I painted Phoenix in 2014.  It seemed to be a prophetic painting for me, as I look back on the last 6 years.

Phoenix began with four images, chosen with an intuitive consciousness.  Although challenging to explain conceptually, they automatically connected in my awareness – as a sensation of rising consciousness.

The images are as follows, beginning with the image placed lowest and ending with the top center of the painting:            – A diagram of earth layers taken from an antique textbook on the subject of agriculture and irrigation                                – A timeline of the Universe from Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”                                                                                                             – A naturalistic drawing of a Moth                                                                                                                                                     – An ancient Mayan painting of a god throwing a comet

Placing these images in a vertical column down the center of the board set a stage for me.  My task becomes weaving the images together with patterns, symbols, spontaneously arising images and color, to reveal the felt connection.

As I painted, what emerged is an illustration of embodiment and transformation.  In the journey of the moth, this transformation requires a melting into fluidity, a dissolving of form.  In the journey of the Phoenix, it is a transformation by fire, a burning off of old structures into order to allow the new to arise.  As the painting revealed itself, I began to see both processes as necessary for human transformation.  I see it not as a terrifying process, but certainly challenging and sometimes painful.  It is, after all, a death. Yet, would the caterpillar build its cocoon in fear?  In the end, it is alchemy, an evolution of humanity through the transformation of the embodied self.