Awareness, heart connection, delight and humor...these are the elements that I utilize to create, whether that be painting, jewelry, calligraphy, encaustics, poetry, or writings.
I try to bring various backgrounds and life experiences into the emotional aspects of my work, living in foreign countries, being mentored by known artists, excited by the richness of color, the expression of passion in all that one does.
The goal of being a creative is some form of communication, whether that be a pleasing or repelling reaction, at least the viewer makes a connection, an emotional response to viewing the piece. There is a practice called Dharma Art, that is explained succinctly and is the concept of my teacher of many years, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche:
"Genuine art has the power to awaken and liberate. The renowned meditation master and artist Chögyam Trungpa called this type of art “dharma art”—any creative work that springs from an awakened state of mind, characterized by directness, unselfconsciousness, and nonaggression. Dharma art provides a vehicle to appreciate the nature of things as they are and express it without any struggle or desire to achieve. A work of dharma art brings out the goodness and dignity of the situation it reflects—dignity that comes from the artist’s interest in the details of life and sense of appreciation for experience. Trungpa shows how the principles of dharma art extend to everyday life: any activity can provide an opportunity to relax and open our senses to the phenomenal world."
This is how I approach my journey, my path, my life...
This artist has been working on his art since he was 10 years old (he can't remember beyond that) when he did profiles of his sister and father and they actually looked like them and then won 1st prize in the United Nation's Poster Contest from all of the NY public schools. He knew from early on that this was his passion and took art classes every chance he could. His last year in High School he was asked to work on a piece of sculpture (that took 6 months to complete). It was his first attempt at sculpture, but it wasn't in clay or wood but in a 25 lb piece of marble.
At 17 he went to Israel for a year and in Jerusalem he mentored with Yona Mach, a famous Israeli artist and later in the year he lived on the art colony Ein Hod, started by famous Dadaist, Marcel Janco. During his stay he whitewashed and met Jean Arp, a father of Dadaism who had Martha Graham staying with him. While there, he stayed in a small 10x10 room with no electricity or running water and when he wanted to paint at night he had to paint by candlelight. This became one of many 'circumstances' that shaped and led to his development and sense of exploration. The candle would get knocked over onto the artwork he was painting and after throwing out many pieces he started dripping the wax onto the surface along with crayons, gouache and india ink, later discovering there was a name to this method...Encaustics, and so began his delving into that form.
Being a bit of a renaissance man, he taught himself jewelry and won first place in design at the prestigious Dutchess County Rhinebeck Craft Fair, and started various businesses and did everything from a short order cook in an Italian Restaurant to a chef and cooking for 500 in gala events. He was a thread grinder at Vermont Tap & Die, a gem and gold chain wholesaler, a barista, a roofer, a bicycle messenger boy in NYC, decaled a Rolls Royce with Peter Max, built a set for a Utica Club Beer Commercial produced by famous photographer, Bert Stern, managed the Electric Lotus, a light machine and light show store, was in GQ magazine, opened Woodstock with Swami Satchidananda in 1969 and has had a variety of one man shows and group shows along with being published in several anthologies.