A Brief Explanation
The Source of My Inspiration and My Creative Process

In the story of Black Elk, he describes a vision he had in his boyhood. He tells of standing on the sacred central mountain of the world, and as he looked about, he saw that the central mountain was everywhere. He understood at that moment that everything in the universe stands on its own sacred central mountain. It is the place of the eternal, outside of time, that connects us with that which created us. In Sanskrit, the word for this idea is: Namaste. It means, I recognize the place in us where the entire universe resides. Or using my example: I recognize the sacred mountain in you, and I recognize the sacred mountain in me, when we are both on our sacred mountains, we are one.

When I am silent on top of my sacred central mountain, I connect with an incredible force inside of me. It is difficult to describe, but it moves me to do wondrous things. It moves me to create. And hopefully through my creations, we can connect and become one, even if for a brief moment. Joseph Campbell calls this a mythological experience, experiencing the eternal aspect of something in the temporal experience. Even though I believe this completely, I am still left with the question - what is the source of this force?

I read somewhere that the source of the temporal life is eternity. Where power and expression manifests itself into the world. But then I ask, what is eternity? Kant says; the thing in itself is no thing. It transcends thingness; it goes past anything that could be though. The Buddha says; it both is and is not; neither is, nor is not. And Jesus says; it is everything and everything is God.
Quantum physics has traced back the origin of the universe millions of years to the Big Bang. Biology has traced back the origin of life to a single gene living in a sea creature dwelling in the depths of the ocean. Religion abounds with theories on the origins of God, and philosophies since the beginning of human understanding have mused over the origins of creation. Though all the science, philosophy and religion known to human minds still cannot explain the origins of everything. How then, can I explain the source of this force within me? The only explanation is that it originates from eternity itself - from nowhere and everywhere.

When I reflect back on my life two things are constant: a driving compulsion to find answers and painting. This compulsion to find answers is what drives my life. I seek out the answers to, who, what, where, when, how, and especially, why. “Seek and ye shall find”, is a mantra I hum often. And from as far back as I can remember, I’ve painted. It may have started innocently enough, though recently I’ve come to understand that for me, painting is the bridge between seeking and answers. It is the act from which all communications manifest between my temporal life and my eternal life.
Seeking and painting are inexplicably linked in me. They define what I am - a seeker and a painter. I seek to explain that force within me. I seek to find answers. I seek to understand. I seek to paint. In turn, I paint to seek. I paint to understand. I paint to find answers. I paint to explain that force within me. When I remove one or both of these links from my life, the depth of my despair is immeasurable. When both are present, I experience the heights of pure joy. How can I not conclude then that the origin of that force within me springs forth from eternity? But where’s the proof?

A single finished canvas is only one product of the journey. To the viewer it reflects a brief moment of my will and my talent. To me, it tells an entire story of a time in my history. The image on the canvas is what I choose to say to the world about that time and how I choose to say it. The rest of the story is hidden from view. I find more and more that the finished canvas is the least important element of the artist’s journey. For it is in the creative process itself that a seeker and a painter finds answers.