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Great Pyramids of Sacred Energy
Acrylic and Sand on Wood Panel 30" x 40"
In April of 2017, I stopped into Giza to explore the Great Pyramids. Not only was I captivated by the enormity of the pyramid of Khufu, but also the unique shape and weathered form of each rock.
Feeling an intense energy of excitement, I later learned that significant sites like this one, and many other structural sites of the ancient world, are built on specific intersections of geologic lay-lines called tuleric lines of electromagnetic currents. In China, these are called dragon lines and the intersections were sacred spaces worthy of only royal burials or palaces.
Even though commonly thought to be made of simple stone from nearby quarries, the rocks were from a variety of areas and chosen for their specific qualities. The core of these pyramids are actually made of dolomite, including magnesium as an electricity conductor. Radioactive granite lines the sealed shafts that releases a lively radon gas. And, white limestone was used to cover the outer layer of the pyramids. Further, water from the Nile used to run through underground aquifers, a chalk foundation, creating a charge in magnetic field like modern-day hydro-electric damns.
Combined with solar power of the sun, these glowing pinnacles acted as illuminated spiritual storehouses, gigantic lightbulbs. Often called prana, chi, or life force energy, this feeling charge of peaceful bliss can also be found on mountain tops and other sacred sites around the world.
24" x 24" Acrylic and Sand on Wood Panel
In 2017 I traveled through Thailand and on a boat excursion to the island of Ko Poda, off of Ao Nang, Krabi. While wondering off to the rocky west side of the island, I came across these miraculously shaped rectangular tide pools. Nature’s extreme sun and wind exposure chiseled these rocks into hand-sized pools. The combination of sand, angular rock walls, water and microscopic organic life, created a spectacular feast for my eyes! In some pools, light reflects the sky when the angle is just right, in others it pulls out the color of the sand. This painting is a celebration of form, color, and texture and real sand was mixed into each color of paint before application.
La Mirroir D'eau
Acrylic on Wood Panel 24" x 24"
In June of 2018, I flew into France to begin walking the 500 miles of the French Way Pilgrimage, also known as the Camino de Santiago. I stopped in Bordeaux the night before beginning the trek in Saint Jean Pied-du-Port, and I was captivated by the sunset on the Water Mirror. La Miroir D’eau is the world's largest reflecting pool, covering 37,100 square feet. Built in 2006, it is located on the quay of the Garonne in front of the Place de la Bourse. Steam fountains appeared out of the earth to mist the sidewalk, blurring the edges of the horizon and river. All I could see was the beautiful colors of love!
Physically, mirrors reflect light and thus reflect the world around us. Spiritually, light has symbolic reference to illumination, awareness and wisdom. Therefore, mirrors reflect truth, what is, the results of our actions along with the Karmic rewards, or punishments. In order for us to honorably evaluate ourselves and the world we have created around ourselves, we should learn how to see, to view our current reflection with an Enlightened mind.
Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 30”, 2018
In the secret jungles of Java lies one of Buddhism’s greatest treasures. The largest Buddhist Temple in the world consists of seven layers atop a 370-foot cubed foundation of volcanic rock. The square walls are decorated with forms of weight, stability, consequence, movement and action, laced with impulse of the sacral chakra, desire and creativity.
Traded with cotton and spices, the spread of Buddhism, from India to China and down to Java, was the first unifying agent of the Asian continent. The voices of those who came before us call out the repeating struggles, of our human condition, through fourteen-hundred-sixty reliefs: all life is suffering, all suffering is a result of lust and desire, the removal of desire leads to the removal of suffering, the way to deliverance is through releasing attachment to this cycle of reincarnation.
For twelve hundred years, birds have been echoing the message, "Come from the East, West, North, and South." This holy pyramid calls for pilgrimage! Recognize how the spirit can overcome earthly desires, through awakening, control of ego, integrating the personality and soul, climbing the levels of consciousness. Rising above the four levels of squares, in purity of circular form, sixty-two stupas, bell structures, leave perforated windows to let the light shine on the bright one, buddha, presented with six different hand positions, mudras repeated in 504 sculptures throughout this temple.
The spirit dwells at the top of the mountain! Likewise, awakened beings from around the world are pulled to the radial symmetry of this sacred mandala. As I approach the upper floors of circles, I'm surprised to be welcomed with lines of Javanese tourists. These beautiful faces want to unite with me... the outsider, westerner, who has traversed from the far west to bring the message back to the land of the wanna-be-free. Communicating through gestures and hand motions, asking to snap a photo or selfie with me, I feel blessed. Together with their smiles and hugs. Even though their heads are covered and mine is not, The color of our skin does not divide us, nor do politics. We are choosing unity over difference.
Angkor Wat Earth/Sky
Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 30”, 2018
After passing through India and Nepal on my journey around the world in 2017, I stopped into Cambodia to marvel at the materialization of religious and political conceptions imported from India and adapted to local traditions within Angkor Archaeological Park.
What struck me most was the great city of Angkor Thom, a temple complex built in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII. In the center of this great city, these gigantic serene face sculptures (6-8 feet tall) belong to 37 (originally 49) towers that make up the mountain temple of Bayon, built to represent Mount Meru, the center of the universe in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. With four faces on each tower, there used to be almost 200 total, each one is looking to one of the four cardinal directions.
Dubbed the ‘Mona Lisa of South East Asia’ the closed eyes and mysterious smile, which represent the achievement of the state of Enlightenment. King Jayavarman identified himself with Buddha and Lokeshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion, so the faces could be a blend of the two.
In the painting, Angkor Wat Earth/Sky, I focus on contrast, using a double complementary color scheme (blue and orange with yellow and violet) and equal positive and negative space, representing the paradoxical relationship between physical and spiritual. Similar to the philosophy of yin and yang, ego and soul, up and down, inhale and exhale, we live in a world of two opposites. I strive to find the balance between being and doing, opening and contracting, giving and receiving, speaking and listening, nature and city, adventure and stillness.
View from the Bridge (Himalayas)
Acrylic and Sand on Canvas 18” x 24”, 2018
While crossing the seven iconic suspension bridges, along the Everest Base Camp Trek in 2017, I noticed a variety of reactions to this part of the journey. Some people were clutching to the side wire with dizzying expressions. At the sight of an upcoming bridge, dread would begin to bead and surface in the form of sweat across their brow. Slow shaky step after another, it would take all their willpower and concentration to inch their way to the other side.
Survival expert, Bear Grylls, teaches in A Survival Guide for Life, “whenever you do something beyond your ‘comfort zone’ and realize you are still standing, the more you will believe that the impossible is actually possible. And on the road to success, belief is everything...we all have much further to push ourselves than we might initially imagine. Inside us all, just waiting to be tested, is a better, bolder, braver version of who we think we are.”
Bridges, by their very nature, ease the passage from one side to another. They symbolize union. Yoga is union, bridging our little self with our Higher Self. When we tap into our inner source of power and trust, the world can be our playground and the bridges, or obstacles, will follow our lead. The act of stepping and walking allows us to slow down and reconnect with nature in the form of earth, air, water, fire, and space, tune into our own bodies, notice our thought processes, develop courage, connect with others, encounter new situations that open our perspective, let go of past attachments, live in the moment, cultivate deep gratitude, and develop trust in the higher power.
Looking over the edge to the amazing combination of elements underneath me, I felt a surge of excitement and wonder. I would feel like Indiana Jones running off on another adventure into a special place with ancient secrets. Each step had a bounce and jiggle on this wobbly terrain. I was so filled with joy that I would shake my hips from side to side, rhythmically stepping, as if dancing.
Prayer Flags Suspension Bridge (Nepal)
Acrylic on Canvas 18” x 24”, 2018
Have you ever felt suspension...hanging or floating, waiting for an action or response? Did this instability and movement bring feelings of anxiety or excitement? When you approach an obstacle in your life, how do you choose to accept this bump in the path? Are you frozen with fear, or joyful with curiosity?
A simple suspension bridge is a primitive type of bridge that is supported entirely from anchors at either end, leaving the center floating and susceptible to movement and sway. This type of bridge is considered the most efficient and sustainable design in developing countries like Nepal.
People of the Himalayas tie prayer flags to the cables along each side. Traditionally, prayer flags come in sets of five colors: red, yellow, green, blue, white, representing the elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Covering the flag are versions of the 400 mantras, Buddhist teachings in the forms of four sacred animals (dragon, garuda, tiger and snow lion), as prayers for the life and fortune of the person tying the flag.
They believe that when the wind blows the flags, its spreads the blessings, good will and compassion, embodied in the images and writings across the land. Eventually the prints fade and the prayers become part of the universe, and the prayer flags are renewed…
Land of 100 Waterfalls
24" x 30" Acrylic on Canvas
In July of 2015, I visited Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. This natural park is filled with turquoise waters and over a hundred waterfalls in the midst of lush forest and steep cliff drops. Waterfalls often relate to a great release of emotion, rejuvenation and renewal of spirit.
In Norway and Iceland, the word 'waterfall' translates as 'Foss' which in Latin is a derivative word element relating to 'light'.
The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, was inspired to reflect on the waterfall as the continuous evolution of beings. The drops of water which make up the waterfall are renewed each second, just like the view in Buddhism of the purely illusory components of manifestation.
In Classical Chinese painting the waterfall has frequently been an element, which in opposition to the rock, represents yin and yang and is considered the symbol of impermanence.
In Japan in the Shinto tradition, standing under waterfalls is believed to purify your spiritual energy.
Wet Sand at Torrey Pines State Beach
24" x 30" Oil on Canvas, 2005
I often escape to Torry Pines to marvel at these macro and micro wonders. Often times, I get lost while I sift through the stones and watch patterns in the sand. I’m mezmorized when I see all of the colors pulled into view when the sand and stones become wet by the waves washing over them.
This painting is about contrast. We all have our ups and downs.
Are you full of love and life, or are you feeling dry and in need some inspiration?
Look a little closer.
Water represents the flow of creativity. Let it wash over you!
Palenque Mayan Ruins
Acrylic on Canvas 16” x 20”, 2016
In 2015, I was called to the mysteries of the southern Mexican jungle. The Palenque ruins, one of the most mystical Mayan sites, date from 226 BC to AD 799. The entire city of Palenque was a place of antique pilgrimage and only five percent of it has been excavated.
Weaving through the stone structures, I came upon T-shaped holes in the thin walls made of the local soft limestone with lintels in wood. Unlike every other building in the palace complex, this House E was painted white with very unusual colorful depictions of stylized flowers and insects. Much of the nature-derived staining has faded, but slight remnants attach to the texture of certain rocks. This house has proximity to the steam baths, suggesting the south west court was used for vision rites and contacting ancestors. Ironically relating to the baths, this site of Palenque was also prehistorically known as Lakam Ha, meaning Big Water.
This T-shaped slit, in particular, was placed directly across from a wide doorway with the same T- symbol. Based on shapes found in nature, Maya geometry was considered sacred. What is behind the door? Are these T’s a security look-out from the inside, or peep holes to spy on the bath and sauna ceremonies? I learned that this T-shape is a representation of the 'Ik,' the god of the wind. These divine orifices allowed the wind to pass through, so Ik could feel honored and refrain from destroying the structure.