I’ve always admired those artists who explore lofty concepts through their work. Their statements about their art leave me in wonder at the clarity of an intention that can carry one throughout a lifetime of making art. I’m more of a “bread crumb” kind of artist. I see the meaning only after the work is finished and the direction only after many works are done. Recently, I re-read for the hundredth time, one of the most influential books of my life, Opening to Inner Light, by Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. The book is based on the premise that each one of us is in the process of human evolutionary transformation. This universal process of growth has been described in similar terms in all major cultures and traditions using metaphors, symbols and analogies. Dr. Metzner outlines ten metaphorical processes that act as sign posts to our own journey. One of these metaphorical paths is titled: Journey to the Place of Vision and Power.
Journey implies a leaving home, being changed by experience and then returning new, with insight that needs to be digested and processed. The Tao teaches us that the journey cannot be “told.” Rather we see the tracks and traces of our path in signposts of nature…in the patterns of flowing water…in the veins of leaves…in the swirls of wood and the lines and crevices of stone. When I look back at my entire body of work, spanning almost forty years of creating as an artist and author, I see that journey has woven itself through every single play, painting and production. Each new body of work is a leaving home allowing me to journey with intention in real time. For this reason I use paper and wax as my materials. Both of these ephemeral substances are transformed with time and can be transformed through the artist’s hand.
The very process of making work becoming a catalyst to inner transformation for myself, and by extension, for the world. The art works become my bread crumbs, marking the path and allowing me to look back…to read…and to understand my story.