“Painting is an integral part of my spiritual practice and a constant reminder that we are all inextricably LINKED to the world we inhabit. The work is an extension of my consciousness combined with qualities gathered from the natural world. They are indeed conduits through which information, sensations, inspiration, and guidance flow to and from the collective consciousness and the Universe. Yes paintings are actually agents of Spiritual Transformation. My studio in Utah sits at the edge of a two million-acre national forest. Translating the language of the forest with paint is endlessly fascinating and absolutely limitless. Long walks and quiet meditations among the Aspen and Ponderosa reveal the many secrets held within. These new large canvases vibrate quietly as they receive and transmit a collection of subtle grays and neutrals. Carefully juxtaposed textures breathe deeply within an ether of expansive space lightly populated with branch-like gestures that stretch upward seeking sustenance.
The Japanese have a wonderful word that describes precisely what it is I am after in these works. The word is "shibusa”. The seven elements of shibusa are simplicity, implicitly, modesty, silence, naturalness, everydayness, and imperfection. The aristocratic simplicity of shibusa is the refined expression of the essence of elements in an aesthetic experience producing quietude. Spare elegance is evident in darkling serenity with a hint of sparkle. Implicitly allows depth of feeling to be visible through a spare surface design thereby manifesting the invisible core that offers new meanings with each encounter. Here is a favorite quote from Krishnamurti that has informed my work for forty years: ³I was told by someone who had studied these things, that in ancient China, before a painter of nature commenced to paint, he sat in front of a tree for days, months, years - it doesn't matter - until he was the tree; not that he became the tree, not that he identified himself with the tree, but he was the tree. This means that there was no space between the observer and the observed, there was no experience as the observer experiencing the beauty, the movement, the shadow, the depth of a leaf, the quality of color. He was totally the tree and only in that state could he paint. All that being said however, my favorite Rothko quote is very important, and he said this "A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience." – Michael Kessler