Paintings

Israel, Jordan

It requires greater courage to preserve inner freedom, to move on in one’s inward journey into new realms, than to stand defiantly for outer freedom. It is often easier to play the martyr, as it is to be rash in battle. Strange as it sounds, steady, patient growth in freedom is probably the most difficult task of all, requiring the greatest courage. Thus if the term “hero” is used in this discussion at all, it must refer not to the special acts of outstanding persons, but to the heroic element potentially in every (hu)man.
— Rollo May

Israel, Jordan (Atlas Series).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.
10.62" by 12.79" (27 cm by 32.5 cm).


Asia

When God wanted to create the horse, he said to the South Wind, “I want to make a creature of you. Condense.” And the Wind condensed.
— Abdelkader El Djezairi

Asia (Atlas Series).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.
10.62" by 12.79" (27 cm by 32.5 cm).


Persia

O’ day, arise!
Shine your light, the atoms are dancing.
Thanks to Him the universe is dancing,
overcome with ecstasy, free from body and mind
I’ll whisper in your ear where their dance is leading them.
All the atoms in the air and in the desert are dancing,
puzzled and drunken to the ray of light,
they seem insane.
All these atoms are not so different than we are,
happy or miserable,
perplexed and bewildered
We are all beings in the ray of light from The Beloved.
Nothing can be said.
— Rumi

Persia (Atlas Series).
Acrylic on Paper, 2019.
10.62" by 12.79" (27 cm by 32.5 cm).

Listen to this version of Poem of the Atoms with music by Armand Amar.


Freedom

To have freedom, be willing to give freedom.
— Sanaya Roman

Pacific Ocean (Atlas Series).
Acrylic on Paper, 2019.
10.62" by 12.79" (27 cm by 32.5 cm).


Aesopus

To be strong does not mean to sprout muscles and flex. It means meeting one’s own numinosity without fleeing, actively living with the wild nature in one’s own way. It means to be able to learn, to be able to stand what we know. It means to stand and live.
— Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Aesopus.
13.97” by 10.23” (35.5 cm by 26 cm).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.


Wolf

I always believed I was a deer, but I’ve discovered I am a wolf.

Pope Innocent X.
13.97” by 10.23” (35.5 cm by 26 cm).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.


The Discoverer

I am the Discoverer of Nature.
I am the Argonaut of true sensations.
I bring to the Universe a new Universe because I bring the Universe itself.
— Alberto Caeiro (Fernando Pessoa)

Atlas Series.

I. Atlantic Ocean.
Acrylic on Paper
10.62" by 12.79" (27 cm by 32.5 cm).

II. Indonesia.
Acrylic on Paper
10.62" by 12.79" (27 cm by 32.5 cm).


Iconography

If geography is prose, maps are iconography.
— Lennart Meri

Atlas Series.

I. Australia.
Acrylic on Paper
10.62" by 12.79" (27 cm by 32.5 cm).

II. Indian Ocean.
Acrylic on Paper
10.62" by 12.79" (27 cm by 32.5 cm).


Atlas Series

Maps have special meaning to me. They show me where I've been, and where I've yet to explore. They are the visual layout of a place, its veins and arteries. They are also a symbol, because one cannot really trace on paper what is made of life, movement, chaos and feeling. It is the same with art

The paintings I'll be sharing this week are part of a series I began several years ago, where I use the pages of an Atlas from the 1950’s as a canvas.


Queen Elizabeth on Horseback

I keep getting the Receptivity card from Osho’s Zen tarot:

The Queen of Water brings a time of unboundedness and gratitude for whatever life brings, without any expectations or demands. Neither duty or thought of merit or reward are important. Sensitivity, intuition and compassion are the qualities that shine forth now, dissolving all the obstacles that keep us separate from each other and from the whole. 

Queen Elizabeth of France on Horseback.
Acrylic on paper.
12” by 9.25” (30 cm by 23.5 cm).


Atlas Series

There are maps that lead us back to who we are. We collect the parts of a puzzle that was separated by time and distance and we recognize who we have always been.

The places we go to define us for a while, but the real map is the one within, the one that connects every aspect of ourselves. 

Rome.
Acrylic on paper.
10.62” by 12.79” (27 by 32.5 cm).
2018.


Mariana de Austria

How exciting it is to walk at night. I feel darkness envelop me, I am unseen. Like a hawk. A hunter. I experience the quality of darkness. It is a different dimension, a bizarre element.

Portrait of Mariana de Austria.
13.97” by 10.23” (35.5 cm by 26 cm).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.


Infanta Margarita Teresa

Today I realized that a belief I held as a six year old still guides my path: when people don’t love me the way I want them to, I leave. I thought it was a way to punish them, but I am the one who gets burnt.

Dear Life, let me be aware of the obstacles within me that block the flow of love and abundance. Help me relate to others more freely.

Infanta Margarita Teresa.
Acrylic on paper, 2019.
12” by 9.25” (30.5 cm by 23.5 cm).


Temple

Dear Life, show me how to navigate the changing waters so that I flow with ease. Help me find stillness and comfort in my heart. Let me see beauty in all conditions.

I am you. You are me. We are one. 

Temple.
Acrylic on panel.
42.24” by 42.24” (120 cm by 120 cm)


Portrait of Maria Anna

The woman behind the mask.


Portrait of Maria Anna.
12” by 9.25” (30.5 cm by 23.5 cm).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.


Juan Martínez Montañés

I once asked a bird, how is it that you fly in this gravity of darkness? She responded, ‘love lifts me.’
— Hafez

Juan Martínez Montañéz.
12” by 9.25” (30.5 cm by 23.5 cm).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.


Aesop

A lot of times maturing as an artist is just starting to do the things you like to do.
— John Currin

When I began this series, I had a hard time trusting what to paint. What seemed most familiar to me felt strange, too simple, not of this medium. As if it belonged to the world of ceramics, sculpture, or drawing. But I wanted to paint, so I continued. 

Now that I’ve made over 100 paintings, I realize that the most important part of creating a body of work is to trust that what I want to explore is worth doing so. No one else can show me the way, there are no rules or guidelines to follow. Only curiosity and inner hunches that say: paint that orange, bring the line closer to the edge, make it thick. That is all I had to follow, and now that the paintings have come to life, they exist in a world with its own set of rules. 

Aesop.
12” by 9.25” (30.5 cm by 23.5 cm).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.


Venus

Sex and sensuality. The best way to get enlightened. Especially when it catches you off guard, when you think you are a tree, a rigid frigid tree, and you discover you are a river. 

Venus at her Mirror.
12” by 9.25” (30.5 cm by 23.5 cm).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.


Christ on the Cross

There, deep as the jungle, as the vines as the roots. Sunken in the blackest soil. Under peat. Back where it all grows and tangles and twists. There, you find yourself. 

Christ on the Cross.
12” by 9.25” (30.5 cm by 23.5 cm).
Acrylic on paper, 2019.


Collective Series

I am the sum of experiences, thoughts and feelings that inhabit my being. I am every person I ever met. I am my country and all the places I’ve lived in. I am the landscape. I am the temple. I am the tools, the ships, the highways. I am the presence and the absence. I am the love for it all.

Collective Painting I
Acrylic on panel, 2019.
39.37 by 39.37” (100 cm by 100 cm).