3/5/12

All In My Head




There comes a moment in my drawing process when everything falls into place. It does not matter what I feel, whether I am sad, melancholic or happy. It is the perfect emotion. It is perfect because my mind is at peace. It is the moment when the subject ceases to have the sociopolitical, cultural, religious, moral or economic implications that sometimes jar my mind. It is the moment when I pay no homage or consideration for the invader or the subdued; the oppressor or the oppressed; the victors or the victims. Instead I pay tribute to nature.

I am drawing Dorak Mountain, the mountain behind the mountains. For the past few months, my sad treks back to my homeland in the Philippines, sent me via Seoul, South Korea.  Like the white background of the flag of South Korea that symbolizes Koreans as a clean people, the airport is a reflection of their nation. Incheon is by far one of the most beautiful airports in the world. It may be difficult to see from within, considering that the most important goal for one is to get through security screening to be able to catch one's connecting flight. But it shows. Incheon is surrounded by hills and farther beyond the airport is a skyline marked by mountain ranges. Inside the airports are gallery sized images of the beautiful country of South Korea. Yes, they are aimed to attract tourists, but they are real places like the beautiful mountains of Korea.





I set to draw a Korean landscape for very selfish reasons. I am trying to understand something happening in my birth homeland that I may not be able to explain fully. In order to avoid  causing confusion, let me just say this, I thought I was in Korea when I went home. The storefronts were in Korean and the state university campus which I have always considered my refuge were dotted with students from Korea. 

Thinking of the sociocultural and economic impact of the situation, it was rather difficult for me to start drawing this. It is never easy for me to draw when I feel negative forces and so I started thinking of something more pleasant and beautiful associated with Korea. Incidentally, the Wall Street Journal's weekend edition featured Seoul. Oh how opportune. 




Something happened while I was drawing this image. I reached a certain level of clarity and peace. Copacetic, may be the right word. It was a moment when all of a sudden I felt the pen glide across the board with ease. It was as if the pen and my hand were one. The pigment ink pen felt like a soft charcoal pencil. The lines were blending smoothly, gently. My hand was light and pressure-free. The sensation clearly stunned me. The delineation of the crags and the cwms came so easily. I drew and drew; lines after lines, circles after circles. I did not want to stop.




Needless to say, I had to cut it short. The clean laundry was starting to become a mountain on the bed, waiting to be folded.

Ah, reality!

43 comments:

Bella Sinclair said...

As much as I love the majesty of this scene -- the towering mountains and aged trees that have so many stories folded into its rings -- what truly takes my breath away and sets my heart a-flutter is the thought of you reaching clarity and peace with drawing. Seeing you in the groove is as beautiful as the grooves you create.

Bella Sinclair said...

This here drawring is purdy.

Bella Sinclair said...

A mountain on your paper, a mountain on your bed.... I see a pattern here.

Tracy Stokes said...

Your drawing is completely amazing. Glad to have found your blog.

Ces said...

Sangk yo veri much! Heheheh. You are so jorry!

Ces said...

Aaawww. Thank you. I was so happy. Tsup!

Ces said...

I have so many mounds!!! Hahaha!

Ces said...

Hello Tracy. Thank you very much for your visit and comment. We are just having fun here. Glad to have you.

Helena Milton said...

Yeah, if reality didn´t show up you could continue as long as you wished. But life itself tend to come in between, mostly that´s a good thing but sometimes you just want to finish your artistic work :-) It gets really hard to go to bed when there are clothes everywere ... I usually put the clean laundry on the bed as well!

Caroline said...

HOpe you enjoy the rest of the process (the drawing, not the ironing!) - it's looking wonderful!

Ces said...

Ah that is the reason why I put the clothes in bed. I will be forced to tackle them! Hah! Thank youy Helena.

Ces said...

Hi Caroline, oh BUT I DO LOVE ironing. Seriously, straching and ironing.

Bella Sinclair said...

Do you remember Mounds?

Sometimes you feel like a nut.
Sometimes you don't.
Almond Joy's got nuts.
Mounds don't.

:)

Deborah said...

Oh my Cesalicious, I am so very sorry for your loss of your sister. I have no words. Just arms, reaching across the miles, pulling you closer into my heart. Big Love, Deb

Diana Evans said...

oh Hello my sweet CES!!!!!! I love the new look around here...wow!!!! and I love love the new pieces you are working on.....I am not a fan of ironing at all!!! hence my search for mainly fabrics that stay crisp and pretty!!!! I only iron table cloths for dinner parties!!!! that is all!!! hahahahahah

Mother of twenty daughters said...

Wow, so heartfelt, so powerfully loving, what a beautiful message you sent me. I felt so deeply part of the female growing with being a mother. You know,we go through so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this with me! Much love <3 <3 <3
Your art always shares deep magic of other dreams and dimensions. I wonder whether this is you sharing all what you feel and wrote in a magical way? Julie

Rod MacGregor said...

Great post and inspirational drawing Ces...as always!!!

Ted Blackman said...

Something I realized recently is that EVERY generation has had to deal with their world changing, not just us. My grandparents had to deal with the social changes and sexual revolution of the sixties. My parents had to deal with the materialistic me generation of the eighties. My home town is barely recognizable anymore. The downtown landmarks I found comfort in are almost all gone. I couldn't imagine living there anymore, with so many people and things no longer there. Maybe when you stay in a place all your life you aren't as aware of the changes. I never heard my parents complain that my town wasn't anything like the way they remembered it in their youth, but since I have been gone so long from there the changes have been startling to me.
On a broader scale the world and technology are doing the same at what appears to be a very quickened pace. I still can't get used to every one walking around staring at little screens. Going to a coffee shop, which used to be a social place to talk to people in person, now has become a zombie room full of people all staring at laptops. I talk to co-workers in their early 20s about the differences between my youth and what's happening now and they seem to be unaware of any of it, and are quite content with everything, as I was when I was their age. Just today I was telling one of them about the days when a television event was watched by the whole country at exactly the same time, all stopping what they were doing to see something that they wouldn't get a second chance to see. I didn't watch the Academy Awards because I knew I didn't have to: anything interesting that happened would be all over the internet the next day.
So, realizing that change is always happening and every generation experiences it, somehow helps me to deal with it all myself. The demographic changes that you speak of are all part of it, too. Life goes on.

That's my story and I'm stickin to it.

Ted Blackman said...

I don't miss word verify, though.

Lisa Holtzman said...

Beautiful illustrations Ces. I can imagine the changes to your homeland are difficult. I agree with Ted, things keep changing and seem so glaring and yet to the newest generation, it is how life has always been for them.

Steve E said...

FUNNY, FUNNY! I do laundry here, dump clean, dry clothes on bed. I have to fold and stow before I sleep! I also saw that Korea spread in WSJ. Anna's daughter Cheryl flew to Seoul last week, will spend her second year there teaching English . So, this post is especially interesting to me--will send the link to Prayer girl.

This 'coming together within yourself' and beginning again to enjoy what you do SO well, is the BEST news for me tonight. I am glad...happy! Naturally, I'm loving these drawings, nature wherever in the world is awesome. And your arterpretation makes it real, even without being there. Wunderbar!

FYI: Today I called Music Director at St Elizabeth Seton, and we get together in the morning, and I will play mass Saturday 4:30 PM March 10. (She sounded excited, we playing together again!) Just wanted you to know.

Ces said...

Thank you Deb. I have been thinking of you and Brawny Man and hold you the same. Be strong. Love you. Tsup!

Ces said...

Ted, you are right. If change does not take place we will still be hunting mastodons. Oh wait, that was your cartoon drawing. Heheh. I am referring to the changes that a culture or a socio-political group must embrace with the goal of advancing or improving their lot, rather than allowing changes to deplete a nation's identity or soul. That is what is happening to to the Philippines. It has gone from a developing nation to a third world country, almost banana republic. The Philippines used to have the highest literacy rate in Asia. Now it is the world's leading supplier of domestic workers and maids! The government seems content with the remittances. In the meantime, the country is turning into a haven for foreigners and expats who build communities and use cheap labor while not necessarily spreading the wealth. Most Filipinos do not identify themselves by the country as a whole but by their regions. Such mentality does not offer hope for a bright future as a nation. There are so many other factors I am leaving out but Filipinos who go abroad to immigrate and live in other countries tend to consider the Philippines always as home. They do not sever ties and THEY return home regularly, sometimes looking forward to retiring there.

Ces said...

Yes, I agree, until they wake up one day and realize what happened...and it's too late.

Ces said...

Oh wow Steve, that is fantastic. I have to tell you a secret - I love stopping over at Incheon. The Koreans at the airport are the most hospitable and reverent. It cannot be just for show. I am so happy to hear you are playing!!! Oh boy, I was a bit heavy on the ink this evening, must have been tired, fell asleep on the drawing. Arg! Trying to salvage it.

Ces said...

I want to say that my last statement is a positive for the country, just wanted to point out that most Filipinos are in tune with or aware of changes in their place of origin. Filipinos are actually born with cell phones for text messaging. The first People Power revolution was staged by Filipinos against the dictator Marcos. The people started massing and communication was spread through text messaging!!! I do not text message in the US, only to answer my children but I do text message back and forth to the Philippines. It is such a baffling phenomena to me but I have to do it rather than miss out.

Amalia K said...

I feel at peace just looking at the photos of your drawing... I can imagine how tranquil it is must be for you, drawing away every line. So glad you're finding some serenity, Ces. If we were neighbors, I'd lend a hand folding your laundry. (^_^) **hugs**

Ces said...

Ooooohhh I love ironing! Starching and pressing. I love a well pressed dress shirt. For a while I stopped sending my husband's shirst to the cleaners because I loved ironing them. I used to dance while ironing. Hahah!

Ces said...

Oooh that is so sexy. Come and do laundry with me. Some people used to beg to do laundry with me before. HAHAHAH! Just kidding. :)

Shirley said...

WOW...gorgeous, gorgeous work Ces...(I shouldn't call it work though, right?!) This looks to be pleasure and peace and it makes me happy. I love it! OH goodness gracious..I can't believe the chick story you told! And whodathunk that a little chick will bring such vivid memories back! I can't imagine how that must've felt, too, Ces. I am off to get my little chicks now, but know that I've been thinking of you. I will return! Tsup! And ha ha..I can see Amalia and you now, folding and folding and laughing and laughing. : )

Diana Evans said...

Dear Ces!!!!!!!!!! I had no idea that you love little piggies just like me!!!!!!!!!!! I love them!!!!!! The Artist one is so cute and I can't wait for you to get one!!!!!!

Karin Bartimole said...

This is a beautiful post Ces. I love your description of finding your clarity and peace via the process of creating your magnificent and honoring images. You've explained why making art is so powerful and healing on varied layers.
Thanks for coming by and for thinking of me. I haven't been doing so well, so am laying low for now. hopefully the tides will shift.
love to you, K

Ces said...

Must get one!!! Soon :)

Ces said...

Karin, you are in my prayers. I think that the amount of praying I have done this past year, Someone will know me personally by now. I am sending love to you when I close my eyes. Take care, dearest Karin. Tsup!!!

Ces said...

Thank you Rod.

Ces said...

Yes, I think doing laundry is a kind of fabulous activity :)

brandi said...

~that darn laundry calling you...stopping you from continuing on in such a beautiful way...your words are poetry to my ears...your lines...a glimpse of beauty that resides in your heart and mind...i can relate to your words written...when it just feels so right...comes so easy...for me it is camera at hand...to the moments of being swept away by our own vision...may you be blessed with many more moments like these...much love light and blessings~

Tammie Lee said...

I could only smile as i got toward the end of this post, reading of the oneness of your pen and hand, lines and paper. how beautiful~

illustration poetry said...

hello just me admiring your drawing and today is a beautiful day!

Andrew Finnie said...

Haah Ces, thank you. I have been working on my ripples all Summer. I think it shows. There is a problem with one of the peircings though (apparently the eye goes before the eee). I am glad you have decided to be callous, cynical and not so trusting. You know how rerfeshing that is? In a world full of goodness, charity and general all round good ole niceness it's wonderful to be batting for the other team, eh?

:)

I hope you are well. I see your soul is singing through your art.

I better turn on my hearing aid so I don't miss any of it.

see you from ear

martinealison said...

Hi ma très chère Ces !
I'm just coming back from Cebu. I'm very tired because i didn't sleep... My trip was well.
Your draw is very nice. I like your comments with it... I read it again... I like it...
It's pity we couldn't meet us in Manila.
Big kisses

Ces said...

I am sorry too. I was looking forward to it. Maybe we can meet in France!

susan bc said...

dear ces

this is a beautiful post - i think my favourite so far. another exquisite drawing as well...