Sacred Vessels: Spirit Encounter

“Sacred Vessels” are handcrafted sculptures or maquettes. Thoughts, prayers, observations, and revelations, come one at a time or at times all at once. The spirituality of the land is multisensory: and it comes through hearing, and seeing the desert creatures. The visits are at times flying through the heated wind, or hearing muffled movement of desert creatures along mesquite lined desert washes, seeing the shadow of an animal during a full moon.

Sacred Vessels: Spirit Encounters

Layers of cast resin infused with phosphorescent powders are the lenses that capture and diffuse light. My color palette has become bold and defined. Portions are crystal clear revealing an embedded object-a seed, skin from a snake, and healing soil from Mission Chimayo in Taos. I regularly muse the themes of healing and restoration. v

Sacred Vessel: The Breakthrough

The number of layers and the shape of the castings are spiritual archetypes. Light is a metaphor for awakening, truth, and life. The faint light created by the pieces when viewed in the dark depicts hope, faith, and love.

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Creating Connections

The backside of a large Sycamore slab exposing a power source of Light. I love how the light “highway” terminates within translucent layers of resin. Wood-Resin-Steel & Light. 7″ x 26″ x 2″

“The studio is a place to create and time to discover things about myself. A sanctuary, a place of divine kismet.”

Larry Ortega


An abundant year of rain transforms the desert and exposes the abundance. The heat and scent of the desert glides through the wind. Days are longer-Nights are shorter. Spending more time in the outdoor studio and garden area. The back area of the studio provides the best view of Cinnabar Canyon. The jagged hills offer a stark contrast against the morning sky. The moonlight gently wraps its light over the Ocotillon Hills, as it elegantly illuminates the desert floor.

Sacred Vessels

My inspiration for this series title “Sacred Vessels” come from my thoughts about healing. I look at materials I used in creating this series, it is about the wood that I choose, wood that had a previous use and spent time in the desert weathering the elements over many seasons. It has marinated in the DNA of the desert and recorded the desert experience both day and night. Sacred Vessel tortoise

Spiritually speaking, I have explored the nature of healing and the influence of light to the process. God is described as Light in many of the major religions. Light plays an important role in my work. Most of my pieces are infused with translucent phosphorescence layers. These layers emit a light, a glow in dark and the darker the setting the stronger the light.Koi with Red tablecloth AAAb small

I remember an evening where my mind and soul wandered into a thick darkness, a wilderness place that I came across looking for answers to prayer and meditation on healing I was seeking. In the heavy darkness, one of my pieces provided enough light to refuel faith and hope.

Taos is spiritually magical and has special places of healing and mission Chimayo being one of those healing places.  I embed soil I have collected from Mission Chimayo within all my artwork. The Phoenix WEB

I like to believe that my pieces help contemplate spirituality. That although God is invisible his manifestation can be perceived by the power of Light, the emotion of love.  and His healing nature.

Finally, music influence my work and remembered the message from the group Jars of Clay.

2 Cor 4:7
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.
A message is embedded in our ordinary lives….we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
I am reminded as an artist that I have Light to share.

Healing in a land of unbelief.

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Spiritual objects help the viewer focus onto what is holy and mysterious. Several of my new pieces remind me of a primitive Monstrance. The spirit hovers above the earth, connecting what is holy with whom is holy.

My mind is impressed with the thoughts of healing the body, mind, and spirit. We must use all that is available to heal.

We pray and beg for our bodies to be healed and have faith that God will answer our prayers for healing. “God…get me out of this pain and my death”. And the prayer comes back answered in a way we do not expect when God answers us with …”I’ll get you through”. “Lord heal my body, and He healed my mind. 

The desert DNA is present in this piece. My imagination took me back to that time and wilderness place.

 

A Journey to Protection

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A sunset framed against the desert horizon, a sign that special moments are about to begin: it’s a brief interlude before the light of the day becomes the light of the night.

Moments like this are sacred, I want to believe its time like this that connects me with the spiritual realm, allowing me time to explore and commune with something greater than the dimensions I exist.  “I want these moments to last longer,” I say. Much harder to explain…easier to experience.

The Promised Land AAA

There are times in the studio where I experience a spiritual stillness and humility. Love those desert nights.

When I let go, I guide my thoughts into prayers. ..and somehow the prayers become a spoken layer in my work like an image of an invisible God. My night encounters have become sacred rituals, connecting God and my work.

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Interesting where thoughts arise as I imagine that I am creating healing pieces focusing on the themes of the restoration of health and harmony. The curative properties of Light are expressed deeper in darker settings where I imagine the prayer layers are visible as light energy. I imagine the light energy collected and stored in a sacred vessel during the day and dispensed into the night and the darker the setting: this light protects the night and connects to God.

“Within the process of creating my work, there is a time that the work  brings me to “places” that fill me with the spaciousness of the universe while my artificial boundaries are disolved. It feels like freedom, and Exodus from life tethered in four dimensions”

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Larry Ortega

“Into the Darkness” Tales of Exodus

Koi A Sea Odyssea 5Part of my recent series of cast resin pieces titled “Into the Darkness” focuses on “Light” created by underwater beings. Unlike light emitting from a light bulb, which can appear angular and glaring,   the light emitted from the organisms has an ethereal feel. Light represents “life” itself and symbolizes the presence of God. Creating these recent pieces I got a sense that I may be depicting the invisible nature of God. Koi the KissDarkness as a symbol represents evil and fear. Only Light can dispel darkness. Darkness cannot dispel Light. The nature of light and dark cannot exist without the other. A black background sets the mood for light invading darkness.
Koi over the Gorge nice 2

An eerie light emits from the Taos gorge illuminating a visitor bringing its light to the dark abyss.