- September 13, 2019
The challenge to defy convention
A thin layer of Acrylic paint dries in roughly a 10 minute period of time. For this reason, acrylic paint is considered a very forgiving medium. In a classically painted acrylic piece, a series of layers are used to create a final representation of the subject & imagery. In this process, an artist has a forgiving window in the journey to fine-tune their vision. If a brushstroke is misplaced the artist has the option to take it back a few layers by painting over the target area. This ultimately clears the pallet in preparation to then work forward with an extra attempt to achieve their intended goal. Ultimately this technique can be performed countless amount of times until the artist is happy with their final piece.
I aimed to defy the conventional creative process in the Panthera Series by retaining the primary base layer. This first layer was applied as a textured abstract. This is meant to convey, both literally & figuratively, a wall. From here I worked with deep precision to build form while aiming to ensure the base background was left untouched. This process left a very low margin for error as any misplaced brushstroke would force me to paint over it. Any corrections, in turn, would cause the base layer to disappear behind several layers of paint. You can see this especially in the texture of the white in the nose. This was done by scraping back the primary abstract to pull off the surface layer between the primary gesso & the canvas.
Breaking through my greatest fear
The ‘wall’ in the primary abstract is a symbol to represent my natural fear of death. My diagnosis of M.S was a deep reminder of my mortality as modern medicine has yet to find a cure. My body broke down quickly & there came a point where I became too weak to walk up a flight of stairs. I was in severe pain to the point that I could barely walk without the feeling of fiery coals beneath my feet. There came a point where I had to face myself in the mirror and find the courage to take extreme risks in the face of death. I had to let go & surrender. Along my journey, I took an extreme risk in trying an unconventional healing modality. This led me into the jungle for nearly half a year to work with the Shipibo tribe of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. There I was introduced to their sacred medicine called Ayahuasca. This is referred to by the indigenous as ‘Vine of the Spirit’ or ‘Vine of the dead’ with the active chemical DMT aka ‘The spirit molecule’. This chemical is one of the most powerful hallucinogenics on the planet & is known to take a person to the afterlife & back. This is the same chemical that is naturally secreted from the penial gland when a person is in deep prayer, meditation & death.
The decision to make this journey didn’t come lightly. It took an incredible amount of courage, strength & self-love to breakthrough. ‘Courage’ is the first of the series. The reflective gold-infused eyes & the subtle human nature is a mirror in a challenging stare off. These are the moments when gathering the courage to fully surrender to the possibility of physical, mental & emotional annihilation.
In turn, it was through this journey that I was fortunate enough to discover an incredibly powerful healing modality that changed my life.
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Panthera Series Collection
Courage of the Lion (2019) 5×4 ft Acrylic on Canvas – Click here for details
Strength of the Tiger (2019) 5×4 ft Acrylic on Canvas – Click here for details
Spirit of the Panther (2019) 5×4 ft Acrylic on Canvas – Click here for details