For years, my professional work with survivors of abuse and trauma showed me the worst that humanity could do to itself. Seeing the unkindness of one person to another, and seeing my own failures to live up to to my best moral potential as well, meant I was constantly exposed to the worst of ourselves. Not only was I hearing from survivors about the worst things they had endured, but I had found myself also becoming less kind, less humble, and less connected to others.
My art is what helps me undo that damage in my own life. It helps me focus on what's beautiful in the world, which is why the people I portray in my paintings show peaceful, respectful, and fulfilled connections between each other and creation. You'll see men and women interacting as equals, relationships that are healthy, and reverent interactions between humans and nature. Creating each piece of art therapeutically reminds me to also strive to put myself back into balance, and to work to become the man I actually want to be as well. I haven't always been that person, but I'm working on it. Each painting is another step in my own efforts to become a better person, more humble, more respectful, and more free of my own past failures and regrets as a person.
There have been times that my own life has gone astray, and I haven't fulfilled my own best potential. Art has shown me how to see beauty in things that aren't perfect, and that lesson has helped me understand my own flaws, and how to make progress in overcoming them without becoming completely defeated when I've failed. I've become a humbler person who is focused more today on what I can do to improve the world, and less on what I need from the world, as I used to be.
It's working. Today I am closer to being that person than I was a year ago. I'm more patient, less brash, more thoughtful, kinder, and less materialistic than I was. I'm still working on it, but art, volunteering, counseling, and contemplation have all genuinely helped me change by reminding me what actually matters in life. I hope those good feelings continue in each home where a piece of my work finds its place; creating art has certainly helped clarify my own values.
Today, I'm a better father, a better husband, and a better member of society, and I'm more focused now on what I can do to uplift others than on my own needs from others.
Culture and Traditionalism
Photos and information about traditional culture and art