The Exodus brings the Arrival

cropped-desert-hawk-eucalyptus-base-garden-shot.jpgI am influenced by my desert surroundings. My studio faces stony mountains and a jagged skyline, such a contrast between sky and land. The heat in the summertime consumes you and demands your attention. During the day the sun lingers high in the sky and the heat remains throughout the night. The silence of the desert accentuates my senses releasing memories along the journey, many times now with a fresh perspective.

 

Fish and BreadI try to imbue thoughts of faith, restoration, and healing within my work. I believe light has healing power for the body, mind and spirit. I add healing soil collected from healing areas in the southwest such as Mission Chimayo and Sedona, AZ. Many of the pieces have the healing soil from the mission integrated into the pieces. The light emitted from the layers cast with phosphorescent powders provides light and pierces the darkness, fading over time to a tiny glow.

 “The most precious light is the one that visits you in your darkest hour!” Mehmet Murat Ildan

My studio is full of shards, artifacts, and salvage. At times, I re-purpose these pieces into my work which provides a pathway to new work and a new direction. I experiment illuminating the work with LED light fixtures as a way of viewing them in a dark setting.  My pieces, when viewed in natural light have distinct characteristics and it is the light effects the LED fixtures provide when viewing in a dark setting that set the piece apart.  A different connection and context is created as the light penetrates the translucent layers and reacts to the layers mixed with phosphorescent powders.

SuperPhoto_Creation_2017-11-08_Nice MysticalWith this new series, I have created a sense of motion in the piece. This new work has the piece hovering and gliding over desert and ocean landscapes or seascapes.   The different pitch provides a sense of descending, flying or a sense of hovering. The changing color of light creates a wide range of spiritual moods, from calmness and healing to a sense of peace.

“Seeking the Sacred V” The last of this series. 18″x 7″x 17″ Alligator Juniper, cast resin, steel ball joint hardware, LED light, UV Light. There is a beautiful planet that lights and glows beautifully under UV light. Seeking the Sacred-WEB strong image enhancedThe elements of earth, air, and water intermingle as an intruder looms above the land. The resin impregnated the live edge of this piece of wood creating a seascape showing a sea floor and a sky hovering over the ocean. Clouds are suspended between layers and emit an eerie glow. An LED pulsates light behind the piece and illuminating a portion of the ray.

If the pieces I create imbue a “mystical” mood to my viewer, I feel I have succeeded in my mission as an artist. If the pieces take you to a journey of deeper perceptive state, even better.

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Seeking the Sacred

Our personal journeys take us to many places. At times we find ourselves along paths that are unmarked and without light to guide us. We are forced to confront fears that only darkness can produce. But we are driven to explore, it is part of our DNA as humans whether it is reaching to the stars or the depths of the ocean or… the boundaries of our imagination. We begin the journey as children: bringing natural curiosity as artists, scientist, and philosophers.
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A new series of work titled “Beneath the Darkness” reveals imaginary desert and ocean realms. Places and moments of time where light penetrates the darkness providing hope, security, and inspiration. A concealed LED light illuminates the cast resin layers in the cross-like shape and radiates a light within the steel and plexiglass base.

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“Seeking the Sacred”

I had a sense of creating something sacred, perhaps a holy vessel, something that can produce a sense of peace and maybe miraculous healing. My own faith says that is possible. Some say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. I hope the piece becomes that beacon providing the light into a voyage to a sacred harbor.
Two in a series: Resin-Steel & Light       19″x 11″x4″ See at the Ice House
First Friday April 7th 2017.

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Holy & Healing

 

A lost memory recaptured on recent trips to Taos, NM and Barcelona, Spain. A spiritual journey began with visits to churches and basilicas in Barcelona, Spain. Sagrada Famila is famous worldwide a church that has been under construction for over a 100 years and complete by 2025…they hope.Monstrance New WEB

Mission church Chimayo, outside of Taos is one of the best examples of an early Spanish Colonial mission. In this case, it is a “healing” place, like Sedona, AZ and other healing places in the southwest.  Chimayo mission is the site of physical and mental healings, some say miracles. We often mistake problems that require a spiritual solution-not a financial one.

Inside mission Chimayo are 2 separate rooms-in one, crutches hang on every wall, a testament of physical healing. From this room, you enter another room-low slung and no bigger than 10’x10′-central to this room is the small well in the middle of the floor of this room filled with the “healing” dirt from the land. Visitors are encouraged to take some of the dirt…Sandra did.Monstrance Fence-Night

My traditional view is that church buildings were built to inspire us to focus on God. Spires, stained glass windows, and items on the altar were created to depict religious themes and to point our lives away from the earthly realm and focus on a heavenly realm.

A limited series of work, I created with my favorite mixed media-Wood-Resin-Steel & Light and bringing into existence my own version of a “monstrance”.My vessels display something holy-fragments and I choose the land, sky, water and an unseen world.   There is a place where beings in the Rio Grande gorge ascend seeking a light from a wooden shard hovering above them and containing the healing power of the land. Light emitted from the piece breaks the darkness surrounding it. I think of the opportunity to spend moments of meditation during this period of light… a time of prayer and being thankful for all that God has created. Monstrance New WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Lost Memories”…Resurrection

Lost Memories Night Shot- 1-16Termite infested and weather worn; a crooked wooden slab… perfect for reclaiming and restoring lost memories. Inner hostilities confronted the lost memories at every turn and I realize how life shapes these thoughts. I’m aware of these forces fighting within me. There are  jagged and sharp pitted edges shaped by nature and the exposed elements, a lifeless but beautiful fragment of a once prosperous life; a majestic Sycamore tree once living the wilderness experience to its fullest.

 

 

Sycamore Ariozona

The  process of creating my art becomes a”fetish” experience, a repetition of shaping, smoothing and sanding translucent layers of resin layers cast into the decayed live edge of wood. It is like providing life in the dead arteries of the tree. I seem to work very hard doing this. It is hard work to regenerate this seven foot piece…but I must, its that inner conflict and hostility and good must prevail.

Dark MemoriesLight beckons the viewer to experience light, its an “eerie” glow that lasts well into the night. The light beckons the viewer to touch the smooth and now alive and transformed piece of wood. Light brings life to art and to life itself.

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“Ancient Memories…Refuge”

I saw the deep borings in the wooden slab of White Oak and began exploring the notion of “refuge”.  Something was attracted to live within this part of the tree, something sought refuge and existence in this fortress, I could see the microcosm when looking closely. At the same time, the pattern in the wood and its DNA reminded me of desert landscapes from the southwest; the vast areas of wilderness.

Refuge 10-3

I began to create layers of air and sky by casting resin layers, relying on lost memories of desert sunsets above a remote beach. There were memories of clouds in the early morning and light at the golden evening hour. The various translucent layers, some with pearlecent and phosphorescent powders mixed with resin, emit an “other world” atmosphere. Immersed within the sky are spherical planets  that, provide an “other” world dreamlike hallucination .TAbleRefugeon Path FBMedium Web view

“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle” says Walt Whitman and I wanted to create and capture  these moments.

The work “Refuge” is cocooned in light; a light created with LED lighting that I call the great light and phosphorescent  light, the lesser light. The lesser light is “charged” by the LED light and continues to radiate “stored” energy as “light” long into the darkness.

Light provides healing according to popular studies. Light is an element and theme in my work while I explore the idea of the spiritual powers of healing and light. Healing became an influence in my work while researching and understanding healing. Embedded in all my recent work is earth from mission Chimayo outside Taos, New Mexico. Chimayo has been called “a place of healing”, http://taospueblo.com/ . I saw thousands of prayers posted as photos, hundreds of crutches hung on a wall and realized this too was a place of refuge. Many prayers are answered but many times it is not “God get me out of this” rather God get me through this. The more I meditate in prayer, the more I know that healing is much about surrendering.

There is something special about the wilderness-the quiet and solitude, marveling at the beauty created by God. It is a spiritual experience for me. The same with creating art, a spiritual discipline for me, much like  prayer.

I often think of the quote;

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The process of creating this piece allowed me to reveal the mysterious realms of native folklore and culture.  In this piece, the elements of sky, fire, earth and air are my way of capturing the essence of God. God is in the very nature of each element.Refuge Close Up

“Ancient Memories”…Refuge” 65″ x 20″ x 2″ White Oak, cast resin layers, LED lighting. I had many ideas, wishes and fantasies creating this piece of refuge and prayer.

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“Transparent Memories”

The “act” of layering, weaving and assembling is a new process in my latest work. Working on new pieces that have a theme of “healing”, where I encounter memories of drowning in my life. At the same time, wondering about the roots of the sea in my life far from an ocean in the desert. This piece seems to make connections and connect dots of memory. There is a sense and emotion of surrender. Healing takes place in the act of surrender…surrendering to healing. “Ancient Memories are…in the Cloud” outlines two whales who once lived in the shallow seas of Arizona during the Triassic period. The outline of a Sperm whale encases the entire piece while the ghost like image of a Humpback whale emerges from what at first looks like a mountain range. The whale’s dorsal fin provides a sense of movement flowing through that primitive sea.

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop”. Rumi

I sense the DNA of trees, rocks and eons of time and the drop from the ocean contains the entire memory of a distant and primitive time.

Ancient Memories Like the rings of a tree, the translucent layers relate to time, and a distant space of land, sky and sea the one that has been  evolving over millions of years. Ancient translucent seas with turquoise seas, and cloudy summer vistas hover over a desert wilderness.

I know I have been here before…but its only an ancient memory now.

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“Ancient Memories are…in the Cloud”

Whale Shot Bench WEB 8-7
Progress shot

Beyond but beneath the obvious, a story emerges from a cutting  of alligator juniper, a lifeless slab of wood “beached” in my studio for over a year. I often looked at this piece of wood, imagining a design that never took place. Something else had to be released and it was an image created millions of years ago and now being revealed through the DNA of the wood and the mind and hands of a artists craftsman.

The whale has been released from its captivity, the DNA of eons of memories and layers of times ancient forests and a shallow sea filled with life. My imagination took over, remembering the times spotting whales against the backdrop of an expansive and seemingly empty sea, many times framed by the dramatic horizontal image where sky meets ocean. The composition of the piece with its long horizontal lines reminds me of the vast wilderness places; secluded mountains and beaches, the heat of the summer and the solitude the wilderness provides.I have had intimate moments with this creature in the wilderness and that was my direction and approach.


Whale Iris Blur Close
First 3 resin layers

I feel as if I am “hovering” over the scene, exploring what might be here, looking for waves, or fish. I realize I have flown over these coves, physically and meta physically. Maybe there is a connection for this piece of Arizona wood and the desert landscape. I think of the past life of this tree, musing over the DNA, perhaps dating back to the Jurassic period, when great whales and fish inhabited a  large inland and shallow sea that once was here in Arizona.


I cast the 67″ horizontal edge, vertically, allowing me to create layers of sky from my imagination. Distant green lights the color of an aurora borealis, contrast with the brilliant reds of sunsets and twilight times. The clear cast layers and multiple “spheres” describe a place of planets and distant stars. Thin blue and white layers reflect an ancient ocean where it meets an ancient land.

More musings to come as I continue to create the story of this piece.

62″x24″x3″ Alligator Juniper, cast resin layers.

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