48" x 36" / acrylic and broken mirror on canvas / 2007 / sold
The Seeker began many months before it actually reached completion. It started with the concept of trying to visually represent the journey to the inner landscape and the transformation that can occur as a result of the travel. I painted layers, upon layers, upon layers. Before any specific object or image had taken shape on the canvas, seven layers of color and glaze had been laid down as the background for what would emerge. The layers continued and the swan came spinning out of the vortex. Then I made a fatal mistake. I finished the painting before it was done. I determined that my own image would be emerging from the alternate side of the vortex. I placed myself in the role of the creator and made an egotistical decision. My mind jumped to the forefront and convinced me that I knew what the Seeker would find and how a transformation would occur. I had placed myself on center stage. Once I had made the error, the painting refused to speak to me or through me. For months it sat abandoned in the corner of the room.
One night in a dream, I was given a gift. I was in a room filled with the energy and color of the background of the painting. The color surrounded me and vibrated with energy. I turned around to see what else I could make out in the room and came face to face with a large viewing screen. The screen flashed to life with the brightest shards of moving colors. Each color distinct and yet fusing with one another and pulsing with life force. From this electric field an image of my face began to appear and then disappear, pulsing in rhythm with the vibrant colors. When I awoke the next morning, I knew that the colors I had seen were meant to replace my preconceived idea of what was on the other side of the vortex. I added the next layer of the painting and then again sat it aside, waiting for further instruction.
Time passed and eventually led to the night of my first solo exhibition and showing. I have thought and felt a lot about what transpired on that evening. One of the most immediate responses that I experienced as a result of the night’s events was an intense need to be in the natural world. A need to return to the place where I can most clearly connect with the source of where the images originate from. The public display of the images felt in many ways to be counter intuitive for me. I have spent the last four years of my life actively exploring an inner landscape, searching, and seeking. On the night of the opening and showing, the internal search went through another side of the vortex and became an external event. A birthing process had occurred. It is in many ways the same process that occurs each time that I approach the barren canvas. An intimate communion occurs and plants the seed of creation. I am not the seed itself, but the womb that allows it to germinate and enter into the world. The process had occurred on a larger scale. I was letting go of what I had been a partner in fostering and assisting. I had helped them find their way into this world and now I needed to let them go. They had become their own
message. They no longer needed me to assist them in passage. They spoke for themselves.
How did I come to this realization? I watched, I listened, and I sensed. I witnessed them communicating with the people who interacted with them. They communicated their messages on many different levels. Some individuals were affected without a conscious awareness of what was going on. The energy that the images held entered and filled the room, mixing and mingling with the individual energy that each of us carries. Some individuals were pulled to certain images and when that occurred, I knew that there was a message for them in what they were drawn to. It was a fascinating experience. I came to understand that the images were meeting the people where they were at. In many ways, they were no longer images of my personal landscape. They had become images through which others could explore their own.
The following morning when I entered my meditation room, I was greeted by the dream images on the unfinished painting of The Seeker. I had gained understanding and insight as a result of the previous night's events. It was not ever my face that was meant to be on the other side of the vortex. The dreams had continued to transmit their messages and teachings by crossing over into my waking world. I went through the house collecting mirrors, which I broke into shards and placed on the canvas. The rest of the images fell easily and naturally into place.