'I brought you here to show you were we've been. Our bond. Trust. That I am always with you. Your heart is healing right now. You feel it, its warm.
We are all interwoven and come around again. Do not fear, these rocks have been here forever.
I'm quite sure i dont need it anymore. i am but a pebble. the earth is so vast. we are pilgrims just passing through. but this earth, is meant to be enjoyed, adored, its sacred because we experience it.
The wind blows the cleanest air my lungs have ever received. I am so deeply loved. The sun is on my face.
i am everywhere. this moment - its everything. now let me get there....
What am i here for?
your inner workings
what does this trip symbolize?
simply beauty, in its pure natural form.
Just like the water you are carving your own unique path right through hard rock.
My dreams became present at the red rocks with a feeling of such knowing - i've been here before and i'll be back in a new way, a new life. What i've come to learn is we are all existing here and now, ever present. and we have access at all times in ways unique to each individual, we each have a unique way of existing, to the best of our own inner knowledge. Its really very simple.
We don't need anything we weren't born with or God given.
presence with God
its all in here
our selves, the treasure, its here - Now
we need only be quiet and look within
sit with ourselves and be
love of ourselves love one another
I want to use my hands and heart, to trust and know. to remind myself of all my wonderful magical pure experiences. And so we say, AMEN' - excerpt from my journal on this trip
Needless to say, Boulder CO was a magical trip and I go back to it time and time again for inspiration.
"Here I Am Am I Here"
"Dream of a New Life"
A painting I did recently where I really worked something out, like shedding an old worn out skin and emerging new and light and free. After meditating on it this is what its about...
"Pocahontas in her Tipi"
Gifts of the Spirit
"Gertrude in a Mood"
These are two of many paintings that came out of the Vision Quest. I found myself caught up in a few pieces that were starting to get stale and wanted to work more freely. I like pattern to come from clothing as well as interior scenes such as a tile floor or wallpaper. "Gertrude in a Mood" was how i was actually starting to feel during my vision quest. A lot of my figures don't always look like me but represent aspects of myself and how i'm feeling in that moment. Even "Death of a Businessman" symbolizes my recent journey although it depicts an old fashioned looking man. "Businessman" is about how many people i know including Matt and myself have decided to create our own paths in this life. Like pushing a new stream through a mountain. People aren't staying in jobs for 40 years anymore they are moving onto something their soul is yearning for and are starting to let their spirits speak to them and move them in different directions.
Gertrude represents a part of myself not many people see but is definitely there. I never thought I resonated with being an Aries and so many people have told me i'm the calmest Aries they've ever met but there is a fire there that comes out in the form of moods and anger especially when I feel overwhelmed and art isn't going smoothly. as i'm learning it is all part of my process. One of the many things I loved about my dad was he knew this aspect of me and instead of trying to throw water on the flame he let me be in my mood- knowing it was temporary, and would wait patiently for me to come out of it and we'd continue on as normal. He understood it was part of me and that was OK. I always appreciated that about him.
I love to paint figures because that is how I work stuff out. Its the best way for me to express an emotion. I guess you could say all my figure paintings are self portraits in their own symbolic way.
"Death of the Businessman"
We all have a story to tell, this is mine, through my art. "I am endlessly creating myself."
A Few Figures
"Blowin' in the Wind with my Mandolin"
This was like many paintings where I don't find out the meaning until after it's painted. I was moved by a very deep feeling of knowing and of home while painting this. The man represents so many people; my dad, my grandfather, my ancestors (known and unknown) Matt (earthly guides). I am represented on the right. The mandolin is significant of the gifts of the spirit, often passed down by our ancestors. The Mandolin which was once my dads, my grandfathers, is now placed in-front of me as they now tend the spiritual fire. I was pleasantly surprised after finishing this piece to notice how the man seems to be floating about 3 feet above the scene which is exactly how I visually see into the spirit world while meditating. They always seem to be a little above us. And I am very much rooted on the RED stool on earth. the fire is blowing with the wind and the scene to me is very ancient, simple, a feeling of contentment warms all who are present. My feeling is once the fire gets going, i'll pick up the mandolin and start to play. I'll pick up the gifts given, and the gifts left to me by my loved ones and play. what good is a gift when its unused. This painting really evokes such a deep emotional connection with me, one of co-creation, one of joy, and one of being rooted and at the same time very much connected to 'beyond the veil.' I love when paintings teach me. I feel there's more left here to learn but for right now i'll just sit back and enjoy.
I have some good friends who bring home barn wood for me and this was one of the pieces. I love when there is a knot at the top left or right corner to symbolize the sun or the moon. This painting is about a Native American life in Montana. I started dreaming of Native Americans almost ten years ago and feel very connected to them. We have native american lineage from my grandmas dad's side. My grandmother looked very native american.
This is an ode to a life connected to nature and mother earth. Its something I admire, especially when i'm starting to feel the pull to retreat into the forest for awhile and just 'get away.' We have an amazingly big oak tree in our back yard I go to when I need grounding, or I'll look at this painting and feel myself being very grounded. I like to paint a fire with smoke because it symbolizes life. There has to be someone there even though you can't see them. The smoke goes right up over the trees and mountain to the sky and connects heaven and earth. I feel at any moment Pocahontas will emerge from her Tipi and tend to the fire.
This is one of my favorite paintings. It makes sense to me and I love the color, pattern and vibe it gives off. I don't know that i'll ever sell this piece. Its a self portrait of who i was in another life- looking back over the mountains, through the terrain, and gathering my thoughts about it all. She's a sage. A medicine woman. A girl who walked the mountains foraging for herbs. She's bright and intense and knows what her purpose in life is. She is happy doing it and is fulfilled. Theres a longing for where she came from but a contentment being exactly where she is. Everything she wears is art, an extension of her inner being. She is very connected. I can learn a lot from her, and have already. I saw her in a few dreams and this painting depicts her perfectly. Its the gaze in her eyes that I was able to capture. I am very thankful for the dreams that inspire paintings such as this one.
This is Boulder CO, I sat on a rock in the middle of this stream. I watched matt fish. I connected with my dad, my Guru, and many other guides and got present. And i wrote what came to me....
When we are out of our circle looking in we dont know where we stand with others or ourselves. I spent most of my life on the outside of my circle. I can almost recall the exact moment it happened. As a child i loved to be alone - i remember sitting on a swing at the park looking at a tree that resembled an upside down apple and contemplating God and life and myself. I always felt i didnt belong here - like i wanted to go home. Id stare at the stars with a longing. I felt too sensitive for this world and became meek and shy. I would retreat to my roof, id write and at night i'd become enthralled by the rainbow swirling lights in my bedroom which comforted me deeply as i feel asleep (i now know these to be my angels) only to wake into a world i found was abrasive and harsh. I remember at some point i followed the crowd, wanting to fit in, and when i walked out of my own circle, my own nest, i no longer felt good enough and like i constantly had to please others, like what can i do for you!? constantly giving my power away. and so my light dimmed and by the time i got to college i was a shell. i had no idea who i was, only to come home to my soul mate - dying. My dad empowered me. i made my first real decision, to come home. to be with him in his time of need, be love. to use my hands again, to paint and to heal. it was my dad, my muse, my guide. he guided me back into my circle. he did this naturally just by being himself, humble and kind. my great father. he opened the door, the BIG door some never have a chance to open in their lifetime. that door put me on the path to my life purpose. it was because of him i'm alive today, really ALIVE and not asleep. my whole life i dedicate to my dad. he allowed Jesus, God, Guru, to flow through me all of my days by opening that door. he reminded me who i am truly - a golden light of love. this physical body has been the seat of so much anguish for me, for him. but if i really sit with this, it wasnt the body but the mind that kept me from joy. feeling abandoned by coming to earth to live a life, being so connected to where i came from (God), not feeling like i deserve to be here, i brought with me a wound of abandonment with led to a subconscious victim mentality. feeling like i owe everyone something and then resenting them. Outwardly never accepting Victim i realized it was because deep down i identified with it. NOW i see that word made me a slave to certain mindsets.
not deserving to be here
no self worth
owe my life to everyone buy myself
missing connecting to people because i was always longing for home which made me miss the present moment.
terrible body image
always harsh on myself.
this victim mentality led to adopting a 'perfection' attachment. nobody can see me with out a mask on, with out being perfect! i NEVER let my guard down for fear i might offend someone or they might not like me. Damn it feels good to let my 'hair down'! To put on airs is just that, fake, false and not authentic. im realizing the purification led to me dissolving back into God, completely. Now im realizing what i can let go of and what id like to emerge with- something i might not even know exists! i'm leaving the door open-i really feel a surrendering, a dissolving back to God means i can rest and be ugly and discheveled and a mess. 'take me as i am' its really the only way anyway. a camel fits through the eye of a needle only when he removes the baggage from the trip. get rid of it all child and emerge! you've just gone through the fire, dissolved and are about to emerge as your beautiful new self, beautiful holy and free! you are no longer a victim, you choose to be here, I choose to be here. to allow God to work through me as a channel. to help others and myself. Butterflies show us this can be done and is a natural process. Every shift is a dissolving back to God and emerging with what we need and losing the rest. Every vibration we raise to we are widening our wings, we are sharpening our colors. and so when i look back at my childhood and my life i can see clearly where i've come from and how its all been in divine right order. i never really let myself down, i just lost my way only to be found and strengthened. maybe we live many lifetimes in this one life. thats how it feels to me sometimes. constantly shape shifting and evolving and raising our vibration and when our vibration becomes so high our bodies cant contain it we return to God. We dissolve back to love. 30 has been quite the transformative year. to see myself in a dream as a dead flower only to emerge from the dead a beautiful heavenly flower, free of constraints that once were so binding. its always been. my life has always been magical. its the nature of it. but to be free from any constraints we must first acknowledge they exist so we can say, that was once true for me in that season but no longer. i now choose and feel it deep in my bones a new life, a renewing, refining, i choose to be here. to be present as my friend Jim says, this moment, its everything. to take up your bed and walk, and then get rid of it all together. to walk hand in hand into the eye of the needle.
This past Full moon gave me a surge of creative energy and the spark to go on an artistic vision quest of sorts. today is day three and it'll come to an end tomorrow. I was inspired by a few things. I'm watching Genius Picasso on Nat Geo. and the advice Picasso gives to young artists is, "to totally immerse oneself in art is the only way to become an artist." and he talks about Matisse as painting from pure emotion. I also remember reading about a female author who says, "i believe i am worth the time and energy it takes to create." So off i went, with no expectations other than to SEE what came of it.
I had been in a "good" routine of painting from home and creating from my millworks studio but it was still a routine and routines can easily become stagnant. I wanted to see what would come of totally immersing myself in art for four days. What that looked like for me was no t.v, facebook, instagram, very little phone. And if i got bored; books, walks, sitting in the sun, baking, going for a walk, play guitar, play cards. But the majority of my time would be spent painting. After a particularly un-inspiring session this morning I feverishly left the house and went for a walk to clear my head. I felt like i was getting too close to everything. While walking I began getting a flood of insights about this whole vision quest and needed to write these insights down.
The first day I worked on three paintings that were about half way through. I felt in the flow and liked what was happening.
1. if you are excited about your paintings, nothing else matters.
I started seeing my pattern of work. I am very inspired early in the morning and get a lot of great work done then. i get re-inspired around 2pm.
2. you can paint through any emotion or thought.
If im not feeling the spark to create i usually wont. But i learned you can create at any time as long as you allow yourself the time and space to do so. my artist friend Paul says there is never a bad paint session. every session serves a purpose.
3. "bad" paint sessions can always serve as superior under-paintings.
every artist has days where everything they paint is total shit. it can be brutal if you let it but i learned its all part of the process. sometimes you have to loosen up for the real work to begin.
4. watching t.v before bed alters your dreams
my dream world is where i get a lot of my inspiration. by cutting out tv at night and all together for my vision question my dreams returned to being filled with wisdom. I started to notice the past month my dreams were becoming stale and lifeless which is always a sign to me that i need to change something up. re-arrange, get re-inspired.
5. you will always recieve insights if you ask, for me that usually comes through my dreams.
After working on the same piece for awhile i was still unhappy with how the girls face looked. i went to bed last night and asked for advice as to how to finish it. right before waking i heard to 'darken the face', add more shadow on the left side, im talking 10 shades darker, and make her appear as if she's really placed deep in the forest. the first thing i did this morning was darken the left side of her face and it came alive! I also saw in my dreams last night a large painting of a bunch of people i'll be painting, very loose, lots of blues.
6. remember a time you were really in the flow and re-create that.
when i was in highschool i got in the flow by painting deep into the night. i painted from such a pure place then, i was developing my own style and completely un-afraid. i remember thinking that i didnt even know if anyone would see these paintings and that was okay. i wasnt painting for praise i was just painting because it was a part of me. so the paintings im doing during my vision quest im trying to remember that feeling of freedom and newness.
7. music is important
dylan, donovan, morby. all good for me to keep in the flow
8. my only rule as an artist is i have no rules
dont place yourself in a box. i used to only paint with 4 colors; blue, red, yellow and white because i thought it was so symbolic to have to mix every color with every other color to get anywhere but then i was gifted a whole set of magical colors and thought, why the hell did i ever think to use only 4 colors. now i use the whole rainbow.
9. go back to basics
just you, your paints and your heart. you dont need anything external to create, its all within. cutting out excess mindless stuff that takes me away from the essence of who i am has been very beneficial for the creative process. all i need are my dreams, the spirit world and the gifts given to create.
10. let go and allow
the minute i start to force a painting, which has happened a few times during this artistic vision quest, i know that i need to take a step back. some therapeutic things i can do to take a break are cleaning up my studio, changing up artwork in the house, moving to a different space to paint or just taking a break.
Overall witnessing the artistic process has been great. it has helped me to become more present and see what art has to teach me. its also helped me to re-focus and see where and how i want to use my energy. all is truly well and being an artist in this life is a gift in itself. to emerge from this process lighter and brighter with a wealth of new knowledge ive gleaned from this vision quest made me realize why i decided to do it in the first place.