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Between Two Waters

Water is always seeking equilibrium and it’s in constant flow to attain it. On our journey to become whole, we need to remain open and fluid like water.  Our vulnerability is our pillar of strength.  In order to keep our balance in life we must embrace our interior and exterior, the eternal and the temporal, known and unknown, seen and unseen, tangible and intangible, and the old and new. 

Between 2 Waters explores the body as a threshold space where these opposing forces ebb and flow in seeking equilibrium.  In this self-portrait I strive to express strength through suppleness, stability through flux, and stillness through movement. Wholesomeness exists within flux.  Being human encompasses the material and ethereal.

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“When we experience our own desire for tramsformation, we are feeling the universe evolve through us” ~ Barbara Marx Hubbarb

Instar is the scientific term for the transformational growth periods between molts in the metamorphosis of an insect larva into a butterfly or some other invertebrate animal.  As a self-portrait, my painting “Instar”, is a very personal metaphor of this idea.  Here, the figure in the cosmic egg represents a stage of awakening on the evolutionary path of the soul.  Within each stage of awakening there is a molting period in which the transformation actually takes place and the “old shell” disintegrates making room for new growth.   As humans we’re all essentially instars with this innate impulse to transform and grow towards our purest and most essential nature.  In the process we’re continually reborn throughout life.  Within the grander scheme, we are asleep in the microcosmic egg until we wake up and begin to unite with the macrocosmic universe. 

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“The human Journey is a continuous act of transfiguration”.  ~ John O’Donohue (excerpt from Anam Cara)

I’ve always been fascinated by the alchemy of transfiguration. It’s one of the dominant themes that inspire my work.  In this painting, I explore very personal questions regarding the process of transformation: What does it encompass? What’s the catalyst behind it?  What alters or translates? Through the symbols of the butterfly, moth renderings, and compass I explore this deep mystery of transmutation~ not so much to seek an answer, but to just feel it through the act of painting.  In the end, I discovered a deeper dimension about myself, and the translucency of the butterfly wing came to symbolize a new clarity that blossomed in me and ultimately transfigured me.  This was a pivotal painting for me on my continued journey as an artist. 

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“Material Prima”, a pivotal painting for me, heralded a coming into my own as an artist. In alchemy, Materia Prima (or Prima Materia) is considered the “ first matter”. This formless primeval substance is regarded as the original material of the universe and is essential for the alchemical Magnum Opus and the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone.

In his book “What Painting Is” James Elkins likens the act of painting to the practice of alchemy. In his chapter “Materia Prima” he relates the initiation of a new work of art to the philosopher’s stone and how the practice of alchemy really starts within the self. It’s this primal matter used in the creation of the philosopher’s stone that begins the process of turning a base substance into gold. Spiritually this process of transformation represents the attainment or awakening of the higher self.

“Materia Prima” is a record of this transformation within myself ~and it continues to be an ongoing process. It’s also the touchstone painting for all of my work since, as I continue to explore alchemical themes of metamorphosis, initiation, transfiguration, and mystical states of being as an artist.

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The Zodiac Project 

I’ve always had a fascination with the cosmos and our relationship to it as human beings.  In particular, I’m captivated by the greater astrological cycles of time and how they affect human consciousness.  The energy of each zodiac has a certain influence on human consciousness and in the larger scheme of things influences cycles of golden ages and dark ages of human civilizations.

I created “PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES” as a rotating carousel expressing our eternal cyclical motion through the zodiac.  It sits on a motorized turntable rotating counterclockwise going through each of the zodiac panels backwards in the same manner we do over a 26,000 year span.  This piece was not only inspired by my fascination with the subject, but it also satisfied my desire to create a 3-D work of art that still functions as a series of paintings.

The scientific term “Precession Of The Equinoxes” refers to the observable phenomena of the rotation the heavens from the viewpoint of the earth.  Over time, the constellations appear to slowly rotate around the earth, taking turns at rising behind the sun at dawn on the vernal equinox.  From the earth’s point of view, we appear to slowly rotate backwards through the constellations over time.   This is due to the wobble in the axis of the earth, which is tilted at about 23.5 degrees relative to the sun.  If you observe a spinning top, its axis goes around in a circle.  The earth does the same thing causing a westward shift of the spring or vernal equinox.  The sun as a pointer against the zodiac is gradually tracking backwards through the constellations 1 degree every 72 years taking 25,920 years to make one complete cycle through the zodiac.  Right now Polaris is our north star, but it hasn’t always been.  Because the earth traces out a celestial sphere every 25, 920 years the North Star will always change in relation to our axial position on the circle.  5000 years ago, the North Star was Thuben in the constellation Draco, in 12, 000 years it will be Vega in the constellation Lyra.

PS. It may not seem like it, but we are on the upswing into another golden age as we are entering into the age of Aquarius!