A painting and poem commemorating meeting my wife.
Over seas that carried your name,
I traveled to this temporal island
and saw you there
from a lifetime away.
You were singing my thoughts.
Then, just a delicious mystery,
wet and fragile
upon your lips.
Separation, time, clouds and death
all arrived and departed
upon the trade winds,
like butterfly wings,
caught in the lashes
of our closed eyes.
wrenched from our pasts,
had become the ocean
of simplified longing
has now become our home.
So this is it then…
an enfolding sky,
a warm dive
into the center
and of me.
The big Quan Yin statue
at the southern edge of our garden
is always the first to touch
the equatorial morning sun.
My wife stands, naked,
at the lip of the black bottomed pool
with the yin yang design,
preparing for an uncharacteristic
Asian swan dive.
A moment of clarity.
A Buddhist calm descends,
as I realize that the frog
who surely will never see life
outside this walled compound
must know something
about that fucking monkey
who’s been stealing our fruit.
I can’t believe it’s been July 2011 since I’ve added anything here! The past few months have been so dynamic and exciting that apparently I didn’t even have time to put it down for posterity.
Last summer was an amazing season at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts. Sales of my work continue to rise and collectors and appreciators of my art are growing exponentially. My painting, “The Kindest Premeditation” was chosen as the official festival poster as well as other merchandising. It was fun signing posters for everyone from 5 yr old kids to long time collectors. I also entered into a partnership with Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery in La Jolla, CA run by great people and friends and I’m very pleased with the response and sales so far.
- November opening at Contemporaty Fine Arts
Late in the year I received news that my art was chosen for inclusion in Contemporary Painters, a 224 pg hardcover book on 100 international artists to watch published by Schiffer Books due out in April 2012 and available through major bookstores and Amazon. I also just received word that I have been selected by Art Business News magazine as one of the 50 best emerging American artists. And lastly, I recently signed a contract for worldwide rights to reproduce 12 of my images for a 2014 wall calendar by Brush Dance Publishing who creates works about artists and inspiring individuals by the likes of Rumi and Thich Nhat Hanh. I’ll intend to have calendars available through my website once they are produced early next year.
So while this exposure and attention on my art is surprisingly delightful, I also know that on a deep level it is exactly what I have been desiring and anticipating. And so it’s time to fully immerse myself in the creation of the new art, who’s muse has been smoking heady Turkish cigarettes around my backdoor for a while now. So, until next time, I need to let her in before the neighbors call the cops.
We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements in life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. ~Charles Kingsley
When I have conceptualized a new idea for a painting, sketched out the composition, and plotted my course – this is the most fulfilling time for me as an artist. Even more than a sale, or a positive response to a finished painting. This feeling of enthusiasm and clarity of purpose is palatable. It’s why I’ll sometimes linger on finishing a painting when I don’t yet have a new one worked up. And it’s probably why so many artists are manic-depressive. The high that comes with enthusiasm, juxtaposed against the feeling of lack of enthused, are far apart indeed. And it also explains why the people who do what excites them the most are the happiest. They are in a constant state of enthusiasm. So… let’s make a deal. Find something that makes you come alive. Whatever it is. Don’t think about the end result. Or about how you can profit from it. Is happiness not profit enough? Happiness is why we do everything we do; because we think it will make us happier. Try it for an afternoon, or a week, or a lifetime, and see what happens. I’ll do the same and we’ll compare notes on the other side.
Being an artist is a lonely vocation. Not that I’m not fishing for sympathy. I have moments at my easel when I’ll literally be moved to tears with gratitude that this is what I get to do for a living. But there are also days where it would be nice to speak to another human being.
It’s down to the last few days before the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts opening. Which is a welcome and rare venue for artists to interact with the fans of our work every day for a full 2 months. Many gallery represented artists never get to meet their buyers. So there is little opportunity to hear how ridiculously talented we are. There are of course the occasional one-night exhibit openings which typically come with an array of patrons in varying degrees of drunkenness waxing poetic about how “Dali-esque” my art is (whom I actually have very little in common with). So an opportunity where I can be in a relaxed atmosphere and talk about my art on a deeper level – and more importantly, hear from people who appreciate and are moved by what I create – is very welcome.
Paul during a video shoot at the Festival of Arts Media Night.
This year, my painting “The Kindest Premeditation” was chosen as the official poster image and for use on other merchandising. So there will be a lot of attention and a need to have enough work available for what I expect will be a busy season. I’ve been interviewed more times in the past month than in my entire life combined. It’s fun, and the pressure gets my creative juices flowing. So with that, there are three panel surfaces with wet coats of gesso drying in my studio that need paintings on them.