A few years later, and in yet another State…. 

I turned to my Tarot deck out of desperation (yeah, I’m one of THOSE people) to help me figure out the subject matter for my art, and how it might help people. I was whining to my deck, asking what the heck my subject matter should be, and how it could be of value to others. Keep in mind, Tarot cards can be salty…. I drew the High Priestess card. “Great”, I thought. “Use your intuition…blah, blah, blah!” I had already been trying to do that for years!!!! Ugh! All of a sudden a chastising thought popped into my head, “Shut up and listen!” Well, alrighty then! I settled down, stilled my mind, and waited. I kid you not, within 30 seconds the idea started pouring in. 

I would need to get over my bullshit attitude about landscape paintings. It made no sense! I loved being surrounded by Mother Nature, why wouldn’t I want to paint it? I would somehow figure out how to share the spiritual experience I had, using this subject matter. I could help people by creating landscapes that had a feeling of distance in them. I figured people had their noses in screens all the time, surrounded by four walls for hours. It might be nice for them to be able to look at something that could expand their viewpoint, even if it was only an illusion. My goal was to help create a calming experience for the viewer, while reminding them that they were a spirit having a human experience.

I tried painting with acrylic. That didn’t work. Living up at 9,000 feet above sea level in the Colorado Rockies tends to suck all the moisture out of the paint too fast. No amount of spritzing water was gonna help that shit! FAIL.

I tried Encaustic. That wasn’t practical. I definitely needed ventilation to work with that stuff, but we have nine months of winter here. If I opened a window, the hot wax would be solidified on my brush before I ever got it on the board! FAIL.

I always loved the butteriness of oil paint, but I couldn’t handle the smell of the solvents. I got some water-soluble oils (I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either) and played around with them a bit. Now I was getting somewhere. I was working on misty landscapes, it was fun, but it still didn’t satisfy me and what I was trying to communicate.

What the hell was I trying to say? I wanted people to know that there was more to this world than what meets the eye. My OBE taught me that Spirit was behind everything!

Finally it dawned on me that I could incorporate the spiritual aspect by giving the audience a glimpse of what I saw when I wasn’t in my body. I chose brightly colored paints for my palette to create the vibrancy I witnessed. I just needed to figure out how to express that “aliveness”, the underlying energy I felt that surrounded and connected everything.

To be continued…