Crane Journeys

Cranes in Valley of Fire painting

Cranes in the Valley of Fire; oil and pencil on linen / 8×24/ 2017

The paper crane has become a personal symbol or icon of freedom, expansion, and my quest for meaning and peace. In my latest work, I have them flying through various landscapes.  These landscapes act as refer to a personal -inner space and they are mostly desert because that is what I love and where I feel the most content and alive. Here are a few samples of work and a couple of studies.

crane flight 001cropped and adjusted

Here we come; gouache on chipboard / 2017


Cranes over Mojave study

Study; gouache on toned paper / 2016


And she proceeded on 001
“And she proceeded on…”; drawing study for a linocut print.


4 x 6 crane study


This little 4×6 piece is a study to find out how gouache handles on absorbent ground. I liked the results. My brush marks have a more staccato feel due to what little moisture the gouache had being absorbed more quickly by the ground.


Cranes over Staten Island; mixed media / 12×12 / 2013



She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

-Rev. Safire Rose

Source: Elephant Journal



Joshua Tree – a helpful companion to freedom

Apollo my dad 150dpiApollo – My Dad: oil on canvas / 36x 48 / Montana Black

I have been drawn more and more powerfully to using the Joshua Tree in my work during the last year or so. In an effort to understand why, I decided to lookup the spiritual healing properties of these wonderful plants. What I found was quite interesting and remarkably relevant to the path I have been on recently.
In a nutshell; the essence of these plants helps to release past karma and dysfunctional conditioning from ones ancestors and family of origin.

 To quote from
“Dr. Pedro Sastriques has used Joshua Tree flower essence for many patients at his clinic at the Psychiatric Hospital of Havana, Cuba. His words give an excellent summary of the essential qualities of this flower essence:

‘The hidden contact with the psychic world of our Generational Tree is not perceived, even though it is present in each moment. Joshua Tree allows us to find it. This essence will clean family patterns that are sclerotic and obsolete, that darken the soul, forcing us to drag a negative karma originating from our ancestors. Joshua Tree will help us be reborn with a higher level of consciousness and a joyful hope for a new beginning.'”

I have been struggling with releasing old programming in an effort to work toward freedom from self defeating patterns that were given to me from my family of origin. Much of the imagery that comes to me for my work has something to do with the current state or path I am on. It’s like my unconscious brings forth those things that I need to place my attention on in order to help facilitate a resolution or solution to whatever problem I am working on. I have come realize that some of my work is record of these transmissions.

The above painting is about my father. It took a while for me to “decided” to place the Joshua Tree so large and prominent – and then to paint it in the black and white tones in order to suggest the tree is a memory or echo. Reading the above healing properties of these amazing plants, it makes total sense to me now why they have been coming to me so strongly.

Click on the above link to the Flower Society website for more information on healing with plants and how flower essences work.

Monkey Year

Monkey Year

Monkey Year: gouache on cradle board / Montana Black

My Year of the Monkey piece for a group show with the City of Las Vegas.  In researching this I discovered that monkeys like to eat peaches, and are often depicted with a peach in one paw.
“The peach has two symbolic meanings in Chinese culture: one is longevity, and the other is exorcising evil spirits.”
“The Monkey plays an important role in the daily lives of the Chinese people; its statue can still be seen on the kangs (a heatable brick bed in North China), ports, ferry crossings, troughs, and even temples.
The Monkey has many symbolic meanings in traditional Chinese culture which are highlighted by riches, honor, luck, and Almighty God. ”

This Year Is Yours by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Vincent van Gogh - Le Soleil

God built and launched this year for you;
Upon the bridge you stand;
It’s your ship, aye, your own ship,
And you are in command.

Just what the twelve months’ trip will do
Rests wholly, solely, friend, with you.

Your logbook kept from day to day
My friend, what will it show?
Have you on your appointed way
Made progress, yes or no?

The log will tell, like guiding star,
The sort of captain that you are.

For weal or woe this year is yours;
Your ship is on life’s sea
Your acts, as captain, must decide
Whichever it shall be;

So now in starting on your trip,
Ask God to help you sail your ship.

Art: Vincent van Gogh