The first oil on canvas painting I ever did was a magic-themed piece, showing the classic elements used in this form of popular entertainment. I juxtaposed and exaggerated angles and shapes to represent the confusion on which magicians rely to create their effects. The butterfly paintings were all attempts to create a 3-D effect by using complementary colors in background and butterfly, with a shadow to enhance the pop-out illusion of the butterfly floating above the canvas.
The kite piece was my take on spirituality through my own version of Pop-Art. Instead of a canvas stretched on a traditional rectangular frame, I cut and sewed a canvas in the shape of a paper kite, and stretched it on a cross-bar kite-frame. The painting represents human striving towards higher consciousness and includes symbols of the cross (the wood frame itself) and trinity, Yin/Yang symbol, Star of David, Ra the Sun God, Heaven, clouds of thought passing through the mind in meditation, and the form of the work itself in its function as a kite. It’s in a private collection.
The long horizontal piece reflects where I am at spiritually. This piece depicts a series of famous woodcuts of “The Ten Bulls.” It is a story of the journey towards awakening. For color, I added Hokusai’s “Wave,” which for me represents unified consciousness as the ocean and each of us individual droplets or waves. This piece is in the private collection of a friend.
The reproduction of a cave painting was the first major painting I did which was not on canvas. I used Masonite, and textured it heavily with gesso and plaster, then chipped and cracked it for an authentic aged look. I leaned heavily on imagery from the caves at Lascaux, France, and added my own symbolism. One prominent example of this is the shadow in the shape of Africa, inspired by my recent return from that continent after a year living in the wild working at a chimpanzee rescue project. This primitive painting sold at a gallery show, and that took me in a new direction in art, large mixed media pieces, aged and textured to authentically capture ancient history.