The Cloud Gallery - Tony Schaefer

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Drawing My Circle. Colour, Sound and Spirit.

In the midst of my art studies, which is strange enough, having started when I was 17 at East Sydney Technical College, I find myself pondering the life and artwork of artists that inspire me; Klee, Kandinsky, De Maistre, Rothko and Af Klint. Our connection is Spirituality. Our desire to express a reality beyond time and space, yet to what end? There are, of course many "spiritual" principles that we can all get behind and agree with; Oneness, God is Love, Peace, Kindness, which are all well and good. Yet A Course In Miracles offers us something with a little more depth, absolutely no compromise, like this line from Lesson 132 of the Workbook.

"There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach. Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can let himself be led along the road to truth. He will return and go still farther, or perhaps step back a while and then return again." Lesson 132

Return again...can you feel that? When you find yourself in a quite moment alone "...return again?" Oh, God I get tied just thinking about it. But wait a sec. I think I buried the lead..."There is no world!" Sit with THAT for moment. If there isn't a world, then I am fully compliant and responding and reacting to something that isn't even there. For me personally this statement completely "cleans my clock". There is nothing to dig into, nothing to say, no come back, nothing I can defend. But how can I participate with everything that seems to be going on, if it's not there? Well, you can't. The simplest thing to do is accept it. This would be the necessity for Transformation.

I study art and make art, yet in the deepest sense, it is only possible to do that...Now...Here. I don't have "a career as an artist", sure I seem to take on the appearance of a "this" or a "that" yet that is only so I can be used to correspond with you. So that I can say, "I've drawn my circle" and you will too. I use colour, sound and Spirit as a means to an end. I write these words, like drawing a picture, to show you that you ARE different and that you are NOT alone.

Kandinsky offered that the artist had a responsibility to the community, to create a "spiritual Atmosphere", but first you have to have "something to say". I see a lot of very bad art (I call it noise) and you might argue that, "isn't art subjective?" to a point yes. I'm OK with someone trying to paint or draw badly, but what is more disappointing is popular or famous artists, "not saying anything".

What you are, who you are, is beyond any vision I can show you in an artwork, but each artwork expresses everything I want to offer. Do I fail? Sure! Will I continue to create artwork? As long as I have something to say. I have no need to make pretty pictures and be loved and sold around the world. My need is to communicate the wholeness of my own Spiritual transformation, so I can remember that my circle has not only been drawn but it contains everything I could ever need.

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