Warming . 24"x36" . 2006

*shown in normal light (top), both normal and black light (middle), and just black light (bottom).

It also glows in the dark.

Ultraviolet, which really means "beyond violet," refers to the spectrum of light not normally visible to the human eye. It doesn't mean it's not there. It just means we can't see it. There are many colors that are only visible under UV light, often found in things like minerals, and on the feathers of birds. I don't really feel that I should be bound by such things as "the visable spectrum" either, and I enjoy using ALL the colors when I do art. I feel it has a much broader sense of completeness.

Seeing how different lighting drastically enhances the color of the painting is intrinsic for me in the process of creating it. Since I spend most of the creating-time in normal lighting conditions, I too feel surprised each time I turn the blacklight on. It feels more like it changes with you, living and breathing throughout the day. Even though I can't see it glow in broad daylight, knowing that it will once night falls is interesting to me. It's as though the painting itself has something more to offer you.

I challenged myself with this piece, by attempting a very "red" painting. (My most difficult color.) I was also interested in doing something without as many intersecting lines and circles as I normally tend towards. It really strengthened my color and design skills (I think). I will definitely feel more confident using warm colors in the future, and I think it ultimately improves my work to constantly be doing things I find difficult.

Lots of exciting things are happening. 2007 will be even better than 2006.

I'm just gettin' warmed up.

Da kine . 24x30 . 2006

(shown in both normal and UV light, as well as in sketch form.)

I used a mixture of sand and acrylic to do this. The painting itself is fairly heavy. I wanted to create something that looked like it was made of stone. Glowing bricks.

My Grandpa used to have a rock cutter and after he was done hunting rocks he would cut them in half and polish them up. I was always fascinated that this dull scraggly rock had such beautiful colors and lines inside. Blues to greens to purples to crystals. From dusty and dull to sparkly and smooth in under an hour. Sometimes he would glue little penguins or army men to the rocks (except for the ones that were 55 million years old.) I'm not kidding. They're still all over my Grandma's house.

Cool blues are so soothing to me.

Early . 24x36 . 2006

Finally. This painting has mocked me for months. I don't know if you've ever been mocked by a painting, but let me tell you, they're vicious. I proudly proclaimed this 'finished' months ago, but immediately began reworking it and only now completed everything.

This is about ancient times and civilizations. Specifically, do you know what The Antikythera Mechanism is? (The Antikythera Mechanism) I didn't until this past summer. It's an ancient analog computer that predicted the movement of planets. (!) It got me thinking about a lot of things that people don't seem to consider. Like, for instance, how do we really explain the rise and fall of very advanced peoples thousands of years ago? Do our computers and huge metropolitan cities really make us more advanced? Can we truly comprehend the knowledge held by these civilizations?

The implications are profound. It really forces one to question the reality of one's own beliefs. At the very least, it makes the entire journey of faith and understanding much more complicated. I like the introduction of new questions to my own spiritual journey. In my opinion, it makes God bigger and less defined, which I find reassuring. I like being reminded that we, as human beings, cannot possess the same knowledge as God. We do not know, and we cannot define GOD by our current time, current faiths, or current understanding. If we can assuredly say Who God is, what then, is the purpose of faith?

I don't know. It seems like 'the beginning of time' keeps happening... in cycles almost.

Coins . 16x20 . 2006

1. artificial lighting
2. uv and artificial lighting combined
3. uv lighting only
4. no light (glow)

I broke the mold with this one. No, really, I mean the canvas separated from the wooden frame after I began painting it. After an emergency trip to purchase a staple gun, damage was kept to a minimum.

I wanted to paint something with entirely warm colors. I think this one is a response to my earlier painting, Rings. I wasn't trying to portray nature exactly, but more the interesting designs that can be made through using circles. I had all these visions of ancient coins and ancient buildings. I was thinking about feeling lucky, having all sorts of possibilities awaiting. Flip a coin, take a chance! My Grandpa used to collect coins, all different kinds, and we spent many hours examining them together. His collection was a treasure itself, but the memory of those many hours pouring through the different coins together is where the greatest treasure is. I am so fortunate to have that memory.

I wanted the blacklight painting to be very different from how it looks under normal lighting. You know how coins always have two sides, and those two sides are completely different? It's almost like two separate moods. It helps remind me that anything can change at any moment. You never know when your luck will turn around, right? Your destiny can lie within any new choice you make. I love that.

Avete trovato il vostro destino?

Looking Up (at night) . 36x24 . 2006

1. natural/artificial lighting
2. artificial and uv lighting combined
3. uv lighting only
4. no light (glow in the dark!)

Whereas my last painting focused on sun and moon imagery, this one is based on planets. Specifically, what you would "see" if you looked up at the night sky. After I began this one, we watched a show that debated how many planets were really in our solar system, and whether or not Pluto can actually be considered a planet.

Ah well.

I used a lot of texture again, I think because I couldn't imagine "space" being flat. I used a few new techniques for creating darkness, which I think works better than what I was doing before.

In the daytime, near a window, the painting is actually very bright and colorful, but at night under artificial light, it looks much darker. I love how it changes in different lighting. It actually changes with the time of day, which is awesome since I created it to be a "nighttime" painting.

(UPDATE 11/07: I've added my super high quality glow paints to this piece. The stars will glow for HOURS now! Hooray!)

Summer! . 24x36 . 2006

(*shown in both normal and blacklight.)

This one makes me happy. :o) I called it "Summer!" because that's how I felt about the world in early June before global warming gave us the worst deadly hot summer I've been through since living on a desert commune 15 years ago. Ick. June was a beautiful month. Everything was clear.

I think this was a bit of backlash from my previous painting, which was heavy on texture and complexity. I also wanted to see how quickly I could complete a large painting, since Thin Space took such a long time. I finished it in 2 weeks. It would have gone even quicker if the sun hadn't started melting the paint when I was out on the balcony.

I really love the "shine" effect on this one, which unfortunately looks spectacular in person, but doesn't seem to photograph well.

On the other hand, I'm still improving my photography, so perhaps I can replace the image soon.

This is my personal favorite. So far, of course.

Thin Space . 30x40 . 2006

(*shown in both normal light and blacklight)

This one was complicated. I spent a lot of time doing sketches (something new for me) beforehand. I knew it would be important to get the design down correctly before transferring anything to the canvas. This was the first time I was able to work on such a large piece - 30x40! I barely had room in my tiny apartment to paint it. In the Celtic tradition, "Thin Spaces" are places where the spiritual and the natural world intersect. I wanted to create something that was without particular direction, something very interpretive. I've gotten a lot of positive response on this one. I really wanted to make something elegant. I learned a lot from this piece, and it really opened my mind up to possibilities of future paintings. I love how it looks in blacklight. Actually, it looks best with both blacklight and regular light on at the same time. Kind of like it's glowing from within. I am very happy that I get to visit it often. It looks stunning hanging above my friend's fireplace. She says she often meditates to it, which is possibly the highest compliment I've ever received on anything in my life.

I can't get a good picture of it with the lights off, but in total darkness it looks like a field of stars. I never expected to create paintings that look good in utter blackness, but I'm completely satisfied with the result.

In truth, I think the concept of 'Thin Spaces' represents most, if not all, of my work.

Rings . 18x24 . 2006

(*shown in both normal light and blacklight)

An abstract interpretation of my engagement ring, which is made up of circular diamonds and circular prongs, but together looks like a myriad of possibilities. I refer to it as "my X ring," but others have said it's a star, a flower, and a butterfly (?). I was intrigued by the idea that although circles are a very simple, basic shape, it's possible to create many varied designs with them. I started this about a year earlier, but wasn't happy with how it was progressing. It actually started off as entirely yellow and orange. Though I've used UV reactive colors in most of my paintings, this was the first time I specifically painted with intention of how it would appear under UV light.

Light . 16x20 . 2005

This is still one of my favorites. Experimenting with brightness. I like thinking about what the universe would look like if you could see everything at the same time, no matter what each part's distance from each other was. Layers on top of layers. How does God see the universe?

This was originally my second painting ever, but I never officially completed it, and didn't like how it looked. I saved it, waiting for inspiration that finally came. Colin about had a heart attack when I started painting over it. I liked some of it, so I based the final painting off the work I was happy with. Much of the right side of the piece is kept from it's original state.

Plato's Theory . 16x20 . 2005

Still trying to make light shine through darkness. This is actually a remix of an earlier painting I did in 2004. My friend suggested I start doing paintings multiple times to see how they changed and improved with each revision. I called it (and the original) "Plato's Theory," based on his philosophy that we all started as circles and when we angered the gods, they punished us by splitting us evenly in half. We must then search the universe for our other half, and only when we find it are we whole and complete again. Come to think of it, Plato's theory better represents part of what inspires me to paint in general. Hmm. Maybe I'll do it again. Jyro said to do it 8 times. Whew.

Midwife . 9x12 . September 2005

(*shown in both normal light and blacklight)

I made this as a type of birthday card - painting for Becky. It wasn't even supposed to be as detailed as it is. I only had a week to complete it, but I just kept having more inspiration to add things. I guess I had too much to say in one simple, 9x12 painting. Immersion, the idea of helping create something radical, The Rising Sun, Alice, friendship, bahhh. Too much. It's fun though. Looks nifty in blacklight.

Horizon Squared . 18x24 . 2005

I started trying to play with texture here. I think I wanted something really dark and really chaotic, yet centered on stillness. My favorite part is the light blue "horizon lines." It reminds me of the ocean.

Sunset . 16x20 . 2004

This is one of my earliest pieces, but I'm still happy with it. I'd like to revisit it. It's an interpretation of the sunset Colin and I saw the day after he proposed in Cambria, California. After a crystal clear, beautiful day, the skies over the sea became stormy, and the waves were very choppy. The sunset kept peeking through the clouds, turning them a soft, translucent orange. Perhaps because of this, the ocean looked teal, rather than gray. We couldn't even leave the car because of the wind. It was the most unusual display of sunset colors I've ever seen.