Posted in Paintings in Progress

A True Paladin part 2


It’s time to set aside A True Paladin 2 and try it again on a fresh canvas. Artists have strategies to break habitual patterns that can bog painting down. A reversal of perspective is one. If we radically shift the view, shadow becomes light and all colors turn into their opposite complimentary hue directly across the color wheel. Image This helps move color and shape forward to the picture plane and gives a greater sense of immediacy. There is a rise in pitch and vibrancy that effects us on a physical level. Colors are interwoven into a pattern of dynamic color relationships that are in integral, sympathetic and interdependent accord.  It’s like the pentagram on Gawain’s shield.

Gawain, in accepting the Green Knight’s challenge is forced beyond Camelot’s cozy society into the wild forest to receive his due in the head trading contest. This pushes him beyond his comfort level and causes a reversal of perspective and a life transforming experience. It’s like art.

The poet says the pentagram  on Gawain’s shield is the symbol of Truth.  Solomon’s Seal expresses the truth of interdependence and is also an image of the artistic process. The passionate, sensitive Gawain is not only an artistic creation, but something of an artist himself. His story is true because expresses the hard-earned equilibrium of contrary states held in dynamic, harmonious accord  through the medium of poetry and song. Image

One of the 5 points of the pentagram is Charity. For me, this solidifies it’s status as Truth’s emblem, and it starts to look more like a Buddhist mandal.

Symbols are a different order of Truth. They start with the idea that all we behold symbolizes with it’s True form in the higher spheres where it has it’s complement and origin.

Those who deny that what we perceive has correspondences in the Divine Intellect have no use for symbols, and things and events of the natural world no longer express spiritual truth but remain objects of knowledge themselves.  Poetry has no meaning in such a world. Image

Literalist’s on both side of the  debate over God’s existence back their claims with empirical data, but never raise the discourse to the level of Shelly, a poet who despite his avowed atheism, shone light through the veil of appearances, revealing the hidden, Divine Presence behind the natural world.


The 19th Century Realist movement renounced  historical, mythic baggage, thinking prostitutes more real than Venus on a half shell and the shades wandering sidewalk Cafes held the key to Truth’s hallowed halls. True enough, in it’s way, but only provisionally.

Ultimate Truth takes no sides in the Symbolist/Realist debate, but inhabits a pure realm, beyond our isms and most cherished opinions.Image

Artists can only, like the Medieval Alchemist, use the base materials of paint and canvas to transmute the elements of color into Gold.  Not the fool’s gold of the literalist, but the true gold of Solomon the wise.


I am an artist, writer and sailor in the Pacific Northwest.

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