Midnight, no waves,
no wind, the empty boat
is flooded with moonlight.
I was born in Los Angeles in
1968 like a fresh water fish into the ocean. By the time
I was 4 years old, I was making faces in clay and have
never turned back. My early years were spent roaming our
family orange farm in Ojai, California where I developed
a deep love of mud and clay (never losing a chance to
get covered in it). Later when we moved back to LA, in
the social isolation of adolescence and parental
divorce, art became my means of emotional survival.
As a teenager I became obsessed
with the process of birth & often took the opportunity
to wear my carved foam pregnancy stomach. I loved to
mimic the difficulties pregnant women have sitting down,
especially if I there was a substitute teacher! Oh, the
judgments… Later I realized my obsession was an
obsession with the nature of creativity itself. I
quickly came to the conclusion that my own creativity
did not issue from me but through me.
My college years were spent
deep in the company of mystics such as Plotinus, Meister
Eckhart, & Hildegard of Bingen. I pursued God with vigor
and fell very deeply into the “dark night of the soul”-
that stage on the mystical journey when your life
crumbles and it seems that God has abandoned you. I was
diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called
scleroderma. I became very ill. I had trouble walking; I
couldn’t open a door; couldn’t sleep from pain.
I knew from my study of ancient
mystics that although one feels utterly abandoned by the
Divine during this dark night, it is really the moment
when we are closest to God. We see darkness, but we are
really blinded by the Light. For 10 years, as my illness
kept me from fully pursuing my art, it forced me deep
inside. Ultimately, it has shown me the face of the
Divine on this earth, which as it turns out, was always
my goal anyway.
During this time, without the
physical energy to create, I began an in depth study of
the sacred art tradition of medieval illumination. I
co-founded the Gabriel Guild and got involved in
teaching art techniques. Later I co-wrote the
Lapis & Gold:
Unlocking the Secrets of Medieval Painters and
Illuminators. Although I produced many
illuminations about the relationship between
spirituality & creativity, it was a side trip for me.
Ultimately, the process of illumination teaches us to
control our artistic vision in order to surrender to
Divine will as manifest in the physical materials used
to paint. I am interested in more. I wish to surrender
everything into the creative process, to allow the
Divine spirit of creativity to flow through me,
perfected, untarnished by my own small desires. My
illness has taught me in great and excruciating detail
how to begin to do just that.
As my acceptance of my illness
has grown, so has the quality of my health. I have
emerged from my illness, not unscarred, not completely
healed, but more fully alive and connected to my
artistic process. The years I have spent away from my
art have deepened my understanding & depths. I am more
committed than ever to my exploration of the roots of
creativity through art.
The roots of creativity
are shrouded in mystery. They run deep into an eternal
well brimming with the generative nature of the Divine.
The source of creativity is the source of everything.
Through sculpture, etching & painting, I seek a
pathway deep into that sacred well. I keep kinship with
ancient mystics. While they sought God in visions, I
seek the Divine in the creative process. This process,
captured within a finished piece, resonates with light.
Through my art, the human form becomes a nexus, a
pivoting point between matter & spirit.
All things in this world are mirrors which reflect,
however imperfectly, the Divine. Every time I create art
I polish that mirror within myself and my work.