About this project
For the last few years my art has been developing around a concept I call “Moments of Insight”. This project is designed to fully explore the concept and publish the results. The Kickstarter format allows me to share the work and catalog in exchange for your support. As a result I’ll be able to fully explore the concepts involved with insight and time, finish the series, reach some conclusions and find an audience for the finished works.
Moments of Insight can involve layers of information, the integration of extremely diverse ideas and the culmination of a vast scope of information becoming one perspective. We are continuously receiving new information, continuously adjusting our perspectives and creating a new worldview. These works are about the moment of insight that precedes our formed opinions.
To the right you'll see some generous rewards I'm offering as part of this project in exchange for your support. This may be the best value I’ll ever be able to provide for my work. If I offered work for less than this I could probably make more money-shucking oysters by the sea. I’d rather paint so I’m grateful for your help. You can see some great examples of the insight series on my website; www.chaucersilverson.com.
All pledges have access to project updates. You can always inquire about another reward that may come to mind after you see some of my work. Remember, you can contact me with questions about the rewards and I am very grateful for every pledge. There are 7 levels.
I’ll be posting updates through the project to inform supporters about progress in my work as well as responding to questions and comments. So please send me your inquiries.
Thank you for considering this project. Your pledge will allow me to fully explore and publish the concepts in the Insight Series and insure that the work finds an audience. I’m looking forward to the task.
I’m planning to complete the project between 6 - 8 months. This includes painting, writing about the work, documenting everything and publishing the catalog.
The primary media for the Insight Series is acrylic paint on canvas. My process begins with studies in watercolor and includes acrylic on panel before getting to the canvas pieces.
How do you represent a Moment of Insight in a painting?
At some point your mind is like a blank slate. When you’re born. When you wake up. When you’re speechless. When you can’t find something. When you don’t know something. This is a place the mind begins and returns to. It’s a natural cycle.
It’s a simple thing to receive and create thoughts through conversations. This can also be accomplished with art. Art can function as a way to clear the mind and open the way for realization and in turn a moment of insight. I think of this process as creating space in the mind that will get filled again naturally with your own content. In this way the viewers own consciousness becomes the basis for this work. It’s like a mirror for the art.
An Enso is a Japanese word meaning “circle”. It is one of the most common brush strokes in Japanese calligraphy. It is used to teach beginning brushwork to students as well as by the most revered minds in many practices. The circle is a symbol, not a Japanese character.
There are many interpretations and descriptions for these circles. They are, a popular motif in Zen art, typically painted with a brush with black ink on white rice paper, silk, scrolls or other material and represent the entire universe in a single, perfect stroke. Each circle is a representation of a moment in the universe captured in a brush stroke. It symbolizes enlightenment to that end.
In certain practices there is elaborate preparation required for painting Ensos. This may take the form of warm up stretches, yoga, or meditation. They are created as an expression in a moment when a well-prepared mind is free to create. Once the circle is drawn it is finished. There are no revisions.
Much has been written about this process and these circles. Great importance is given to Ensos created by Zen Masters, philosophers, leaders and even modern abstract expressionists. Great consideration and reverence is given to the balance of a signature, chop stamps, and writing that may accompany circles on a page.
Zen Buddhists believe that the character of the artist is fully exposed in how she or he draws an ensō and that only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true ensō. Some artists practice drawing ensōs regularly as a kind of spiritual practice. Taoists see the circle as a symbol of balance. Interior decorators see them as a fung shui energetic attunement for built environments.
With all that has been written about the circle, the Enso, or the Zen circle, my intention is for a reflection of the insight of the viewer, a representation of the cosmos, enlightenment, a symbol of change, the nature of the universe, a way to see for yourself.
At any rate, I believe the true interpretation and meaning resides with the viewer.
I enjoy making these circles, participating with their history, and finding contemporary uses for them. I hope you enjoy them too.
This is a work on paper, approximately 8 x 10, on archival paper, and is unframed. These pieces easily fit into many pre made frame sizes.
This catalog will contain a history of the insight series. Beginning with the past few years and the inception of the concepts it will contain images of the art produced, descriptions of the intention, process and materials used in the works and will most likely include written material by others including artists, collectors and critics. An example of the subject matter would be a philosophical placement of the artist, the art and the audience in relation to the role of art in culture. A catalog helps authenticate work and create value for a collection. This catalog promises to explore the insight series to a far greater degree than typically exists in an art collection or that comes with an art acquisition.
The reward for the $125 pledge is a limited edition print that will be made during the process of the series. It represents the exploration of the concepts in the insight series in another medium to fully explore possibilities in the process-oriented medium of printmaking. It promises to be an interesting portion of the project and discussed in the catalog.
The watercolor rewards for the $250 and $500 pledge levels are produced on 12 x 14 inch and 22 x 30 inch watercolor paper respectively. These are more than studies and will represent finished pieces that will look best framed behind a museum or conservation glass. These paintings rely on a watercolor technique called glazing to layer and overlap colors to create a sense of atmosphere in a work.
The paintings on canvas are the fully developed concept. They have the most immediate presentation. Without glass there is nothing between the art and the viewer. These works represent the most direct application of the insight series because of this. There are more examples of these works on my website. http://www.chaucersilverson.com
For this project a commissioned work is an opportunity to express some intention into a painting through discussion and exchange of ideas. This promises to be an adventure into the process and a participation in the outcome for a piece of art. There could be a wide range of proposals to integrate into a work either from the artist or the supporter.
I nearly always begin these pieces with a place. So they are landscapes. A sketch of a landscape becomes a watercolor painting with some flexibility in possibility in terms of color, composition, intention and of course interpretation. The next step is to work the concept up into a composition for a painting on canvas. This process may include projects that only get written up for the future because of their scope or expense. The paintings that are competed are growing in size but so far have not exceeded 60 inches. The concepts for this work resides in the conceptual realms of myself as the artist and the audience for their various interpretations. A greater exploration of this question will be published in the catalog.
The essence of the series is this; Moments of Insight can involve layers of information, the integration of extremely diverse ideas and the culmination of a vast scope of information becoming one perspective. We are continuously receiving new information, continuously adjusting our perspectives and creating a new worldview. These works are about the moment of insight that precedes our formed opinions.
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