My inspiration has always come from the woods, mountains, lakes and seas - sacred places where the power and spirit of Earth and the universe are strongly felt. Many of these spiritual centers have been recognized for thousands of years by
Near Umantay, pastel on paper, 34.5" H x 27"W
indigenous peoples in all parts of the world.
This summer I'm traveling to two of the world's most holy mountains to connect with spirit and receive direction for a new body of paintings.
First, Apu Ausangate (click here for a film about life in the region of this sacred mountain), great protector of the city of Cusco, Peru, and provider of wisdom, practical knowledge, and fertility... and amazing, continual spiritual and visual inspiration for my work. Two years ago, camping at 16,500' at the foot of Apu Ausangate, I woke in the middle of the night to a flood of information - answers to questions and prayers I had offered the day before. This channel of communication has been open to me ever since, providing direction and the particular instruction to begin a series of "portraits" of Apus - divinities who dwell in Andean mountaintops.
After this trip I travel to Kathmandu, Nepal, on the way to Tibet's Mt. Kailash. This holy mountain, said to be the abode of Lord Shiva and his consort, is a mecca to four Eastern religions. Taking part in the holy ritual circumambulation of Mt. Kailash has been a longtime dream - for artwork and tools of healing. This pilgrimage will be led and protected by spiritual leader Shri Anandi Ma. It is a great honor to accompany her and her group.
On both trips I open my heart and eyes to the wonder of communion with the great forces of our world - or should I say where worlds meet? It is my vision to create depictions of the sacred spirits that inhabit these places; depictions that
Right: Mt. Kailash, Tibet /photo Herbert Wong
will convey their physical as well as energetic power, to be used for altars and healing centers as well as for inspiration in any form.
The body of paintings produced from these trips will be on exhibit throughout this coming year. Accompanying workshops and lectures on sacred teachings and elements of the work on location will also be scheduled.