Journal

St Nic

No, not that one. The other one. And here is what she said recently:

“I think you have acting – or your art, whatever that is – in your blood the minute you’re born. I don’t know how it gets there, where it comes from or why it’s there, but if you have the opportunity to discover it and explore it, you are are very, very grateful.’
Nicole Kidman (quoted promoting her film “Fur”)

I can actually think of no better definition of what RedBubble is about. “Your art” for me comes closest to what this wonderful, exciting, evolving thing is all about:

- your art to share
- your art to sell
- your art to buy
- your art to develop
- your art to be

Have a very Merry Christmas.

In the Moment

A number of people have asked for my take on “In the Moment”. Firstly, I am much more interested in seeing how others interpret this expression than in trying to propagate my own evolving view about it. Anything I say is but one view and I expect the final publication to be a kaleidoscope of many visions.…

This said, I came to the idea of “In the Moment” in the practice of yoga and later meditation. In these contexts it relates to being completely at one with the instant in which you are living. As a way of being, beyond the narrow confines of yoga or meditative practice, it is about absorption in the present, with the shadows of your history left behind and the worries of the future transcended. We all experience this feeling at times (e.g. when our car is skidding across an icy road or,

New Foal

Firstly, I am back from my meditation retreat. Got back just on a week ago and have been a bit inundated. RedBubble is wonderful but it can be very needy!

Outside of that, last night we had a new foal born on my farm at Three Springs. He, and his mum, were in no mood to be photographed and I was not about to disturb him for the sake of art – so this is what you get in all his newness and wonder:

There is something so wonderful and grounding about new life of any form and a new foal is particularly special because they are so complete (walking within seconds).

I will write a little bit later about some of the isights from a week of meditation. Perhaps the most important one is that it simply gives context. All we do and say and are is ephemeral and that is OK.

Pilgrim on Pilgrimage

Actually going on a meditation retreat by the coast for 8 days (back 9 November). Will be eating vegan, being completely quiet and will hopefullly come back more in tune, rested and aware. So no responses to bubblemails during this time. If you need something contact the Bub directly at earswideopen@redbubble.com

Evolution of Art

One aspect of RedBubble that has got little attention is where it fits in the development of art. Firstly a caveat, I probably only know just enough to be wrong.…

Ploughing on regardless, I believe RedBubble is part of a revolution in the artistic market. It is about the rediscovery that art can be embedded in the fabric of society rather than spread on top like a thin veneer of Vegemite. Since the Renaissance, art has been what a tiny elite produced and sold at vast prices to another tiny elite. The art world was open only to the wealth few and a cabal of elevated artists.

I have been lucky in my life and have some of this art on my walls. I know it is art because somebody has told me it is and because it cost a smallish fortune. It bloody well better be art or I want my money back.

But t

The Chasers War ...

I could be deleting spammers from RedBubble but I am off to watch the Chaser boys. The spammers will just have to look after themselves for a while. See you later …

9/11

It is the searing cleft of our times. There is before September 11 and after. We all know where we were when we heard. We all remember the unbelievable sense of personal loss we felt. We all felt that we could easily have been in those towers or on those planes.…

I was in San Francisco. We felt we had experienced a great tragedy of evaporated fortunes with the end of the dotcom boom 6 months earlier. We all felt that this was somehow momemtous. Our crowns had been stolen from us. I woke that morning (was it a Tuesday?) and heard the unfolding tragedy on the radio. I turned on the TV. I saw the towers come down and I gained a little perspective.

The screeching metal, that terrible dust and smoke cloud, the falling bodies – enveloped my senses. I shed tears but they seemed so futile and inad

Rain at Three Springs

7am and it is raining at Three Springs. Our first spring rain and needed and welcomed.

To live in the moment is to live. To feel the joy of this rain. I know I will die but for this moment I am alive. I truly live when I am without fear of death or futile desire to transcend it. Each moment is precious. Each moment passes.

It was good to start the day with meditation. What a luxury.

Deal or No Deal

OK, lets get really weird. Maris spouse of RedBubble’s co-founder, Paul was on “Deal or No Deal” on Australian television tonight. One has to ask what on earth she was doing there rather than on RedBubble. But … and a big but it is … she won $30,000. I mean 30 thousand dollars! She said she was going to spend it on a holiday to Las Vegas but she really should be spending it all on art here at RedBubble. Send her a pleading bubblemail.

New Competition/Magazine

We are in the very early stages of organising the launch of a Redbubble Magazine which will also be foundation for a competition. The magazine will be a combination of poetry, short stories and images (digital art, illustration etc).…

We are thinking everybody who is published will get a copy of the magazine plus $100 RedBubble voucher.

We are also thinking about two main prizes.
- For the writing side we are inclining towards a first edition (unsigned) Sylvia Plath book of poetry we have access to. (Could also get a signed early Auden if that is more appealing).
- We are not sure what the image people might like. The first edition of the magazine will be mainly for the digital artists and traditional artists (not photographers who have had their go). Question is what would you like? We cou

In the Year I was Born

In the year I was born, the war was fresh
Fresh as a fifteen year old, and just as forgetful
Sometimes I see how civilized we have become
Iraq and Gaza are an other’s violence, not understood
I cannot imagine my brother or children, or me
Warring, filled with anger and terror
But, in the year I was born Europe was fresh with guilt
Stalingrad ruined, with the bodies piled upon piles
Not to mention Belsen or French collaborators
Or American marines, carpet bombing and all the rest
Yes, we can hate just as much as any others
They are no less civilized than we
And we no more distant from hell

100 Word Story #3

The dog, a canario fighting dog, ripped into her throat. She died on her doorstep. Not the way an apartment dweller expects to meet her end. This being San Francisco she was a lesbian. The dog was owned by her neighbours. Being California, they were lawyers – committed to social justice causes.

The dog, and here it got weird, was owned by Cornfed, an inmate of San Quentin. The lawyers had adopted Cornfed. Political conversations between Cornfed, an Ayran zealot, and the liberal lawyers must have been strained. Rumours of photos of the dog and the lawyers were not substantiated.


see the whole true story here

Morality

I am sure that I am a moral person – at least I think I am <br> I cannot help but wonder though <br> Would I steal if I was hungry, or if all but I seemed rich? <br> Would I have stood apart in Germany while Hitler rose to power? <br> Or been an icon of virtue if advancing with the Red Army? <br> Am I sure I would have protested when white Australians took this country? <br> Could I have been (like Jefferson) an owner of slaves? <br> Would terror come easily to me if my nation were occupied? <br> <br>…

Can I be truly sure of my morality? <br> Is it mine at all or simply that of those around me (for which I thank them)<br> And a product of my own good fortune ?<br> And, perhaps this is a step too far, <br> Did Christ die not only for my actual sins <br> But for the ones I may have committe

RedBubble Pugalier Fan Club

Now that RB is so HUGE we have enough members to start the RB pugalier fan club. So here’s to
- Me wih Errol and Flynn

Barbie with her gorgeous friend

And the third member is our own Justin and his charge Gus

Some may think it is a bit weird that RB already has at least three pugalier carers (they do need a lot of care as they are afraid of a lot of things). I think it just goes to show how creative pugalier owners are.

Happiness?

Riding my bike today (through the gorgeous Dandenong ranges) I was pondering about an invitation I had received to a “Happiness Seminar” in Sydney. The Dalai Lama headed the list of luminaries.…

The axiomatic starting point for the Seminar was that “our purpose on earth is to be happy”. Riding a bike in the Dandenongs, or writing on RedBubble or eating a fine meal this postulation seems very real. But …

If this truly is our purpose it must be all of our purposes. Can I honestly believe that the purpose of a starving child in Africa is to be happy? For the millions sacrificed in World War Two was their purpose to be happy? And what about the injured or mentally depressed? Have all these people failed somehow in their purpose because they are not happy.

Maybe I need to go to the Seminar, but

A New Prayer

The last week, since my return from the US, has been intense. There is a complex legal negotiation, there are three children, there is simple overflow of RedBubble work and there is Three Springs deserving attention.…

I am conscious that there are stories on RedBubble I would like to add to. There is art I want to see. There is a community here I want to enjoy. There is just so little time.

In the jet-lag hazy of the morning, I find just enough time to meditate. And here, in this most pressing of times, I find a new mantra “my Lord teach me to meditate”. This is a prayer of humility where I understand that the ultimate prayer is the divine in me meeting the ultimate Divinity.

The old monk says to the young man: “The difference between you and I is that I know that I am godlike, you have ye

Einstein and Night Flying

I am back after a week in LA and the Bay area (San Francisco and surrounds). I had many adventures and met lots of interesting people – many of whom may be able to help RedBubble. Left Xavier at the Web 2.0 conference talking about stuff ……

And on the flight home read an interesting article about Einstein and his attitude to God. In essence (and I hope I don’t insult with my summary), Einstein came to believe that the very order and rationality of the universe pointed to something transcendent. This is a view I deeply share. Einstein also felt that when we lose our sense of wonder and awe at the creation we are no longer truly seeing it. Again I share this.

As that strange, dark plane flew across the Pacific and as I read about one of the greatest thinkers of all time, it also dawned upon

Pilgrim in LA

Here I am in LA, taking the children to Disneyland before proceeding to the Bay Area for some business and some family matters. I should really be just goofing off having got off a 14-hour flight with three children. But they are now in bed and I couldn’t resist having a look at RB.

I don’t think I will do anything creative such as continue the story of Prince Ratus and the others, as I don’t think I could do Tom justice but will have a shot at it tomorrow (no doubt inspired by the many horrors of Disneyland!).

Illustrated Sci-Fi Stories

Tom has kicked off a few illustrated multi-threaded Sci-Fi stories. Feel free to browse or add if you have the passion.

Here you will find the terrifying tale of the voyage of the trawler Schnarly through the bowels of a Lava Gobbler. Or at least that is where they currently are.

Here you can take a front row seat (or step up on to the stage) in the battle between a Clawber and Tyrone

Here you will find the story of the Clakkerpods and their awakening in the wasteland of Zargor

And finally here you can witness an somewhat Easter inspired tale of new justice (perhaps).

Of Technology and Simplicity

I have an ambivalent attitude to technology. It has played a pivotal role in my life but I hate the disposable nature of it. Throwing out mobile phones and “old” computers is distressing to me. I like old things that last and have been built with passion: saddles, old couches, knitted jumpers, wind-up watches, old tools. I am comforted by these simple and enduring things.…

The ambivalence has been turning in my head for years, getting increasingly tense in the last few months as RedBubble has shown how technology can also serve such a wonderful positive purpose.

Today I had a long chat with Jack Heath who is the founder of Inspire (also a very old friend and backer of RedBubble). We covered many subjects, mostly of a spiritual nature. And then, like in so many good conversations, I found a

Morning Reflection

I contemplate the end-game and see, far beyond, that I dissolves and all is connected.

I contemplate the now and this, think for a moment that I am alone. Feel the air from outside which sustains me. Remember the food on which I depend – and what has been lost in its creation. The warmth that is not mine. The ground which holds me. The love from which I am created. See through the fantasy of separation and arrive already at the destination.

Resisto's Challenge

I see that there are a couple of great responses to resisto’s challenge to see how a single image may be manipulated.

One by Tom which is here

and one by by Cliff here

It is amazing how you can take good initial ingredients and come to so different conclusions. I look forward to seeing more interpretatons.

The original image can be found :here":http://redbubble.com.au/bubblewrap/3/images/pho...

And remember to tag your work “tweaker07” so it can be found.

Unleashed - Competition

I have been browsing through the unleashed competition entry’s here and am literally in awe at the creativity of this community. I have been doing a bit of favoriting (remember you vote for works by adding them to your favorites) which is fiendishly difficult. The quality (and quantity) of the work surpasses all expectations.

IF

I very much like the Kiplying poem IF. Which contains many fine lines but perhaps no finer than:…

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same"

With these sentiments in mind it is possible to (or at least try to) hold a steady course through life’s storms.

While one never welcomes disaster it can be less spiritually disturbing than triumph. In disaster we tend to turn to a higher comfort. Whereas in triumph we tend to celebrate of our own (hollow) greatness. The ego puffs and wisdom fades.

During my bumpy ride through dotcom 1.0, I met many people who more than drank their fill of Cristal as they celebrated some triumph or another. The parties often had a desperate ring as we dreamed somehow that all of this was sufficiently important that an ultim

Ghandi and the Tractor

Mahatma Ghandi led his country to freedom in clothes he had made himself on a little handloom.…

How easy it would have been for him to sit back and revel in his own success. To be satisfied with his own graciousness. To bask in the glow of his people’s love. Lesser men, in achievement and in personality, have indulged far more deeply their fondness for their achievements.

And what is the harm? Indeed why do anything at all, if we cannot bask in the lovely glow of people’s admiration. Why make our own clothes when many would queue up to make them for us?

It is not, ultimately about false humility or even self-denial. It is because a deep humility is the means by which one can aspire to understand God. By keeping proximity with the cotton of our clothes or, in our century, the garden out-th

Ashes

This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. If you are a Catholic you will go up to the priest after Mass and he will make a cross on your forehead and say “Remember it is from ashes you come and it is to ashes you will return

RedBubble - Almost Week 2

Firstly, Peter, Xavier or Mark should probably be writing this as I am not inside the Bubble as much as they are (with other things pressing in on me). I guess I am writing it as I would like to be there more!…

Anyway, as you all can see there is a lot of a great activity on the site. We have been really pleased with the quality of the work that has been added. It appears that there is a real need for the service of RedBubble – a high quality environment to display work and also to get it printed.

As one measure of the quality of the work, there have already been quite a few sales with almost 15% of people who have something for sale, having sold something in the first week. While I don’t think sales are the most important thing (the community is) they are necessary as they mean we can kee

Time

Time, enemy of my ego

Friend of my soul

I see my actions a hundred years from now

They are bleached as a shell on the beach

A thousand years from now

They merge with the sand

A million years from now

The beach has gone

But “I

Skulls, Death and a Flower

I was just sitting down to write about skulls in renaissance art and what should turn up but this fine modern interpretation on the subject by Peter Grieg.…

Anyway, skulls have been bumping about in my head for a while and the recent journal entry on Cathedrals prompted me to put my thoughts in order.

The subject sits, dressed in finery surrounded by the symbols of his success and there on the table is a scull, hollowly looking out. It is an image that recurs in late renaissance art, reminding the viewer that however great the earthly success it will soon be over.


(David Bailly, Self Portrait – Vanitas with a Young Painter)

It disconcerts us now. We have sanitised life and, at least at some level, dream that it is possible to forever push out the inevitable. If I spend enough time on the b

Is President Bush Evil?

I am not asking this question from a political perspective. I am interested in whether God could have led President Bush’s actions.…

President Bush says he prays about all major decisions. Thinking principally about Iraq and taking this on face value leads me to wonder; does he pray and ignore what he hears or is somebody other than God answering his prayers? Is there an alternative explanation?

More broadly this leads me to ponder how can prayerful people be led by their prayers into immorality. Why do good people do bad deeds? It is a concerning question because it throws doubt on all of our prayers and what we hear in reply.

I raised this question with Ian Gawler (about whom I have previously written). His answer was illuminating. He said that the foundation of guided spirituality was F

The Couch - Pilgrim

Who better to invite as our first guest on the couch than one of RedBubble’s founders – Martin Hosking? Many of you may have already come across him as “Pilgrim

A New Spirituality

It is easy to see moral and actual decay in religion. The extremists have taken over from the Whitehouse, to Jerusalem and on to Tehran. English kids find a new way of being cool with high explosives strapped to their chests. Christian love finds voice advocating the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Judaism is reduced to a brawl over dirt. Cardinals wail on about condoms and married priests as if these were the issues of our time. Even Hindu’s claim supremacy. Only the Buddhists seem above the fray – sitting idly by.…

In New York and Melbourne the secularists declare victory and celebrate over cosmopolitans and another episode of Sex in the City (did I really need to know that you could change the taste of sperm with asparagus?).

But all is not what it seems. Today our priest, yes I am a

The Burnt Chop

Anecdotally the mother will take the burnt chop for herself rather than serve it to another member of the family. Frequently this is portrayed as soppy self-sacrifice. Those of us who cook for our families though, and who are often in this position, understand it is a true act of selfless love where the parent puts the interest of their family first. It is an act done without thinking and without sense of loss. It is genuine selfless love.…

Such love is not only biological. I have three adopted children and willingly eat the burn chop! Absolute proximity brings about this connection. I know my children and the love is borne out of this knowledge and understanding. Indeed the deeper we know any other person the deeper our empathy with them and the greater the chance of love and forgiveness.

Kindness and Its Opposite

It is common to hear that our world is reaching some nadir of cruelty, violence and unkindness. This makes for headlines but reality is the opposite.…

I am constantly amazed at the random acts of kindness in the world. Each day as I drive my car I confront the occasional rudeness but equally I am blessed by the drivers who let me in when they have no reason to do so. More broadly our society depends on people obeying rules which have no benefit to them but which serve a greater (even distant future) good. Think about the levels of willing compliance with water restrictions and recycling, or the levels of volunteering and giving to charity. These acts go without reward or recognition and non-compliance would incur no real punishment.

Yes, I rile (don’t we all?) against occasional acts of in

Grasping and Aversion

A baby’s life is dominated by grasping for its needs and shrinking from its fears. Childhood is a continuation of this journey. There is no morality here; it is simply the nature of the life into which we are born.…

For the Buddhist, grasping and aversion are the most basic attributes of the ego. They reflect the simplest (mis)understanding of our purpose on this planet.

Yesterday Saddam Hussein was executed. I spent a dreadful and interesting week in Iraq, soon after the end of Saddam’s war with Iran. The evil he sowed in his country was palpable. He will not be missed. But he would not, I venture, see himself as an evil man. Indeed showed little fear at his execution.

How can this be? How can the architect of evil escape knowledge of it? I suspect it is that he cannot see the evil as his

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