Just Paint on Canvas

Void Element

Here is the fifth and final painting completing the “five elements” series commissioned by my son, Sensei Joshua Copson for his martial arts studio, The Blue Dragon Dojang.

I made the paintings in the traditional order of the Gorintou – the Five Ring Pagoda.  Sensei teaches the 5 elements in a circular pattern: Water, Earth, Void, Wind, Fire – with none being more powerful than any others but rather continually moving one into the other as they support the whole as his Oh Do Kwan students progress in their spiritual studies.

This is the painting for the Void.

The void represents those things beyond everyday experience. Void is where we continually perfect our techniques, sharpen our focus and develop the desired reflexive action.

The shape is traditionally a jewel shape, here in the painting reminiscent of a torus.

In the martial arts, the void is where you sense your surroundings without your physical senses and act without thinking, have no openings by being completely open, and strike your opponent who is both there and not there.

“The void is where you stand, for in the void nothing has been decided, therefore everything is possible.”

~Sensei Joshua Copson

 

The originals in the Five Elements series are 30″ x 24″ mixed media paintings on canvas and are on display in the Blue Dragon Dojang in Lovingston, Virginia. You can buy framed prints and posters in a variety of custom formats and reproductions  printed on all sorts of stuff including tote bags, phone cases and coffee mugs.

Shop Reproductions

 

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February 6th, 2018|Installations, New Work, What's Happening|0 Comments

Wind Element

And now we come to the fourth painting in the series commissioned by my son, Sensei Joshua Copson for his martial arts studio, The Blue Dragon Dojang, Five Elements painting for Wind.

These paintings embody the order in which his Oh Do Kwan students progress in their spiritual studies. The shapes are consistent with the five elements of the Gorintou – the Five Ring Pagoda.

This is the painting for Wind.

Wind represents expansion, speed, and timing. With Wind we enter the realm of self-control and strategy, mental flexibility, and compassion. Here we develop speed of both our mind and body, and learn the all-important timing.

The crescent forms a cup ready to receive from the heavens and invokes receptivity, intuition, and awareness.

In the martial arts, to master wind is to always be one step ahead, and one move before, your opponent – to know the timing of the world.

 “You should know the strategy of your art, study the strategy of others, and understand the strategy of the land. Only then can victory be possible.”

~Sensei Joshua Copson

The originals in the Five Elements series are 30″ x 24″ mixed media paintings on canvas and will be hung in the Blue Dragon Dojang in Lovingston, Virginia. You can buy framed prints and posters in a variety of custom formats and reproductions  printed on all sorts of stuff including tote bags, phone cases and coffee mugs.

Shop Reproductions

 

Follow the Blue Dragon Dojang on Facebook.

January 23rd, 2018|Installations, New Work, What's Happening|0 Comments

Fire Element

This is the Five Elements painting for Fire.

It is the third painting in the series commissioned by my son, Sensei Joshua Copson for his martial arts studio, The Blue Dragon Dojang.

Fire represents power, intention, endurance, passion, and the indomitable spirit. Furthermore, Fire teaches us to harness power, and build the endurance needed to use it.

The shapes in these paintings are consistent with the five elements of the Gorintou – the Five Ring Pagoda. The Fire Element is traditionally a pyramid or triangle, resulting in an interesting synthesis. I have discovered from studies in other traditions that many attribute power to the pyramid. Actually, the form that most embodies that energy is the tetrahedron – a pyramid-like shape with a triangular base as well as triangular sides.  The tetrahedron is the most basic shape for all manifested form.

In the martial arts, to master fire is to master energy – both yours and your opponents, to beat down, push through, and overcome all that stands before you.

“Power is what you get when you dip into that well and add strength and speed to your technique.”

~Sensei Joshua Copson

 

The originals in the Five Elements series are 30″ x 24″ mixed media on canvas paintings and will be hung in the Blue Dragon Dojang in Lovingston, Virginia. You can buy framed prints and posters in a variety of custom formats and reproductions  printed on all sorts of stuff including tote bags, phone cases and coffee mugs.

Shop Reproductions

 

Follow the Blue Dragon Dojang on Facebook.

January 16th, 2018|Installations, New Work, What's Happening|0 Comments

Water Element

This is the second in the Five Elements series commissioned by my son, Sensei Joshua Copson for his martial arts studio, The Blue Dragon Dojang.

This is the painting for Water.

Water represents the fluid, flowing things in the world. Water teaches us to flow in our movements, find the supple center of balance and become flexible in mind and body.

The sphere is symbolic of completion and the attainment of wisdom.

In the martial arts, to master water is to flow with the tides of battle, never resisting nor be resisted as you use your opponent’s energy to bring about their defeat.

“You must learn to flow from one move to the next, until you can sustain a stream of attacks and counters that seem to come without effort.”

~Sensei Joshua Copson

The originals in the Five Elements series are 30″ x 24″ mixed media on canvas paintings and will be hung in the Blue Dragon Dojang in Lovingston, Virginia. You can buy framed prints and posters in a variety of custom formats and reproductions  printed on all sorts of stuff including tote bags, phone cases and coffee mugs.

Shop Reproductions

 

Follow the Blue Dragon Dojang on Facebook.

January 9th, 2018|Installations, New Work, What's Happening|0 Comments

Five Elements Series

Earlier in 2017, I accepted a commission from my son, Sensei Joshua Copson, a 4th-degree black belt, to create a series of five paintings for his martial arts studio, The Blue Dragon Dojang.

He has developed  Five Fold Way framework for martial arts instruction.  These paintings embody the progress in their spiritual studies of his Oh Do Kwan students. The shapes are consistent with the five elements of the Gorintou – the Five Ring Pagoda.

He teaches the 5 elements in a circular pattern: Water, Earth, Void, Wind, Fire – with none being more powerful than any others but rather continually moving one into the other as they support the whole.

The first painting completed is the painting for Earth.

Earth represents the foundation of the world. The cube is the basis – hard, solid, objective. This is where conditioning breeds strength, certainty, and integrity.

In the martial arts, to master Earth is to be the toughest and strongest, to root yourself to the world having all attacks break upon you as you break your opponent.

“Root yourself to the world, pushing down through your foundations and out through your technique.”

~Sensei Joshua Copson

The originals in the Five Elements series are 30″ x 24″ mixed media on canvas paintings and will be hung in the Blue Dragon Dojang in Lovingston, Virginia. But you be able to buy framed prints and posters in a variety of custom formats and reproductions  printed on all sorts of stuff including tote bags, phone cases and coffee mugs.

Shop Reproductions

Follow the Blue Dragon Dojang on Facebook.

January 3rd, 2018|Installations, New Work, What's Happening|0 Comments

Red, Yellow, Blue Gyre Suite

These swirling vortexes of red, yellow, and blue exploit a common cliché for making variations on a theme. Here I am follow a tradition in printmaking of bundling similarly themed work into suites.

Better together. Installation view of Red, Yellow, Blue Gyre Suite

Better together. Installation view of Red, Yellow, Blue Gyre Suite

The brush strokes are paint on canvas then photographed and digitally enhanced.  (Everything I know about making a good brush stroke I learned from my work with Peter Max.) The other elements are  galactic Fibonacci spirals, astronomical objects, and naturally occurring examples of  Fractal geometry. These are then combined into original digital images.

Buy these works separately or together here.

October 27th, 2015|Installations, New Work|0 Comments