in order to build heads in paint


Hello once again dear reader and welcome;

This week I was faced with a necessary creative detour. Continuing the under painting of “COMPASS” I realized I need to take a step back and turn to the drawing board-literally.  Sensing that I had become stuck in the painting of the head, I felt that by turning to paper I would reconnect to what I was creating in that figure. Common but interesting experience that.

The most deeply satisfying experiences I’ve had drawing and painting has occurred when I am literally creating an image. When I am looking at something to paint or draw and I re-create it, it is a wonderful experience but fundamentally lacking for me in some deep emotional way. Technically it is satisfying but creatively it misses and is like practice or preparatory for some other, later thing. I explained last week that the images I’m sharing with you from my studio exist first inside me and you are witnessing the creative challenge and process of my bringing them to life in the outside world.

So, how does one paint from spirit? We use psychic vision, right?  But how do we manifest the vision in paint?

My instinctual way of painting isn’t abstract or expressionistic. My compulsion is some kind of realism-to make representational pictures -at least presently. Perhaps because that is how the visions exist within me, I don’t know, which is why I call it a compulsion.  In my mind they exist as representational images, albeit sometimes representational of things that don’t appear to “exist”, but representational still and I expect to depict them as accurately as I can. I am compelled to compose and build and refine and adjust until the painting agrees with the vision. 

So I must find a variety of sources that flesh out the details, help me focus on the vision and really figure out how to paint it. Although I believe that we/ I have full access psychically to the vastest encyclopaedia of image reference-which is why when I dream of a horse it is a fully vivid life filled horse with every detail imaginable- I certainly do not have full access yet. So I use what I can in photos and direct observation.

So, now may I take you back to the study from this week?  Why doesn’t it look anything like the figure in the painting?  The kind of study I was compelled to do this week was most importantly a study of the psyche of the figure. Yes, I am having to work out what furrowed eyebrows and disillusionment looks like in paint, but remember I said I was feeling stuck in the paint?  It is the psychology of the man I needed to attune to. I had to do the study to strengthen his energy in my mind.  And, yes, this scream is what the figure is feeling.

I keep this recent drawing of the skull in the studio as a similar study that evokes the feeling of what it is that I am building upon when I am building heads in paint.

Dear reader, at the end of the last post I promised that I would begin to reveal to you the theme and symbolism of this painting “COMPASS”. If you are still reading, please be patient with my postponement of this until next week and understand that this creative detour may be a metaphor for moments in our lives; stepping back to the drawing board, re-aligning, gaining more information in order to build our creations…

So I will discuss the theme of the painting next week but for the moment I will leave you with a quote I heard today while listening to astrologer Dane Rudhyar(link below).  It contains an essential part of the theme:

“…every person is born because the Universe needs that person at that time in that certain place…”

Until next week,

my sincere gratitude for your time and attention,


First Steps in the Interpretation of Birth Charts  part one



releasing pressure from my mind’s eye

Hello again dear reader and thank you today for your interest:

Discussing the painting “COMPASS” that I am currently working on gives me the opportunity to tell you about how I have come to commit to the images I’m creating in my studio. The couple of pictures in this post show the early progress of it. 

In my experience of life my visual imagination is always activated. Like a running visual commentary, there is a dream life accompanying my experience of waking life.  As I see with my apparently physical eyes I am able to also “see” in mind’s eye an overlay of images creating a rich mixture of physical and symbolic imagery. The nature of the resulting visions appear to me like parable and allegory illuminating deep meaning in each situation I turn my attention to.  At some point in my life I became very conscious of this visual activity in my mind and understood that it held some degree of wisdom useful enough to recall the images again and again. It has been inevitable that the strongest of these visions would make their way into paint and morph from their spirit selves into concrete form, presenting themselves physically so that they may fulfill their own purpose.


 I’m sure that what I am describing is a common human experience and is essentially the realm of ideas and human imagination.  It is my current belief that the content of these images are received from the right brain by the left brain and translated to consciousness using the language and symbols available there.  In this way I suspect that within each one of us our imagination is unique to the vocabulary held in our individual left brains, essentially the result of our conditioning and education. (here’s is a link to a fascinating description of the right and left brain by Jill Bolte Taylor ) So, each human I imagination is prone to express this imagination in different ways-writing, building, doing, philosophising or on and on-and my modality is painting and drawing.  As an aside, It is a constant practice of mine to explore and be aware of my left brain activity. Becoming concious of what vocabulary lies there, I aim to experience the purest translation of information flowing from my right brain and beyond. It is my belief that this information is received in each of us from a divine source. I will discuss this process more in a later more appropriate post.

I fear that I’ve taken as much time as you have to give so for only a moment more I will begin the story of my current painting but continue it next week when you have more time.

One night while I was talking with a friend over tarot cards we came to focus on a card -the Five of Wands- that addressed the source of my friend’s anxiety.  While discussing the spread of cards I experienced  a vision that was particularly strong and helpful.  The image clearly described at once the source of her anxiety and the path of her liberation from it. For the whole night and next day it stayed with me and as I turned my attention to it a scene unfolded full of the tragedy of human anxiety, pain and the potential dissolution of it. Although it originated as an image for my friend I quickly observed that it was describing a human experience, widely felt and that it held value for more than just her.  It has stayed as vivid as the night I first viewed it and I have used its wisdom often.   Committing to creating the image in paint, releasing it so that it may have an independent life of its own, feels like a psychotherapy as the vision relaxes its persistant pressure in my mind’s eye. 

Next week I will tell you in detail about the painting and themes and symbols in it.

With much gratitude for your time and interest,

Best wishes,



























Introduction to my studio work

Dear reader, it is my great pleasure to welcome your interest to my art work. 

I have been painting and drawing quietly since graduating art school in 1987 and consider it integral to my life’s purpose.  The focus of my practice since then has been on portraiture and refining skills in oil painting and drawing. 

Beyond commissioned portraiture my inner calling and great interest is to create  allegorical figurative works that explore man’s psychology,spiritual awakening and enlightenment.  My studies of symbol systems such as tarot and astrology enhance my visual imagination and I am beginning to integrate this symbology into my work.   I have great faith in the practice of painting and in the capacity of painting to transcend its materiality, to hold truth and to affect human consciousness. More on all of these ideas in future posts.

Currently in my studio I have a small group of works in progress.  They are oil on board and charcoal/chalk on paper.  The images are inspired through meditation and contemplation on Tarot and The Course in Miracles.  They are visions from my minds eye and I am using photo and “real” references to help clarify what I see in my imagination.  I am fascinated by the nature of  vision we hold in our mind’s eye and so much of technical focus is on bringing that non physical into the physical reality .

In subsequent posts I will discuss these pieces more but for the moment the images here are an idea of what they look like.

Sincere thanks for your attention,