spirit world

down time by kelly heaton

Earlier this week, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left hip to repair an old injury that was becoming arthritic. This post is an evolving repository of and video loops that I’m creating during my downtime.

Electricity Maker by kelly heaton

 Electricity Maker, 2018. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 15" x 11"

Electricity Maker, 2018. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 15" x 11"

Yesterday, I had a great visit to the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. They have a wonderful collection of 20th century paintings in which the artists try to express energies that are *almost* visible. Of course, I saw electricity everywhere! Especially Charles Burchfield and Vincent Van Gogh were operating on the boundary of what can be seen with the physical eyes and what can be sensed with the "third eye" of perception. I also enjoyed their "After Paul Klee" exhibit, especially artists working with ancient symbols and petroglyphs to find new languages to describe psychological, cultural, and perceptual realties that do not convey with representational painting.

Here, I have pushed the language of electronics (elements of a circuit) to adopt the tribal, ritual form of an "electricity maker." The surrounding landscape is vibrating with natural and unnatural energy. 

Kokopelli by kelly heaton

 Kokopelli, 2018. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 15" x 11"

Kokopelli, 2018. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 15" x 11"

I have a mysterious relationship with the spirit Kokopelli. Six years ago, I had a series of dreams in which I saw his iconic figure: a hunchbacked spirit playing the flute and tumbling around in somersaults. I also observed that he had rays of energy coming out of his back and head, sort of like a hedgehog or an armadillo reflecting sunlight. I didn't have any waking history with Kokopelli, so it was strange to "meet" him in a dream. From time to time, he pops up when I'm not expecting him -- this time, adopting the form of a circuit in the desert. This painting depicts two astable multivibrators and a 555 timer that are daisy-chained to generate sound through a piezo disk. Initially, I didn't have an overall form in mind for the circuit. I drew it organically, staying faithful to the electrical connections, because I enjoy the nerdy brain-teaser and the process of discovering shapes in artistic circuitry. Anyway, Kokopelli appeared ... and of course he did! Kokopelli is an electrical being who plays music, similar to my other sound-generating circuits. He also heralds the beginning of Spring, so maybe winter in Virginia is nearly over. What a sign of good luck all ways around.

Kundalini, 2018 by kelly heaton

 Kundalini, 2018 (detail). Watercolor, acrylic, and analog electronics on paper. 15" x 11" x 3"

Kundalini, 2018 (detail). Watercolor, acrylic, and analog electronics on paper. 15" x 11" x 3"

The Nagual by kelly heaton

 The Nagual, 2018. Watercolor sketch on paper

The Nagual, 2018. Watercolor sketch on paper

I've recently read seven of Carlos Castenada's books (about to start book eight). They're packed full of content for artists, especially Don Juan's concept of "seeing" and the nagual (as contrasted with the tonal). This image makes me think of Don Genaro and the miraculous dreaming stunts that he performed to try to awaken thick-headed Carlos. Genaro was a live wire to be sure.