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.