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.

Website Gallery

Lortega777@gmail.com

602-369-3698

 

“Desert Passage”

My latest pieces explore the contrast of elements; where sky and earth meet
and where light penetrates the darkness. Translucence layers accentuate the
glimmering hues of color that shift in the light. Layers of translucent resins
create dream like landscapes and mirages. Mirages are deceptive and the small
nature of these pieces can deceive the viewer looking at the objects. I like to
imagine vast vistas of the sky and layers of clouds captured in a moment of time.
cropped-we-are-already-one-thomas-merton.jpg
“Desert Passages”
Inspiration for this new work comes from the desert and the
sea and where the sky meets earth and where light is
captured in a space of “luminous colored layers”. It
also comes from deeper inside-from the DNA of the
desert and sea and from the inner being of who I am.
“Am I a mirage”…Is a question that comes to mind.
4 Seasons Nice
“Desert Seasons”
Summer is passing in the desert and the light is shifting
higher in the sky…we transition to fall-then to winter-back to spring and then to summer. The seasons of the desert have one thing in common…Light.
DSC_9277
“Mirage”

Cubes and Terraforms

As the seasons change, I am transitioning into the hot summer days and nights. My spring work included some of my largest pieces including “Lost Memories” a 7′ casting into the live edge of a Sycamore slab.Lost Memories Hanging-Yellow

 

 

Late spring and going into the summer has me working on a series of cast resin cubes. I have describe some of my pieces as “terraforms” …worlds within worlds and “other worldly”. I see vast desert and ocean wilderness areas that have been part of my entire life. Dry clouds over a horizon, light dancing off the morning water and a millions stars illuminating the night sky.

Cube 2 ObliqArtist Closue up Nice

The desert has played a pivotal role throughout history including the flight of a group of immigrants redeemed from slavery and promised a” land” of milk and honey. A visible sign of an invisible God is seen in the distance.The column penetrates layers of clouds lighting the sky for all to see and never leaving them-strengthening the promise made long ago. Exodus 13:20-22

War of the Worlds

Set on lighted platforms or as a stand alone piece in a garden window and sills. The cubes absorb light energy and exchange it as luminescence, eerie illumination produced.  StoryBox-creations as An Obliq Artist Desert Journey Cube

“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.

www.stor-ybox.com  AnObliqArtist

“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.

http://www.stor-ybox.com

“A Refuge”

TheRefugeWEB Large e-mail view

“A Refuge” is nearing finished, which is a magic moment for me and many artist I know.Some type of small animal sought refuge in this piece of White Oak. The refuge was carved out by some type of bug, and the hollow became large enough to provide sanctuary to some type of bird.

A mixed media work incorporating resins, colored with opalescent and pearlecent earth powders. Resins mixed with phosphorescent powders and cast in layers to produce an internal illumination when charged with ordinary light and super charged with UV lighting. Illumination is a key element of the work and each piece takes on a different look when viewed in a darkened setting. The translucent layers glow in the spot lights from underneath. The elemental themes of Earth, Water, Air and Fire are present… but there is an emphasis on the “fifth” element; the element which describes matter beyond the material world. An invisible realm in existence before existence began.

I’m inspired by the deserts of New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico, connected to the cycles of life and the seasons.  I am exploring the panorama of desert skies, the interaction of light at sunset, sunrise and twilight. At times I see water-less clouds teasing a parched land, or violent storm clouds bringing ranging floods. Desert sunsets are a gift and one that I experience from my studio every day.

Water is a renewing element, water cleanses and brings new life and it is very precious in the desert. And yet,  I keep returning to the sea and as I explored this piece of White Oak, I could feel the edge of the wood and imagine a beautiful wave cresting and breaking on some imaginary beach I’ve created in my mind. I imagine beautiful things in heaven and I am exploring beautiful things on earth. I’m reminded how blessed I am.

More art work on my website http://www.stor-ybox.com

TheRefugCloseupWEBLarge e-mail view

“Remember Me”-Even When Surfing

Somewhere along the journey, I transitioned from life around the seaCommunion Table, Descending Angel and Surfboards 1-12-15 363X300 to life in the desert. You see,  I grew up around the ocean in So Cal; surfing, fishing, boating. Next stop was Hawaii, where I to to support my family as a full time artists and live a surfers lifestyle and dream.

The major transition in my life was moving to the desert Southwest. What was a sea goer like me doing moving to the desert?  Looking back, I know why I am here and have been here for 35 years, it was a divine appointment.

I have remembered surfing every night since I have lived in Arizona. Not physically but mentally…every night before I go to sleep, I re-surf waves from the past from CA, Hawaii, Mexico, and Central America. I cannot get the images of the ocean out of my head. Nor the moments of stillness on the water, light dancing across swells in early morning or that last minute flash of light at sunset. Now that I look back, God was more in my mind, was more present on the ocean than perhaps anywhere else. The ocean cast a spell on me and has never let go. So did God.

Last year, I focused on a series of artwork entitled “A New Earth”. I remember being very sad reading there will be no sea in the New Earth. Bummer!

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there was no more sea.       Revelations 21 

At first, I was saddened at the comment. No sea, I thought heaven might be a place where I could have my own ocean, my own surf location far from the maddening crowds where I could share waves with my friends, where maybe a wipe out did not exist. But without an ocean, where was I going to surf? Then I realized, we will be surfing waves, waves that my limited mind could not fathom.Maybe I will be surfing light waves or sound waves?

So, here is a photo featuring my artwork; A Communion Station, A Table, and miniature glowing surfboards, all reminding me of a command…. “Do this in remembrance of Me”…its a mystical experience.