is the first time she's been out since I set it up. When I left she was sort of checking it out, so I went and got the camera, then took this photo through the thick plexiglass over the glass on the front door.


      About four weeks to the Solstice, when both Jupiter and Saturn enter and are conjunct in Aquarius, the actual dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Still, I expect the lies on TV to get bigger and bolder throughout the month, along with the trolling, baiting, and social media censorship; they are cornered, and desperate. The Sun just went into Sagittarius, the sign of collective truth, and Mercury goes into Sagittarius as well on December 1, and Venus enters Sagittarius just after the new moon in the middle of the month. This would be the logical time for hidden things to begin to be revealed. There's a lot to be revealed, so it may be a little bit each day, like an advent calendar. I'm not sure how it's going to happen, it could be chronological, beginning with the assassination of JFK, (anniversary today), who did it, and why. Or it could be something like Fauci, or one of the hard-hitting reporters, confessing live to what the pandemic was really about, how they have always been paid to lie. However this occurs, and it may only begin after the solstice, I expect things to go into high gear when the election results are made official, and it may get sort of ugly in urban areas for a while as a result of 'spontaneous' but highly-organized and destructive demonstrations. The government may take this opportunity to not only shut down the demonstrations, but the MSM for encouraging them, and begin a media campaign of its own that explains the truth of the last 75 years. In this case, they could tell a more detailed story, and begin with what Project Paperclip really entailed, the OSS, and, of course, Agent Bush. (None of this is exactly secret, you just have to look beneath the cover story of rescuing the 'good' scientists.) This will also touch on the ways various beneficial inventions and cures have been routinely squashed, the way wars were simply used to make money, and, more recently, the huge hidden crimes of pedophilia and human trafficking, ignored by the MSM for the last decade. I look for the few days leading up to the Solstice on the 21st to be the biggest push by both sides, but shortly after that, it may be a very quiet Christmas and New Year season as the country is locked down as never before this year, giving things a chance to calm down, and the story more time to be told. These are just guesses about how a highly misrepresented situation may actually play out. I hope there will be minimal violence but, given the large number of people who have become addicted to the poisoned media Twinkies, kind of doubt it. If, on the other hand, you want peace, the best thing is to work to be peace. Right now this is getting challenging as the morass of negativity generated by the MSM, and amplified by its hypnotized audience keeps growing. So, this is where being peace becomes real at another level, and how a relatively small group of committed people can take a culture from chains to freedom. The majority of people don't understand that their thoughts create their reality, and this has made propaganda, i.e., mind control, a very important part of the negative agenda, especially in the last hundred years. But this is also how the negative agenda can be overwhelmed: we can also use our thoughts to create a positive reality. Can it really be this simple? Yes, because the long-standing earthly power structure of some people having more power than others is illusory. In the real power structure originally set up by the Creator, everyone is equal. This cannot be changed, it can only be hidden. This is why such a profound attempt has been made to keep human beings unaware of their real heritage: the innate ability to create their own reality with thought. Because if enough people just believe in universal freedom, justice, and peace, there is no choice but for it to happen. If this approach appeals to you, you can find out much more about the inspired logic of the spiritual process in the links below.

      At this point the MSM and their social media allies are working overtime to push a non-existent pandemic with phony statistics and keep a lid on the growing case of election fraud, but the truth will get out. They may be able to minimize the number of people who know about the confidence Sidney Powell has in her case, but not on the breadth of the case itself, or her ability to bring it. Below is a list of places I go for channeled material about what's going on that not is being talked about on TV. This material is mostly spiritual, bigger picture stuff, but, in some cases, does touch on probable events and timelines. You can choose the flavour of information that is most appealing. In the largest terms, the Light has won this battle, but the mechanics of how it plays out in time are still to be determined. So, the transition from a profane to a sacred (non-denominational) society that genuinely has liberty and justice for all can happen quickly (doubtful), slowly (also doubtful), or somewhere in-between (most probable now, over the next few years). The first three sites have a variety of new material daily, the fourth link posts at the end of the week, and the fifth one is monthly, with a large following that also posts links. The sixth one is from a favorite of mine this year, Aita's Higher Self, discussing the often confusing issue of why evil exists in a loving Universe. Anyway, like life itself, this material is pretty personal, so if something doesn't work for you, just move on until something does.

      1.Voyages of Light

      2. Rainbow Wave of Light

      3. Sananda

      4. Into the Light

      5. Earth Intelligence Report for November/December

      6. Aita's Higher Self on the Purpose of Dark vs. Light

november 15

      Last week of the moon, new moon last night. The endless summer finally gave way to some more seasonal weather, a zillion leaves came down in a hurry all over the neighborhood in a few days of rain. Experienced what is now the usual mix of elevated and grumpy moments this week, a sense of expansion above the battlefield mixed 1:1 with a sense that I can't take another day of this. In theory, the turning point is the solstice on December 21st, when Jupiter and Saturn are conjunct in the beginning of Aquarius, and the 25,000 year maelstrom of the Kali Yuga officially ends. Am looking forward to life in 2021, when truth is no longer portrayed as lies, and lies are no longer portrayed as truth. Yet, how is the Universe going to wake up America, the seething labyrinth of debased distraction that not only invented the Twinkie, but turned it into an object of worship? It seems like an impossible task. Well, okay, not impossible to happen, but not exactly going to happen simply, willingly, smoothly. Do not go gentle into that good-bye. Rage, rage against the dying of the lie. For a long time I thought that this would be engineered by hidden information coming to the surface, of which there is of course plenty, and that the shock factor would wake people up. But I've realized that this would be too brutal, a cure worse than the disease. So now I think that the plan is for the cosmic energies to just build and build until, presumably on the solstice, there is a collective quantum moment and people just don't want Twinkies anymore, look around and wonder where all this useless toxic stuff came from. This would be gentler, involve disorientation, but not trauma. Then, slowly, from this perspective, rebuilding and review can begin. But, the solstice is more than a month away. How do I make this a time of peace more consistently within what is effectively the final battle? More consistency has always seemed desirable, yet somehow out of reach. But at this point it doesn't really feel optional anymore. It's interesting how, as the choices disappear, the momentum increases.


      Another interesting botanical development this week. I was always attracted to frankincense, but getting it in any form over the years was kind of hit or miss, and information about it wasn't that easy to come by before the web. Recently I've learned that, as with so many plants, there are lots of different varieties of frankincense from various places. Lotus Garden Botanicals in Maine, for example, has several essential oil and resin versions. This resin is from Oman, and is called green frankincense, although it's really just very pale yellow. I'm not sure if there is actual green frankincense, another grade up, or if this is something that is done in Photoshop. This resin is relatively fresh, and has an amazing smell, like a very high quality essential oil, only milder. It works very nicely as incense, but this sort of obscures the floral magic of it. Because it's fresh, and the edible species, you can chew it like mastic. A little goes a long way, but it's like a window into a very different world. A fun botanical vacation. There's probably a lot more to learn about what it is, its history, and what is can do.


      Some natural beeswax I put in water to bleach a few years ago in a semi-sunny window, procedure from the Xavier Langlais book, suggested by my friend Roland. The wax began between yellow and brown, but became reasonably white over time, and is the same colour on the inside as the outside. This process would probably work better, and faster, in a sunnier window.


      Did a drying test of ten of the recent refining tests, plus two older ones I wanted to see about. The older ones were made with the Ottosson brown seed Swedish oil. I thought maybe these would dry faster than the others as a group from prior experience with it, and they did. One of them was heated to 150C for an hour with calcite, which would help, but the other one was refined with isopropyl alcohol, and then spent ten months in the freezer. So, given the great difference in these procedures, it may be safe to say that the Ottosson oil is generically a fast drying oil. (It's also pretty expensive and I think, at this point, not available here, have to order from Sweden, which is too bad.) The other oils were made with either the Jedwards organic linseed oil, or the higher quality Flora organic linseed oil. The fastest drying oil of the recent group was the one made with copper, copper chloride, and salt. Next came the oil made with handmade chlorophyll, this actually dried faster than a three year old oil made with chlorophyllin, the artificial chlorophyll made more stable by replacing the central magnesium ion in the molecules with copper, which was surprising. Next came the glycerin emulsion made without salt, followed by the glycerin emulsion made with salt. To my surprise, the oil refined by iron oxide alone, with carpet tacks also in the refining water, which went through multiple freezes to finally clear it, was not in the top tier. So, this is a beginning of exploring these oils. Drying speed isn't the only criterion, but it's a nice one to be able to enhance if you want to. The next step here is probably to do another version of the copper approach.


      Amazing photos taken through a microscope by my friend Roland of the intricate interactions between natural silica beach sand, salt, linseed oil, and water created by the refining process.




      Silica particles clinging to a large water droplet in the oil.


      One with a colourized mirror image to identify the components more clearly


      Made a painting this week, which was a nice surprise. Have been able to accept being stopped, but not love it. But, I can see how being able to paint my way through this year would have been too easy. Have to admit I learned far more this way. Didn't have a clear image of what to do, started with the idea of transforming anger into peace, and let that develop where it wanted to. After the first day this was too static and grid-like, spent the second day altering that with curves and diagonals. Got it closer to something I'd call art, and would have worked on it a third day, but that day was too dark, as was the following day. So, the relationship between the static beginning and the more mobile changes isn't graphically resolved: I still see squares, which is not, somehow, okay. As is so often the case with work made on the waning moon, a lot can go right without a sense of anything having actually happened. So, in my old, more judgemental terms, this fell short of the goal, but the more important thing was to explore the new questions that the process asked. The last iteration of this work established the composition firmly early on. This led to some strong compositions, with a strong tension between flat and dimensional space, which was fun to explore. But it also created some zugzwang situations where I wanted to let the painting evolve but couldn't figure out how without destroying it in the process. So, the thing I liked about this approach is the lack of completion-pressure, it emphasized allowing the painting to evolve however it wants to. This was also supported by both the thixotropy and the longer drying time of the paint. Made a few small changes to the medium, the paint was mobile, and layered or removed cleanly, which I liked, but was a little goopy for the scale. Which is easy to fix. Went to fewer colours, that was a good idea. Don't love the particular choice of colours, but that's also easy to fix. Like the sense of organic circuitry, of things that are connected in a network. But the values are all too similar, as is the component size. Or, inverting this to a colour field approach, the values need to be more similar, the components smaller and more seamlessly integrated. Part of me would like to return to more compositional emphasis in the beginning. But another part of me feels it would be better to let this evolve the way it wants to, to let the compositional part make itself. Not try to nail it into a known type of pattern, an official end point product, but let something new continue to happen. Too specific a definition of finished can make the process too tight, but too broad a definition can make it too floppy. I guess I could try it both ways and see what happens. Opening up another front, it also seems like this paint would make a very nice transition to more interpretive realism. Well, analyzing it can go on and on, and is to some extent necessary. But in the end doesn't have that much influence on the vital factor, which is simply what wants to happen next.


      Ten more weeks to go till the Inauguration! Yet things are sort of heating up in America, have you noticed? YouTube in fact has a disclaimer under certain videos saying that 'robust safeguards help ensure the integrity of elections and results.' Yet, the Chair of the Federal Election Committee definitely disagrees. Oh my, how can anyone disagree with the almighty You Tube, son of the divine Google? Isn't that against the law? Well, just in case you are interested in a larger perspective than the increasingly predictable us versus them, with a side of righteous paternalist censorship, below are some links to recent, mostly channeled points of view about current and upcoming events. Notably, these sources are also in overdrive at this point. They tell a similar story, with a similar outcome, but from somewhat different spiritual or sacred perspectives. I've always found this approach helpful to balance the predominantly jingoist-materialist perspective of consensus American life: the psychological goose-stepping, so to speak. And right now, it's especially useful to expand the us-versus-them frame of reference of the increasingly hysterical mainstream media, who don't seem to be able to comprehend that they are not in control of the outcome of the election. In the links below, the first three have the most concrete information in terms of upcoming events.

      1. This one is a balanced overview of the political situation from a spiritual perspective. It isn't channeled, but is from someone who has done a lot of channeling, and is very familiar with the ins and outs of the light versus dark scenario. You can look up his story and books on Amazon.

      2. A channeled and 'higher balance' perspective of the same material from one of my favorite sources this year can be found here.

      3. JFK has been giving messages periodically over the last few months, fascinating because of the consistency of his voice, his sense of humor and now cosmic patriotism.

      4. A broader archangelic view from a seasoned campaigner here.

      5. Cosmically elegant and pithy commentary from the Creator here, always like this series but this one is particularly deft and humorous at making the point.

      6. Practical heart-centered advice from an angel collective here about ways to transform aspects of daily negativity through awareness of higher unity.

      6. Somewhat more traditional angelic point of view of errant humanity from one of the Seraphim here, strong condensed style, both poignant and hopeful. Although I've always had a weakness for the angel on a mission. Should you feel likewise, there are 431 messages by Seraphin to explore here, including the most recent one, which looks into the future of the current spiritual-political situation.

      8. A detailed analysis of the current interaction between love and fear individually and collectively here by the ever gentle yet inspiring Andromedans, channeled by one of my favourites, Natalie Glasson. They suggest that, at one extreme we can get overwhelmed by fear, at the other we can deny it, but if we begin to work with fear and love as a duality that has been built into our experience for an important reason, we can learn to understand how to use fear more positively in our current situation.

      9. The latest installment in the unique ongoing dialogue between Blossom Goodchild and the Galactic Federation of Light, a series also notable for its down to earth humor. In this one the GFL explains why the mantra they have tirelessly recommended this year works so well for transforming fear into love.

      10. Last but not least, another favorite this year, Source as channeled by the highly reliable galaxygirl. Source always manages to be huge, but in a gentle way. Source also manages to say complex things in a simple way, which somehow increases the sense of immanent infinity. We are often exposed to the negative side of word magic, but here is the positive side.


      What a look! The mighty huntress during a more contemplative moment: to pounce, or not to pounce? Lily loves this spot because she can attack from so many angles, yet she is always secure. This gets very comical and is our current favorite sport.



november 8

      Third quarter of the moon, another week of unusually warm and sunny weather. Finished doing the repair work in the bathroom, cleaned up, and put it back together. As a therapy project it served its purpose, and the room looks much better. Also put together a refining method that turned out differently than planned, details below. I ignored the election, this was not planned but just sort of happened, it almost seemed to be occurring on a planet that was kind of a distant memory, someplace I had left behind long ago: it felt peaceful to be gone. A winner has been announced at this point, much jubilant honking here yesterday afternoon. But my guess is that this win involved cheating, and, because this cheating was foreseen, that it is documented. The software that did this is called Dominion, plenty about that available if you are interested. An effort will be made to marginalize, then censor this information by the media, character assassination will plumb new depths of untruth, etc. Meaning the duel between two sides with opposite versions of events may well continue for weeks to come. But it won't work. The cheating will first become more plausible, then undeniable, and then justice will be done. So, right now, this election is still far from over, which is hardly a plus. But we finally know how the Universe is going to start waking up the people who have been so thoroughly mind-controlled by the propaganda of the mainstream media over the last four years. Given that a quarter to a third of America's population is heavily invested in a self-righteous good-evil narrative that will be proven completely backwards before the end of the year, this situation has not even begun to get weird. The Twinkies tasted so sweet, and were so addictive, but they were poisoned all along.


      Really nice graphic courtesy of my friend Roland explaining how pro or anti-oxidant the various concentrations of salt are in oil and salt water refining, along with photo-micrographs of the respective emulsions on top. Thank you. Roland for explaining this so clearly!


      Tried another version of Roland's hi-lo salt refining system this week, using silica. First ground the pool sand into the oil with the immersion blender to create some finer silica particles without creating dust. Then added the hi salt water (24%) using the immersion blender. This percentage helps the mucilage come out quickly, although the graphic above shows it could go even higher, to 36%. This worked pretty well, see photo 1. Kept shaking it off and on all day, in the morning the light gray hockey puck of mucilage mixed with finer silica had detached from the oil, photo 2. This is fun and convenient but otherwise not indicative of anything. Added some plain water gently to make sure the oil would be separated by frozen water in the freezer, that's photo 3. Then put the oil in a fresh jar with silica, ground the silica with the oil again, added some lo salt water (2%) and shook that by hand with the silica. A long period with lo salt water is pro-oxidant, but the silica was still active in removing mucilage, this time in coarse shards, and it feels like this oil could go to a water-only rinse phase now. So, this approach turned out to be quick: between the immersion blender in the hi salt wash, and the addition of the fine silica element in both washes, this method is way more efficient than I thought it would be. Which was not the idea, and means this method doesn't quite take advantage of some things it was supposed to. It is sort of hard on the immersion blender over time, but may produce relatively clean and fast drying oil quickly, and with little effort provided there's a freezer or a cold winter. It will be interesting to see how quickly it dries. In fact, this now has to be the next step in exploring this particular process. So, as soon as this is ready, I'll put it, along with all the most recent batch of oils, through a drying test. With the exception of this one, they have all explored using longer emulsion and refining times to produce cleaner and faster drying oil, but in a variety of different ways. It will be interesting to see if there's a clear winner among all the candidates.







november 1

      Week of the full moon, full moon on Saturday morning here. This full Moon is conjunct Uranus, planet of sudden changes, and the closest asteroid is Albion, one degree away. Well, Albion isn't really an asteroid, it's beyond Pluto in the Kuiper Belt, meaning it operates in a relatively deep or unconscious way, compared to, say, Mercury, which is close to the Earth, and relatively conscious or visible in its effects on communication. There are lots of these outer planetoids or asteroids with relatively specific influences if they're conjunct an inner planet. Since Albion has been conjunct my natal moon for all of this year, can confirm the research that suggests it is relatively powerful in producing a situation where the soul slowly expands while the ego slowly dissolves, like it or not. So, it's sort of like Pluto in slow motion, but purely personal, without any external pressure. I'm hoping this combination within the full moon brings the collective closer to its next step: more awareness of its long and very carefully hidden shadow. Now, no one wants to hear about this, I know, I know, believe me I know. But there's no point in being freed from chains unless the process that produced the chains in the first place is understood. Well, this paragraph got Moon conjunct Uranus and Albion in a hurry, didn't it! Am still semi-patiently awaiting an event, an announcement, the Toto moment, something that acts as a collective trigger, but I'm sure that, when it comes, I'll know why it took so long. Very strange weather this week, warm perma-fog for a few days that even soaked the porch itself, Lily finally gave up entirely and slept inside. Then the end of storm Zeta, lots of rain but not that intense and the new gutters did very well. After an initial flurry of sales, the book has settled down to normal, international orders do seem to be delivered more quickly in general, which is nice. Realized this week it was time come to terms with the water damage in the bathroom. I've been resisting fixing this, part of my strange relationship with this house, the landlord, etc. Also, because it weren't me what did it. But, how little that actually matters. How to clean up the blistered ceiling perplexed me until I realized I could get up on a ladder and just shave it all off with a large putty knife into a dustpan: the bottom layer isn't sheetrock, but the old plaster browncoat, so what I'm actually removing is the last layer of water-damage repair, comical in a Ground Hog Day sort of way. Now, I'm not the best with the repair goop, the mud, especially the overhead stuff, but am getting better because practice makes perfect! I'm doing it in stages, because some of the divots go right back to the browncoat plaster. Before re-coating, I shave the high spots or any raised lines in the patch with an old slightly curved paring chisel of my grandfather's: remember tools made in America? This part is sort of fun. My old concept of a job like this would have been to get it done quickly, in order to return to things that were 'better,' or 'more fun.' But one of the things that Lily has worked on with me consistently this year is not judging one type of time or space as more or less worthy. So I've been slowly developing more of this type of Advanced Feline Equanimity Awareness. Like typography, it's something that doesn't come easily for me, but, as a result, this repair is happening more slowly, have done a few hours each day. This year has also been about learning to listen to what wants to happen, a process that creates quality time to the extent that linear time basically disappears. I thought I knew about this, having long ago decided to follow the physical and emotional energy of inner enthusiasm. Yet, as with everything, there are levels, or, lo and behold, a craft, to this. The levels are quieter, deeper, and contain more details, and while those details are not exactly verbal, this somehow makes them more important to pay attention to. Have a feeling this is the last project to complete before a larger shift, fix what was literally broken in the space about the old way before beginning the new way. Have a pretty clear sense of what I needed to learn about painting through the extended pause of this year, and can see a few different points of entry. But, as always, what actually wants to happen will be more important than any conscious plans, and will contain some form of surprise.


      Speaking of surprises, why, golly, there's a presidential election in a few days! Well, I hope you aren't expecting this to be simple, easy, or even remotely clean. Good! Let's go over the details of what you need. Are you prepared for dirty tricks? Check. Prepared for dastardly deeds? Check. Prepared for competing accusations of dastardly deeds and dirty tricks? Check. Prepared for attempted revolution, highly organized but reported -- with righteous fury, and in lock-step -- as a spontaneous popular uprising against tyranny? Check. Good, looks like you've done some homework. Okay, I think we're all set. Remember to breathe deeply, eat lightly and moderately, and that 'this too shall pass.' Ready? Lights! Camera! Cue subterfuge and mayhem.


      I've tried a few things in the last few weeks to lower the general level of stress. I mean, I know a lot of it is systemic, I'm surrounded by 1.5 million people who believe the sky is falling because their TVs say so, but all the more reason to look for at least some relief. Mostly I wanted to be able to go to sleep more easily. I'm down to one cup of green tea a day, tried chicory again for a few days instead, but went back to green tea for a little motivation. The next thing I tried was grating fresh nutmeg into my oatmeal. This wasn't bad, I mean, it helped, but it didn't seem ideal: nutmeg is classed in Ayurvedic medicine as tamasic, meaning, while it calms you down, it can also dull the mind. So, thought I'd look further. Have had a lot of luck with Ayurvedic standards such as haritaki and amla in the last few years, so, after some research, ended up with some jatamansi, or spikenard root powder. This is a member of the Valerian family, and the essential oil is also used a lot as a base note, it smells kind of like vetiver. It's lighter than Valerian, which is good, though this also means it doesn't last as long: a cup of the tea helps me go to sleep, but then I still wake up in the middle of the night. Not that big a deal, with Lily around, I'm used to this anyway. It's definitely a mood enhancer, makes it easier to laugh, or find a bright side, creates about an hour or so of that Hawaii feeling at the end of the day, which was definitely a surprise, and seems to be echoed in the enthusiastic shape of the flower. The tea doesn't taste great, but isn't bad either compared to, say, gotu kola, the amazing mental clarity herb that I still have issues with based on the taste. Jatamansi is mostly kind of earthy, I read in one book to put a little cinnamon in it and this was nice.


      Kohlrabi is usually boiled and mashed, served with plenty of butter, salt and pepper. I've liked it in soup, and was surprised by how good it was raw, peeled and cubed, with just a little salt. It has a taste and texture like a very mild radish.


      On the other hand, you might prefer some freshly barbequed Texas Twinkies.


      Checked the cherry tree at the post office again and it has a new batch of gum, this stuff isn't even hard yet. Cherry gum was used in European painting very early, mentioned in the 8th century. Of all of water-based additions used in small amounts in older oil painting, this is the strongest in terms of making the paint seize, 2-3% in the paint film causes a revolution.


      Had a new kind of freezer disaster, a jar that broke for no reason I could see. Not sure why I put a paper towel in there, was actually able to squeeze most of the oil out of it, didn't loose that much overall. This was the oil refined with old pennies, salt, and copper chloride, so it was nice to recover it.


      A salt and silica variation in progress. This has had two days of 24% salt and 4T silica, then 5 days of 2% salt and 4T silica, a freeze, and is now with distilled water and 2T fresh silica. The idea there is to use the high salt to remove the mucilage, and the lower salt to oxidize the oil. But, I'm not sure I did this the best way. I used a small amount of water at first, in order to simply add a large amount to that to get the small percentage of salt. But there may not have been enough salt in the 24% phase. It may be necessary to use more high salt water at first, then use a siphon to remove a percentage of it before proceeding to the lower salt phase. This would also enable more oil per jar. So, a different type and order of calculation involved here. Roland, who came up with this hi-lo salt concept, reports that this type of oil dries very quickly. So, this would be fun to add to the spectrum of salt and silica refining approaches. Photo here is of the oil being released from the silica after shaking it. The yellow line is mucilage that the silica has pulled into it electrically, this makes the sand greasy. The water also becomes white as a result of mucilage particles being released.


      Drying test Roland sent of two oils he refined, the one on the left refined with high and low salt, the one on the right refined with just high salt. So, no comparison, adding the low salt phase to the process increases drying speed significantly.


      The houses in this area all have small front yards. People use them differently, this is from a section that has become more naturalized, or overgrown, depending on one's point of view, on one of the strange foggy afternoons here this week.


      Lily gets this rapt look when my fingertips dance across the top shelf where she can just see them. She'll watch them patiently for a while, then she hops up on the middle shelf, the one you can see, and I move around and poke my fingertips into that piece of linen hanging down. It's secured by two tacks at the ends, so I can get my fingers into the top, too. She loves this part and her paw comes up frantically through the space between the fabric and the shelf after my finger. She used to absolutely shred me during this type of game, but now she's really nice about just paws, no claws, which allows it to go on much longer.

october 25

      A strange warm week with dense fog almost every morning and high levels of humidity. Urgh. First quarter of the moon, this energy tends to be exploratory or hopeful, and, Mercury retrograde be damned, the books arrived on the 21st. Well, at the end of the day, and it was difficult to track a shipment for four hours and remain in a decent mood, but I listened to some of the sacred emergency oldies on YouTube as the shipment kept zig-zagging closer and further away on the UPS map, and that helped. After my experience two years ago of a UPS driver who didn't want to be delivering a large shipment, I had asked the Universe for the opposite type of driver this time, and did get that: this driver and I had some fun. He only had 17 of the 18 boxes, but I decided not to obsess about it, and the final one arrived on a separate truck later that evening. Due to the way the bindery does the proof, this is the first time I actually saw the book as a whole, and the first time I saw the final cover revision: I'd wanted something simple and timeless, and it's pretty close. I'm happy with this edition overall; the old way was too simple, the text is far easier to navigate with the heading structure in a sans serif font. Took a record number of books to the post office the next day, have to admit that was kind of fun. Then worked on the new types of oil refining, this is interesting but it takes a long time to develop an idea of what is happening with a given method. Lots of tension in my benighted country, the media mind control machine working overtime to generate division and hatred under the banner of unity and peace. That's really going to work out well. Are more people figuring out that this is the biggest shell game ever, or are more people being sucked into the vortex? Hard to tell from my perspective, an ongoing test of faith. Do I trust the divine plan? Yes, but the plan seems to involve me having my finger in the dyke for an awfully long time. I'm not the only one who feels this way, but the answer is always the same, it's coming. This next one gives an exceptionally clear overview of the cosmic situation involving the dark and light here on Earth that is now leading, inevitably, to the great reveal. Here's another one I found helpful this week, a broader perspective from Gaia, Mother Earth, my favorite planet, perhaps yours too.


      Oils refined with copper and salt, and iron and salt, in progress. Not much to say yet about this, in theory both of these will dry quickly. Copper looks like it is doing more, but we'll see, given what happened with the first iron oxide oil, the chances of that being actually the case seem small.


      Fascinating microscope photo by my friend Roland of salt crystals in an oil-super-saturated salt water emulsion.


      Lily loves this windowsill, but in the summer it has an air conditioner in it, which sort of cramps her style. Right now it gets lots of early afternoon light and still gets pretty toasty behind the curtains. When she's in there I sneak up and poke my finger into the curtain. Of course, my chances of sneaking up on Lily, who sits on the porch and hears mice in the neighbor's pachysandra, are small. This is one of our ritual set pieces, the same thing occurring in different ways over time. When I poke, she whirls around and attacks, the still curtain comes alive with puissant catness. So, that's what this photo is, the whirl: both her front paws are in the air. She likes it if I re-poke while she's moving, poking into her flank like a real attack. She whirls again and pivots, illustrating that she is a pro, yet is increasingly circumspect about actually nailing my fingertip with a claw. Usually, this type of photo is blurry, but it was really bright right there, making both aperture and shutter speed high, so she appears to be frozen in play time.

october 18

      A lovely, mostly sunny week, getting colder at night slowly, the leaves around here are beginning to turn and fall but are still mostly green. The toad lily in the backyard is in bloom again, my favorite. The guys arrived to do the gutters, three skinny guys from Eastern Europe with a very big ladder. After all the fracas about this, and all the water damage in the basement, it took them less than two hours to clean them out, and adjust the ones that were out of whack. Good grief! Last week of the moon, felt generally positive but low key, like rest was in order before the next step. New moon yesterday afternoon, a sense of more positive energy arrived right away, that's always fun. Mercury also went retrograde this week, can feel this in words becoming weightier, harder to find or arrange. It has made me feel sort of isolated this year to be so alone in what I believe is going on, that the reality of the ongoing change is spiritual, but, as a kid I decided early on that the grown-ups were crazy, so it's really just a step or two further in what has always been the case. Have been working on another level of peace with this, which is coming, getting more stable week by week. It's exciting to see progress in training my mind to be more disciplined and positive. It is logical that, since expecting the worst tends to attract the worst, expecting the best would tend to attract the best, and intriguing to see the results of this in day to day life. It can be something little, like today, a violin maker in Italy wrote a very nice email thanking me for the PDF about refining linseed oil, but this is a year where little things mean a lot. This week also led to some thoughts about the way there are levels of awareness to everything. Just because there's been one a-ha! moment about a particular situation doesn't mean there won't be more. Felt this a few days ago about the tension between doing and being, could see another level into the ways early circumstances set me up to focus on doing at the expense of being. A common enough lesson, of course, but that doesn't make it any less individually relevant. It's been interesting this year to feel the relevance of being return now and then. It seems to predate doing, and be a more evolved, though far less technological, civilization. One of the fruits of re-doing the book this last time was the realization that, no matter how much I did, there could always be more to do. I felt this especially in relation to the chemistry of the oil, the incredibly complex substance Roland has been able to research at increasingly detailed levels this year. In the past I used to feel a kind of background panic about missing something, but now this feels inevitable, just part of life that each person makes what appears to be a finite contribution. Well, that's the opinion of doing anyway. But I'm not sure that, in larger terms, that's true. And it feels like larger terms are still on their way. Well, when you turn off the TV, it may be easier to feel this. You know, the infinite universe, of which we are all a part. And that, as inherent parts of this infinite universe, we are all in fact infinite, and therefore making an infinite contribution. What if we all turned off the TV, where huge fragments of the sky have been falling on a daily basis now for the better part of a year, and became aware of that as a collective? Wouldn't that make us infinitely powerful to define our own reality? What could stop us from evolving infinitely then? Nothing. Ha-ha, what a ridiculous dream that is, you may well quietly say! And yet, that's the short version of why the next few months are going to be so interesting.

expected 10-21

      Living Craft Edition 14 features:

  • Over15 years of research based on technical art history
  • Clear explanations refined through 14 editions over 9 years
  • 108 unique formulas, 568 pages, 6x9 inch format, 392,583 words
  • 11 page bibliography, 5 appendices, 10 page index
  • Heavy weight paper and binding
  • An integrated, holistic approach to the craft: the old made new, with heart
  • Studio-tested creative methods and materials in unprecedented detail
  • Emphasis on both historical and solvent-free, non-toxic methods
  • The most functional, detailed explanation of colour ever written
  • To view or download the Table of Contents and text selections, click here


      Okay. The iron oxide refined oil clouded again. So I froze it again. It has now been frozen six times. This is getting like Ground Hog Day! Can't wait to see what this oil is like, but it has to stay clear more than a few days first...


      The other metal besides iron that is helpful for oxygenating the oil in the refining process is copper. The pre-1983 pennies are 95% copper, did a test with ten of these buried in salt, creating copper chloride.


      The salt and the pennies went into the oil with some distilled water. The other test was a second carpet tack test, the tacks, the iron oxide water, and, this time, salt. Gave these only half a minute with the immersion blender (without the pennies and tacks!), then started to reshake them a few times daily. So far, the copper version appears to be doing more, but this may not mean anything once all is said and done. Will let these go for a week, then begin to rinse them. Will probably set up just copper and water next, soaking some pennies or copper tacks in distilled water for a week and then using this water to refine the oil.


      My friend Roland has been doing an elegant experiment with varying proportions of salt on the one hand, salt and iron on the other. The salt variations are shown here. He has established that, in this system, more salt (12%) is best at removing the mucilage, but, interestingly, 1% salt creates the quickest drying oil. The original salt and sand method I published was 24% salt, and it did remove the mucilage quickly, but it also had the additional pro-oxidant effect of silica on the oil, to say nothing of the possible synergy between salt and silica in the molecular soup. Anyway, it will be interesting to try to factor these findings into a refining system and see what happens.


      Did more fiddling with modified acrylic paint, some very different things happened, but didn't feel like any of them were headed where I wanted to go. Can see how something like this one could become a style based on energy coming first, with organization coming in a second layer, but, for now at least, it feels better to let this develop further by remaining fallow. Painting is my favorite form of doing, so I find this difficult to accept, but there's no choice. It makes sense for a state of transition to create work that mirrors it, and this has some interesting aspects, but the pace of the process ended up making me feel a little dizzy. This is also due to the way the acrylics dry quickly, making new concepts possible one after the other. The past has shown that I can always think up something that appears to be interesting, but that doesn't mean it wants to happen. It is a question of oomph, which is subterranean, not from the mind. This year the oomph has mostly been with the book, and that is now complete. I'd like it to return to painting but the answer is clearly, 'be patient, not yet.' Okay, okay!




      It is hard to do things for Lily besides feed her, play with her, or remove the occasional flea. I mean, she is so perfect at being who she is. But as she's gotten older, I've noticed she's more interested in staying warm when as it gets colder. She is so much happier when she can go outside, so last year I tried a few things to extend her outside time. These didn't work out that well, but I learned a few things, so yesterday I put an old fleece blanket folded up several times behind and under her favorite chair on the porch, with a couple old flannel pillowcases folded on top of it, the idea being that the thick layer of fleece would compress enough under her weight to make it more of a nest. Also, all the items involved were freshly laundered! She's still going out at night, that will change to daytime only when it regularly gets below freezing. Anyway, this morning, when I went to bring her in, it was great to see that she liked it, and that it worked. Doesn't that look cozy?

october 11

      A week of perfect weather, slightly warm sunny days and cool nights, giving way now to some rain from the system that was a hurricane a few days ago in Louisiana. Waning moon, new moon on the 16th. This one has a lot of intense aspects, and may feature more in the way of change, especially over the weekend; convergence here from a some very different sources, that usually means something. In larger terms, I've always felt that the upheaval of 2020 is about the old giving way to the new. The old is patriarchy, abuse of power, materialism, social and economic injustice. The new is a sacred paradigm in which every living being is seen as an equal. So, this is quite a process for our old buddy, the reluctant human collective, to engage in. The old is cornered, it knows it, but does not necessarily want to give way gracefully, is resorting to telling bigger and bigger lies. Also as part of the transition, it is important for everyone to understand how the old got to be what it was, and how so much imbalance in every area of life came to be viewed as 'normal.' Are people waking up to what is really going on? Or are they slouching around wearing masks to take out the trash or mow the lawn, hoping conspicuous servile compliance to their angry deity, the mainstream media, will somehow save them? Implementing the new is actually going to be easy compared to saying good-bye to the old, because so much skulduggery and malfeasance still has to come to light, and it's not going to play well with the people who have been so fully manipulated by their twisted yet beloved system. Astrologically, there is a pretty clear line in the sand around the Winter Solstice. With the planet itself firmly in the very high energy of the photon belt, and both Saturn and Jupiter moving into Aquarius, organized darkness is simply no longer going to be possible here. But there are a lot of planes with specific pieces of information circling the field, and the sooner they start landing, the better.


      The third proof of the book came on Wednesday, and I decided to go with it. There were no technical errors, and the overall look is definitely another level beyond the last edition with the heading structure in a different font. I love simplicity, but with so much information to organize, using one font was just too simple. It was the first time I've seen this heading structure in print, where everything is lighter with digital, so there are a few small things I'd fiddle with given time. But it would take a while to explore them, typography is not necessarily better just because it is more logical. All things considered, it just seemed like a good idea to get them here. So, they ship on the 21st, and should be here either Friday the 23rd, or more likely, Monday the 26th.


      When I looked at the autoxidized linseed oil that I heated last week it had formed a skin. That was quick! The rheology is interesting: mobile but dense, a combination of both autoxidized and heat-polymerized behaviors not possible by either method alone. It was only heated for half an hour, but the previous autoxidation makes it feel like much more.


      Let the carpet tack emulsion go for five total days, then froze it. It was a little stubborn, cleared some but not much, so froze it again. Each time it snowed a little bit inside as it thawed. This is after the fourth freeze, huge flakes, have never seen anything like this in oil before. It will be interesting to see how quickly this dries, and what it's relative yellowing potential is. This method takes a while but is straightforward in terms of the process, and is very little labor. Will try it again and let the emulsion go a whole week this time: the research that Roland has sent from the food science sector on lipid oxidation all suggests that a week is the time period needed for oxidation to take off.


      Acrylic that I put some slightly coarse marble dust into, along with matte medium. This paint does some funky things.


      Detail here of a test study made with it. This paint dries quickly, and very brightly. Layers dry down a little bit, but not that much. This particular image went around in circles, don't quite know what it wants to do, nothing I know about yet. In a way this is confusing, but, well, what isn't at this point? I mean, it sort of fits. Will keep going further with this paint, probably with a new image, and see what wants to happen.


      Another tack. Something in oil from last fall that, over time, began to bother me. I didn't get enough opaque paint on it in the timeframe, and though it took a good photo when new, that predominant translucent midtone paint began to seem like it could use more. Ground it back thoroughly before beginning.


      Hadn't tried to re-do something in a while, but what happened illustrated a familiar process. It was interesting to revisit this paint and system after a long break, but, although the original painting seemed less complete than most of them from that period, I like it better. With this one, I let a lot of things change in a relatively tame version of the paint, but kept the strong central rose ellipse, mostly because it had been such a defining element of the first version. But, in a way, it interferes with the second version. Yet, without it, the second version has too many mid-size pieces. So, it's still unresolved, but in another way. Which is fine, another example that coming back to these after their original time frame really doesn't work. As in several well-known old stories, looking back doesn't work. To improve it, make a new version in the present. I get fascinated by the puzzle of these, but really have yet to design a paint system that allows this concept to be explored effectively. But, given how focal this issue is becoming, that may be what's on the way. A typical waning moon situation: something is ending, something new hasn't yet begun, but the questions motivating its birth are slowly becoming more well-defined. I used to get bugged by this type of thing as a waste of precious creative time. But now it seems like it's all part of the same process. And it makes sense for there to be a relatively large change in progress now. 10.75x11.25 inches, oil on gessoed paper.



october 4

      Mainly sunny and cooler, week of the full moon, sort of a quiet one, no revelations or upheavals. Not much has been quiet around here, the patio construction ended, but now there are not one, not two, but three separate construction projects close-by. Not at the level of the patio, but a lot of concentrated activity on a usually quiet street. Lily responded to this by coming in during the day and sleeping, then going out at night. Got the third proof off to the printer, had my first glitch this time with the PDF, the fonts didn't embed and I was too tired to notice. Ha-ha, just when you start to trust your system! Lost some time there, but the proof will be here Tuesday. If I okay it, they can have books here in two weeks. Hopefully it will be that simple.


      Was tired after finishing the last proof, but still had lots of nervous energy. Decided to just segue into making a painting the next day and see what would happen. Didn't do anything too ambitious, just tried out a formula idea at a very small scale. Mercifully short version: it wasn't a success. The paint worked quickly, which was what I'd expected, but there was nothing in the well with which to work. Could feel this, but didn't want to give up. Yet, the further I got into this little study, the more deranged I felt. Paddling upstream in a leaky boat loaded with elephants. So I stopped, relieved that I'd rejected any more ambitious plans. Did end up liking part of it over time, this is about 3/4s of a square inch!


      Three immersion blender emulsions, one made with very high salt, one with just a little glycerin, and the one in the middle combined the two approaches. These were frozen twice to help clear them, this is a feature of the immersion blender approach with these ingredients: an initial process without as much effort, but slower clearing of the oil due to the degree to which it's been invaded by water. The glycerin only approach did clear quickly, a precipitate of fine snow fell out to the bottom, but I'm not sure that makes it a better approach. The other two have cleared a bigger precipitate, and are now clearing a smaller one. It might be interesting to go back to the high salt emulsion and tweak the proportions, but something happened using the carpet tacks that might be simpler because of the way the iron oxide affects the mucilage.


      Heated some autoxidized linseed oil this week, this is one that yellowed more in a test over the humid summer than I liked. The procedure changes because of the spinner, it gets going really fast because the oil ends up with so much less viscosity, the foam of last week just becomes a phase of tiny bubbles that makes the oil appear opaque. At about 150C it begins to darken, I'm not sure what this pigmentation represents, but whatever it is it is fugitive. I kept it there for half an hour, very little time relatively. As with all these oils, this now has a unique rheology that is slightly tight, but also quite gelatinous. This oil does not run, but it is also no longer resinous or sticky. It went onto the test panel yellow, but has mostly cleared in drying. It will be interesting to see what happens to these in the next six months, also in the more humid six months following. This procedure is interesting because of the way autoxidation lowers the threshold of thermal polymerization. It is not possible to make an oil with a rheology like this with heat alone, or with autoxidation alone. 4 hours at 200C makes an oil about half as thick as this, with much more tendency to level or flow. So, just as linseed oil was a very different thing in 1620 than it usually is today, 'heat-polymerized linseed oil' may also have been something entirely different than what we purchase as heat-polymerized oil now.


      So, I'm still looking for a simpler way to do an extended emulsion. Made an emulsion with the carpet tack rust water and linseed oil using the immersion blender for a minute. Then added the carpet tacks back again in the hopes of getting some free FE ions that will help create a faster drying oil. It would probably be better for drying speed to grind some iron powder into the oil or use a different form of iron, but wanted to keep this first version as simple as possible. The iron oxide created a situation where the mucilage sort of curdled finely, then fell out. With salt, the mucilage comes out, but remains more adhesive. So, this makes me hopeful that this oil will process further very simply, which would be a huge plus. Began with 100 ml water and 500 ml oil, have been adding 50ml water each day and shaking it. This is after day one.


      Added a little plain distilled water on Saturday morning, photo on left, wanted to see if it would separate with oil from the mucilage. So, the mucilage is more adhesive than I thought, but this step will still help when freezing it. The amount of loss remained low, this suggested that more could occur, so I shook it up again, photo on right. The character of the mucilage could be changed with a vinegar prewash first, this sort of coagulates it. That might be a logical next step with this approach, but it also might interfere with the mucilage being able to act as a surfactant and create a finer interface between the oil and the water, which helps it to dry faster. I know people would appreciate something really simple, with less fiddling, that dried fast, so those are the basic goals here. Given the amount of time it's been emulsified, this will probably dry pretty quickly, but we'll see.


      Two examples of walnut oil heated for 4 hours to 200C. The one above was open to the air on the windowsill all summer, has begun to thicken a little more. The one below has been closed, I put chunks of limestone in it to keep it from autoxidizing.


      Lily ignoring the mayhem outside one afternoon this week. A good plan for the next month or so.

september 27

      Waxing moon, full moon next Thursday. Lovely softer sunny days followed by a few overcast and humid ones with a little rain. A few trees beginning to change colour, the clarity in the atmosphere just keeps increasing, feels like the interactions of light and nature are just getting more beautiful. Too early to celebrate still, but can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the book. Have been editing the PDF at the molecular level for total consistency, it's so therapeutic to actually be able to make something, anything, better. Will get the third proof out tomorrow and possibly have the printed version back by the end of the week. Conceivably, this will be fine to print from. Just like writing the book could go on forever, editing it could too. My goal for each edition was always the next level: the last edition was two more levels, which felt good, and this one is three: more clarity, more depth, and, biggest bonus for the reader, a better looking and easier to navigate format. This is exciting on the one hand, but on the other its important to keep it in perspective: truth is always the daughter of time. In larger terms, I keep waiting for the shift to hit the fan, but have given up predicting anything about when. I do feel that the election will be stolen, but that this will backfire, as evidence of the theft will be overwhelming. This is just Art of War 101: let them attack, use the attack to encircle them. I also feel that it is not possible for organized negative energy to withstand the entry of both Saturn and Jupiter into Aquarius just before the winter solstice. So, this means an awful lot is going to happen to increase collective awareness in the next few months. What will be the final straw? What will be revealed, and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that will finally unify America irrevocably? Not what is the most heinous crime that was covered up necessarily, but what will strike the deepest, most visceral chord in the American psyche? Yes, that narrows it down a bit.


      I love this time of year!


      A feature of the last few weeks has been the construction of this industrial strength patio on the next door diagonal. Small yards on this block, it's about 100 feet away from where I live. Four guys, a small front end loader, a motorized thingy that tamped the macadam they poured, then they put cement over that, then they started cutting the huge slates to fit with a massive saw. A slow and very loud operation, amplified by the way the sound is trapped by the walls of the surrounding houses. These are people we don't know, their house faces the other way, so we never see them. But my downstairs neighbor finally complained early in the week, knocked on their door and told them it was driving her nuts. This impressed me, I could not have done that. I mean, if I had been motivated enough to knock on their door, I would started yelling at them at the top of my voice, and it would have gone on until the cops arrived. She told me they apologized, I get the feeling the residents of the house are the younger generation, complete with newborn, and that the father owns the construction company that is doing the patio. So, the noise is worst for them. Anyway, she said she felt bad about complaining, since, as is so often the case, those responsible were not in evidence, and bought them a pumpkin, presenting it with a thank you for listening note. Later in the week, they reciprocated by sending her a large bouquet of flowers. She decided to break the bouquet down and gave some of it to everyone who has been affected by this incredible noise. Given that this situation represents exactly the thing that makes me viscerally angry about the changes in this neighborhood since I grew up, specifically, the total proliferation of murderous, mindless, unnecessary mechanical noise, I have done pretty well with this. I mean, it is possible to make a patio without a sound, so, all questions of aesthetics aside, this seems like madness incarnate to me. I did get mad once, but that was transference due to trying too hard to finish the book cover during a few hours when the saw was on constantly. And it's interesting how the situation has brought a group of isolated neighbors closer together. The crew didn't work on Saturday, so it's been two days in a row of absolute blissful peace and quiet. Yet, from the look of the stones, this will cease at about 8:15 on Monday morning, and possibly go on as far as Wednesday. Making a patio that can withstand an artillery bombardment is slow work. But this week, I'm in a different position. Not only do I have my mini-bouquet, replete with imitation autumn leaves and ears of wheat, but, even more importantly, I've realized that this is a test. It is my test. Designed by me, just for me. And I know what I have to do to pass it. The answer is obvious, the same as it's been for all the other tests this year, just far more visceral because I feel this as such a personal, and physical, attack. Ah yes, there's the biggest clue to the solution. Also funny how it's like the book at this point: just a few more days to go before graduation.


      Part of a yellowing test. This Spring I made some heat polymerized walnut oil using the Jedwards walnut oil from Italy, heating it twice for two hours to 200C. That's the test on the right, it's about half as thick as regular stand oil. Over the summer it yellowed slightly less than the Blockx stand oil, on the left, which is actually a burnt plate oil. This yellowed slightly less than the Kremer regular stand oil, 45 poise, which is not in the picture. These commercial oils are the best ones I have, wanted to see a comparison under the relatively high stress conditions of summer humidity.


      This is a type of oil that Daniel Graves told me about many years ago, so I named it for him in the book. It's taken me a long time to begin to see the potential of it fully. 1) The fabled Jedwards refined walnut oil from Italy, autoxidized on a windowsill for a year, 9-19 to 9-20. 2) Took the oil out, you can see the thick skin with very little colour. 3) Began to heat the oil on very low heat, some bubbles come up at around 100C. 4) The oil begins to foam liberally as the byproducts of oxidation, water at first at 100C, then Roland said hexanal at 129C, emerge. There's more chemistry to this, but this is not exactly something that food oil science is going to be investigating much. 5) Oil slowly begins to stop foaming, temperature begins to limb rapidly at this point. 6) Removed the oil at about 150C, this happened very quickly after the foam stopped with no increase in heat. 7) The oil is still somewhat thick, but less sticky, far more mobile, than before heating. Put it back in the jar to continue autoxidizing. This makes it increasingly gelatinous. 8) Put out a before and after test of the oils. Have a feeling that, over time, the heated oil will yellow less. The next step in this might be to take a heavily autoxidized oil through this procedure, then heat it for an hour to 150C with mechanical stirring. Have this would lighten it again. The wet colour, of course, doesn't matter unless the oil has literally been burnt. I'm more interested in the change in rheology, and the potential to make an autoxidized oil less yellowing. In terms of older practice, and the way autoxidized oil was to some extent inevitable for them, more relevant with linseed oil than walnut oil, so that would be the next thing to try.



september 20

      Week of the new moon, sunny and cooler, some really beautiful days. Worked on the book and the oil, both of these are full of details, but in different ways. Hoped to be onto the index by now, but ended up replacing the heading font, I like the new way better, but in spite of the automated nature of the program, it took a few days to reorganize things again. Need a rest from this, it's beginning to sort of hurt. Well, at least I know it this time. I'd really like to get it done and printed before Mercury goes retrograde in October, but am beginning to feel that's not going to happen. Which is too bad, but can't be helped. Don't have any illusions about October, the effort to create paralyzing chaos here will amp up, fail, and continue to amp up. At some point, there will be a moment where the scales fall away from the collective's eyes, like what happened in The Wizard of Oz when Toto pulled back the curtain. But when this is going to happen, and how, I have no idea. I thought it had to be soon, because of how obvious the subterfuge is, and how obvious the pile is that's been swept under the carpet, but that doesn't mean other people consider it obvious. There are small groups pulling at either end of the spectrum of change, but the majority of the collective is stuck, as in cement: on the one hand, it doesn't want violence, on the other hand, it's in a hypnotic feedback loop of confusion and fear that keeps amplifying both of them. This means the larger collective is getting increasingly uncomfortable and disoriented as it waits patiently for non-change, the so-called 'return to normal,' that is not going to happen. As long as turmoil is perceived as 'coming from without,' and 'out of control,' it has no choice but to manifest that way. But the opposite is also true. We have been schooled to be either the hammer or the nail, but in reality we are neither. In larger terms the point is for the hypnotized collective to take responsibility, and bring its own hypnosis to an end. But the solution is totally, completely, irrevocably counter-intuitive for the vast majority of people because of how we were all trained to navigate the Labyrinth by consensus culture from the moment we got here. For more on this, for how a specific cosmic lesson has been built into the fabric of human consciousness, see the end of this post.


      An experiment with commercially refined linseed oil and a bi-continuous emulsion, something my friend Roland explained to me. This was 120 ml (4 ounces) of linseed oil, 7.5 ml (1.5t) glycerin, 10 ml (2t) of 152 proof alcohol, and 10 ml (2t) distilled water. I shook it off and on for a few weeks in the winter of 2018, then forgot about it. When I found it again a few months ago, it seemed kind of different: very thin, very pale and clear. The commercial linseed oil I used yellows a reasonable amount, but I'm not sure this is going to, the drying test is invisible so far. Something interesting that could use a lot more tests.


      Early morning Lily. She got pretty skinny over the summer but it's getting cooler at night and she's starting to eat again. We're working on a new ritual. I realized she likes it when I'm not bigger than her, or taller. So I sit on the steps, just below the landing, when she's on her way out. Sometimes she's on a mission to get out there, but sometimes she pauses and even hops into my lap. She's sort of tentative about this, puts out a paw first to say what she'd like, is this okay, and I always say yes, hop up. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't. She's too big for my lap, which means I end up holding either her head or her rear legs when she's up there, she chooses, which is part of the ritual. Even if she doesn't do that, she'll spend some time circling me up and down the stairs before deciding to go out. It's like she's asking me what the hurry is.

in the labyrinth

      Once upon a time, there was a Labyrinth. It was not a traditional labyrinth, constructed of stone in one plane, but a Labyrinth made up of ideas and beliefs, and it had many dimensions. Two people were given the task of solving the Labyrinth. One of them was called Mind, the other was called Heart. They were, in one sense, related, a team, but in another sense, they were very different. As they stood before the massive Labyrinth, Mind took charge and said, 'Okay, leave this to me. This is exactly what I'm good at. You'll only get lost and slow us down.' Heart thought a second, then asked, 'Are you sure you know what this is?' Mind said, 'What do you mean? Use your eyes, it's a giant Labyrinth!' 'Do you remember when we…' Heart began. 'We don't have time for this!' Mind interrupted importantly. 'Look, we've got a job to do, and I'm going to do it. Just follow me and we’ll be in and out in no time.'

       And so, Mind set off boldly into the Labyrinth, with Heart following a little way behind. The complexity of the Labyrinth was staggering. It went up, down, sideways, diagonally. It was full of signs pointing out where to go, and how long it would take to get there. But these were clearly not accurate. In the Labyrinth, things were often topsy-turvy. Up was down, and dark was light. 'Wow,' said Mind, 'Whoever built this was a total genius!' 'I'm not sure we're getting anywhere,' Heart said. 'We're doing just fine!' Mind responded, 'This thing is complicated! Just follow me and we'll be out of here in no time.' 'Do you remember when we…' Heart began. 'FOLLOW ME!' Mind shouted, and started running down a new corridor.

      And so, on it went in the Labyrinth, year after year. Mind made diagrams and kept copious notes, which were comforting, but didn’t seem to actually be helpful. Finally one day Mind stopped, looked around and said quietly, 'You know, I think we've been here before.' 'Yes, we have,' Heart agreed, 'Twenty-seven times.' Mind took a deep breath and said 'We haven't tried this way, that must be it.' 'You said that last time,' Heart said, 'And we have tried that way.' 'Okay, okay,' Mind said, 'Just give me a second here, I'll figure this out.' Heart waited patiently. Suddenly, Mind began to pound on the walls of the Labyrinth, shouting, 'Get me out of here! Get me out of here! I can't figure this out!' Heart now took a deep breath, and then asked, 'Is it okay if I show you something?' 'How can you show me anything?' Mind asked impatiently. 'You don't think, you just feel.'

      Heart raised an eyebrow, then walked right through the wall that Mind had just been pounding on. 'What?!?' Mind said, 'You can't do that! Why, that's cheating! You have to play by the rules!' Mind then seemed puzzled, thought a moment, and added, 'Wait, HOW did you do that?' Heart walked calmly back through the wall. 'You believe what you see is real,' Heart explained, 'So the Labyrinth is real to you. I could feel that the Labyrinth wasn't real as soon as we got in here. It's made up of lies in costume, so they look like the truth. The key to the Labyrinth is not to believe what it’s telling us, but to look beneath the surface.' There was a pause. 'You knew this all along?' Mind then asked. 'I felt it all along,' Heart said. 'Why didn't you tell me?' Mind asked. 'I learned a long time ago that I can't tell you anything until you're ready to hear it,' Heart said. 'So, you can get us out of here?' Mind asked hopefully. 'Follow me," Heart said.

      And so, with Heart leading, and Mind following, they emerged from the Labyrinth a few seconds later. The sun was shining. Birds were singing. It was an unusually beautiful day. ‘I can’t believe we wasted so much time in there,’ Mind said, looking around distractedly. ‘We have forever,’ Heart explained. ‘There was something we had to learn in there.’ ‘Who would build such a thing?’ Mind asked. ‘It wasn’t a Labyrinth, it was a Trap.’ ‘It was a teaching tool,’ Heart said. ‘The important thing is what we learned from it.’ ‘Well, I learned that you’re a lot smarter than I thought you were!’ Mind said admiringly. ‘Well, that’s one way of looking at it,’ Heart said, laughing. Mind took a deep breath, then sighed. 'Okay," Mind said. 'I learned that I have limitations, and that those limitations can be used to fool me completely. I thought I was smarter, or better, but that's exactly what got us so lost. I see now that I need you, that we were designed to be equals.'

For further information on technique or a specific painting please contact tadspurgeon@gmail.com
copyright © 2002-2021 by Tad Spurgeon. All rights reserved.
web site design by Axis Web Design.