Begun in 2018, these works sat around the house like ghosts, until I had the inspiration (and the courage) to finish them. Themes explored in this incomplete series include the awakening consciousness, emotional intelligence, hope, the gifts of suffering, eternal love, and the inherent mystery of being alive.
Circle imagery is used to represent our higher mode of being in existence — nonbinary, unlinear, nonhierarchical. As we evolve, our goal is completion, not defeating another, nor finishing, nor competing.
I am Loving Awareness
I am Loving Awareness, 2018-2021, oil on canvas, 76.2 x 121.9 cm, 30 x 48 in, $1300.
Who we are, in essence, is awareness. As we tune our awareness to truth, we find peace. The truth I refer to is beyond language. That which you feel in those brief moments of complete and utter bliss. When the beauty of an experience startles you to your core. When you resonate with love for all people and all things. When all feels right. All of us, in our true essence, are loving awareness.
Life is But a Dream
Life is But a Dream, 2019-2021, oil on canvas, 91.4 x 61 cm, 36 x 24 in, $865.
Row, row, row your boat,
gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
life is but a dream.
I think the wise know to teach great wisdom through poetry, art, simple parables. I interpret this simple rhyme to advise us to take action, doing the next right thing as we live our lives (to row, row, row our boats), without resistance, without trying to force things to go as we believe they should, to go with the flow (gently down the stream). Most importantly, we should be happy and joyous, enjoying it all (merrily…), because our life is not what we think it is (life is but a dream). Here is where language fails me, so I paint. I encourage you to seek your own answers. Some of my favourite teachers are Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, David R. Hawkins, Tara Brach, Pema Chodron. May you find your way, gently, down the stream.
I See You, Fear
I See You, Fear, 2018-2021, oil on canvas, 91.4 x 61 cm, 36 x 24 in, $865.
This being human is a guest house, Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all!... The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. -- Rumi
This painting is inspired by the writing of Tara Brach, Ph.D. The following is paraphrased and quoted from her book, Radical Acceptance.
The night before his enlightenment, the Buddha-to-be fought a great battle with the shadow side of human nature, represented by the god Mara, who attacked the man with everything he had: lust, fear, greed, anger, doubt, etc. Having failed to lure him into these emotions, Mara left and the man became the enlightened Buddha.
Yet, Mara was only temporarily discouraged. Even after the Buddha had become deeply revered throughout India, Mara continued to make unexpected appearances. The Buddha’s loyal attendant would report with dismay that the “Evil One” had again returned.
Instead of ignoring Mara or driving him away, the Buddha would calmly acknowledge his presence, saying, “I see you, Mara.” He would invite him for tea and serve him as an honoured guest. Mara would stay for a while and then go, but throughout, the Buddha remained free and undisturbed.
When Mara visits us, in the form of troubling emotions or fearsome stories, we can say, “I see you, Mara,” and clearly recognize the reality of fear that lives in each human heart. By accepting these experiences with the warmth of compassion, we can offer Mara tea rather than fearfully drive him away. Seeing what is true, we hold what is seen with kindness.
Our habit of being a fair-weather friend to ourselves — of pushing away or ignoring whatever darkness we can — is deeply entrenched. But just as a relationship with a good friend is marked by understanding and compassion, we can learn to bring these same qualities to our own inner life.
We befriend ourselves when, rather than resisting our experience, we open our hearts and willingly invite Mara to tea.
Be in the World, but Not of It
Be in the World, but Not of It, 2019-2021, oil on canvas, 91.4 x 91.4 cm, 36 x 36 in, $1275.
You still participate in (the) world, but you are rooted in the deeper reality from which it springs. Living from your source unites the inner and outer world. It transcends both and gives your thoughts the force of Nature itself.Deepak Chopra