Failing

It’s been said that every subject that’s been painted has become a cliche- it’s been painted a thousand times in a hundred different ways, and our job as an artist is to do it in a way it’s never been done before.

NUDE STUDY 6 #3

I have worked for ten months out of the year painting for shows at various galleries for 20 years now. It’s a glorious paradox- both grueling and transporting work. From show to show for two months at a time I’d be living the upcoming show and nothing else.  It’s a descent into obsession (or else) in the best of ways- until it’s not.  Over the past few years I’ve felt an increasing uneasiness with falling into a niche and staying where it’s comfortable and familiar, and this year I finally did something about it. I exited every gallery where a connection didn’t exist, and I have no shows scheduled for the entire year and into next year as well to work with no objective except to escape any barriers to me giving my highest as an artist. At 63 years and at this stage in my “career”- I’ve been exalted and humbled- worked with a slew of galleries, good, bad and ugly. I have something to show for my work. I have 20 years worth of really nice reviews, a good following nationally and internationally, collectors, and I’m one of those fortunate enough to make a decent living at it, etc. One of the biggest dangers I face at this age and stage in my work is complacency.  I don’t believe people lose their edge- I believe they let it go. At this point in life you either drop your edge and fade into oblivion or you ignite into a bonfire and take your art to more amazing places than you ever imagined you could go.

NUDE STUDY 5 #7

On this journey as an artist there are times when i feel like I’ve taken it all as far as it will go, but I do know better. I’m out there finding it, with no show to paint for, no commissions to attend to, nothing to do but create, 2016 has been a retreat devoted to exploring, to breaking out and playing with different mediums, random materials, varying painting styles, and just letting whatever is going to happen happen-  just paint, and work with collage and sculpture, and assemblage or anything else that comes to mind and let the Muse have her way.

NUDE STUDY 8 #9

This commitment to making art that possesses true Spirit and a living Soul is oblivious to tried-and-true methods and trends, to what’s in vogue or what’s selling, but rather surrenders to the movement of the unnamed, unknown Spirit that moves the creator into new and unfamiliar territory- the more unfamiliar the better, and it inevitably involves getting lost and finding your way, and even failure- lots of it. You need tenacity as much as you do talent. There’s no way around it- if you haven’t failed- and failed and failed then chances are you’re mired in mediocrity.

NUDE STUDY 7 #11

Over the years I can think of several periods I’ve gone through where painting after painting seemed a failure and it became tiring and a struggle to even pick up a brush- just not in that enchanted zone where paint magically flies and masterpieces appear, tediously trudging through each painting only to end up with an overworked, boring and colorless failure- but that led me further into foreign territory and eventually into that promised land.

NUDE STUDY 3#8

The really interesting and telling thing about all this is that looking back over the years (decades) I see that when I was the most devil-may-care about painting and free from concerns about making art that would be familiar and embraced by the masses were the times when shows sold out before the reception even occurred, where sales were in the six figures, where collectors bought ten, even twenty pieces in the space of a year. I do believe- no, life has proven to me, that Spirit takes care of us when we put our being into doing what we were put here to do. “Career” concerns aside, I’m realizing I haven’t even scratched the surface of what is out there- and I am so excited to see what will come of this time for the next 20 years…

NUDE STUDY 10 #5

 

 

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Posted in Art and Money, Art and Religion, Art Business, Buying Art, colorado springs art, Copper Moon Gallery, fritz scholder, lance green expressionist painter, taos artist, The Spiritual in Art | 3 Comments

Giving and Taking

 

 

 

GIFT OF A FEATHER #3

Gift of a Feather

 

Giving is a big reason why we’re here- Giving and Taking is what makes the world operate as a society. An imbalance of either can be crippling to individuals, to relationships or to an entire culture.

I do public speaking from time to time, mostly at schools, and the first thing I usually ask is “how many of you here aspire to being artists?” a number of hands go up, and then I ask my second question: “How many of you that have your hands up are encouraged by your teachers and families to pursue a career in art?” Inevitably well over half the hands go down, and then I ask the last question: “How many of you that put your hands down are told that art is not something you can make a living at and that you need to find a more realistic way to make a living?” The hands go back up. Then- I tell every person in the auditorium to close their eyes and imagine a world with No art. No paintings, No music, No movies, No videos, No dance, No Instagram, No architecture- Nothing. It’s then that everyone in the room gets their first realization of the value of art and how much it contributes to our lives- and what life would be like without it. When people utter the old cliche “I love this painting but I just can’t afford to buy art” I tell them “No, you can’t afford Not to buy art.” The more fail to see the true value of art and put it in a “discretionary” category the less the artist is able to provide the beauty that nourishes the Soul. In the heart of every True Artist lies the desire to, no, the need to give his/her gift, but in order for him/her to Give there also has to be an exact equal amount of Take on their part so they have the resources to be able to continue in their Contribution.

I remember when I was young and worked for a gardening company in California. There was a poor woman with children on our route whose car had broken down. The bill was $1,200. We had $1,200 in our business account and we told the manager of the business we wanted to give the entire $1,200 to her. He said that while he appreciated us wanting to give to those in need, but that if we did then where would we get gas for the lawnmowers and for our company trucks? How would we have the energy to work if we had no money for food? What about wages and the responsibility to pay our rent and to feed our families? Giving beyond our means would mean an end to our business, and no way to provide food and shelter for our own families. What we finally decided to do was to give her $300 and do her yard for free for the remainder of the year. Several months later we received a check in the mail for $300 plus the fees for doing her yard. She said she appreciated our giving to her when she was in need and that she also knew that we had expenses and families to provide for- almost as if she had heard what our manager had said to us when we wanted to give her our last dime. It was a profound lesson in economics in a personal, local and global sense as well as a moral and practical way.

In 2013 I attended a few business meet-ups here in Colorado Springs. A member of one of the groups asked me to donate to a fundraising auction for a Kids with Cancer Benefit, which I gladly did. After that the word got around the group that my artwork had fetched a good deal of money and over the period of a year or so I had a swarm of people from the group ask me for painting for things for all types of events. One even asked me for a painting to sell to cover his expenses to enter a marathon. By a year’s time I had donated over $7,000 to their various causes, and the marathon request was my wake-up call. There was no give and take here, but rather a one-sided taking, and one that was taking on the appearance of a looting more than a reciprocal way of doing business. The real sand in the gears was that over the span of time I was giving my work away none of these young professionals ever came to an art reception, a painting workshop, an open studio- nothing, and my proverbial lawnmower was running out of gas. I finally had to tell the last person to ask me for a donation that I was no longer able to do so because they were taking and taking with no thought of reciprocating.

Fast forward to 2015 and another organization here in town- one that works with foster kids. One of the ladies that comes to study with me every week asked me if I would be willing to donate a painting and also do 4 weekend painting sessions with 4 of the foster kids from the agency and we would sell their work at the benefit along with mine. I agreed, and all four of the kid’s paintings fetched over $500 each and mine sold in a heartbeat for $2,500. I could see we were on a roll, so I told the auctioneer to offer up another painting that I would do on commission and it immediately sold as well. So, I offered up a third painting and it sold. By the end of the evening we had raised over $10,000. It was a huge success- but that was only the beginning. Not much later the student that had asked for the painting bought a piece from me privately. I held a painting workshop and ten women from the group attended. Then three of them began taking private art lessons from me, and by the end of the year between the three of them they had bought a total of 6 substantially priced paintings from me. There is ample gas in my mower, and I am ready and able to continue in my own contribution.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Art and Money, Art Business, Buying Art, colorado springs art, lance green expressionist painter, Paintings, santa fe painter, The Spiritual in Art | Leave a comment

Resume

EDUCATION:

1972-74  Rio Hondo College   Major:  Art
1978   Rio Hondo College:   Design

Spring/ Summer 1998/ Spring/Fall 1999
Series of two day one on one painting workshops with Fritz Scholder

EXHIBITIONS:

2016
Fine Art Center   Co Springs, CO   Solo Show

2015
Copper Moon Gallery   “Personal Mythologies”
Stearns Gallery   San Pedro CA   Solo Show

2014
Canyon Road Contemporary Art   Santa Fe, Nm   Group Show
Copper Moon Gallery   Solo Show

2013
Canyon Road Contemporary Art   Santa Fe, NM   Group Show
Copper Moon Gallery  Taos, Nm   Solo Show
Valkarie Gallery   Denver CO   Two Person Show with Katie Hoffman

2012
Canyon Road Contemporary Art   Santa Fe, NM   Realizing Humanity
Walden Fine art   Taos NM   Solo Exhibition
Loft Gallery   San Pedro CA   Group Show   “The Synchronicity of Three”
Translations Gallery   Denver CO   Group Show

2011
Michael Stearns Gallery    Long Beach CA    Solo Exhibition
Canyon Rd Contemporary Art    Santa fe NM   Group Show   “I Know About Love”
Translations Gallery   Denver CO   Group Show
Walden Fine art   Taos NM   Group Show   “Kindred Spirits”
BAC Gallery   Manitou Springs CO   Solo Exhibition   25 Year Survey

2010
Traveling Exhibition w/ Shepard Fairey   Group Show   “Hope”
Walden Fine Art   Taos NM   Solo Exhibition   “Offerings”
BAC  Gallery   Manitou Springs CO   Group Show   “Gender issues”

2009
Rubbish Gallery   Co Springs CO   Solo Exhibition   “Reflections of a Bystander”
Stoneheart Gallery   Evergreen CO   Solo Exhibition
Walden Fine Art   Taos NM   Solo Exhibition

2008
Smokebrush Gallery   Co Springs CO   Solo Exhibition   “Muses, Ladders and Storms at Sea”
Stoneheart Gallery   Evergreen CO   Solo Exhibition
Walden Fine Art   Taos NM   Solo Exhibition

2007
Deloney Newkirk Gallery   Santa fe NM   Group Show
Walden Fine Art   Taos NM   Solo Exhibition
Gallery 33   Long beach CA   Solo Exhibition

2006
Deloney Newkirk Gallery   Santa Fe NM   Group Show
Gallery 33   Long beach CA   Solo Exhibition

2000- 2004
20 total Group Exhibitions at Olive branch gallery   Long beach CA

2002
Ark Gallery   Long beach CA   Group Show   “Before and After”

1999
Bravo gallery   Santa Monica CA   Solo Exhibition

1998
Ayzenberg Gallery   Los Angeles CA   Solo Exhibition

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White Dress Series

A few years ago I did a series of paintings called the”White Dress Series” depicting women standing on the shore, in the desert, reclusive environments that spoke of not so much of desolation but of a solitary contemplative place. There is a certain sadness in the pieces, but it’s the kind of sadness that feeds the soul. I’ve always said that there’s a huge difference in solitude and isolation, and there really is little of the emptiness associated with that desolate kind of feeling- just that aloneness  that we all seek or even cherish. A big inspiration for these pieces was thinking about how my mom would drive us to the beach to go surfing when I lived in L.A.. She didn’t get out much at home- wasn’t allowed to, and being at the beach was really the only time she had to herself. When she sat in her beach chair I would look up from my surfboard to see her in a kind of revery- always mesmerized and kind of entranced by the waves rolling in. There was a peace and a contentment that I only saw in her when she was at the sea. I spread her ashes where her beach chair always sat.

In my statement it says my work is “a self-portrait of sorts, yet with a universal application.” I do see myself in some of these paintings as well. There is an inherent loneliness in the life of an artist, as we work alone for entire days for weeks or even months at a time, and my way of coping with it is to integrate the experience into a meditative one where I am too enthralled in my work and the purpose of it to pay heed to the feeling of “solitary confinement.” I also spend a good deal of time in the mountains where the solitude I find there nourishes my Spirit. I do enjoy my alone time- I’ve learned to , but I do not really like being alone too much of the time. That’s when the sustenance that solitude provides becomes a weight of isolation that starves rather than nourishes. There is an expression of that longing in some of the pieces- as I think deep down we all suffer under a certain loneliness and crave connection, love and companionship. I painted most of these during a period of about a year and a half when I was living alone in the middle of the Black Forest- aptly named during those years. I think there is definitely more empathy in these pieces than any I’ve done since.

EXPECTING TO FLY

Expecting to Fly

STILL

Still

ALONE

Alone

MUSE WITH PINK SKY

Sunset Muse

MUSE, MOON AND WHITE WOLF

Muse, the Moon and White Wolf

MUSE WITH PINK SKY

Muse with Wings

INTO MAGENTA LIGHT

Venture into Light

RED- DERVISH HOUSEWIFE

Dervish

SOLITUDE

Small in a Big World

SOLITUDE GOOD

Solitude

Posted in Paintings | 6 Comments

BEARS

I dream of bears constantly- almost always the same dream. i’m hiking and I come around a bend and there is a group of bears- more interested in foraging than they are in me- they hardly notice me. I have had one real life bear experience- camping in Sequoia I awoke in my sleeping bag to the sound of a bear’s breath while he was sniffing my head-I lay perfectly still (adrenaline can make you calm, too) and after a minute or so he lumbered off.  Something about bears. I have an obsession with bears under captivity- in zoos, in circuses, and in the cities where they’ve come down from their natural habitat in the mountains- fleeing development or lack of food due to drought, etc. to try to find any food they can- trash cans, garbage dumps, alleys, back yards- you name it. The other subject that seems to come up is that of Shape Shifters. The bear is a very common animal that indigenous people shift to- when they stand on their hind legs they resemble humans. Other traits of bears as totems, Spirit animals, etc. are that they are maternal, industrious, instinctive, possess healing, power, sovereignty, courage, will power, self-preservation, introspection, and great strength. I know these bears keep showing up in my dreams and encounters with some kind of message, and the only thing I can decipher is that there’s a message of power that they possess- an attempt to impart that to my subconscious in those dreams. Many Native Americans tribes believe that it was possible to draw power from a bear by dreaming of one, by killing and eating part of one or by even touching a bear. These actions made a warrior invincible. Indians believe deeply that the bear has spiritual great Spiritual power. I know something’s going on with all of these dreams and encounters…

CITY BEAR LIGHT

City Bear Tagged

BEAR ON A TRIKE

Bear on a Trike

BLUE BEAR-ZOO BEAR

Blue Bear- Zoo Bear

ZOO BEAR WITH CIGARETTE FINAL

Zoo Bear on a Break with Cigarette

MAD BEAR (Portrait)

Mad Bear

SHAPESHIFTER VII (BEAR)

Bear Dancer (Shape Shifter)

BEAR SHAPESHIFTER: PORTRAIT

Bear Shapeshifter (portrait)

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The Razor’s Edge

I was asked to be in an exhibit at Pikes Peak College recently. The name of the Exhibit was “Devotions.” Having grown up the East L.A. area my first impulse was to do a Mestizo/Catholic Altar, but but then i thought what a cliche.’

So, I pondered it for a few days, and the realization that struck that any “devotion” I may like to tell myself I had wasn’t really much of a “devotion” at all.  I’m just not all that “devoted.” I have a devotion art maybe, but if anything as far as anything Spiritual goes it’s really “God” that’s devoted to me- always has been. I’ve had enough miracles and mystical encounters to know that.

I remember at the age of 4 waking up from a nap in the back seat of our car in Aurora, CO. (it was 1957 and safe to leave your kid sleeping in the car.)  Anyway- In that place between sleeping and waking I was looking up at a dark stormy Colorado sky, and the giant black and grey clouds were drifting slowly overhead. There was a Presence- an infinitely vast but intimately caring entity- either real or metaphorical that I experienced more real than anything I’ve experienced since, from pizza to admiring at a flower to sex. I’ve had a series of similar experiences throughout my life.

When I was 21 I had an experience so powerful and was so affected by it that I immediately quit myjob, quit my band and moved into a monastic community. Gave my car away- everything. It didn’t take me long to see a pattern of corruption and manipulation in the powers-that-be, and within a few years I moved back to the city and started attending seminary- devoted to doing what I imagined Jesus himself would be doing if he were here. I had a “ministry”  working with gangs, and I was good at it, helping not just members but leaders out of the gangs and to into a better life. It didn’t take me long, though, to see the same corruption and manipulation in a “church” that had become a front for a political agenda that was in too many ways antithetical to the Jesus I read about in the gospels- more like the Pharisees, in fact.

This is where “The Razor’s Edge” comes in. In the film William Holden, in a trauma-driven passion for illumintion and some sort of Spiritual fulfilment ends up leaving his job, his girlfriend- everything, and travels the world in search of enlightenment- of Real Spirit, but alas, in the end- disillusioned and out of gas, he basically says “screw it” and returns home to his mundane life unchanged to the casual observer- but changed in a totally un-self-conscious manner, posessing only an imperceptively tiny but altogether genuine Spiritual spark- Me too.

So- here I am- full circle. A goof ball mystic for life. Traded dogma and patriarchal Trojan Horses for feathers and omens and walks in the wilderness- and most of all, Art. It’s a life of monk-like solitude, and I can’t say I like it all the time, but it is what it is, and the reward are gret.

Back to “Devotions.” A week before the Devotions show I did a solo show at COPPeR Gallery. I did about 20 new pieces, and one main characteristic of the series was the preponderance of Color. Not to go into some litany of all the “bad” things that have happened for the last 5 years or so in my life, but there was a good deal of trauma and pain that I experienced, and one thing that happened was it drained my paintings of color. Last year a courier that I use brought back a load of paintings from Santa Fe, and as we were unloading the paintings she started crying and she said “Lance- you’ve lost your color.” Color hell- I lost Everything. But, like Job, it’s being restored to me in ways that match or even trump all that i’d lost, and the COPPeR show was the proof. Without going into all of the personal imagery, I revisited places and situations going back to my childhood, adolescence and adulthood that had never really been faced and integrated in that way that they needed to be if Ithey weren’t going to devour or at least hinder me to a great extent. The color, the beauty, the healing that exuded from the canvas is an indisputable sign that this series of paintings heralds a healing and renewal that has not only been deeply experienced by me- but more importantly has extended to the viewer. It was evident in the reactions of so many of the people there at the reception that night- the depth and personal relating of the conversations was like nothing I’ve ever had in my 25 years of showing in galleries, and people were feeling it big time. In one conversation that night with another artist that was going to be in the Devotions show, I told her how I was kind of dismayed when I discovered that I really wasn’t that devoted at all, and she just looked at me and said “What? Oh yes, you are Very devoted- your paintings are your ritual, your act of worship, your offering, your devotion to your Gift that serves a Divine purpose, and a vehicle of healing.”

What a relief. Maybe I’m not so wayward after all.

 

The Razor’s Edge

Teh Razor’s Edge (Enlargement)

In gallery with four Icons containg the colors of the Four Directions, along with objects of devotion- a baseball, a Hopi Medicine Rattle, Mom’s Prayer Book and a Feather Bundle.

Posted in canyon road contemporary at, colorado springs art, expressionist, fritz scholder, lance green expressionist painter, Paintings, santa fe artist, santa fe painter, shamanistic, taos, taos artist | Leave a comment

Color and Ecstacy

I was talking to an interviewer for an art magazine today and we touched on the subject of color, and it brought to mind a great book by an author named Bruce Wilkerson entitled “Wild Hunger.” What I took away from the book was the deep disconnect we’ve developed with genuine ecstacy and how so many of our modern addictions are caused by our misguided efforts to cope with the  suffering we experience without it. There is something in a good painting that brings one into that “ecstatic” state- if even for just a moment- even that short moment brings a healing that only such an encounter can bring. When I studied with Fritz Scholder we spent as much time talking about “artist as shaman” as we did studying painting, and something I learned from him was that when I start to bring all of the chaos of the underpainted surface (the descent) there is an ascension taking place and the color is a manifestation of that transcendental and enchanted state (or moment) that is the necessary precurser to all creation, and in my opinion the highest calling in art is to be an artist that paints (or makes music or peotry or dances) in faith and delivers that moment to the viewer. There was a quote in Sun Magazine right after 9/11 that said something to the effect that “the world now needs artists and poets as much as it needs firemen, policemen and doctors- the artist is the shaman of the 21st century.”  I do take that charge very seriously- but I also have a hell of a lot of fun doing it.

“Life is serious but art is fun.” J. Irving

 

Spring   48 x 36

 

 

Out of Chaos (Seriph)  36 x 24

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Shadows, Demons and Other Unwelcome Guests

OK- so I just posted about color returning. A 180 here- the shadow- the “Scream” inside us all.

I’ve read a ton of literature on the shadow- a lot of Jung, Sanford, Kelsey and I can parrot what they say about “integrating” the shadow, but truth is I’m still somewhat clueless- I know he’s there- not much denial going on in my mind- but even at that, as soon as I say there’s no denial- that’s denial in itself-  I’m sure my defense mechanisms are well-oiled and operating at peak performance. We all want to think, or more accurately have others think that we’re healthy, well-adjusted, enlightened Spiritually advanced people, and admitting to this “dark passenger” is the hardest thing for us- be it shame, fear of vulnerability, fear of losing control, fear of discovery, whatever the case- we all have it, and facing it is the bravest thing we can do- and the only way to ever get control of it- if controlling it is the objective.

But integrate? I’ve read so many books and articles and listened to messages, and still I’m pretty damn clueless. but as AA says- “the first step is admitting that one cannot control one’s…” I prefer the word “realize”, as the word “admit” sounds too negative and shame-based. There is no shame in owning one’s shadow- only liberation.

The good news is that putting things on canvas, in clay, to music, or poetry is always an amazing way of processing things- both beautiful and terrible. Get it out there where I can see it for what it is- familiarize yourself with it- this opponent or ally or more correctly a combination of the two. Somehow this shadow, this scream is a necessary part of our psychological makeup, or that’s what they say. Maybe a big reason we’re here is to learn just what that “integration” is? I think it is. The shamen call it a Helper, an Ally, and I do know the Daemon in me is what empowers so much of my art- there are times when it’s just a little too powerful and hard to keep a handle on, and that’s where the trouble sometimes starts-or is that where the healing begins? A Gordon’s Knot for sure…

 

The Scream

Submerged

Shadow Man

Marauder

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Color Returns

A few months ago I had a friend of mine courier a load of paintings down to Taos and Santa Fe. When she brought back some of the old Santa fe work, when she was handing the paintings to me, most of them layered in whites that nearly obscured the subject , her eyes teared up- she said “Lance- you’ve lost your color.” I’d never thought of it that way until then.  The last decade was fraught with constant challenges with moving to Colorado and realizing we made a Big mistake, but too late- a decade of a wife’s multiple sclerosis and  her later  leaving the marriage, losing my family, my daughter, my art career for all intents and purposes to the recession, and then a lost love to finish it off. Not crying “victim-” this isn’t about self-pity or being indiscreet about my personal drama. It really is about seeing how my art chronicled those events in my life not entirely by the subject matter but almost more by the palette I uesd throughout those ordeals.

Kali Goes to Cali

Kali- She destroys only to build again. She came to get me from California and translplant me in Colorado- leaving behind 40 years of friendships and business to return “home” with my family to the place where I was born and lived my childhood. What promised to be a new life in the place I remembered as paradise became instead a bit more of a hell- the beginning of the disintegration of my entire life as I knew it. The first year there was spent in entire isolation- the worst winter in years- buried under mountains of snow in a mountain studio- no one there but me through an entire winter and the ensuing year. A spiritual death- the disintegration of the shaman- Kali beginning her work…

Rocker   48 x 48

The Rocker. Although credit needs to be given to model Valeri Kimbro for posing for this- it, as many paintings that are universal in their application are, turns out to be a self- portrait. A picture of a person struggling to stay seated in a wildly out of control rocking chair- and at the same time the monotony of rocking slowly back and forth in a stupor induced by the inability to handle the collapse of all I held dear, and the gnawing loneliness and fight with the feeling of sanity slipped away as a result of the  relentless isolation, the struggle with debilitating disease and marital disintegration, of the fears born when a once thriving career comes to a sudden halt and you see no way out- ultimate ruin steadily advancing at a slow but relentless pace. Kali stepping up her agenda…

La Niebla  36 x 48

La Niebla- the Fog… Funny- This was part of a large series of paintings I did right after Katrina- paintings of the loss and ruin brought on by that horrific hurricane- and realizing at the end of the series that is was, in fact, a metaphor for the ruin and devastation that was taking place as the spectacle of affairs and adultries were washing away the foundation of famiy and home, and like new Orleans, my life, my marriage, and everything that entailed collapsed and went up in flames. And so far from home. It was like being lost in a dense, glaring fog, disoriented and not having a clue which way was up or out. And worst of all- as a result of all this- I’d lost my color.

Winter Elk   40 x 30

I did this today- kind of a tribute to that period of painting (The “White Series?”) Something funny about suffering- while we’re distracted and so hyper-aware of our own suffering, something beautiful is taking place. Four years later, I look now and see myself not only as “surviving” the last decade, but I see myself transformed into something not unlike the Elk- seasoned and strong with  antlers that have grown massive and formidible through the struggles they’d endured. Dignity intact and ennobled by a grace unseen that knew what it was doing the entire time. Even in a “white” and more subdued piece like this, color can no longer be restrained. Color is returning.

Spirit Bear   24 x 18

This one was done this week- a return to color, especially spring colors- the bear coming out of hibernation into a world of  healing, strength and beauty. (…and be not cynical about love, for in the face of aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.) I almost stopped believing it would ever happen, but color is definitely coming back into my life. I guess maybe it’s a case of time heals all wounds (although my dad used to say “time wounds all heals”) but for the last month or two I’ve noticed a return to myself taking place. The last decade seems more like a dream than a reality, and life once again feels a certain freshness- a renewal taking place that is palatable- and very visible in recent work.

Dancing Bear   36 x 24

Another painting done this week. Not just color, but dance! Liberation, celebration- a life renewed, redemption, and a return to myself that I had all but given up hope on ever occuring again. Strength and confidence in myself (and my Creator) and a simple joy in the everyday living of a life once again in bloom and bursting with color. Fun even. “Life is serious but art is fun.” John irving

Drifting   24 x 36

Another one I just did this week. Almost too much to be said about this one. Rising above- above loss, both years past and recent, taking all of it in stride and relatively unaffected by any of it any more- healing and soul retreival and more- another development I didn’t see manifesting- the gift of flight- and more than that, color. It’s good to be back…

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Shape Shifters

SHAPESHIFTER (Kiss)   12 X 12


I’ve been painting Shape Shifters for the last year or two. It’s been more a matter of instinct than of any conscious choice.  Speaking about them will probably be as enlightening to me as it is to you… 

I know one thing I say in my bio is that all paintings are a self-portrait of sorts, yet universal in their application. I do know that this series has been my most enjoyable and has expressed some deep desire in me to find healing from the events of the past few years- namely divorce and other losses. When I paint it’s almost as if I’m dreaming on canvas, and the archetypes that appear all have a message or an effect to convey. One common theme that seems to be appearing in this series is a kind of transformation or emergence, and the shifting that’s taking place into various animals or elements is bringing the subject into contact with the particular qualities or mythological symbol of the particular entity that the soul calls up.

The rabbit is a symbol of Spring- of new birth and fertility. The bear and hibernation is also a symbol of a type of resurrection, bringing the healing power of the bear where to the person who has retreated in order to regenerate and grow. In one painting a woman is transforming into water, which would suggest a flowing as opposed to a resistance. Also- water just feels so soothing, and sometimes I think we just go to a place where we can just relax and frolic in a beautiful sea like dolphins or cavort in the air like a bird.  Sometimes art just has to be playful.

On a final note, two qualities have been manifesting in the newer work. One is that the Shape shifters are becoming dancers, as if to celebrate the healing and interior growth that’s come through this process.  Also- dance is a universal vehicle used to access that ecstatic state where the act of shifting actually takes place. The second quality is like that more and more white is being used in the paintings, as if the subject were bathed in light or exuding the light that he himself has been infused with through his healing process. It’s always the artist’s hope that the healing he receives through painting will be conveyed to the viewer.

Shape Shifter (Cat)   18 x 24

 

 

 

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