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These paintings are inspired by the myths and legends of ancient peoples, by the
archetypes of the old tales, and by a deep sense of certainty of the connectedness
of all things, our sacred connection to the earth, and the magical reality behind
the illusion of dense materialism. These are paintings of creatures and places we
encounter in dream or trance, and our relation to them.
The Woodwife, or Green Woman, is a figure from Celtic mythology, similar to the Green
Man, but less well known. She is the dryad of Greco-Roman mythology, the more ancient
Artemis, the woodwife of Sweden, and the elf maiden of Scandinavia and Germany. All
are spirits of the forest, the protectors, inhabitants or spirits of trees and sacred
groves. In some of the tales the woodwife is a trickster, seducing men into harm;
in others, she is a benevolent spirit who rewards those who respect the forest. The
legends are many, but the common thread is that she is fey, a changeling more animal
than human despite the somewhat human aspect of her appearance, and essentially uninterested
in the affairs of men except as they might serve her interests or amuse her. My
painting is an image of the legend that says she exists invisibly in the heart of
an oak tree, but at sunset can emerge, take human form, and walk about the forest.
So here, she emerges from her tree, adorned with the elements and symbols of nature–plant,
animal and bird.
For tens of thousands of years, before mankind lost his way in the cold dead world
of materialism, his heart knew that he lived in a sacred space, surrounded by life,
by levels of being with which he shared his soul. He saw, felt and communed with
the spirits which animate and give form to everything. This connection is subtle
and delicate, paved over with asphalt today, silenced by the perpetual cacaphony
of so-called civilization, and uncomprehended by most. There remain, however, certain
magical places, far from the cities and inaccessible by noisy rolling metal cages,
where the illusion of materialism is less dense, and one can see into dimensions
behind the obvious. When the moon is visible thru the branches of an old oak tree
in such a place, gaze for a while and you may see the edge of another space, another
Enigmata is a dark, surrealistic painting, having to do with our relationship, or
lack thereof, to Gaia. I painted this having just moved from a tiny village in a
serene mountain forest setting to the middle of an enormous dirty city, or “megaslopolis”
as I term the sprawling rash of asphalt and concrete that’s slowly obliterating nature.
(You’ll be happy to know I didn’t stay there long.) Having lost our sense of connection
to the earth or awareness of her as our mother, human kind builds constructs, both
physical and mental, which damage the environment we must live in, and lead nowhere
but to emptiness, an impoverishment of life on all levels. The eleventh hour has
come, and is passing quickly. Will enough of us awaken in time to heal ourselves
and our mother?