The connection between spirituality and art for me is three fold.
First, I mostly paint non-material ideas, such as confidence, empathy, satisfaction, and hope. This means that the subject matter of my paintings is usually directly spiritual, which is not to be confused with religious content. The spiritual content I paint is universal to the human condition, and is not based on sect, even when highlighting a culture’s story. However, if I paint a tree, it is not so much about the tree as the light, or how it feels to be there, or maybe some metaphor related to it. In general, a representational image seeks to portray the transcendent essence of a place or person, not the thing itself. It is no longer about the material entity, but a symbol of it, fused with its impression on the artist’s consciousness. Therefore most painting is by nature an abstraction, i.e. spiritual. Copying is not art and neither is technique art. Art expresses creative discernment– that ineffable something, which is spirituality itself.
Second, the process by which I paint these spiritual ideas is through intimate conversation with the divine. I am in close communion with the one, true Creator; I am an outcome of that expression, and my paintings are immediate derivatives of that relationship. I earnestly listen and follow; I am led as to what to do, directed as to which color goes where, and in what way. Humbly obedient, I respond to what made me, what is larger than me. I seek to be a transparency, which is my most authentic self. Inspiration is Spirit, which is always present when we tune in. So for me, painting is the spiritual practice of that tuning in, which is a thrilling, sacred encounter that yields an outward record in color, shape, value and texture.
Third, it is about the experience of the viewer, who witnesses the spiritual concept, as well as the fruition of the spiritual affinity. The viewer partakes of this relationship, almost like a eucharist, becoming for that moment, one with the close connection to the divine. Art is not so much a communication with the viewer as a holy vessel of nectar to be shared without depletion. The viewer brings their own interpretations to the art and extends its meaning by how they resonate with it. In other words, art becomes a catalyst for a spiritual response and participation from the viewer.