New Work: Land Marks

Ecstatic Land Mark, Watercolor, Acrylic, and Colored Pencil on Paper, 12"x9"

I've made a lot of new works recently, but these mixed media works have been at the center of my heart.  I've taken a lot of liberty to just loosen up and allow very organic marks to stay wherever they would like to flow.  I've started to incorporate the large white shapes that begin to visually tie themselves to my past works.  I haven't spoken too much about the transition my work has taken this Summer,  and that's because much of the language surrounding the work will undoubtedly change.  I can say, that these works are imbued with a direct line of personal meaning and positivity. 

I've also updated my website with these works, as well as a selection from the Paper Watches and Creatures that I made just after my return from Anderson Ranch. http://www.natalielomeli.com/.

Land Mark A,  Watercolor and Colored Pencil on Paper, 12"x9"

Land Mark B,  Watercolor and Colored Pencil on Paper, 12"x9"

Land Mark C,  Watercolor and Colored Pencil on Paper, 12"x9"

Land Mark D,  Watercolor  and Colored Pencil on Paper, 12"x9"

Land Mark E,  Watercolor and Colored Pencil on Paper, 12"x9"

Soft Land Mark, Watercolor, Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Paper, 30"x24" 



Hey All!! Fisk, Aimee, and I are throwing an Art Party Fundraiser! Everyone is invited, please check out the details below:

Help Natalie Lomeli experience a once in a life time art
residency at the Vermont Studio Center by generously
purchasing alcoholic refreshments, playing skee-ball,
buying exclusive shirts and one of a kind art. Your support
allows Natalie to not only grow as an artist, but as a person. 

Showcasing artwork by Natalie Lomeli, Aimee Bonamie, and John Fisk. Art/Drinks/Fisk's Specialty Popcorn/Exclusive Shirt/Awesome.

Skee-ball/Specialty Cocktail/More Awesome/Secret Game.

Check out the residency that Natalie was accepted into: http://www.vermontstudiocenter.org/

Check out the artists: 

Please join us for this special 318 GRAND experience!

Address: 318 Grand, Brooklyn NY 11211

We're making the exclusive shirt available online now for purchase - but sizes and availability are limited.  Please send me an email (natalie.lomeli@gmail.com) with your size and address, then I'll give the go ahead to purchase your size below!

Shirts are Next Level apparel, super soft, 100% cotton, featuring discharge printing of my special design.  Shirts will also be available at the event.



Carlos Castaneda The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

The last few weeks my mind has been buzzing around discovering details of my own ethnography while somewhat walking/sprinting/pacing through new works of art.  It's been a whirlwind of ideas and thoughts, fortunately most are falling into positive categories. The most recent addition to the cluster of visions/thoughts happens to be this beautiful book: Carlos Castaneda The Teachings of Don Juan : A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. 

The books begins with Carlos Castaneda asking don Juan questions about his experience with hallucinogenic plants.

"The importance of the plants was, for don Juan, their capacity to produce stages of peculiar perception in a human being.  Thus he guided me into experiencing a sequence of these stages for the purpose of unfolding and validating his knowledge. I have called them "states of nonordinary reality," meaning unusual reality as opposed to the ordinary reality of everyday life.  This distinction is based on the inherent meaning of the states of nonordinary reality.  In the context of don Juan's knowledge they were considered as real, although their reality was differentiated from ordinary reality." 

Soon, Carlos becomes don Juan's apprentice and proceeds to discuss his first hand experiences with each of three plants, all eliciting a peculiar perception and as Carlos discusses a "non ordinary reality".  The hallucinogenic plants that were experienced are: peyote (lopophora williamsii), Jimson weed (Datura inoxia), and a mushroom (possibly Psilocybe mexicana). The last sentence of the above paragraph is really where most of the book lives, in a space where what is real is called into question. 

One theme that appears is how the line between the human world and the nonordinary world is quite blurry. All of the experiences Carlos has allow him to access a world that he would not normally be able to access and at the end of the book Carlos is very academic in his style of writing about his experiences, but it's his personal writing of these experiences that allows your imagination to soar and your mind to believe the reality that don Juan refers to. 

"I moved forward.  The motion of my body was slow and shaky; it was more like a tremor forward and up. I looked down and saw don Juan sitting below me, way below me.  The momentum carried me forward one more step, which was even more elastic and longer than the preceding one.  And from there I soared.   I remember coming down once; then I pushed up with both feet, sprang backward, and glided on my on my back. I saw the dark sky above me, and the clouds going by me."

After each experience Carlos tries in vain to procure some definitive answer about the literal possibility of his adventure, to which don Juan almost never directly answers him. At one point don Juan states, "What you want to know makes no sense.  Birds fly like birds and a man who has taken the devil's weed (Datura) flies as such." don Juan illustrates that there is not a language that exists by which to describe the kind of flight Carlos had. Carlos' attempt to identify his experience highlights the very existence of both ordinary and non ordinary reality - and that part of understanding and learning the power of these experiences is acknowledging that there is no language to describe the blurry gray area between the two, that these worlds can cross over to one another. 

This book is full of beautifully written passages of experience after experience - each lending their own magic to your imagination. What I found most compelling was the kind of meaning that Carlos was able to perceive from each episode and the kind of wisdom that don Juan relates to him.  There is a wealth of knowledge in this text, not for it's factual evidence, but for it's ability to connect the reader to a man's journey through the gray area between the world of man and a deeper more spiritual world - one that can be and is accessible to the select few who seek it. 

"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart.  There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length.  And there I travel, looking, breathlessly." - Don Juan


Summer Member Salon @ Trestle Gallery

Friday night was the Brooklyn Art Space member Summer Salon at Trestle Gallery.  The opening was fun, and of course, many thanks to Rhia and Trestle Gallery for putting on another amazing show. 

Rene van der Spuy, "Trio Leo" 2/25 EV, 2013, vinyl relief print with collage.
Hermann Mejia, Untitled, 2013, Giclee print, 11x11"

Denise Treizman, Doodled and Arranged, 2013, Mixed media installation, 5x4'
Casey Shaw, Morning, 2013, Watercolor and ink on paper, 12x16"

Ina Archer, Dr. Peter Cushing Van Helsing, 2011, Silkscreen print on grey rives bfk, 30x22.5"

The work of BOBCOLLECTIVE was there too!

Natalie Lomeli, Orca Monster, Acrylic on canvas, 16x17"

Natalie Lomeli, Puss Monster, Acrylic on canvas, 16x17"

Jennifer Dwyer, Untitled, 2013, Photogravure print, 8x11"

Lindsay Taylor, Untitled, 2013, Oil paint on hardboard, 24x18"


Food of the Gods, by Terence McKenna

Food of the Gods began it's journey by setting up a context - the world we live in is lacking a spiritual connection to the plant life that we have evolved with through out time.  Now more than ever is it necessary to rebuild this relationship in a way that allows us to respect and appreciate the gifts that the biological world has given us. The gift is what most refer to as psychedelics, however that term doesn't begin to describe what these gifts are to us. That word retains a negative connotation, one that doesn't lend itself to the spiritual capacity these plants have had and can have for us.

"Something profound, unexpected, nearly unimaginable awaits us if we will turn our investigative attentions toward the phenomenon of shamanic plant hallucinogens.  The people outside of Western history, those still in a dream time of preliteracy,  have kept the flame of a tremendous mystery burning.  It will be humbling to admit this and to learn from them, but that too is a part of the Archaic Revival." 

 McKenna's intention is clear and this book sets the scene.  Humanity has evolved with hallucinogenic plants, Food of the Gods attests to that evolution, and creates a very substantial theory that our minds have been capable of such a rapid (or not so rapid depending on your perspective) evolution because we have co-evolved with these plants.  After an Archaic history lesson McKenna stresses what needs to be done,

"If we acknowledge that the Archaic Revival will be a paradigm transformation and that we really can create a caring, refeminized, ecosensitive world by going back to very old models, then we must admit that more than political exhortation will be needed.  To be effective,  the Archaic Revival must rest on an experience that shakes each and every one of us to our very roots.  The experience must be real, generalized, and discussible." 

If we can legitimately believe and know that the Archaic Revival is the transformation that humanity needs, in order for it to be affective we need an experience that will shake our very souls.  That kind of experience must be real, and must be something we can discuss. McKenna walks us through the mistakes that we've made with past drugs, showing us the error in our humanity - creatures that have become slaves to variety, and ones that completely lost our morals over pure sugar. 

"The intoxicants of the Christian dominator culture, whether plants or synthetic drugs, were inevitably stimulants or narcotics- drugs of the workplace or drugs to dull care and pain.  Drugs in the twentieth century serve only medical or recreational purposes.  Yet even the West has retained the thin thread of remembrance of the Archaic, hierophantic, and ecstatic potential that certain plants hold."

Humanity has an addictive personality, this is obvious.  I don't think it would be such a leap to imagine for a moment that this addition was really a symptom of a greater yearning, for a greater connection that cannot be satisfied in materiality or taste.  What I enjoy most about this notion is the responsibility that McKenna places onto the artists to really make this clear. 

"The shamanic response, the Archaic response, the human response, to this situation should be to locate the art pedal and push it to the floor.  This is one of the primary functions of shamanism, and is the function that is tremendously synergized by the psychedelics.  If psychedelics are exopheromones that dissolve the dominant ego,  then they are also enzymes that synergize the human imagination and empower language.  They cause us to connect and reconnect the contents of the collective mind in ever more implausible, beautiful, and self-fulfilling ways."

The notion that art can be responsible for drawing attention to and creating momentum about these notions is encouraging.  How can art begin to satisfy the human desire for a greater connection to the world that they exists within?  It's easy to imagine the millions of people on this planet thinking and asking themselves if there is something more to care about, something more to love, something that makes the grueling repetitive days more meaningful.  Perhaps it is art that can answer that question, yes, there is, and here you are.  

It is worth mentioning that my small amount of rambling about all of this is just scratching the surface of this Archaic Revival, I don't want to misrepresent anything I'm talking about, so please understand that the best way for you to get a clear idea about all of these ideas is to read and learn about them.  I'm no expert on any of this, and am always welcome to more conversation and discourse. 

McKenna makes an excellent case for the need of the Archaic Revival. This book was fun and informative to read, really great if you're looking for some perspective about why meaning can be so hard to come by.  


Press Release: Summer Member Salon

Trestle Gallery has been kind enough to include me in their Summer Member Salon opening Friday August 16th.   The opening is from 7-9 & the show runs thru August 30th.  Here's the address:

Trestle Gallery and Brooklyn Art Space
168 7th Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn NY 11215
Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday 11am - 6pm
Saturday by appointment

This show features a lot of great artists and the opening will be a lot of fun.  If you can come out, you should! 



I've been making a lot of work.  Here's some of it!

Paper Watches



Watercolors that remind me of cracks in the desert ground. 

There's also a new painting, but that's not finished yet.  Which is all kinds of okay. 

Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna has been a really great read so far.  You'll get a nice post about that soon...