Star Shepherd

 

STAR SHEPHERD

The translation of Isaiah 40:26 from the Living Bible (2nd printing 1985, published by Tyndale House Publishing Inc.)has always touched my heart where God is concerned, and caused me to favorably view the idea of additional translations of scripture.

This text states,” As a shepherd leads his sheep, calling each by its pet name and counting them to see none are lost or strayed, so God does with the stars and planets.”

To me, that says that God is not only big enough to create the universe and beyond, but also omniscient and concerned with ALL that universe includes. Not just to the planets, but also as other scriptures suggest, down to the number of hairs on each of our heads.

This image is the print of a painting which was executed with acrylics and pouring mediums (acrylic resin)

I am currently offering “Star Shepherd” as a limited edition print in a run of 20, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels
These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.

Higher Power

Abstract Expression, Abstract figures, Abstract hieroglyphs, acrylic wash and permanent marker

“We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

There is so much that is outside of my abilities to control. In fact, considering that I am unable to control other people, places and things, or at best have limited ability to effect control over them, I am left with just one thing I have nearly total control over. That would be myself.

Unfortunately, I am not always in total control of myself. When circumstances apply overwhelming stress, or when I allow another person’s actions or behavior to get the better of me, I may lose what control I have over my thoughts and / or emotions.

It is at those times that I have a choice to make, I can either lose control of myself, or I can turn to a power source outside of myself to aid me in recovering that precious part of myself; my sanity, my serenity, my peace (of mind). I have come to believe that the latter is not only a better choice it is the only choice that works in my best interest. That is because I have found that this is the option that works due to the faithfulness of my higher power whom I call God.

May you find God as well.

I have portrayed Higher Power as an abstract Hieroglyph, primarily due to the abstract nature of the spiritual nature of God. Some refer to God as The Universe, as He, or as She. I prefer to think of God as greater than the created universe, multi-dimensional with multi-faceted personality traits, some male and some female. So, I sometimes refer to God as He, sometimes as She, but more often as They. In Christian theology, God is a trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In ancient Hebrew text the Spirit of God was referred to as She, or more precisely in the feminine form. (reference Proverbs 1:20 -33) So, I generally think of God as the Father, Mother, and Child, or the Holy Family. Since this is a bit much to convey in an image I prefer the economy of an abstract Hieroglyph.

This painting was created with acrylics and permanent marker on cold-press watercolor paper.
I am currently offering “Higher Power” as a limited edition print in a run of 20,
18″ x 24″ acrylic panels
These reproductions are printed directly onto the back
of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.

Migration of Dreams

Migration of Dreams

This digital construct, or digital painting if you prefer, was based on photographic work I did at an art fair. I captured images of some brightly colored earthen ware in spite of the scowls I received from the potter. I guess he thought I wanted to copy his work. I was more interested in his palette.

I brought the image into Photoshop, where I pulled and pushed the image of vessels (much as the potter must have done with his clay) into the shapes of surreal beasts. The resulting movement and colors have always been very energizing to me, and has continued to challenge me to re-create the same energy in my paintings with other media.

The small central image reminded me of the graphic novel character created by Neil Gaiman, The Sandman.  So, in concert with the painting’s movement and surreal nature, Migration of Dreams seemed an appropriate title.

So, as you can guess by the context of this post, Migration of Dreams is not exactly new work. It is presented here to celebrate its lucky 13th anniversary.

I am currently offering Migration of Dreams as a limited-edition print in a run of 20 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels. For additional information on these prints follow this link.

A New Neighborhood Nebula

A New Neighborhood Nebula

Our thoughts travel faster than light.
Our imagination visits far away galaxies and returns that same afternoon.
It’s like having the whole of the cosmos in our backyard;
not to mention that new neighborhood nebula that just opened up.

A New Neighborhood Nebula is an original mixed media  painting on paper.
(Acrylics, Acrylic Resin, and Alcohol Inks)
It has been digitally formatted for large scale printing.

I am currently offering A New Neighborhood Nebula as a limited-edition print
in a run of 20, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels,
priced agreeably with consideration for the upcoming holidays.
These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.
For pricing and additional information, please continue to the linked sales page.

Some Doors Stay Open

Some Doors Stay Open

 

Considering how we, the human race, continually transport ourselves between dreams and various realities it seems inevitable that some of the doors between here and there will stay open.
Depending on your thought life that can be a good thing, or not so much.

This painting was originally executed by painting with alcohol inks, and then digitally edited for larger formats. The painting technique employed is an exercise in abstract expressive redaction, or erasure and replacement, which leaves a something like ghosts behind where the original mark or form was obliterated (painted out) then remade, if not precisely then with a close facsimile.

I am currently offering Some Door Stay Open as a limited-edition print in a run of 20, 24″ x 16″ acrylic panels, priced agreeably with consideration for the upcoming holidays. These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic. For pricing and additional information, please continue to the linked sales page.

And Yet, Still Smile

And Yet, Still Smile

It seems to me that the human condition is such that our species always suffers tragedy both self-inflicted and imposed upon by other men and nature.

Some believe, in fact, that it is in our nature to suffer. I believe that it is in our nature to endure.

Some claim that our lack of relationship with a higher power makes us all too vulnerable to these misfortunes.

Others point to the fact that the “rain falls on both the just and the unjust.” I believe that if, in fact, we are “broken children” we must be about the business of learning from our brokenness.

Regardless of why these mishaps occur many are afflicted, destroyed, or brought low, and yet man persists.

These woes only seem to make men stronger; more apt to show gratitude for their life.

So that when the next disaster strikes, even if some are not spared,  men endure, and yet, still smile.

AND YET, STILL SMILE, was originally executed by painting with alcohol inks, and then digitally edited for larger formats.

The painting technique employed is an exercise in abstract expressive redaction, or erasure and replacement, which leaves something like ghosts behind where the original mark or form was obliterated (painted out) then remade, if not precisely, then with a close facsimile.

I am currently offering And Yet, Still Smile as a limited-edition print in a run of 20, 20″ x 16″ acrylic panels, priced to make you smile.

These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.

 

Water Code

WATER CODE

With all the excitement, and sometimes fear, about the rise of Artificial Intelligence I have found myself wondering about how, or if, these machines will ever comprehend art, beauty or more interestingly, our emotions?

In these early stages the short answer is “they will not.”

As more sophisticated programs evolve, perhaps they will develop their own code for such things as how to interrupt a Monet painting of water lilies.

WATER CODE is a painting originally executed in alcohol inks on thermal paper, and digitally formatted for large scale printing.  Perhaps that is where the machines will come in contact with the concept.

I am currently offering Water Code as a limited edition print in a run of 20, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels, priced agreeably with consideration for the upcoming holidays.

These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.

For pricing and additional information, please continue to the linked sales page.

 

Sky Code

SKY CODE

With all the excitement, and sometimes fear, about the rise of Artificial Intelligence I have found myself wondering about how, or if, these machines will ever comprehend comprehend art, beauty or more interestingly, our emotions?

In these early stages the short answer is “they will not.”

As more sophisticated programs evolve, perhaps they will develop their own code for such things as how to interrupt the reflections of the sky in the rippling of water of a pond.

SKY CODE is a painting originally executed in alcohol inks on thermal paper, and digitally formatted for large scale printing.  Perhaps that is where the machines will come in contact with the concept.

I am currently offering SKY CODE as a limited edition print in a run of 20, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels, priced agreeably with consideration for the upcoming holidays.
These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.

For pricing and additional information, please continue to the linked sales page.

Storm Code

STORM CODE

 

With all the excitement, and sometimes fear, about the rise of Artificial Intelligence I have found myself wondering about how, or if, these machines will ever comprehend comprehend art, beauty or more interestingly, our emotions?

In these early stages the short answer is “they will not.”

As more sophisticated programs evolve, perhaps they will develop their own code for such things as how to interrupt the splatter of color and light from a heavy rainstorm.

STORM CODE is a painting originally executed in alcohol inks on thermal paper, and digitally formatted for large scale printing.  Perhaps that is where the machines will come in contact with the concept.

I am currently offering Storm Code as a limited edition print in a run of 20, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels, priced agreeably with consideration for the upcoming holidays.
These reproductions are printed directly onto the back of a 1/4″ thick sheet of clear acrylic.

For pricing and additional information, please continue to the linked sales page.

 

 

Instead of Darkness

Instead of Darkness

There is a thin line between speaking out against those involved with oppressing others, hating others, or doing violence to others; and entering that darkness to do battle with them ourselves.
Yet, we cannot be silent when evil is encountered.

Instead of darkness, let us clear away all confusion. Let us listen with open minds. Let us speak with calm and truth. Let us see with discernment. Let us act with a generous hearts.

Let us create instead of destroy.

Instead of Darkness” is a digital composition comprised of photo and scan segments from different paintings, then manipulated with software into multiple layers and various levels of opacity.

I am offering this image as a limited edition print in a run of 20, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels.

For your numbered copy follow this link.

A New Universe

A New Universe

The idea of multiple universes may be a matter for the linguists, or poets rather than the scientists.

Strictly by definition the word universe refers to the total of the cosmos, and all matter, energy, etc.

However, theoretically it has been suggested that there can be an infinite number of universes, sometimes called alternate universes or extra dimensions. This is a complex abstract, especially considering our limited scope of vision within time and space.

It is less difficult to imagine if we consider our dreams in the discussion. There seems to be many worlds just below the surface of consciousness.

Some have even suggested that an infinite number of possible universes are created by the simplest of decisions. We turn right and continue in the current creation, but by deciding to turn left create a new universe.

A New Universe was created as a digital composition with photo segments of different paintings, and multiple layers in various levels of opacity. Exquisite algorithms allowed me to manipulate these like clay into what you see here.

I currently offering this image as a limited edition print in a run of 20, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels.

Follow THIS LINK to consider you PURCHASE. In doing so you may just create A New Universe.

What The Caterpillar Showed Alice

What The Caterpillar Showed Alice

“What The Caterpillar Told Alice” is a digital composition comprised of elements from several of my paintings rearranged in layers of various opacity.

My take on the interchange between Alice and the caterpillar from Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” is one of perception, and of knowing oneself.

Alice is unable to give an answer to the creature ‘s simple direct question of, “Who are you?” She is too distracted with her current circumstance, and only seems to know she’d like to be a “bit larger.” So, Caterpillar eventually leaves after giving her sound advice about keeping her temper, and pointing her in the direction of the mushroom.

Though often depicted as a drug related conversation, perhaps because of the hookah, and the eating of mushrooms, this is actually an exercise in learning to know what you want.

There will always be distractions and circumstances of life to cloud the issues of self. As the caterpillar showed Alice, it is best to look past the veils of confusion and hone in on what one wants badly enough to endure being thought of as too small or otherwise to obtain that goal.

I am currently offering a limited edition of 25 prints of “What The Caterpillar Told Alice” as a 20″ x 20″ acrylic panel. Please follow this link to consider your PURCHASE.

Submerge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUBMERGE is now available for sale. 

This 12″ x 12″ abstract painting was executed on stretched canvas with alcohol inks. It is an example of the wet in wet process.
As I have imagined and remembered being below water, while looking up at the sky above the surface, I have sometimes experienced a certain dread that something would bar my path back to fresh air. In this inky water which is most common in the “fresh” bodies of water here in Texas, I get to exercise my faith that the surface and the sky are not too far away, and nothing is hiding within the murkiness to impede me.

Bruised Twilight

Bruised Twilight

As I cropped and sized Bruised Twilight I was reminded of the Frank Stella retrospective hosted at the Fort Worth Modern last year (2016). I visited a total of three times while the work was here, and each time I was awed and inspired by the breadth and the beauty of the work, as well as encouraged by what I realized to be the natural progression of the abstract expression process modeled by a master.

That progression is something I experienced prior to becoming familiar with Stella’s work.

Expressions either grow more and more complex, or more simple. They can be layers and layers of gesture lines and color, or they can be deep color fields. But, as that practice matures and the extent of the technique is fully explored, the next logical step is to take those techniques to alternate surfaces. I have explored that both in my Under-Works series and with my geometric paper sculptures. It was very reassuring to see this same progression in Stella’s work and read his explanation in the accompanying monograph.

However, the real surprise, the thing that brought me to tears all three times I saw it, was the hideous beauty of his massive sculptures, especially The Raft Of The Medusa, part 1. I could not look at “part 1” without my eyes welling up and water rolling down my cheeks.

This was before I had done my homework and was, at the time, unaware of Theodore Gericault’s epic painting by that name, which depicted a tragic shipwreck. Yet, somehow Stella conveyed that story on a subconscious level in his sculpture. The juxtaposition of the title with the sheer mass of the sculpture made the idea of this creation as a raft scream “HOW HOPELESS IS THIS?”

And yet, the framework on which the work was built almost gives it the appearance of floating in space from certain angles, as if this might have been a lifeboat from a crippled starship.

It is in the vein of creating beauty, even if somewhat hideous, of and from that which seems lost or hopeless that also speaks to me and through my practice. Materials which would normally be destroyed, dismissed, or discarded can give voice to joy, hope, courage, truth, and goodness.

Case in point, the image presented here, Bruised Twilight, was a scrap of note paper with which I soaked up excess inks from a project. As I looked at the scrap after it had thoroughly dried, I was struck with its beauty. The original piece was lined, so there has been some extensive editing of this final image.

This is, or should be if things work out, an introduction to a series of similar projects which I am thinking of as the Hideous Beauty series.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. If you would like to support this work, in particular the Hideous Beauty project consider becoming a patron here.

I am currently offering Bruised Twilight as a limited edition print in a run of 25, 18″ x 24″ acrylic panels For details on purchasing one or more of these prints follow THIS LINK.

Dawn of Faith

DAWN OF FAITH

 

We all believe in something. Our beliefs are most often based on our experience, and not limited to lessons taught in school, church, media, or literature. Our beliefs shape our understanding and form the path our life takes. When presented with new ideas and concepts those beliefs are the light with which we examine the new information before assimilating or rejecting it.

However, there are times when old beliefs and new ideas seem to cancel each other out. We shine the light of our beliefs on the new idea, and a blazing laser beam bounces back, blinding us. In modern psychology this is often referred to as cognitive dissonance, which is a state of discomfort when we cannot reconcile our beliefs with the new information, often despite overwhelming evidence.

In my way of thinking about this, it seems that discomfort, that doubt, that questioning of our faith stems from a belief that is too rigid. Some have called this, “putting God in a box.” Others reject God from the equation outright.

My own beliefs do not rely on whether you believe in God or not. It will not alter my faith in the slightest or change the amount of peace I have found and continue to find in my faith.

On the other hand, if you struggle with the concept, or have entered  a dark night of doubt because of the voices that argue against the possibility of a spiritual way, let me reassure of one thing. GOD LIKES TO WRESTLE.

I’m not talking about choreographed hi-jinx on TV, but about a willingness, on the part of whatever you call your Higher Power, to reason things out with us. This should be perfectly logical to those who refer to God as “Good Orderly Direction.” For those of us who believe in an omnipotent creator it also tracks as being well within His/Her/Their wheelhouse to already have this new information you are struggling with, which might make acceptance easier.

For me, this was my “Dawn of Faith.” It was the realization that I could doubt God. I could get angry with God. I could question God, and especially what men had taught me about God. God was not threatened or angry by my doubt and questions, nor reactionary to my anger. God welcomed it, and the opportunity to (over time) answer the questions of which I became aware by showing up in situations where I had invited God to participate.

This realization also came with  an assurance that I know to be true in my experience. God is faithful, even when I am not.

 

The Tech Stuff:

The painting DAWN OF FAITH is 30″ x 30″ oils on textured gallery wrap (1.5″ thick) canvas.
The texture came from adding aquarium sand to the gesso layer. I used predominately vertical lines in this painting after a discussion with my friend and master painter, Ernesto Rodriguez. In his opinion, vertical lines conveyed positive emotions. I find this to be as true as the fact that in design theory they also represent and convey strength.

DAWN OF FAITH is currently on exhibit at the Taste Community Restaurant, located at 1200 S. Main, Ft Worth, TX 76104. All proceeds from the sale of this painting go to support the Taste Project. See anyone in attendance for help in your purchase.