These are my earliest drawings, circa 2009. Many of them are drawn in black and white, photographed and coloured on my computer.
Above left we have dream time: the baby, fetus-seed floats in a bio-sack bubble between everything and nothing. On the cusp of all-possibility are we. Its name alludes to the stillness when one has mastered thought, feeling and emotion. An elder Polynesian taught me, as his grandmother taught him,”thought without judgement, feeling without intent, and emotion without charge”, those were the keys to accessing the dream time (I correlate this state to what the Sanskrit speakers call, “sat-cit-ananda”).
On the right, triangle: upward pointing triangle filled with an amorphous, chaotic, mix and mess of lines. No thought, just dashes and gashes. This represents the active principle of the universe in the most abstract sense. The Daoists call this Yang. It represents itself in our material world as the masculine energy. It is force compared to the form provided by the receptive-feminine-yin. It can be seen as heat compared to cold, light compared to dark, dry compared to wet. There are countless oppositions. Manifestation happens through opposition. As we live we are always in motion between the poles of expansion and contraction, birth, growth, death and decay. This upward triangle is the most abstract form of the masculine, it is consciousness without awareness.
Bottom left we have the four elements, centre the dream of the universe, and right the eight trigrams.
The dream of the universe is this: as light is given boundary by space, conscious awareness emerges and life develops. In the bottom right we have the dreamer. We see her hair, forehead, eye and nose. Emerging from the centre of her forehead are three diamond shaped patterns. In the centre diamond there is a circle of negative space. This small point of black is defined by seven directional lines framing it. She dreams of galaxies, and in these stars dust we see a humanoid form. Almost standing on her head is a figure (two legs, torso and head), and by his head a little white spiral – a seed. Following the pillar of light from our humanoid’s head we see a similar looking figure reaching out to touch a point of light. It would be helpful to turn the image 180 degrees as this image is to be read in several directions. We see their head and outstretched hand reaching for the white circle which has many rays extending from it. Notice how the human figures are mostly black (space) whose boundary is defined by a white ribbon. Here we have completely flipped the script as we see that space is now contained by light. We can understand that it is a reciprocal relationship. A dance between yin and yang is tai chi. We exist in motion. We exist in cycles of change. If you follow the drawing left we see the point of light now isolated in space. There is a black cloud around the single white point. Through the intelligence in this relationship galaxies develop and life ensues. This is an abstract, as it must be, explanation of the spiritual domain.
The four elements introduce more comprehensible concepts for us to think about. We continue to have the archetypal feminine (represented as water and blue) and masculine (represented as fire and red), but they exist in relationship to green and yellow. Yellow represents the element of air and the mind. Green represents the element of earth and matter. These are the material and mental spheres that we operate within. We know them more concretely the spiritual domain. Through the stability of the four elements working together life can be sustained on planet earth and the consciousness refined. On this planet we may become aware of the process that we are participating in – we may understand the laws of nature, the truth may be realized, and peace may be attained. But I get ahead of myself, the four elements introduce mind and matter to the archetypal force and form. We may now observe the oppositions in nature.
The eight trigrams reveal the way duality begins to express in the world that we know. From the possibility of two outcomes (yin or yang) in one iteration, emerges a sequence of four outcomes: old yang, young yin, old yin, young yang when you have two iterations of either yin or yang. Beyond the sequence of four lies the sequence of eight (three iterations). This is what the Daoists call the trigrams. The trigrams are four pairs of opposites and they are earthly representations of the archetypal duality expressed by yin and yang. They are Heaven and Earth, Fire and Water, Thunder and Wind, Mountain and Lake. Each trigram has its own characteristics and like this, what was once binary becomes incredibly diverse. In the image I’ve crudely represented each trigram using line drawings.
Above left is elephant. The elephant is the chaos and coordination present on earth. Contained within a pyramid structure is an elephant and a caterpillar. Life develops naturally. It calls back to triangle with its colour and angular top, but the innards are the stuff of earthly life. Not as much of a chaotic mess as it used to seem.
Right is angel, it is a tuning fork for my higher nature. In this image I call upon the great unknown to fill me with inspiration, direction, and grace. Drawing angels is a regular practice for me and this was the first. It is an emotional anchor for me. It really calls to my best interests. Her left arm appears like a quarter note and she blows a trumpet.
Centre we have my given moniker, busa – the butterfly samurai. They are letters but they are also signs and symbols. The ‘b’ a flat sign from musical notation, the ‘u’ a micro sign and unit of measurement, the ‘s’ a treble clef again referring to music, and the ‘a’ for alpha -the beginning and first letter of the alphabet.
I draw in order to make my reality known. I express with the desperation of a caveman. Rather than aiming at technical mastery, I aim for effective communication. The idea stands more importantly than the image – it leads you to an emotional landscape. The art exists to make my inner-world-outter.
After the markers on matte paper (the above collection), I moved to markers on 8.5″x11″, and then markers on 18″x24″, and then markers on 14″x17″. From there I spent two years producing mainly collage art, but I also began to explore digital layout and design. I continued on to paint. And now I have even begun digital painting.
Above and below are six select pieces from the follow up series to markers on matte paper. During this period I began to draw on a much lighter paper, and incorporate colour into the drawing process. The images continued to receive colour and image modifications in post-production (some more heavily than others), but here initial colour treatments are done as I draw.
Above left is robotnik, a red and yellow robot figure struck by a green arrow. This is the arrow of cupid. A liberating love has now inspired the more base and primal instincts of this machine.
Centre we see monster and man, this is a throw back to the ideas I discovered in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Especially apparent in the moral rectitude required by the Victorian, I understood that there was a way people existed in public contrary to how they existed in private. There was an appearance of an outward figure, and the reality of the inward. I. this image is depicted the two sides of one figure – it is a mirror reflection. There is the outter appearance (man) and the inner reality (monster). This need not be interpreted as dark or bleak. I consider my inner ‘monster’ to be creative, wild, and rapturous, while my outter appearance is gentle, refined, and calm. They are not in conflict, it is just the way I choose to communicate my inner world.
And above right is life starts in the water. This piece speaks to the order which begins to emerge from chaos. In the dance of materialization forms begin to emerge from the formless. Here we see the development of pyramids and the colours of the rainbow. Life on Earth I believe to have begun in the water. This image calls to these early breeding grounds – when ideas are new, just taking shape. It is chaotic, but moving towards order, just as yang moves towards yin (and back again) in the eternal dance.
Bottom left we have the warrior swan. Sitting upon the waves, with the sun shining above, we have the elegant swan. This is a homage to the discipline and rigour of the samurai. Diligently following bushido (moral code for behaviour and lifestyle), the samurai achieved great virtue. I consider this way of the warrior to be a noble and worthy way to live ones life. Bottom centre we have birds. Birds is a tribute to friendships that uplift us. See the two birds with arrows bouncing between them as the red, yellows, and oranges push up into green. These are the encounters in life that make us want to be better. They are people who allow us to see the way forward. And bottom right we have the iconic starborn. It is here shown in the red-green-yellow palette, but it also exists in the teal-purple palette, and the original rainbow. This image is also called a merkaba, something which allows for heavenly flight. In it we see the upward and downward triangles merged into the six pointed star. It is the balanced masculine and feminine which allows for the birth of the mind body baby inside. It is star born. The harmony of opposites that this portrays is worth reflecting on.
And three more select pieces from the markers on 8.5″x11″ collection. Down left we have the Resplendent Glory of the Sun – I often try to express light through my art. To revere the light and the sun fills me with warmth, life, and creativity comfort. Abstraction is one way I worship. In the centre we have an odd one. Some friends of mine asked me to come up with some artwork to possibly accompany their album release. I drew up this image. They did not end up using it but it made it into my collection. It is also known as introspection. Notice how the eyes turn inward and look to the middle of the forehead. And right we have an emotional ladder to well being. I remember the day I drew this. I sat in the Slanted Door Cafe in the Annex in Toronto, CA. In my intuitive abstraction I create compulsively. You can notice circles and lines, and spirals and waves. I also see a ladder, a cross, people, and maze like patterns. It is a ladder to well being.
From here I was gifted a larger drawing pad which spawned the next collection in my art – markers on 18″x24″.