February 9, 2013
I completed a portrait painting of Ramana Maharishi yesterday. I’ve been learning a technique that makes portrait painting, in this style, much easier than anything else I’ve tried. I have never considered myself a person who can paint people, but the responses I got from my painting of Palden Gyatso had me rethinking how I see myself in that regard. I’ve since taken on portrait painting and have done three or four of them.
Ramana Maharishi is a unique and important individual for people who practice spirituality. I won’t go into a long diatribe about it here as I assume if you are interested in him, then you will seek further for yourself, but I do want to add this quote from wikipedia. “He radiated a silent power which stilled the minds of those who came to him and occasionally gave them a direct experience of his state. In later years, he became more willing to speak and respond to questions, though he always insisted that the silence he emanated was his purest teaching and that his verbal teachings were only for those who could not understand his silence.”
January 13, 2013
Wet red leaves
fall to frozen
Not allowed to run
the race of life
only to fall
My heart goes out to all involved in the Newton Connecticut community.
January 7, 2013
So I’ve been a Professional Coach for a couple years now and not ironically, I guess, have been hired by a number of artists to support the expansion of their art and life.
The most profound experience I’ve had through working with these amazing creators is how their art changes as a result of connecting in a clearer way to their essence; the most fundamental reflection of their being, their light, their true nature. It shows up in their paintings as their “voice”. Some call it style, but I’m not sure that captures it because you can work in different styles and yet be creating through your essence. It’s an expression deeper than the style or medium chosen.
I watched Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” movie last night and I got even more clarity on this process. My analogy is a tube between your deepest self and your medium (canvas, paper, instrument, etc). The clearer the tube the clearer the true expression of your essence. Then I started realising that we are all at different levels of clarity within our own “tubes”. So even when an artist paints and the result isn’t their clearest expression, it may just be perfect for someone else who is at that exact level of clarity in relationship to their own essence. I now wonder if that’s part of what happens when an artist is unhappy with their work, but others are blown away by it. If the negative self talk is not involved, then maybe that artist just knows that their tube had some translucence to it instead of transparency?
If you are an artist and looking to clear the tube between your deepest self and your medium I’d be honoured to work with you. This is open to the artist working in their home studio who never shows their work to the established artist making a living through their work.
Make 2013 the year of you. Make it the greatest year of your life. You won’t get it back, and you can only run this calendar once my friends.
May 29, 2012
The second piece I’ve entered into the June art show at the Terrace Art Gallery is called “Exposing the Heart”. It is 3′X5′. This is the second time I’ve worked this large and I have to say I kind of like it. The space is so big that painting on it involves my whole body. I will even share that I have though about going larger! It will be tricky to get a larger painting out of my basement studio though, but nothing that a hole through my basement wall wouldn’t cure.
Exposing the Heart
I took this photo outside and I love how the sunshine exposes the frame behind the canvas.
May 29, 2012
I am part of a June art show at the Terrace Art Gallery. The first painting I finished for the show is called “Coming to Life” and is a reflection of my own journey to becoming a 0 handicap golfer. The golf hole in the painting is not finished just as my project to become a “scratch” golfer is not yet complete.
Coming to Life
March 25, 2012
If you are unfamiliar with Palden Gyatso he is a Tibetan monk imprisoned and tortured for 33 years by the Chinese government. I highly recommend “Fire in the Snow”, a documentary on Palden. His story is heartbreaking and inspiring all wrapped together.
Chuck Close is an American artist famous for his portrait painting. His style is to grid a photo and then paint each individual square which, when viewed from afar, makes the painting appear as one image.
While working with my art class I decided to introduce them to Close’s style and we took on a project of placing a grid over a photo and then painting each grid onto a larger piece of paper. I decided to join in the fun and to also take the opportunity to introduce my students to the amazing story of Palden.
It took three months to complete this painting, which gave me an even deeper respect for Close’s style and process.
May 13, 2011
I completed a commission this week and thought I’d write a blog post about it. It is for a wedding, and when I was told about the couple my mind wandered around about what marriage takes to be successful. I came upon two supports: Love & Strength. Here’s the letter I wrote to the couple.
Dear Jon and Jessica,
What is created when two individuals join in marriage? I believe that when two whole and complete people come together to celebrate their individuality their relationship becomes an expression of the greatness of each person. This union brings forth something to the world that was not there before.
There are two components, or halves, to any relationship: Love & Strength. The circles in this piece represent your individuality, your tapped and untapped potential. You are coming together to create an interlock of your individual beauty and expression. The hearts express the two unique shapes of each of your personalities that, when together, create something new that cannot be created alone. You are surrounded by your love for each other. Your love can also been seen through you (the hearts are visible through the centre of the circle of your individuality).
You two are embarking on a life together that with both inspire others with your love and your strength. Love as the expression of the divine within each of you as well as the divine love created with your union. Strength for the times when challenges surface within life and your relationship. I wish you both the greatest life you can possibly create together. It has been an honour to ponder the power of love and strength while creating this art for you.
peace and love,
Since I enjoy seeing artists through their process, I am going to share a couple photos of the journey and then the finished product.
As usual, feel free to comment in the space provided.
January 2, 2011
I recently completed a commission. The piece was ordered for a doctor and my instructions were simple, “Carve an egg for me as a gift to my surgeon.” The great thing about this commission was that there were no guidelines. I could create whatever I wanted. I immediately had an idea that I liked a great deal. I worked through some design ideas but nothing was working. My ideas just couldn’t take form. I thought this was weird because I was jazzed up about what I had planned. I struggled with it for a couple of sessions and then had to reevaluate.
While in the reevaluation state, I ended up thinking about a previous piece, Summoning Intuition, which I had completed for the December show in Terrace Art Gallery. I found out that I wasn’t done with the driving force for that piece yet. When I started to think about it again a flood of ideas came pouring into my head at once, competing for the limited space available there. I then spent some time pondering why these empty circles were so powerful for me. This is what I came up with.
“I am currently fascinated by the potentiality of empty space. Space that appears to contain nothing which actually contains everything. A simple example that everyone can relate to is the empty space of a womb. A swimmer and an egg are both floating in this empty space and BAM, a human life begins the process of becoming. This happens in the realm of potentiality, or comes from the realm of potentiality (?). Out of this nothing comes something. There is this magic potential which is always available. Every single thing in this universe at one time only existed in the realm of potential. This fascination of mine has surfaced in the circles found in my current series of goose eggs.”
I created Summoning Wholeness, photographed it, and delivered it. With the delivery came a letter to the surgeon who will be receiving this piece. Here is a portion of that letter for you to read.
“I have always created circles in my art, but have also always filled them with something. I think the circle is a beautiful shape: strong, symmetrical, infinite. Recently though, I have been spending a great deal of time thinking about potential. I began a series of carvings that build around circles unfilled. The emptiness in them represents the potential nature of that particular piece. Your piece, Summoning Wholeness, has three circles. Because you live the in the healing arts, these three represent body, mind, and spirit. These are the essentials of wholeness, the feeling/sense of being a healthy and whole human. Each circle contains within it the potential of unbounded health in those three areas. You have the potential to inspire people. To approach these three platforms for healing and initiate change that alters the course of their lives. This has been very inspiring for me to ponder while working through the design phase of this egg.”
I thought I’d include photos of the process for this piece. I hope you enjoy them.
December 30, 2010
I had an amazing morning ski yesterday and thought others may enjoy some of the photos I took. These are from Shames Mountain in Terrace BC. Shames is considered one of the best backcountry skiing areas in all of BC ,and there was even an article in a snowboard magazine from the states(?) that said Shames is a gem hidden within all of North America (this is a super paraphrase as it was years ago and I can’t remember it). It is an awesome place to backcountry ski.
I took these photos on my Canon G10 with no special lens. I switched between the scene options of snow and landscape. For the close up shots I changed from the mountain to the flower button (very technical photo language here. I apologise to the amateur photographers who may not understand what I’m speaking of).
Click on any photo to make it larger.