Black Swan Editions Visionary Art Book
Books Drawn from the Well of Myth

Visionary Art Books & Poetry in Santa Fe, NM

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Art BLOG - The FIVE Minute Art Salon

Do You Invent Yourself, Or Are You Invented?

equipoise top leftEQUIPOISE, drawing detail from visionary art book ILLUMINATIONS The Geography Of The Imagination, by Steven E. CounsellIf you will yourself a tool, you become a hammer. If you will yourself a pen, you become a sentence. If you will yourself a robot, your eyes glitter like steel. There are no neutral choices! All wishes have terms of enactment. When worlds change there is an interregnum where you can look back and see where you came from, and ahead to where you will be. Once the change is complete the past can only be seen through the future. If will is free we should not allow ourselves to be chosen. The world has changed the revolution is over. The past is no more than a dim narrative to be loved and lived in or replaced. The future moves too fast to be anything but self-replicating, one of our primary functions perhaps the only one left is to be consumers and consumed. It seems now that we are Willy-Nilly free to be molded into the techno-script written almost by the second. Encouraged to be one dimensional puppet’s with functional ray-guns we can never remotely understand, merely fire. Or with a supreme act of will, find strategies for patience.

The 5-Minute Art Salon

What is Surrealism?

What is Visionary Art?

What is Mythic Art?

What is Symbolic Art?

Mobius World

library at babylon 2THE LIBRARY OF BABYLON, painting detail from visionary art book  ILLUMINATIONS The Geography Of The Imagination, by Steven E. Counsell Artist/Author, pgs 48-53




In a Mobius world, anyway you stand Is right side up.







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Artist at Work

blog santa fe 1Steven E. Counsell, Artist at Work Steven E. Counsell, Artist, works on his beautiful drawings each week day morning at Ecco Expresso Shop, located at 105 E. Marcy Street, Santa Fe NM.  Stop in and see his amazing paintings in process.  You can also buy, directly from Steve, his beautiful award winning art book, ILLUMINATIONS the Geography of the Imagination




More on The 5 Minute Art Salon:

What is Visionary Art?

What is Surrealism?

Is How You See, What You See?

RIPE (detail) see pages 32-35RIPE (painting detail) from art book ILLUMINATIONS the Geogragraphy of the Imagination, pages 32-35
The tidal ocean of strawberry skin and its requisite seeds flow under an orange sectioned sun. What is myth but the extension of imagination and metaphor beyond the narrow confines of the linear and the literal? Large truths are not housed in small facts. The ILIAD tells a larger truth about war. Fairy tales plunge us into our deepest symbolic history. If you begin in wonder, you will end in profundity.





More at The 5-Minute Art Salon:

What is Visionary Art?

What is Myth?

Can Angels Fly?


Are Storms in You?

odd3blogdetail from THE ORDINARY DEVINE, painting on page 188 in art book ILUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imagination The neurons firing in a brain resemble lightning firing in a storm. Storms think and minds rain, in a preamble to growth. Living in New Mexico I take delight in being in one of the most spectacular places in the nation for thunderstorms; where more people per-capita are struck by lightning than anywhere else in the country. I find this encouraging somehow. In this detail from The Ordinary Divine all hell is breaking loose, ionizing the air and making everything more acutely alive. Kant said in, AESTHETIC JUDGEMENTS: “Storms and the like when assured of our safety, are our attempts to gain access to fear.”

 The 5-Minute Art Salon

Read More

What is Visionary Art?

What is Myth?

Can Angels Fly?



What is Human Scale?

bridges edited 6detail from BRIDGES, graphite drawing by Steven E. CounsellMost everything I love about civilized life are in these vignettes. Human scale, real materials used simply, roads and gates, and a gratitude of arches. Am I an anachronism, yes of course, I've never beat primal nature out of my system. We can live harmoniously in nature, become a coherent part of living systems. This for me is almost the definition of paradise. Symmetry without randomness is cruel and impossibly arrogant, machines without limits or an off switch is the royal road to the cyborgs palace. All precision and no play make's Jack a dead boy.

visionay art book with Introduction by Jungian Analyst
ILLUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imagination, Steven E. Counsell, Artist/Poet

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Do We Dine At Times Table?

adam3aADAM, pastel painting detail by Steven E. CounsellYouth inoculates itself from the possibility of aging. The problem is vanity is the last thing to go; and we are always young and the mirror is only objective for our neighbor. We are old children, infant graybeards, how subjective it all is! In these fragments of Adam where does the arrow of time point? Is one emerging, or is one knitting oneself together. We all know the fearful answer. IT IS BOTH!


ADAM, pastel painting detail from visionary art book
titled ILLUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imagination by Steven E. Counsell

Does Anything Remember Us?

adam2detail from ADAM, pastel drawing We are the master potters of our own clay. Spinning our wheels, hoping for balance. Fired
and broken open by beauty. We are caught by the primal mud we sluffed off. As we dry the earth returns to cobweb cracks in our all too apparent passing. Does the reformation of our clay into another face remember us?



ADAM, pastel drawing detail from art book (with a fabulous Jungian introduction) ILLUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imagination  by Steven E. Counsell, Artist/Poet

Where Is The Real Hero ?

riddles of wood4RIDDLES OF WOOD, Steven E. Counsell, painting detailThe ascension of the Hero. The wait is over and weight ceases to matter. He will ascend to Valhalla, Heaven, The Elysian Fields and the countless names and places our upward ascension lifts us to. He doesn’t fly he is lifted. Don't we all have moments when everything is light, when it all makes sense ? The clear liquor of exaltation fills us. Oh we all know it will not last, but while it does the air clears, it is Spring and we are reborn. Joy and transcendence, the Hero's flight, one of our oldest longings, one of our most cherished myths. If we are vigilant enough, we just might be able to make it true.

RIDDLES OF WOOD, watercolor painting from the book titled:
ILLUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imagination
by Steven Edwin Counsell, Artist/Poet from Santa Fe NM

Introduction by Monika Wikman, Jungian Phsychologist, Tesuque NM


Why Did The Vikings Carve ?

riddles of wood3Riddles of Wood, painting detail by Steven E. CounsellThese Runic carvings are the stories the trees tell the carvers. In the Northern Taiga these hard men invented their soul through these glyphs. Trees were the foundation, the very flesh of the Long Ships, the Dragon Ships. They created their fabulous beasts and interlocked their design to knot their bodies to the earth. Their was no plunder or wergeld in these bright carvings only the proof of their existence. Their debt to the Norns ( The Fates ). What we make is the coffin that buries and resurrects us.




ILLUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imagination (page 13)
by Steven E. Counsell

How Do We Wear Our Words?

toysno2 edited8smTOYS No. 2, graphite drawing detail by Steven E. Counsell

Rembrandt said “a figure must do more than breathe, it must think.” Breath is hard enough Granny’s mouth is slightly open. An exhale in this drawing fragment shows a mouth wrinkled by a life time of speaking. Our words wear out our lips over time. And how we speak literally determines the kind of wrinkles we will make. We must speak carefully, our mouths will betray us. Kindness is best.


READ MORE at "The 5-Minute Art Salon" 

How does Fruit Enchant You?


RIPE watercolor detail by Steven E. CounsellRIPE watercolor detail by Steven E. CounsellThe fruit on the tree of Knowledge was probably a quince. Newton’s apple might have been a pear. The poet Schiller could only write poetry to the smell of rotten apples. What is it about fruit! We have freighted so much mythic baggage on fruit it’s surprising we can eat it. This is fruit that would be recognized by any child and every dreamer. Not quite ”normal”, enchanted perhaps — you know, the fruit you place on your tongue that makes you forget your spouse, your job and marches you into the Realm Of Fairie. Time stops, and when you return a hundred years may have passed. Of course poison apples should not be underestimated, there almost always irresistible and after all, they just put you to sleep for a thousand years say, or erase your memory. In the splendid kingdoms beyond the beyond, fruit is luminous, so vivid it lodges behind the mind. One of the last things my father saw in life was a bowl of pomegranates, the Greek symbol of eternity. We must make beauty and wonder our final reckoning.


RIPE, watercolor painting from the book titled:
ILLUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imagination
by Steven Edwin Counsell, Artist/Poet from Santa Fe NM
Introduction by Monika Wikman, Jungian Phsychologist, Tesuque NM

What Is Improbable?

visionary art book ILLUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imaginationdetail from THE ORDINARY DEVINE, pastel paintingThis is an improbable landscape - not impossible though - that requires more initiative. In an improbable landscape gravity still works very nicely. Bridges still cross rivers and grass greens. Though the color of bubble gum - fog condenses in valleys. If indeed they are filled with helium - spheres will float. Translucent jellied cones sport about like penguins and storms form on mountains that darken. Improbable yes - but not impossible. Now consider the improbable sequence of events that happened to you today. The more you study them the more curious they get. Exercise bikes are as improbable as Unicorns. Sealed plastic cups covered in metal containing yogurt, tattooing, movies, the list is endless. I can assure you, anyone living in this improbable landscape would view the seemingly ordinary aforementioned list as improbable. Might I say impossible?

art detail from THE ORDINARY DEVINE from visionary art book
ILUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imagination by Steven Edwin Counsell  


The 5-Minute Art Salon

Read More:

What is Visionary Art?

What is Myth?

Can Angels Fly?


How Do We Make Art That Lives?

Painting detail from Visionary Art Book, Santa Fedetail from RIPE, water color painting by Steven E. CounsellThe Sumerians believed the seed resided in the head. Just to think, brought forth life. The world then, had no divisions. Nature flowed, as in this detail from my painting appropriately titled "RIPE." It flowed through us, and we through it. In this connectivity there was no control or subjugation, only partnership. For me as
an artist to have authority, I must have complete identification with my subject to flow into it. Art that is above nature is above life.


RIPE, painting detail from visionary art book titled
ILLUMINATIONS The Geography of the Imagination, by Steven E. Counsell 

The 5-Minute Art Salon
Read more:

What is Surealism?

Can Angels Fly?

What is Myth?