Follow Your Bliss (Truth Courage Passion)

The wonderful thing about painting for other people is that (both artistically and otherwise) they take you places you wouldn’t normally go if you were only working at a level within your own self. You gain a different perspective by jumping inside their head and crawling around in their skin for a while. Not just to see the world how they see it… but to learn what they have learned by looking at the world this way. It is amazing what you can gain when you are willing to give up your strength, for a time, to learn the strength of another.

This painting was done for my good friend, divine doppelganger, and fellow Peter Gabriel disciple, Ralph Joseph. The title for this hanging comes from his recording company name, Sukha Records. Sukha is Sanskrit for “Finding Your Bliss,” (which I have done a slight variation on, though I’m not the first, I believe Joseph Campbell beat me to it). Not so coincidentally, it is also the motto by which Ralph lives his life. Quite simply, Ralph is a Radiant Manifestation of the Universe, and that is what I have tried to capture in this hanging.

This is the meaning behind Ralph’s painting:

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Warrior Passion Wisdom

I’ve been very drawn to the turtle lately. I found I’ve been using The Turtle’s energy and patience these past few months as I’ve been getting my hand back into fighting form. Just prior to starting this hanging I designed a turtle tattoo for a client in San Francisco, and part of what I designed for him has ended up in this hanging (middle square). It is the symbolism in general of the turtle that this hanging most represents (protection, patience, wisdom, courage, compassion, perseverance, skill, longevity, loyalty, peace, confidence, love, mother earth, adaptability, healing, and knowledge), but there were some specific attributes I wanted to accentuate. The turtle is an animal whose magic united heaven and earth, and the sea turtle in particular is a prevailing mythic figure and archetype. Therefore, I wanted each square to represent a specific element of this magical creature.

This piece was officially appraised at $2,500 in 2007, and in 2010 was donated to a great organization I partnered with (and have since donated several other pieces for) for their annual silent auction for Free The Children:

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