Archive for June 28th, 2010


This is a painting finished for my next exhibition which opens July 22 at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY.  This show, which I am calling New Days, is my tenth annual solo show there, something I never envisioned when I began showing there in the early part of 1995.  At that point, I was amazed that anyone would even want to look at my work,  let alone buy it.  I was simply happy to hang my simple paintings on a wall and have somebody see them, which is still remains a thrill today.

This painting, a 24″ by 30″ canvas, is titled Visionary.  I’ve lived with this piece for a while and there’s a lovely depth into the painting and a golden hue around it that keeps my eye coming back to it.  An almost mystical pull.  It has sat untitled for all this time but this morning, the word visionary came to mind. 

Maybe it’s the distance between the houses in the foreground and the single tree in the distance but I am reminded of the vision quests of many indigenous people in many lands, a rite of passage where a young person of the tribe is sent alone into the wilderness, with the idea that the isolation and the deprivations (fasting is often part of the ritual) will attune them to their true self and their place in the natural world.  This quest is similar to those taken by the tribesmen who have been called forth as shamans although their journey is often enhanced by hallucinogens.

Either way, the idea is to shed all the trappings of their safe life and tap into a mystic energy in nature, confer with the spirits.  Unite with the eternal.  To see the remarkable behind the mundane.

Much like the visionary who, in all cultures, steps away from the safety of what is normal and stands alone.  Their viewpoints may seem far away and improbable, easily brushed aside.  But sometimes, their visions become evident to the normal world and we are grateful for their ability to see beyond what is now to what can be.  Grateful for their self belief and fortitude in stating their visions even though they may realize the risk of derision.

Maybe in this piece, the visionary, as represented by that far tree, is able to see the true nature of light and color as it breaks into pieces in the sky above.  To us, the inhabitants of the houses, it seems but a mere sky.  To the tree, the visionary, it seems to be comprised of unseen forces, the defining elements that make up all things.  He sees deeper, far beyond our shorter sight.  And he seeks to make it known to us.

Well, maybe that’s what I mean by this piece.  Somedays, it’s all a mystery to me…

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