I have always considered art to be more important than the artist. I may weave visual tapestries of color and form from the stuff of my dreams, visions and experiences. It is how my work affects people and their environments that makes it important.
I hope my paintings awaken in others the knowledge of their own creative potential, and that awakened potential would then be used for the good of all humankind and for the preservation of Mother Earth.
If there is a difference between myself and others, it is that I have spent many years honing my creativity to an edge. I have used my artistic ability to convey the beauty I have found in life. Through my art I want to share with others the beauty that has enriched my life.
The best painting
Every day I try to learn something more about painting. When people ask me what my best painting is I tell them it's the one that I'm working on. I refuse to look to the past or get hung up on paintings that I've completed. Every day is a little better because I gain more tools, more experience, more wisdom.
In art my inspiration is the world of myth, of magic, of dreams. My inspiration comes from my human experience, from recognizing the Creative Spirit as being the Holy Spirit, containing the seeds of wisdom that we may, or may not, accept. Somehow, it all becomes part of the celebration of life for me. My art is a living prayer.
My underlying philosophy is that the folklore and legends of the Native Americans serve as my point of departure. I do not plan to specifically illustrate the legends but to capture the spirit behind them, the evolution, the creation, the structure of the universe as experienced by a native people. Sharing in that manner is to share more than the concepts at an intellectual level. It is also sharing the spiritual concepts with the viewer.
Marc Chagall explained how he dreamed the images from his mythology. And he said, "My God, as an Indian, why don't you just go to sleep and paint what you dream?" That meant more to me than anything else in my life.
Fortunately, as a child on the Navajo Reservation I was encouraged to accept the validity of my dreams and visions. As an artist, I continue to draw upon that dream reality; it is the wellspring of my creativity.
I began my art career exploring Native American legends that were familiar to me, using my own visions of the mythological figures instead of portraying them in the more traditional way. The images that formed in my mind were different and I wasn't afraid to portray them the way I saw them.
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