An Occasion for Joy

Every, every thing that we encounter is either an opportunity to externalize or an opportunity to scrutinize. The inward 
looking for answers is nowhere as natural as our human tendency to look out-ward for the source of the conflict. Getting 
to believe that every conflict is a conflict within is not an easy task and it requires vigilance and persistence as well as surrounding 
ourselves with people who want to be on the same spiritual path…. 
The path is one in which we believe ourselves to be the source of all perception, in other words, the maker, the creator of our realities.

We are a herding animal. We do best in groups, loosely formed groups that help us to make corrections in our perceptions. Although 
it may feel initially easier to want to believe that the source of our pain lies in somebody else’s drama, it really always lies in our 
response to the drama that we see in the world…

Every inter-reaction that we encounter comes from a place within that is trying to make sense of the world… the source of my pain 
and the source of my joy are eternally inside…..not a comforting thought if we are use to externalizing the meaning to life. But ultimately 
this is the only road to a spiritual life–that is a life where we are conducted by joy….

If we approach this from Psychoanalytics, or Buddhism or New Age philosophy or what ever other system of thought we use 
to find the truths that are important to us, we are always led to the same conclusion: Find a thing to love and the feeling it 
returns to you is Joy.Image


Maria’s Cello

It must have been just over five years ago that I met Maria. I had been invited to an Artist’s Way gathering at the home of Mimi Sammis, the internationally know sculpture and painter. The groups sat in a circle, some people knew each other very well and others seemed either shy or perhaps, like myself, new. 
Maria began opening a huge large container. The case itself looked like a large violin. She gently removed the cello from the case and began to un-screw a spike like steel rod and fastened the location so that when she put the cello down in front of her, the instrument was at the perfect height for her bow to scan the strings in an arbitrary way until the tuning fell, itself, gently into a melodic, haunting voice that seemed to resonate from within. 
I was amazed–talent. i had always considered myself and artists without a talent; but something stirred in me that very moment. Soon that ember of joy ignited into a spark that glows today as my passion: to be an instrument of peace and to follow whatever muse indicates for me. 
It was a first monday of the month in september….and I have been evolving as an artist ever since that night of Maria’s Cello. The sound of improvisational cello, emitting from the voice of the strings, co-mingled with a creative spirit that beaconed me to let it awaken in me.

I liken joy to the consequence of loving. One experiences joy when one allows himself to love. Loving anything awakens joy. It is the natural order as sure as gravity is. And I loved that cello and as I did, I felt Joy. Joy then becomes the catalyst for the next dimension, creativity.Image

North of the Laurentien Mountains

This multimedia abstract depicts a fantasy village north of the Laurentien Mts, in Quebec, Canada…the colors imply the temperature in the village. It is both Native American and French Canadian in tradition. The person in the photo is suspended between earth and air suggesting the Roman Catholic ideas of heaven and earth. 
This region of the world is populated with memories of stories told to me by my wise grandmother in post cards dating back to the late 1940’s and in the stories she told me when she would return from visiting this holy ground where she was born. 
The stories were surreal to a young american boy hearing them through an imagination. What I remember most was the letters written to her by her sisters who had remained in Canada after the potato famine in the late 1800’s had brought many Canadian immigrants to the textile mills of New England.

She was born in a small village named St. Prospere. Her sister Marie Louise still owned a farm and frequently she would lament the loss of chickens because a grizzly bear from the great woods would have emerged from forest and raid the chicken coop…Bears could be seen walking down the paths and roadways. They would try not to kill them but when they became too aggressive they had to be hunted and a posse of men with rifles would take to the streets and the forest in search for the last bear that had become too familiar with the houses in the village….

Many of my paintings reflect memories of what villages and what life might have looked like from the perspective of a boy hearing the stories. Memere would say, ” matante justine called last night, the snow was so deep they had to carve a tunnel from the front door to the wood shed. The snow was over her head and the bears broke into the chicken coop again.”

These are images and memories etched like fairy tales in my mind…they linger as an unconscious source of creative energy and some of my paintings seem to reflect these embedded visionsImage

The Happy Accident in Art

This one had a very ominous beginning. It was a mis-conception, a birth unwanted and unplanned that yielded a happy accident of colors, shapes and by some fluke of nature looks like a statue of liberty. 

Its very birth is an indication of liberty. it says that anything goes, we can think outside the box, we can live with no agenda and we can allow the universe to show itself to us in any manner that it chooses. Art emerges from a creative impulse. Each artist renders his/her own manner of treating the theme of liberty. Some are tight, small squiggles that become a section of a pen & ink rendering that may have taken hours or days to execute. Others are slow, meandering creatures that move from one task to another the way a turtle finds its way back to the sea. Others yet, proclaim their right to nude, pornographic images depicting scenes from a random bed-room one among many that constitutes the red light district of towns that tolerate such activity. Image



This photo, is one of a number of happy accidents. it is a hybrid. It might be a tree and it might be a bird. The tree was the original still that I photographed. But once I had developed the image in the digital darkroom, I could no longer see the tree. Instead I saw a sort of bird/man.
So, I began wondering how this creature, this bird-man like creature found his or its way into my painting. I studied it a bit more and put it aside for a day or two, knowing that I would get back to it, because I was curious. Curiosity for me is nearly a drive.