On Process and Intention at the Burren College of Art
May 24, 2012

Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in a process that you don't realize there is one going on. Today I learned that I am in a process. I am probably the only one surprised by this. I am studying the Burren by drawing the scenes of trees and rocks and wild flowers I have seen. The beauty here is breathtaking. It is a blessing to be in this environment. The geology is amazing, the rocky landscape of millions of years ago, the archeological sites of 5000 years ago. This is such a special place, such a unique spot on the earth. Certainly there is a unique spiritual energy force here. People have been here, respecting the landscape and nature, as long as there have been people. Nature is precious here and it is unspoiled. Wherever I walk and wherever I look there is breathtaking unspoiled beauty. It is a joy to know that there is a place like this in the world.

I am a bit overwhelmed with all this beauty, though. I came here to soak in the environment and use it as a catalyst for my artwork, but I am not sure what to do to express my feelings about being here. So the process begins with the basics - viewing the environment and then sketching, drawing and illustrating what I am seeing. This is the way to study the visual, watch and record impressions. That is what's happening now. I am finally feeling confident that I will emerge from this period of preparation in time to make more developed images and that I needn't hurry.

Art is about exploring our images and exploring what we see in our lives. In that way it is primal. It is primitive. The cave painters and ritual artists of earlier times were doing the same thing. They were trying to bridge the invisible world of the private, internal images we see with our mind's eye with the visual world of waking life. My abstract artwork is also about bringing those two together. I am hoping to create a pathway between my mental images and my visual images in an attempt to bridge the gap between external and internal experience. This is the center of my artwork and my study of spirituality. It is a central quest of my life. I believe, as I think others have before me, that if one can harness and understand the private spiritual experience one can then make sense of the physical world and the experience of it. I don't think humans actually have the capacity to fully understand the universe in this way, but our striving helps us grow and move toward a deeper understanding of life. The striving and the quest are what keep us moving.