A lot of people tell me that they enjoy the symbolism I use in my paintings. This painting is almost all symbolism. It is about our journey in life, thus called “The Journey”. What a boring life it would be if all of our lives where the same, preplanned or mapped out. For me The Journey is more like an interactive book that is written as we go by our choices and sometimes consequences for our actions.
Life has begun to unfold in grander ways lately as I have embraced Isha Yoga and Inner Engineering with a brilliant Guru or Mystic named Sadhguru. He is very strikingly logical, coming at things in the most practical ways that make him one of the smartest people I have ever come across. Not trying to sell him here, just saying that he helps me to get past most of the trash that used to constantly recycle through my head. Now with less trash going in or coming out, I am able to see things a little more clearly. It is a grow as you go experience.
Stream of Consciousness Painting
Unlike most of my paintings, I used a writing process called stream of consciousness, that is write as you think and just keep writing and following your thoughts as they flow. I started this painting with a pencil and just kept sketching as the thoughts flowed. I did not have any predestination for this painting. My only thought was a tree by a pond. You can see with my many snap shots as the painting evolved that even my tree or trees evolved as the painting developed. The man surprisingly appeared in a hat carrying a briefcase. (Later I realized the brief case was all my old bad memories or thoughts I would carry everywhere with me.) I knew I wanted this character in a dark for ground shadow that would contrast the bright reflection of the pond. Then rocks started appearing, other trees, hillsides and rocks with figures in them and kind of a Syfy scene in the background. Some unimaginable place.
Initial Sketch Directly on Panel
The Unexplained Journey
To me, life’s journey is like this. We are going someplace but we really do not know where. We feel things inside that we cannot explain that draws us towards itself. Looking on like the man in the painting we are challenged to figure out the way, or just flow as you go. Some things feel comfortable and welcome, other things are confusing. Like a dream where Aunt Gertrude shows up, even though she was an old woman that died in my youth and is now a young woman in my dream. The Syfy place is unexplainable to me. I cannot understand it from here. But will when I get closer
The Development of the Painting Progression
I am not really that sure that we can form the answers, or many times trust the answers we formulate. We are only as strong as our weakest or our biggest, weakest thought. Many times, we keep repeating the same old outcomes because we keep repeating the same old same old path expecting new answers. New answers scream for new approaches, new ways, new thoughts.
The Road Before Us
The road before the man is interrupted by the pond. No clear path straight forward but I can see the path on the other side. The Lilly Pads with the Locus flowers look like steppingstones. Locus flowers represent spiritual help for me. Sometimes we see challenges that can really be opportunities for us if we will only look further. The path leads by the tree of life, reaching out in all directions. There is a lot more here as far as symbolism is concerned in the painting, but I do not want to waste all of the fun by giving away all the answers. Your personal seeking to see more, understand more, and find more in your own life and this painting is what is important to me. I hope we can all keep exploring each new day with expectation and thankfulness as it arrives each morning. Till it doesn’t.