Monday, November 17, 2008

November 17, 2008

Time has flown by this year, and the holidays are almost here. I am embarrassed to admit that my blogs have not kept up with the fast pace. Let me try to redress that right now. The children's painting class was great fun on Saturday mornings during the Winter and Spring months. However, as summer approached with its hot weather, vacations and so forth, we disbanded.
Meanwhile, a number of Fusionartists had been planning an exhibit housed in a section of the James Gray Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica for months. Bergamot Station is an excellent venue, but in this case there was very limited wall space for each artist. I decided to attend and help with the desk rather than exhibit my work. The opening night reception for the exhibit last February was one of the largest in the history of the James Gray Gallery, with the packed crowd so packed in that it overflowed out the doors into the parking lot. The event was very successful in gaining local recognition for Fusionarts as a new, 21st century approach to art. Below is a photo with my teacher, Rassouli, at the reception.

This exhibit was quickly followed by a second exhibit at a much more spacious location, Gallery C in Hermosa Beach. This beautiful gallery was a converted movie theatre with soaring ceilings and Grecian columns. I immediately decided to exhibit there. It was quite an undertaking. Even Rassouli himself exhibited for the first time with his students. We filled the large walls of the entire gallery with our work. Under the guidance of a professional curator, the effect was stunning. My work was prominently displayed near the entrance of the gallery. The exhibit ran through the month of May, and I enjoyed the chance to travel to the beautiful beach city on the weekends. This exhibit was an even greater artistic success. Collectors, art lovers and the general public flowed through week after week, mesmerized by the unique combinations of dynamic colors and deeply evocative forms arising spontaneously from the canvasses. I was interviewed by a local journalist, and I hope to be able to post some of it on this web site in the near future.

During this time, I made the acquaintance of Allan Silberhartz, who hosts a cable television show and a web site which focus on the healing power of art and the spiritual transformation of the planet. Artists all over the world are creating works of art related to this perspective, which are exhibited on his web site and featured on his television show. After speaking to Allan and learning of his vision I was moved to create the painting below, Creation, to express the healing power of creativity. Allan was very excited to add the painting below to his web site: You can see the work by visiting Allan's web site,,
where you will find me alphabetically in the artists list under "R".

After the Gallery C exhibit ended, I was able to spend a few days visitng my son, Marcel, and his family in the Seattle area. We had a lovely time, however I noticed that strange things were happening with my vision. Marcel had hung one of my paintings in his living room, and I commented that the colors were much darker than I remembered. In fact, the colors had not changed. I began to notice straight lines becoming curvy and letters danced on the page when I tried to read. When I returned to the desert, I made an appointment with an optician, thinking that I might need a need a new prescription for eye glasses. As it turned out, I needed much more than a new prescription. My vision continued to deteriorate rapidly, to the point where at times all I could see was a surreal collage of distorted shapes and darkness. Having always been a free spirit, my greatest fear was of becoming dependent. I was referred to a specialist who diagnosed me with central retinal vein occlusion in the right eye. Basically, I had had a stroke in my right eye. I also found out that I had the onset of macular degeneration in my left eye. I am very grateful to have received wonderful support throughout this ordeal from family, friends and fellow Fusionartists who included me in their prayers and prayer circles. At one point my deceased mother briefly appeared to me in a vision. When I told this to Rassouli, he told me to paint her even though I could barely see. He advised me to continue to paint regardless, without judging the outcome. Fortunately, through the miracle of modern medicine, the treatment I have received over the last four months has resulted in great improvement in both eyes. The great lesson of this experience for me as an artist has been to learn to trust my inner vision fully, to know that it sees the truth. Below are 2 of my recent paintings, which will hopefully soon be posted in the Gallery on this web site.

Healing Circle

Standing in the Storm

In reflecting on painting today, I know that I paint from my heart to touch the hearts of others. I still like to bend the rules. I am a rebel at heart. My favorite painting is always my last one. My paintings have an element of mystery, to catch the viewers' attention while allowing them to use their own imagination to assign the meaning. I want people to see the mystery in the ordinary and be uplifted by it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Painting Class/Alternate Web Address/"Passage" Sold

Painting Class

In my 1st post I wrote about teaching an art class about Fusionart for 2nd graders at our local elementary school. It was one of my most enjoyable and memorable experiences last year. It reinforced for me how much I enjoy teaching, and it was so gratifying to see how eagerly the children responded to the opportunity to express their creative energy. I believe that it is very important for everyone, and particularly children, to remain in touch with their innate creativity. We are all born with it, but unfortunately it becomes buried in many of us because it is never encouraged to come and play. We need to exercise our creativity regularly just as we do our bodies and our minds in order to be healthy, whole human beings. Of course there are an infinite number of way to be creative; painting just happens to be one of my favorites.

As I thought about this, I knew that I wanted to give painting lessons as another way to explore my creativity and give to others in 2008. I am calling the classes "Painting from the Core", and they will incorporate the gestalt of Fusionart. They will be 3 hours long once a week for 5 weeks, and they will be small (maximum of 5 students) because I want the students to have plenty of personal attention and support if they wish. I will offer a class for children and a class for adults. The first children's class will begin at 8AM Saturday, February 16th. The setting will be humble; I have a large garage. It doesn't matter whether or not the students have painted before. They only need an open mind, an open heart, and the desire to create. Below is the flyer I have distributed in our neighborhood. If you, or someone you happen to know, would be interested, contact me ( for more information.

Alternate Web Address

I have heard from people recently that is too long and difficult to type in. So, in case you haven't bookmarked the site, or if you are on a different computer, I have come up with an alternate web address that is much shorter: When you type this address into your browser, you will be directed automatically to my web site( just as if you had typed in the longer address. I hope this makes it easier and more convenient to find me in cyberspace.

"Passage" Sold

I am happy to report that another of my paintings, "Passage", was sold this week to a fellow artist and collector of Fusionart. He loves the painting, and he believes that works by the original group of Fusionartists, such as myself, will become quite valuable. I hope he is right!

Well, that's my latest news. Keep your comments coming. I love hearing from you.

Creatively yours,

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hi Everyone

The new year has arrived, and with it the chance for a new beginning. Thus I am introducing my 2008 blog , and wishing all of you many blessings throughout the year. This is the perfect time to discard destructive old habits and replace them with healthy new ones.

Before we plunge headlong into 2008, here is a glance back at 2007. It was a busy year for me artistically. In January my work was on display at the Highway 111 Gallery here in La Quinta. In February I was invited to exhibit my paintings at the Tuscson Museum of Art as part of a concert produced by my dear friend, Donna Chernick of Chernick Productions, which combined the haunting, soulful music of Grammy-nominated composer and pianist Michael Hoppe with the poetry of Longfellow as read by his descendent, Lane Longfellow.

The event was a feast for the eyes and the ears, and I received wonderful feedback from Michael, Lane and members of the audience. One of my paintings, Mystic Shore, was also used for the poster.

In April Rassouli invited about 20 artists, including me, to a meeting in Topanga where we discussed forming a core group to develop as Fusionartists, exhibit together to promote the concept of Fusionart, and teach the approach of Fusionart to others. I was very excited by the vision and the synergy of a group of gifted artists coming together to launch the "art of the 21st century." I spent many Saturdays in various parks in the Los Angeles area, where we would meet to paint, receive instruction from Rassouli, critique each other's work, and plan for ways to promote fusionart.

Last summer, along with a number of other artists, I donated one of my paintings to a silent art auction. The proceeds were used to fund an arts program for children at an African orphanage. I was delighted and honored to find out that my painting, Wilderness, received the highest bid, $2500.

I also had the joy of introducing Fusionart to the second grade class at Emelia Earhart Elementary School just a few blocks from our home. As usual, I had no special plan. I know Spirit only works in the moment through the open heart rather than the head, and I trust that. I let Spirit guide us and the excitement continued to build throughout the class. I brought several of my paintings as well as the Fusionart posters I had made for display, a few brushes and an empty canvas. The children were immediately fascinated by the vivid colors of the paintings. I began by explaining in very simple terms what Fusionart is.

I then passed out black construction paper and small amounts of paint in paper dishes for them to share at their tables. The children immediately became very interested, and there was a buzz of excitement. They understood that it was up to them to bring color and light and beauty to the black paper, and that the darkness allowed the light and color to shine more brightly. I told them to listen inside to their hearts until their spirit spoke, and then put the colors on the paper that they were attracted to. I could feel them concentrating, and one little girl even had her hands folded in prayer. The energy rose as many became more attracted to the primary reds and yellows. In the end, I could see they were thrilled with what they had created. There was such joy on their faces as they held up their creations.

I gave from my heart and the children gave from theirs. In the process a tiny seed was planted. Who knows how it will grow? My reward was seeing the joy on the children's faces as they created and feeling their gratitude when I left. One of my goals for 2008 is to continue to teach art to children after school as well as adults.

August brought the Kenneth Village Arts and Crafts Festival in Glendale. The main shopping block of Kenneth Village had been cordoned off for the Festival from 3-9pm that Saturday. There were other painters, sculptors and photographers exhibiting. There were also various crafts on exhibit, from ceramics to jewelry. At the end of the street, a temporary stage had been constructed for live musicians, who entertained us with a variety of music throughout the event. Food and refreshments were available at both ends of the block, and the Italian restaurant behind us was selling pizza slices on the sidewalk. The weather was quite warm, typical of August in the inland parts of the Los Angeles area. Fortunately, we were on the shady side of the street, and our canopy offered welcome relief, along with the occasional cool breeze.

I saw it as a good omen when a woman came by the booth right about 3 o’clock and was attracted to one of my paintings. She was of Dutch heritage too, and we quickly struck up a conversation. She came back 15 minutes later to buy the painting. I was elated and began dancing for joy after she left. Many people stopped by and I enjoyed talking to all of them, even the lady who looked at one of my paintings and informed me, in all seriousness, that “the sky is not pink.” That amused me because apparently she had never seen a sunrise or a sunset. “I am a realist,” she told me firmly. “And I am an artist,” I gently answered.

The crowd continued to come throughout the afternoon, enjoying the cooler temperature as the sun dropped closer to the horizon. Half a dozen of my loyal friends even braved the heat to come out and support me. As dusk turned to darkness and interest began to ebb, the last song was played and the Festival came to an end. We broke down our booth and packed up the SUV again, simultaneously exhausted but still excited by the events of the day.

The Mehregan Festival in October provided a final opportunity to exhibit in 2007. It was held at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Irvine, and dedicated to Rumi in honor of his 800th birthday. The Art Plaza featured a number of Fusionartists, including me. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative on Friday and Saturday. The strong wind literally blew one of my paintings off the panel, its corner landing on my big toe like a hammer. Ouch! Several other artists had their paintings damaged by the overnight rain. The sun finally came out Sunday. In spite of the inclement conditions, the Festival was attended by thousands and the publicity was great. I am now officially a "published" artist.

So that's my whirlwind recap of some highlights of 2007. I hope you enjoyed it. I know I did. And now it's full speed ahead into 2008. May it be filled with growth and happiness for all of us.