Sketchbook notes from the drifting spaces

Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me – Contemplating the inward and outward journeys of the self




In Buddhism we awake to the dream and realise we are still within the dream – helping us be much more aware and open. In transcendental meditation effortless concentration is practiced, moving deeper into new levels of consciousness.

The world of Twin Peaks, from the pilot to the Missing Pieces of Fire Walk With Me, explore many things. These include the journey of selves and the parting of the self into wider dimensions. There is a clear sense of the vast mystery – beyond notions of good and evil.

The spectrum of actions of the town’s residents and visitors range from extremely selfish – Ben and Catherine’s entertaining subterfuge for example – to genuinely caring – even Harry and Albert are looking out for each other after a rocky start to their relationship. The red room’s characters too seem to encompass contrasting aspects of a being’s possible ways of behaving towards others. Trust – deception accompany wholeness – fragmentation.

Bob and Mike complement each other in this way. Even Dale’s pure innocence is balanced by Bob’s intervention into his body and mind. If there is no such thing as a fixed essence or unchanging soul – these character transformations seen particularly within Leland Palmer, magnificently portrayed by Ray Wise, and Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle ‘Kale’ MacLachlan) are not unnatural perhaps but part of the wider planetary and worldly magic Mark Frost and David Lynch delve into.

Open heart-mind

Near the end of the second series Dale is seen coming out of meditation. He is sitting cross legged on a cushion in his room at the Great Northern, before beginning his regular dictation to Diane. Lynch is a practitioner of transcendental meditation. TM – carefree absorption aided by a mantra personal to the individual, which through regular practice connects to higher levels of consciousness and states that blissfully drop the immediate noise of the self.

It can be visually and multi sense stimulating, taking a self into a different place. We see Dale is vulnerable, but with an increasingly open heart-mind is gradually connecting to the mystery of the woods and the the owls.

Fire darkly or brightly

Dale Cooper deflects any symbol of heroic yogic meditator though or fearless FBI agent. He reveals his uncertainties and his fragility. The ‘good’ Dale and the blackness of the Black Lodge are smeared together, will the fire burn darkly or brightly through him?

Missing Pieces offered glimpses of future and past moments, with a humane and soft exploration of the relationships and states of the various characters of the intertwined Twin Peaks extended family. It balances the earlier film. The emerald green owl glyph ring circles on.. the broken heart necklace a reminder of throbbing hearts.

Other David Lynch related posts
“Tokyo Art Exhibitions – MOT and David Lynch at LAFORET” and other notes. →


Awakening flooding through us – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser




John’s Kusen 169

In these days, it often feels as if we are living in a dream. But whose dream?

Awakening is one of the three meanings of Satori, Enlightenment.

So what is Awakening?

It isn’t waking up into a different world. It isn’t, asleep, imagining that the world is flat, and waking up, realising that it’s round. We have to get out of our fixation on truth and falsity. It is entirely useless.

It is just letting the ceaseless expression of life, flooding through us from moment to moment, be.

We awaken from the small dreams of ‘Me’: self and world, truth and falsity, hate and fear, clinging and so on.

But awaken into which dream?



More zen articles at Kusen & Notes from John


Bring me your mind – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

C-print for Kusen 168 (www.blairthomson.com)


John’s Kusen 168

Eko said to Bodhidharma, “my mind is not at peace, please pacify it”

Bodhidharma said, “bring me your mind and I will pacify it”

After a while Eko said, “I have looked everywhere for my mind and I cannot find it”

Bodhidharma said, “There! I have pacified it”

In Eko’s question, we might easily pass over the most important word, ‘My’ : ‘My mind’, but if we don’t pass over it, if we see the fiction of ‘my’ mind, ‘my’ experience, what is there to pacify?

We should be grateful for everything in the flood of experience, because it is that, and that alone, which clarifies the great matter.


More zen articles at Kusen & Notes from John


Small sketchbook drawings Ardfern – perception/intuition


Shodo zen calligraphy practice




Trying out the zen enso circle, symbol of universality and the idea of beauty within imperfection.





Small to medium fude for sho on single hanshi sheets.





Working on the character nen – commonly translated as mindfulness or mindful, also attention or care. There is a balance needed between the two parts of the kanji.





The fude brushes hanging to dry – looking like they need another good rinse!


flux – interchanging – equalising


Sho calligraphy mark making




Making some marks with fude brushes and fudepen using Japanese sumi ink. Beginning practicing for a series of three Drawing and Painting Studio workshops. Experimenting with the brush stopping and flicking, speed of the marks and energy.

In the first Shodo group the Kanji characters ten – heavens/ sky and shin or kokoro – heart/ mind. I have chosen zen related characters for participants to practice.


Aye Write! Book Festival community art publication – ‘Future’

  • 02 March 2017
  • Art

For the Aye Write! 2017 book festival I was asked to help deliver a project combining art and literacy, working with adult learners and tutors from around Glasgow city.





We came up with a book of creative writing and drawing, experimenting with various approaches that allowed individuals to express themselves to a theme of ‘learning for the future’.






Season’s Greetings 2017



Have a super duper 2017 and all the very best wishes for a peaceful holiday.

Creatively 2016 has been really varied, and has seen work on various visual projects, particularly photography and drawings, both getting more abstract and playful.

Recently I have been running free community art classes in Ruchill and Maryhill in Glasgow for young people and adults. I’ll be growing these into the North West and East of the city in 2017.
www.drawingandpaintingstudio.com


Evolving photography works

C-print gold 2 (www.blairthomson.com)


C-print gold 1 (www.blairthomson.com)


Working with nature, plus my own ‘sculptural’ props and my trusty old nikon dslr, and recent smaller digital camera, I’ve been going on to develop various series of photographs and c-prints. The two images I’ve selected here are from work on the Scottish Hebrides. These series have gradually become more abstracted and playful with colour and atmosphere, and are influencing new drawing and painting experiments in terms of colour blocks and composition.


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