I come from the beautiful state of Oregon in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Growing up on a farm in Oregon, having lived in the desert of New-Mexico, the elements have always been part of my life; the beauty of nature is my biggest inspiration. I am now a happy resident of Belgium (Vlaams-Brabant) and live in Kessel-Lo with my Belgian wife.
My art is the result of conscious and unconscious sources. Out of my creative process come sensual flowing organic forms, rhythms expressing balance and unity, characteristics of nature. Some of my pieces have human, figurative qualities, male and female energies or myth-like faces of ancient gods and goddesses.
My artistic language is expressing my deep belief that everything contains Life energy.
The last 30 years I have practiced a spiritual way of life. This led me to Native American culture and their rituals, ceremonies, dances and wisdom keepers. I practice my own rituals daily, integrating ritual and ceremony into a “way of life”.
Therefore, it is natural for me to combine ritual and art. I smudge and pray to create a sacred space at the beginning of the creative process. I wish to show the natural beauty of the material I work with and then open myself to what needs to be told: the images and forms of an unspoken language growing out of the stone or wood. I try not to have preconceived ideas about what the finished piece will look like. Most of the time my process is “direct carving”. Out of respect for the stone, at present, I choose not to use any powered tools. I want to build the relationship with each piece: my hands, the stone, the tool.
My desire when making “Ritual Art” is to create the environment for the known – my own inner direction for shapes & volumes – combined with the unknown, spiritual element – the potential to open up to guidance and direction of forces beyond myself. My perspective based on my life experience is that the source for the transcendent state provoked by art and ritual is the same.
It is the innate human capacity to connect to the sacred and the physical reality at the same time. In this sense, for me, spirituality, emotion and beauty are united.
This quote of David Chethlahe Paladin, who was a shamanic artist, expresses very well my own creative process.
“When “I” move aside to allow access to a wider awareness, my sense of ego disappears and my identity is strengthened, our true identity is beyond the ego, in the universal consciousness, where we can touch ideas or symbols unlimited by boundaries of time or culture.” (David Chethlahe Paladin in his book “Painting the dream”)