Quick note: Regardless of my sentiments on the value of art and the business of art, and my hardships with making money from my work, by sharing some of my experience with you I am also gaining new insights into why I do what I do, and that said the show must go on as old shadows fade under the Mahaloness glow, full moon powered, as Venus transits across the sun.
‘Art is a sacred experience that connects us to spirit, and our very inner being.’
As I move into the next phase of my artistic journey I am beginning to appreciate my work for what it is. I recognize that I am a channeler and energy worker, part magician, and explorer. I also would consider myself as a healer and modern day shaman. I have been fortunate to witness first hand my art touching the lives of those who are facing real adversity in their lives, such a disease or illness, and the loss of loved ones or those facing that reality. There is no doubt a strong spiritual aspect to my work and my process and this resonates with those who find themselves standing in front of my work. There was a time when I explored the darker realms of my being through my art, evoking heavy feelings, anger or even fear from the viewer. I chose to move away from that work, as I was unclear as to where the work I was producing was actually coming from. Only now am I able to look back at it and see it for what it is. When I started painting at the age of 27, I had a lot going on in my head and I simply would put myself into a state and would draw or paint for hours at a time. I worked primarily on the floor, and after hours would pass I could barely stand and would be in excruciating pain. I had very little in the way of knowledge of art or painting, I just worked and worked and worked, expressing myself and often being surprised with the results. Following my first 2 years of representation in galleries, and a dissatisfaction with the system in general, I decided to take in as much info about art as I could, on my own terms. My regiment consisted of books, museums, films, videos, lectures, and talking to established artists I would encounter from time to time. I absorbed it all, and it certainly influenced my work and was an exciting period of time for me as a budding artist. I was in all a reality practicing for what I would become, which is a spiritual channeler. During this period I studied a lot of artists diaries, I was not so interested in replicating their style, as quite often seems to be the case in art school, I was exploring their psyche, I wanted to know where they were coming from, what there story was so I could appreciate the marks they made and perhaps gain insight that way. It’s one thing to understand the period the work was made and the historical context in which it was made, that’s a good start, but if you want to really connect to the work I think it is necessary to explore the life of artists, especially the ones whose work resonates with you. Of the many diaries I came across there was one in particular that changed forever how I would look at paintings and art in general, and that was Mark Rothko, a New York abstract colour theorists and all around magician with his use of colour or lack there of, as is the case for the Rothko Chapel (http://www.rothkochapel.org/). Rothko was an intensely driven man who saw painting as a spiritual practice, he lived a very hard life and ended his own life before his chapel was built. His explorations into painting and the depth of knowledge he painstakingly went to, opened my mind to what art is versus what people think art is. It is one thing to hold an opinion and to say that art is subjective, that is just fine and dandy, but when a human pushes oneself into the far reaches of spiritual practice in order to gain insight and depth with the intention of benefiting and broadening our understanding of what it is to be a spiritual being, that makes for art that is both, moving and beneficial to our well being. This is true only if we are willing to get past the ego and really connect with our inner being, and that’s the path I see myself on at this stage in my life. I appreciate the work of artists such as Rothko and feel a sense of responsibility to carry on that work, while also learning from his tribulations so that I may reduce the effects of the struggle, and there is struggle considering the fact that the word ‘spirit’ is easily misunderstood considering it goes beyond ordinary senses and that words can hardly describe without misinterpretation or misunderstanding. I will not attempt to explain in one blog the spiritual aspect of my work or the work of Rothko, I can only expose the tip of an iceberg that goes deep into the ocean of the subconscious. If you think that aesthetic value has anything to do with spiritual art, it is beyond the aesthetic, the surface often is the only thing we see, it takes courage to go deep and face our inner most self, the inner being, our center, and if you think the brain is our center than you have some work to do, because the brain is to me similar to a translator, it attempts to define what we don’t know, and if we don’t know what it is we often choose to dismiss that which cannot be explained. This is fear, and this is partially responsible for dis ease, when our being is unable to connect with spirit because of ignorance and ultimately ego. Facing fear is a step towards healing, even though it is on the uncomfortable side of the spectrum, it is through the act of facing fear that we can truly empower ourselves by seeing it for what it is. It has been my experience that If I fight it, it grows, because when we feed fear it gains momentum, and if the greater the momentum the more difficult it is to address. If we choose to face it, we acknowledge it’s presence and can ask it to stay if it likes, and by doing so it loses it’s hold on our psyche. It sounds simple enough and it can be that simple, if we are willing to face it. Shamans have been doing it for centuries, and there are certainly a multitude of directions one can take. I would say that artists also play the role of shaman by exploring spirit and ethereal space, utilizing art and translating the voyage into an experience that can be perceived by the senses. In doing so the artist acts as a bridge, much like a shaman, between spirit and human worlds, and if there is the chance that this will benefit mankind, it is a chance that I am personally willing to take, no matter what. When I choose to think about art this way I am more likely to produce meaningful work rather than wallow in self pity and struggle with the real world that would rather eat me up and spit me out than let me sing and shine a light on our collective path. I hope to expand on this subject in further entires, when it comes I will, for now there’s work to be done and good work shall I do. Mahaloness
A spectrum of work from early abstracts, doodles, and my sad painting that no matter what still evokes a sense of hope that the hard times will come around. I have a mantra and it is that ‘at will take care of me’ perhaps that means in ways beyond making money from my work, it is my intention to continue the work and when the time comes I will receive all of which I put into it. After spending the last 2 years fighting battles I have some to recognize the importance of letting go and moving onwards, with hope and strong will. Anytime fear comes around I will say ‘welcome’ stay as long you like, for it you do you will surely turn to light.