“The flower doesn’t dream of the hummingbird.
The flower blossoms and the hummingbird comes.”
After having finished painting The Four Seasons I was saddled with the burden of contemplating the 12 Zodiak Signs. Last year I’d painted Gemini for my publisher and they were expecting 11 more. I was too tired. My brain hurt. I turned to my “Intwits” for inspiration. Intwits is the playful name I’ve given to the collective of characters who make up what I consider my intuition.
What came back to me was the sense that I should just let go of the thought. I’m the artist and my calling is to paint and share whatever affects me in my daily life – because I’m not alone on this journey.
My wife said that what I essentially did was to give it up in prayer. And she was right in that I put it out and felt the ‘answer’ almost as quickly as I’d laid it before my Intwits. She, as my muse, suggested that I do a painting about prayer.
This was a good idea but a sticky one for me because I am so warped with concern about terminology. I can’t number the times I’ve been asked if I believe in God. I know from experience that what I’m really being asked is if I believe in the definition of God that they believe in. I respond with the words of the late, great Catholic priest and mythologist, Joseph Cambell – “can you be a little more specific”. The reaction is generally the same – disdain, for if I had to ask, then the answer is no. This is not necessarily true. I believe that the words “God”, “Prayer”, “Faith” and “Love” are catch-alls of convenience and therefore lose their power as they are disseminated among the dogmatic religious traditions as well as the sciences in general. I decided to call it “The Whisper”.
This painting is a little different from my others in that it doesn’t feature clothing. The idea is that we come naked, as we really are, without judgement, one with nature, to a point of connection with that undefinable “oneness”. The great mass of hair represents a full and heavy mind as we tend to employ our thinking mechanism above our feeling mechanism. Focusing on the oneness centers our heart and our being, which is why I’ve painted her with the hummingbird in center focus and the many colors of her flowing scarf represents all the spiritual paths blowing in the same direction. Remember, what we reach for may be different, but what makes us reach is the same.