The Hand of God and Others – 1998-2014, A Collection

 

We continue our journey into the Napkin’s archives with a collection of hands.  This collection also happens to contain my favorite quote of all time.  See if you can find it.

 

Hands are Handy

One of the reasons I used hands when I first started doing these drawings for my daughters was that they were very easy and fast to draw. I was drawing 3 drawings per morning to stick in their lunches so I had to be fast. I could quickly draw the hand with one line and have it express an idea.  I liked that. Then add in that it was easy for the hand to represent something greater than self, from another world, and it was a no brainer to use the hand for ideas related to God, religion, hell, heaven, theology, etc. It came to represent more than that but that is where it started.

Here is a selection starting in 1998/99.  The first napkin is undated but the only undated drawings I have are, for the most part, from those 2 years.

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1998/99

 

sleeping girl

 

Original post – ‘Sleeping Girl’

 

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2001

 

Atheist thank god

 

Original post – ‘I Am An Atheist Still’

 

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clenched fist

 

Original post – ‘Thinking Clearly’

 

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2002

 

facts

 

Original post – ‘We Are All Imprisoned by Facts’

 

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2003

 

fingers_sm

 

Original post – ‘The Fingers Must Be Educated’

 

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2004

 

unexpected2_sm

 

Original post – ‘The Unexpected Life’

 

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Religion Test

 

Original post – ‘The Test of a Religion’

 

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2009

 

Atheism

 

 Original post – ‘If There is a God’

 

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theology

 

Original post - ‘The Intent of Theology’

 

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2010

 

value

 

Original post – ‘Man Must Be Disappointed’

 

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2011

 

evolution

 

Original post – ‘Religion Was Science’ – Creation vs Evolution #4

 

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2012

 

perfectionism

 

Original post – ‘Perfection and Progress’ – The Perfect Perfectionist Series #3

 

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2014

 

wealth1-2014_sm

 

Original post - ‘The Moment of Good Fortune’ – Wealth #1

 

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Drawings by Marty Coleman

 

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The Beautiful Cyclops – 2002-2014, A Collection

 

One Eye

The idea of the all-seeing eye has been around forever. The cyclops is one variation on that. I like to use the cyclops in that way, as the omnipotent witness. I also use him/her to upend ideas of beauty.  If one woman’s eyes are considered beautiful, then why would it be different if she had just one eye.

Here is a selection of my cyclops drawings over the years.  Below each is a link to the original post the drawing appeared in.

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2002

napkin_08-26-02_hospitality

 

Original Post – ‘Thankful #2 – Hospitality

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2003

 

attention

 

 

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2004

 

log

 

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2009

 

average

 

Original Post – ‘The Average Person Thinks He Isn’t

 

beauty 4

 

Original Post – ‘Beauty is a Brief Grasp’

 

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2010

 

yourself

 

Original Post – ‘Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken

 

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2011

 

evolution 5

 

Original Post – ‘Beauty – Evolution vs Creation #5′

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2013

 

dating 4

 

Original Post - ‘Attraction and Awareness – Dating 101 #4′

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2014

 

Expectations - Mothers #3

 

Original Post – ‘Expectations – Mothers #3

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Naked Men, 2009-2014 – A Collection

 

Napkin Review

I thought it would be fun to bring out consistent visual themes I have had over the years and show them to you chronologically.  I am not talking about the quotes being consistent but the subject matter of the drawings.  You will also see a very obvious style progression in the drawings over the years.

 

Naked Men

First up? Naked men.  I draw a lot more naked women than men, but men do make a regular appearance. Here is a selection from over the years.  A link to the original post is below each image. There you will find the commentary that went along with the drawing.

 

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2009

 

opportunity 2

Original post – Life Opens Up Opportunities

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2010

 

religion 5

Original post – The Christian Ideal

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2011

 

catastrophe 4

Original post – Catastrophe #4 – The Atom

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2012

 

nudity 2

Original post – Do You Swim Naked? 

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2013

 

idealism 4

Original post - The Idealism Blues

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2014

 

enjoying life 1

Original post – What To Do Between Birth and Death – Enjoying Life #1 – The original post has a censored version of this.

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Drawings by Marty Coleman

Cruelty and Morality – Conscience #3

 

I am delighted that today will inflict ‘Conscience #3′ on you.

 

conscience3_2014_sm

 

The Invention of Hell

I know some of you believe Hell is a real place that has existed since time immemorial.  I don’t.  I believe Hell is a place invented by humans trying to make sense of an unfair and capricious world where seemingly bad people triumphed and good people met disaster too often.  How does it all even out?  There has to be a place that those bad people go after death to make it fair.  That place is hell.

Hell on Earth

Since those same moralists don’t actually know for certain that there is a hell as evil as they want, they make sure that those they hope are going there suffer along the way. There are of course the usual, time honored punishments of burning at the stake, drawn and quartered, etc.  But that is for one individual.  Far worse is when the moralists devise a hell on earth for an entire population.  There is the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the Armenian genocide,  the Cambodian Khmer Rouge regime, just to name a few from the past 100 years.

Why Do People Do This?

How does a person,  government or a whole nation justify something like this?  They justify it by saying these people deserve it because they are immoral and sinful, thus less human.  In their moralistic hunger they have rationalized the most barbaric behavior imaginable.

It’s not just in history and it’s not just in some foreign land. Being a self-righteous moralist, especially an uneducated and zealous one, is a very dangerous thing everywhere.  Look around you in your own life, watch for it. You will see it. And when you do I hope you stand up and fight it.

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Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970, British Philosopher

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“The infliction of a cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.”

Remembering and Forgetting to Remember – Conscience #2

 

Let’s be clear and don’t forget, today is day #2 of our Conscience series!

 

Forgetting to Remember - Conscience #2

 

The virtue of a bad memory

This morning I happened upon a Facebook post by a muse and friend of mine, Angela Huckeby.  This is what she wrote:

Tonight’s reflection:

Dates and anniversaries of sad occasions.

Sometimes I wonder if it is a coping mechanism that I have acquired after a few small tragedies, but I have no idea what date ANY of my family members passed away on… Or the dates of my divorces… And most days I can’t even remember the date of my second marriage.
Selective memory, I’m sure.
Seem odd? Probably.
The thing is, I have become a master at NOT dwelling on the past. I’m sure a little bit of dwelling can be healthy, but I see so many people in absolute heartache each year over the anniversary of anything that caused them pain.
What’s the purpose of such torture?
I see no point. Remember the joy and live and love in the now.

Where We Store the Big Mixing Bowl

Angela’s reflections show a different side to the virtue of a bad memory than the one mentioned by the quote author, Mark Twain.  He is humorously pointing out that it’s pretty convenient to forget our ‘sins’.  But Angela is telling us how beneficial it is to also forget our sorrow, pain, resentments, heartaches.  

Now, the truth is we don’t really forget them. What we do is put them away in the far back of a lower cabinet, as we do a big mixing bowl we only use once a year.

We know those things are there, we know we can feel them and remember them again if we want. But we have done our constant remembering, our wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth.  We are wrung out and gnashed out.  Now we know we can put the memories way out of the way and we won’t lose them.  We know we can bring them out if we ever need to.

Not a Sin Excuse

There is a peace in that. If you haven’t felt that peace, maybe there are some memories you need to store away. Not so you can excuse your ‘sin’ in the present, but so you can live and love in it.

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Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by Mark Twain

Reflection by Angela Huckeby.  Angela and I became friends when she agreed to pose for my ‘Velveteen Women’ project back in 2011.  A four panel photo-collage with her as the subject was included in the exhibition at Living Arts in Tulsa in 2012.   Scroll down to see all four panels.

 

martyandangela_sm

Artist and Muse

 

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angela_all_withlabels

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