I

am a “visionary” artist for lack of a better term.

 

Dreams and visions are the source of validation….the source of Truth [in Native science] is found in Nature and in the direct experience of individuals through dreams and visions.

F. David Peat

My sources are indeed inner ones:  my dreams, my shamanic journeys, and visions.  Scenes and stories which sometimes appear spontaneously while awake, rather like slides.  These arise from some unknown source, and I usually don’t go searching for material.   In recording them the medium may be mine, but the story-lines arrive from an unconscious elsewhere.  I try to manifest this internal image-bank with as few changes or conscious manipulations as possible.  In mask-making, I sometimes am inspired by world myths, and other masks portray persons from my own imagination, drawn from wherever that internal image bank resides.

The main mediums I use are paint (oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels), natural and found objects (particularly in mask work), ceramics, creative writing, and the unusual and ancient beads I use in creating jewelry.

In our sleep and in our dreams, we pass through the whole thought of earlier humanity…some primaeval relic of humanity is at work which we can now scarcely reach any longer by a direct path.

Friedrich Nietzsche

I love ancient history!  Our early human ancestors and the paintings they created in great caves and rock shelters; the statuettes and the petroglyphs they created for millennia throughout the world, have fascinated me since childhood.   I believe they provide a link with the origins and development of spirituality.   I’m having fun creating a Paleolithic Tarot deck, a project that combines my study of the prehistoric people in Europe with my interest in the Tarot.   Some of the images from cave art resonate very well with various figures in the Major Arcana.

Familiar archetypes from many mythologies show up in my dreams (Pegasus; Athena; Freya; the three  Graces). Totemic animal spirits have come as well: a wise and helpful Raven, the Great White Stag, and many Bears – and animals are of course important presences in shamanic journeys.

Sometimes other strong figures appear too, about whom I had no previous conscious knowledge:  Parvathi; winged Hermes the messenger, in motorcycle boots yet!  An ancient Anatolian Vulture Goddess; Durga astride Her tiger; Ixtel at Her loom high in the Andes; a queenly Afro-Caribbean Anansi, weaving.  To my complete astonishment, I often discover and can identify them later (as I did those above), in subsequent reading of their myths and folktales.  However, the origins of other figures remain enigmatic to me.

Possibly these unknown characters are flickers of material from ancient, forgotten myths still deeply imbedded in our folk memory, who drift into dreams as Nietzsche suggests.  For instance:  who are the two little blond girls, “Oak” and her sister “Antler,” clothed as they might have been in Neolithic Europe,  standing formally at the edge of a primeval forest, holding bouquets of wild yellow Irises? … what was the story of the plump, ancient, Chinese woman potter named Bao Zhong, who sat serenely among her crude earthenware vessels, in my dream?   I’ve never studied Chinese, but discovered that her name means  “take care”.   What is coming through here?

 

Write down your dreams; they are your myths.

- As Joseph Campbell instructs us

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

- A quote from Jesus from the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas applies to us all

Finally — I pass on to you a fine piece of advice from the sometimes humorous Unknown, delivered to me while I slept:
“Create, guard, and enjoy your breakfast!”

 

 

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