Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Smoke Oracles: Scrying the Divine" A Book of Automatic Paintings

Johnny Decker Miller “Smoke Oracles: Scrying the Divine”
A Book of Automatic Paintings
Hand made by the artist in a limited signed edition of 50 copies bound in artist grade paper stock
-    $6.00   -
“…Beyond the dark clouds and rolling mists at his feet, a vision of the celestial city, far off, it may be, but radiant with unearthly splendour, bathed in the light of dreams.”

-James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion

The images that are found in the pages of this small book were created utilizing the immediacy of the automatic drawing technique. Each of the ten images contained herein were put to paper in one session with no preconceived notion as to the overall outcome of the final image. In essence, they're a candid outpouring of the subconscious mind, having only been directed by the idea of the ancient shamanic practice of smoke divination.

Cast your fortune, what prophesies lie hidden within the curls and billows of the smoke? Your unconscious mind may surprise you with the revelations it perceives …


I'm so happy to announce the completion of a chapbook of my automatic paintings! The book contains reproductions of ten original ink paintings. I'll be selling copies of the book at my artist reception for my show "Le Mystere Lycanthropique" at Swim cafe tomorrow from 6-8 PM, where the original paintings will also be shown. They'll be selling at the white hot price of $6, signed and individually numbered by myself in a handmade edition of 50 copies. I'm also hoping to get it sold on consignment at three great Chicago bookstores: Quimby's in Wicker park, The Occult Bookstore in Noble Square, and the very cool Alchemy Arts up in Edgewater, so keep an eye out if you miss picking one up at the show!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Le Mystere Lycanthropique" New Works at Swim Cafe this Friday 5/11!

Statement of intent:

"Art is an outgrowth of the shamanic practices of our ancestors. The series of thoughts and actions one uses to arrive at visual or conceptual conclusions is known today as the “creative process”. This method is actually nothing more than the evolution of a deep-seated and mystic craft used to conjure and portend thoughts and images.

At times, it becomes necessary for the shaman to gain access to the spirit world, whether it be through deep, transcendental meditation, hypnagogic premonition, or psychedelic hallucination. Twentieth century occultist Kenneth Grant theorized the idea of bestial mysticism and he felt that some of the world’s greatest sorcerers, writers, and artists knew this type of shamanic transformation well. French poet and mystic Arthur Rimbaud stated that one “…makes himself into a seer by a long, tremendous and reasoned derangement of the senses." Artists often enter a trance state wherein long stretches of time pass by unnoticed and they become “lost” in their work. This transformative period of atavism is at the heart of Le Mystère Lycanthropique, wherein the basest primal instincts surge forth to conjure thought and image that might otherwise be unattainable. 

My new work hopes to capture, visually, the artists’ bestial and shamanic journey through creativity and divination. The idea of the artist as shaman is nothing new, but in today’s world of technological and social disconnect, I feel that many have attempted to demystify the artistic practice. A faltering sense of wonder about the workings of the cosmos and a loss of identity with our spiritual progenitors is perhaps one of the greatest casualties of the digital age."

-Johnny Decker Miller 2012