"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Isaiah Berlin

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The garden.



Garden of serenity. Sharpie pen drawing. 8"X10" 2014

"What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter - a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue."
Henri Matisse





"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Humming of the strings.



Geometry and mathematical rations
harmonics and proportionality

Ink drawing 14"X17"

"There is geometry in the humming of the strings, 
there is music in the spacing of the spheres." Pythagoras

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Viral exploration.




Viral exploration. Ink drawing 14"X17".

An artistic mind can find beauty anywhere - but what about the world's most deadly viruses and bacteria? They can spark interesting cognitive dissonance in viewers as they are both attractive and repulsive.




"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mind oscillations.







“The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.” 
― C.G. Jung




"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014



Dog catalog 11"X17" Sharpie pen drawing.
"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Monday, July 7, 2014






A friend reminded me to today of the lack of original thought and the excessive use of memes on Facebook. I have preached the gospel of creativity for many years but I have fallen prey to meaningless meme postings. This posting could be a meme. It is not original thought; countless articles and research papers are available on the internet. At least my art is original. Hold on a minute! My work contains elements and ideas from other artists. There are entire internet sites dedicated to Sharpie art. I am certainly not the first person to doodle. I use quotes from books to explain my art. It is an age old story we fool ourselves into thinking we came up with an "original" idea. I guess I am just trapped in my minds meme.


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014© Ronald D. Isom, Sr.
“Many myths and religions have some kind of threat of retribution from their god or gods, and their doctrines warn of the dangers of doing various forbidden things. Why? Because memes involving danger are the ones we pay attention to! As oral traditions developed, our brains were set up to amplify the dangers and give them greater significance than the rest.” 
― Richard BrodieVirus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hobby Lobby culture...


Long before Hobby Lobby became involve in moral issues many "artsy-fartsy" stores were forcing their cultural views on the public. They always purported to have the answer of how to make art and provided their customers with "easy to follow instructions". Back when I started teaching in 1961, the "craft store" concept was limited to a few hobby stores that specialize in car, plane and train kits. Art teachers generally ordered their supplies from industrial sources and a few art supply houses. Most purchases were limited to bulk paint, paper, clay etc. Craftsmen worked materials by hand and had an intimate knowledge of manipulation of materials. "Crafty creep" soon set in and more and more kits and stencils found their way into the world of fine art. Today, big box art stores are filled with pre-made items that stifle creativity and they have become the arbiters of taste. Perhaps, it is a stretch to compare abortion issues to crafty items but I think the " I have all the answers" philosophy can be a slippery slope. Personal freedom to choose and control our moral beliefs and our artistic expression is a fundamental right.


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Friday, June 27, 2014







"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Friday, June 13, 2014




"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Saturday, May 31, 2014






"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.





"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014
© Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Friday, May 23, 2014




Existential manipulation series 1995. 

House paint, acrylic, collage, enamel on chipboard 4'X4'.

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Natural philosophy...




Natural Philosophy
“We should remember that there was once a discipline called natural philosophy. Unfortunately, this discipline seems not to exist today. It has been renamed science, but science of today is in danger of losing much of the natural philosophy aspect.”  Hannes Alfven


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Axis Mundi...





Axis mundi symbolism may be seen in much of the romance surrounding space travel. A rocket on the pad takes on all the symbolism of a tower and the astronaut enacts a mythic story. Each embarks on a perilous journey into the heavens and, if successful, returns with a boon for dissemination.

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My four year old could do this...






Why Do Abstract Artists Paint or draw Abstractly?
The paradoxical question…Can an abstract artist actually create a pictorial painting?
We’ve all heard the criticisms: “People paint abstracts because they can’t draw,” and “My four year old could have done that.”  I have fielded that questions many times over the last sixty years, my explanation always seems to generate more questions.  I often resorted to cryptic answers in order to end the circular argument.  My favorite response is “art is and I am”. Art is defined as: “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting, drawing  or sculpture.”  Art is not limited to a particular style or subject matter..Most individuals  cannot deal with such a broad statement and they do not see art as a process but as a product. In a process oriented activity we use materials and our own thinking and problem solving skills to create something that is uniquely ours . What we are learning while doing is more important than what it looks like at the end.
Like the history of art, the process of art is linear. As our knowledge and technology grow our perception of the world changes.  Artists explore new ways of seeing and explaining the ever changing environment.  In my own work, I explore the world using symbols.It is study of the heart,soul and mind, creating esoteric connections to the universe. Without symbols our lives would be as spiritually impoverished as sleep without dreams. Our waking life is full of symbolism operating on an unconscious level. A symbol is a sign which opens up or makes transparent insights and truths that were previously hidden.

We are so captivated by and entangled in our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.

The Symbolic Life (1953); also in Man and His Symbols (1964)



"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Critical thinking...



A Brief History of the Idea of Critical Thinking

"The intellectual roots of critical thinking are as ancient as its etymology, traceable, ultimately, to the teaching practice and vision of Socrates 2,500 years ago who discovered by a method of probing questioning that people could not rationally justify their confident claims to knowledge. Confused meanings, inadequate evidence, or self-contradictory beliefs often lurked beneath smooth but largely empty rhetoric. Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational. He established the importance of asking deep questions that probe profoundly into thinking before we accept ideas as worthy of belief." http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/a-brief-history-of-the-idea-of-critical-thinking/408



"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A non-objective view...



Biomorphic landscape
a non-objective view

Landscape art can be understood as a way of composing and organizing visual space that involves the perception of relationships between images of natural form and us as viewers. Landscape art presents us with a set of concerns that involve the domain of culture as opposed to nature.  We naturalize sensations about such places—wind on our cheeks, a glimpse of sky, the smell of grass and herbs, the particular architecture of a city street—in order to keep the experience fresh. 



"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Shapeshifting...



Therianthrope


Therianthropy refers to the metamorphosis of humans into animals. Therianthropes are said to change forms via shapeshifting. Therianthropes have long existed in mythology, appearing in ancient cave drawings  such as the Sorcerer at Les Trois Frères

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Inspiration...



Solace of inspiration  


Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.
Lorraine Anderson (1952 - ) - Quoted in
The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women,  Gail McMeekin, Conari Press, 2000, p27.

Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Relationship...



Computer parasitism 


Parasitism is a non-mutual symbiotic relationship between man and computer, where one, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host.
"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Amor fati..


Amor fati
The phrase is used repeatedly in Friedrich Nietzsche's writings and is representative of the general outlook on life he articulates in section 276 of The Gay Science, which reads:

I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a yes sayer.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amor_fati


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Life cycle...


Eternal return
life cycle



Eternal return is a concept that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. The concept is found in Indian philosophy and in ancient Egypt and was subsequently taken up by the Pythagoreans and Stoics. With the decline of antiquity and the spread of Christianity, the concept fell into disuse in the Western world, with the exception of Friedrich Nietzsche, who connected the thought to many of his other concepts, including amor fati.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_return



"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Symbolic language...




Symbolic explanation


“Man's ultimate concern must be expressed symbolically, because symbolic  language alone is able to express the ultimate. This statement demands explanation in several respects. In spite of the manifold research about the meaning and function of symbols which is going on in contemporary philosophy, every writer who uses the term "symbol" must explain his understanding of it.” Paul Tillich Excerpted from Dynamics of Faith (New York: Harper & Row, 1957)


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Nimble juggler...


Learning environment
“nimble juggler”


Sometimes, one must be a nimble juggler to balance the chaotic nature of real-world problems to create a productive learning environment.

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014© Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Seasons...




Sympathy with the seasons
Nature is the armory of genius. Cities serve it poorly, books and colleges at second hand; the eye craves the spectacle of the horizon; of mountain, ocean, river and plain, the clouds and stars; actual contact with the elements, sympathy with the seasons as they rise and roll.
Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888) -
The Journals of Bronson Alcott, January, p. 187, Little Brown & Co., Boston MA, 1938.


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Monday, April 14, 2014

More than meets the eye...




Allegorical landscape
“more than meets the eye”
Digitally enhanced ink drawing


Sometimes there is more to art than meets the eye, even in landscapes. A picture of a green valley is not only about a valley if the artist intended it as an allegory. In art, allegories express a truth about life or human nature through symbols. As an allegory, a green valley might represent many ideas, such as prosperity or optimism for the future. 


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dreams...



Island of consciousness 
“dreams and fantasies”
11"X14" Ink drawing

“At the very apex of the psyche is the ego, which is at the center of consciousness. Jung likes to think of consciousness as an island, and surrounding this island is a very large ocean that represents the unconscious. Stretching away from this island toward the deep is a shadow land Jung calls the personal unconscious. It belongs to the individual and holds countless forgotten experiences; it is formed from impulses, wishes, and subliminal perceptions. Memories can be recalled from this area either through dreams, fantasies, chance associations, or even direct recall.” http://www.soultrek.com/12%20psych%20jung.html

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Phenomenology...





Phenomenology of Perception
“complex scenes of life”
“Gestalt principles, or gestalt laws, are rules of the organization of perceptual scenes. When we look at the world, we usually perceive complex scenes composed of many groups of objects on some background, with the objects themselves consisting of parts, which may be composed of smaller parts, etc. How do we accomplish such a remarkable perceptual achievement, given that the visual input is, in a sense, just a spatial distribution of variously colored individual points? The beginnings and the direction of an answer were provided by a group of researchers early in the twentieth century, known as Gestalt psychologists. Gestalt is a German word meaning 'shape' or 'form'. Gestalt principles aim to formulate the regularities according to which the perceptual input is organized into unitary forms, also referred to as (sub)wholes, groups, groupings, or Gestalten (the plural form of Gestalt). These principles mainly apply to vision, but there are also analogous aspects in auditory and somatosensory perception. In visual perception, such forms are the regions of the visual field whose portions are perceived as grouped or joined together, and are thus segregated from the rest of the visual field. The Gestalt principles were introduced in a seminal paper by Wertheimer (1923/1938), and were further developed by Köhler (1929), Koffka (1935), and Metzger (1936/2006; see review by Todorović, 2007). For a modern textbook presentation, including more recent contributions, see Palmer (1999).”



"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Connections...






Connections inside my head
That reminds me..”
11”X14” Ink drawing

If one thing makes you think of another thing, you form a connection between them in your mind. The more connections you have, the better access you have to cross-connections. The more things something can remind you of, the more you know about it, or are learning about it.

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Free passage...




Free passage for the soul 
“a place of transition “
11”X14” Ink drawing

In The Book of Symbols, the door is described as a place of transition. In ancient Egyptian tombs, doorways were built to allow free passage for the soul. In ancient Roman cities, the deity Janus protected doorways into the city. The door also protects a house from the elements and whatever else is outside. In the Christian tradition, people often hang crosses over the doorway to keep out evil spirits. In some Eastern traditions, it is recommended to keep a Buddha statue facing the door, so when people enter he is the first thing they see.

(Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism. The book of Symbols. Germany, 2010.)


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Abyss...





Voyage over the abyss 
“rare for the rare”
Ink drawing 11”X14”


“In the end things must be as they are and have always been--the great things remain for the great, the abysses for the profound, the delicacies and thrills for the refined, and, to sum up shortly, everything rare for the rare.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Little planet...







Insignificant little planet
Ink drawing 9”X12”

 “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Earth...




Earth speaks
Digital print/ink drawing. 9"X12"


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fulfillment...







Earth’s Cycle of the Soul
spiritual fulfillment
Ink drawing 11”X14”


A  minor variation of the cross in a circe is often depicted in ancient esoteric societies, in sacred religious orders, in indigenous cultures, and in petroglyphs.  This symbol represents a fundamental foundation upon which many faiths are built and it is also made to remind us that something profound is to occur for the entire Earth and for all people. This symbol is a precursor of an event pointing to the spiritual fulfillment of all life.


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Great chain..





Great chain of being
hierarchical structure of all matter and life,
Ink drawing11”X14”

“The great chain of being (Latin: scala naturae, literally "ladder/stair-way of nature"), is a concept derived from Plato, Aristotle, and Proclus; further developed during the Middle Ages, it reached full expression in early modern Neoplatonism.  It details a strict, religious hierarchical structure of all matter and life, believed to have been decreed by God. The chain starts from God and progresses downward to angels, demons (fallen/renegade angels), stars, moon, kings, princes, nobles, men, wild animals, domesticated animals, trees, other plants, precious stones, precious metals, and other minerals.”

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2014 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The endless sea...



Teaching
“the endless immensity of the sea”

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Metaphysical...



Metaphysical interpretation 
remolding archetypal forms
Ink drawing 11”X14”
“Human knowledge consists essentially in the constant adaptation of the primordial pattern of ideas that were given us 'a priori'. These need certain modifications, because, in their original form, they are suited to an archaic mode of life, but not to the demands of a specifically differentiated (modern) environment. If the flow of instinctive dynamism into our life is to be maintained, as is absolutely necessary for our existence, then it is imperative that we remold these archetypal forms into ideas which are adequate to the challenge of the present .... “

Jung, Carl (2006). The Undiscovered Self: The Problem of the Individual in Modern Society. New American Library. pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-451-21860-4.

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Machinations...




"The inner machinations of my mind

are an enigma."-Patrick Star


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Unconscious mind...


Absence of discursive thought 
and judgment

Mushin Japanese mushin; English translation ("no mind") is a mental state into which very highly trained martial artists are said to enter during combat. They also practice this mental state during everyday activities

Mushin is achieved when a person's mind is free from thoughts of anger, fee or ego during combat or everyday life. There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation and without disturbance from such thoughts. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is their trained natural reaction or what is felt .intuitively. The mind could be said to be working at a very high speed, but with no intention, plan or direction.


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

ISOM SYMBOLIC ART heart mind and soul.



"Things hidden in my head"Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Isom Codex...



Non-specific exploratory
coded abstract images
page 105 of the Isom Codex


Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means "having no specific semantic content". With the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret.


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Conscious life...



Conscious life observing the universe

Anthropic principle

In astrophysics and cosmology, the anthropic principle is the philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it.

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Horror vacui...




The horror of horror vacui.  
Literally translated, Horror Vacui is the fear of empty spaces. In a more technical sense, it refers to a maximalist aesthetic in visual art in which details proliferate to fill every square inch of blank canvas. This aesthetic is associated with many different periods and places, including Islamic art and the medieval manuscripts illuminated by monks
Horror vacui (00064)
Heat filled rocks and old socks,
green garbage cans and fans.

Gooey marbles and tanks,
wondrous old stinky banks.

Clammy jars filled with fruits,
aliens dogs in suits.

Ink on a green blotter,
pickled pairs are hotter.

Piano keys with sauce,
horseradish shoes and floss.

Stop signs near edge of space,
colored cars in a race.

Police cars filled with cake,
Broken limbs of a snake.


Ronald D Isom

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mankind and nature...




Mankind  and nature connection
Mankind searches obsessively for pleasure, materialistic goals and abundance. To obtain this we and our ancestors have exploited nature without any moral control to such an extent that nature has been rendered almost powerless in the process of sustaining a healthy life.

"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Symmetrical proportions...



Symmetrical proportions the cycle life.


The drawing and painting of people and animals, an activity of artists since primitive times, is clearly associated with symmetry, and geometry, since the human form and the forms of living creatures in general are obviously highly symmetrical in shape. Indeed the beauty of the human form, and also of an animal such as the horse, is firmly based on their symmetrical proportions.  Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer were deeply concerned with the proportions of the human form from a truly geometrical point of view.


"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hidden Gems...


Hidden gems within the human mine.
Ink drawing 9"X12" $25.00
“Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit there from.” ― Bahá'u'lláh
"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Scala naturae


Scala naturae - structure of matter and life

The great chain of being (Latin: scala naturae, literally "ladder/stair-way of nature"), is a concept derived from Plato, Aristotle, and Proclus; further developed during the Middle Ages, it reached full expression in early modern Neoplatonism. It details a strict, religious hierarchical structure of all matter and life, believed to have been decreed by God. The chain starts from God and progresses downward to angels, demons (fallen/renegade angels), stars, moon, kings, princes, nobles, men, wild animals, domesticated animals, trees, other plants, precious stones, precious metals, and other minerals.






"Things hidden in my head" Copyright 2013 © Ronald D. Isom, Sr.