Tag Archives: locust

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

by The Revelation Painting on Monday, December 26, 2011 at 2:15am
Even though we are human and we have been alive for a long time as a species, we take that for granted.  Have you ever just sat and wondered exactly who you really are or where you came from?  I mean REALLY came from?  Like you, I never really thought about it until I began working on The Four Horsemen of The Revelation Painting.  It was the rider’s of those horses who showed me something I would have never seen otherwise.  As I read and tried desperately to “read between the lines” about the horses and their independent missions or meanings, I started to see that each horse represented an amount of time on this earth!  Evolution and change, social responsibility and unity were just a small part of it.

Then I found myself absorbed in the Locust of Scene IV which were described as first and foremost, “the face of a man”.  I became confused as I began to sketch this “face of a man”.  I thought: “What man, from what period of time, what race or all races?”  As you can see, it is not an easy task when you think about the simple sentence: “The face of a man.”  This is where Physical Anthropology becomes important.  This is where philosophy hits you on the head like being struck with a hammer!  You start to think: “Really, who am I and where DID I come from?”

I suppose this is were religion comes into our lives and we just accept the God made us.  We are supposed to believe in “blind faith” that it is a true and undisputable fact but I cannot.  I need to see and maybe that is what fuels an artist’s mind.  Artist are visual, imaginative, inquisitive and in my case, I have always had a “problem” seeing the big picture when it is made up from so many minute details…like our molecules and atoms.  We are not just people, we are more than that and if we all originated from Adam and Eve, why do we look so different?

Human evolution refers to the evolutionary history of the genus Homo, including the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species and as a unique category of hominids (“great apes”) and mammals. The study of human evolution uses many scientific disciplines, including physical anthropology, primatology, archaeology,linguistics and genetics. The evidence for human evolution is overwhelming. This includes thousands of fossils that have been uncovered. These fossils show the progressive straightening of the spine, the increase in brain volume, and change in facial features. Humans have also inherited their tail bone (which is a remnant of what was once a human tail) from earlier primate ancestors.

All animals have a tail at one point in their development; in humans, it is present for a period of 4 weeks, during stages 14 to 22 of human embryogenesis. We also have a remnant (though non-functional third eyelid (the Plica Semilunaris), which is thought to have been inherited from Calabar angwantibo primate species, and extra external ear muscles.  These ear muscles are used by animals to swivel and manipulate their ears (independently of their head) in order to focus their hearing on particular sounds. Humans still have the muscles that we would once have used for the very same reason – but our muscles are now so feeble that all they can do is give our ears a little wiggle.

DNA comparisons also show that we share approximately 98.8-99% of our DNA with our closest cousin, the chimpanzee (i.e., we only differ in 1-1.2% of our DNA). Evidence also includes ancestral DNA evidence (“Junk DNA”) that humans share with earlier ancestors. For example, Humans have structures in their genetic make-up that were once used to produce enzymes to process vitamin C (it is called L-gulonolactone oxidase). Most other animals have this functioning DNA but at some point in our history, a mutation disabled the gene – whilst leaving behind its remnants as junk DNA. This particular junk DNA indicates a common ancestry with other species on earth.

The plantaris muscle also serves as evidence of evolution. The plantaris muscle is used by animals in gripping and manipulating objects with their feet – something you see with apes who seem to be able to use their feet as well as their hands. Humans have this muscle as well, but it is now so underdeveloped that it is often taken out by doctors when they need tissue for reconstruction in other parts of the body. The muscle is so unimportant to the human body that 9% of humans are now born without it. Other evidence includes Jacobsons’s organ. Jacobson’s organ is a part of animal anatomy and it tells us a lot about our own sexual history. The organ is in the nose and it is a special “smell” organ which detects pheromones (the chemical that triggers sexual desire, alarm, or information about food trails).

It is this organ that allows some animals to track others for sex and to know of potential dangers. Humans are born with the Jacobson’s organ, but in early development its abilities dwindle to a point that it is useless. In some cases, structures once identified as vestigal simply had an unrecognized function. Wisdom teeth are also derived of evolutionary origin. Early humans ate a lot of plants – and they needed to eat them quickly enough that they could eat a sufficient amount in one day to get all of the nutrients they needed. For this reason, we had an extra set of molars to make the larger mouth more productive. This was particularly essential as the body lacked the ability to sufficiently digest cellulose. As evolution made its selections, our diets changed, our jaws grew appropriately smaller, and our third molars became unnecessary.

The term “human” in the context of human evolution refers to the genus Homo, but studies of human evolution usually include other hominids, such as the Australopithecines, from which the genus Homo diverged by about 2.3 to 2.4 million years ago in Africa.  Scientists have estimated that humans branched off from their common ancestor with chimpanzees about 5–7 million years ago. Several species and subspecies of Homoevolved and are now extinct, introgressed or extant. Examples include Homo erectus (which inhabited Asia, Africa, and Europe) and Neanderthals(either Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) (which inhabited Europe and Asia). Archaic Homo sapiens, the forerunner ofanatomically modern humans, evolved between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago.

One view among scientists concerning the origin of anatomically modern humans is the hypothesis known as “Out of Africa”, recent African origin of modern humans, or recent African origin hypothesis, which argues that Homo sapiens arose in Africa and migrated out of the continent around 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, replacing populations of Homo erectus in Asia and Neanderthals in Europe. An alternative multiregional hypothesis posits that Homo sapiens evolved as geographically separate but interbreeding populations stemming from the worldwide migration ofHomo erectus out of Africa nearly 2.5 million years ago. Evidence suggests that several haplotypes of Neanderthal origin are present among all non-African populations, and Neanderthals and other hominids, such as Denisova hominin may have contributed up to 6% of their genome to present-day humans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

So now, ask yourself this:  “If science has developed a way to SEE the connections we have with other species, and are able to trace our origins back to a certain time, does that mean that Adam and Eve were “Great Apes” and if so and God created man in his own image, does that mean that the Great Apes that we humans are forcing to extinction are indeed ourselves killing the closest thing we know to God himself?  Are we killing ourselves, are we forcing ourselves into distinction?”  It seems as though if we wanted to believe these theories (which are substantiated by the proof of science and not writings in a book; the Bible), regardless of the argument, that we would hold LIFE itself very precious to our survival whether it be a man, an ape, or a plant because ultimately we don’t know for sure.

A fool destroys himself and you never bite the hand that feeds you.  Imagine…everyone has not always “looked” like Hollywood.  Everyone has not always looked as we look today.  There are ancient skulls which measure completely different measurements that do not match our measurements in today’s time in any way.  Ask yourself who were those people?  We were given the responsibility of this world from them, they believed that we would care for it yet we are destroying the very fibers of our beings.  It is important to think and understand “us” as humanity, “us” as the gatekeepers, “us” as the master’s of our and other species.  The decisions we make today affect the world today, not tomorrow, today.  We are in charge and we are failing our world.

I realize some people will not like to read this, some will argue the validity, some will call me a “nut” but the bottom line is this:  It is not about what you have in your hand when you leave this earth, it is about what you have in your heart and what you leave behind in the hearts of others.  We are not in this world for ourself, we are in this world for one another and simple common sense can and will tell you (if you can hear it beyond the tip of your own nose) that the diamonds on your fingers, the mansion on the hill, the gangsta pistol, Air Jordans, not even the BMW in the driveway means anything to anyone but YOU. Imagine a world where EVERYONE you meet says Hello and smiles.  Imagine a world where we don’t have to dream nightmares wondering if the New World Order is real or not or if we will wake up to World War III.  Imagine not having to work so desperately hard just to make ends meet.

If we as individuals, each one of us changed to the way we wanted the world to be, it would be that kind of world because believe it or not WE ARE IN CONTROL and we have been all along.  A new year is here, a new life is here starting today.  Imagine this:  Have you ever thought, “I wish I could go back in time and start over but know what I know now”?  TODAY YOU ARE ALIVE, TODAY YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, TODAY YOU ARE WAKING UP KNOWING NOW WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW THEN…TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE…LITERALLY.  WELCOME TO YOUR WORLD, MAKE IT THE WORLD YOU WANT IT TO BE.  EVERYDAY POST A GOAL ON YOUR PAGE AND EVERYDAY WRITE ABOUT HOW YOU ARE WORKING TO MAKE YOUR DREAMS FOR A BETTER WORLD A REALITY.

TODAY IS THE DAY YOU ANSWER THIS SIMPLE QUESTION:  “WHO AM I?”

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The Journal of Dreams 01/19/2010

Worked a little on the pale horse and provided him with a coat of translucent green; a green wash-according to the Aramaic bible and the original translation from Jesus’ language.  I was going to paint a skeleton rider since the his name is death but quickly found he need more research and pre-sketching.  I put that section up for now.

I went back to the sky and highlighted it to match a little better in its transition from light to dark.  I began work on the Locust over six years ago.  It is difficult to work on them by hanging the canvas on the wall, I have to stand on a step stool and the detail of their faces is hard to focus on when your feet are not well grounded.  I will have to take it down for that work.

Thinking about what was originally named The Woman and the Beast which is actually Babylon, I decided to rename that scene to Babylon.  I had not thought much about this scene, had not really sketched it or measured it.  I have decided to use a form of art I used to use quite often for the making of Babylon.  I will have to work out some kinks.

I used to paint murals on the walls in apartments I lived in.  I spent a lot of time and money on those really beautiful works of art, then I would move and leave them behind.  The last few I painted took up the entire largest wall in the living rooms.  I had mastered them so that it had the illusion that you could walk into it.  Most were cities-big sparkling cities.

The windows were made from rhinestone which sparkled day and night.  They really added a lot to just sitting in the room.  I had found myself in the middle of watching television, starring into the city instead.  The most attractive rhinestone were the rich, dark colors of Emerald, Red, and the rich, dark golds.  Sometimes the corners of the rooms would transition to forest and work around the room.

Once the forest were done, I would place real trees in big, colorful pots in strategic places to make you feel as though you were sitting in a rainforest looking at the city in the distance.  That kind of art is good for the soul and leaves the imagination free.  If I had every gotten settled, I planned to have Macaws for my forest.  I fancied the Green Wing and Hyacinth.

That is the one thing about art.  If you dream it, you can create it.  I dreamt of a fantasy place that does not exist (as far as I know), and I created it as I envisioned it.  Art is wonderful for just that purpose.  Once I lived where the steps going upstairs were suspended on poles and through the steps I painted a huge, colorful, cartoon snake with big, playful eyes…he was great.

There are 3 murals on the walls of a critical care unit that I painted with nature sounds piped in.  That is a nice effect!  I painted them 7-8 years ago and now and then I call to see if they are still there.  It would be interesting to see how many people felt that those murals inspired their health and wellness in any way.  I once wanted to travel all over painting “healing” murals.  Maybe someday…

The Journal of Dreams 01/15/2010

I worked all night on the sky and Martin Luther on the horse.  At the art supply store, the best thing I found was YES paste.  It has a thickness, is archival and does not yellow after time which does not make a significance difference in the painting because I mixed it with liquid acrylics to create a relatively stable color.

The blow dryer ran for hours last night as I worked feverishly to surprise the Police Officer next door.  It was he who suggested the sky be done in that way.  I told him that I had considered doing it in that technique but when he said to consider it, it sealed the plan.  He will be surprised the next time I call him over to see the painting.

Using a plastic spoon, I scooped out 3 heaping teaspoons in a metal mixing cup then added an estimated 2 tablespoons of liquid acrylic color.  Mixing it in my hand, I found the warmth of my hand against the metal cup allowed the YES paint to soften to a little thicker consistency than honey, then let it stiffen at room temperature.

I applied “globs” and “globs” to the painting then when through them with the brush to create trails swirling around.  It was more difficult than I imagined.  It is not easy to swirl designs and make them look light and airy.  I let the sky travel on to Martin Luther’s cheek and face to make him become one with the sky, as he is now.

After drying the paste and paint to a solid enough surface to lightly brush, I initially and very lightly brushed pastel colors over the ridges of texture.  The effect was unacceptable as it is too small of an area (believe it or not) to go from light to the dark of the accompanying Locust on the right side, so I darkened the sky.

Using bold colors mimicking the backdrop of the television show Who’s Line Is It Anyway, made from bold, bright colors I dried them and highlighted the sky in white for uniformity.  The bold color showed modestly in the deep texture and the white is on the protruding texture followed by Interference Blue to blend in the Locust.

I wrote backwards above Martin Luther’s head:  PROFOUND INSPIRATION which will only be visible via X-ray, and maybe not even then since this section of the painting is on a custom, wood (Birch) canvas.  It was my thank you to him for his sacrifice to make the world better for all of us, a private message…

When I went to Michael’s, I custom ordered the last 5 gallery wrap canvases needed for the painting.  I have 4 wooden canvases coming and that will be finally, after 12 years, the entire 30 canvases I need to complete the painting.  The gallery wraps are around $110.00 a piece and they were on sale…what a lucky find!

Actually I needed one extra canvas because I used one years ago painting gigantic red blood cells.  That canvas will be used in the painting and painted over.  Just know that the blood of life is pulsating under this painting as blood pulsates under our skin keeping us alive.  A beautiful thought, a beautiful vision!

The Journal of Dreams 01/05/2010

Oh man…I got up at 5pm, drank 4 cups of coffee, watched it turn into night within 30 minutes of getting up, laid on the couch looking at that damned black horse.  I turned over and went back to sleep until 8pm, forced myself to get up and stay up.  My eyes remained blurry and felt like paper cuts were in them, I made more coffee.  Google images is the most excellent source for research.  After searching black horses, red horses, white horses, painted horses, sketched horses, reared horses, horse’s heads and just about any aspect of a horse there is, I began painting over the black horse again.

It took about an hour to thinning cover him with white once more.  I believe that canvas is going to be double its original weight!  I have used 3-4 ounce bottles of white paint covering and recovering the 30 or so legs and maybe 12 heads and partial bodies…amazing.  This time I covered him completely.  Tonight I will paint the horse-period….to be continued…

It is 5am and the black horse’s base is done and he looks majestic!  How it began was as usual, the brush tightly in my hand, afraid to be free but then I realized:  If I make a mistake, I will just paint over it, it is not so hard…lolol.  So here I am standing there, tired beyond tired looking at the massive space I have to paint him in.  I start with the brush low, in my left hand (I am left-handed), at about the level of my ribs.  I hold it with 2 fingers instead of my entire hand and let go!  I let the brush go where it wanted to in a soft, flowing way up the hind quarter, to the rear, across the back and into the shoulder as far up as I could reach.

Standing there wobbling on my tiptoes, I let the brush drop and paint splashed all over.  I stood back and looked at the frame of the black horse and was finally pleased.  I cleaned up the mess and got on the step stool using the same technique for the head and neck.  The head was not right, so I did it again, and again and again.  I wanted the horse’s head down in a loyal, powerful pose.  I had tried it up but he was too close to the locust ascending from the bottomless pit, they were eye to eye.  I left the head off and took the canvases down to work on the detail of the body; thousands and thousands of swirls and texture highlighted in metallic blue.