tomorrow will be day 1 of a five day workshop on Iconography where i will be learning the process of writing(painting) an Orthodox Icon. Theodoros Papadopoulos is the instructor of the icon painting workshop. He is a well established instructor and the founder of an iconography school in Greece. This workshop will take place at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and I am honored to be going at the expense of the Saint Catherine Orthodox Church in Hagerstown MD. I am very grateful to all who contributed to this and to those who are helping our family while i am away.
It was really great going back to the Arlington this weekend for Howard Allen's Arlington Arts Festival in Virginia. The last time i spent some real quality time in that area was about 1996 and yes things have changed. I really enjoyed meeting and talking with people who were moved by my work and I certainly appreciated the sales that were made. Thank you!!!
Excited to be signed up for Artomatic Frederick in June. This will be my 1st Artomatic. If what i have heard all these years about it is true i will have a great time. Also, planning to be at Spin the Bottle wine sellers in Frederick again in coming months. Thank you Frederick for all the opportunities you offer artists!!!
This is the largest painting created with the various techniques i have been practicing for the past couple of years. Still working on a title for it. the 7 silhouettes are of my family.
While i don't see myself ever getting to Japan there is still an allure of a mystical energy and culture that calls me. Here is a piece that i am currently devoting all of my creative energy to. No other pieces are pulling me away from completing this one.
I am very pleased to be represented by The Michael B.Tusing Gallery in Staunton VA. This is the longest working art gallery in the area. Mr. Tusing carries some of most talented artists of the area as well as a wonderful selection of National artists. I am extremely honored to be part of his art family. If you are in the area or visiting please visit the gallery and check out some of my newest works on canvas. The gallery is located at 21 N Market Street
Staunton, VA 24401. Check them out online for hours of operation.
every couple - few days I drive through one of the newest neighborhoods here in Martinsburg West Virginia known as "The Gallery." I personally don't have much to say about the community. Every house looks pretty much the same with its plastic siding accented with brick work or some stone. It is not a bad looking community just not real exciting. It's the same kind of community that can be found outside most cities practically anywhere in the United States. The designers/Architects probably got awards for their designs but there's nothing really award-winning about them in my opinion. They all have fake siding accented with brick or stone on the front side and nothing else exciting about them. For me the best thing about this neighborhood are the street signs. Each one is named after a famous artist and to those of us to know anything about art history the the.names conjure up images but look around and all you see are blank walls like the window - I'm showing you in this photograph at this intersection of O'Keefe and Klee. why couldn't the organizers have put up Murals on the side of the houses at these intersections. I for one would love to see enlargements of the artists' creations. How about you? I wonder what the neighborhood residents would feel about this?
Today we are celebrating the 84 physical life years of my mother, Elizabeth Abrams, who passed into non-physical a year ago today. heart emoticon The legacy and gifts she left us were courageous and based on pure love. In her final months she shared with us what she was experiencing through the final process of physical life called death. Her biggest fear was that people would think she was crazy, yet even though she was at times forgetful at the age of 84, she was nothing close to crazy. She was honest, loving, and compassionate. If I could possibly be half the woman she was, my life would be rich.
I encouraged Mom to share with us everything she was experiencing because it was real for her relative to where she was on her path. At no time did I want her to think that she was being judged and had no right to verbally express it. We’ve all had those times in our life when others would not listen or judge us based on our what we knew to be true for us. I didn’t want my mother to feel that limitation.
Today I’d like to share a bit of her final weeks with you in the celebration of the legacy she left mankind with hopes that in some way it will bring peace to each of you. Also to illustrate what life is really all about and where to take your life from here, if you choose.
First a little background info… My mother was 100% Slovakian and a devout, strict Catholic all of her life. She had no experience with spirituality (outside of the Catholic religion), nor any experience with quantum physics, geometry, science or metaphysics. Due to not being able to see well in her last years, she never read my book - although much of what she said to us validated parts of my book.
One of the many things she said was that she was seeing multiple dimensions that were collapsing into one. When I asked her to describe “dimensions”, she said they were kind of circular, folding into one, and all of them wanted her to go with them. She felt they were fighting or arguing over her. (I later told her to only go when she was ready and then to follow the Light of Jesus Christ.)
So to clarify what she was seeing, I did an internet search. Thanks to Google Images, I pulled about 2-3 dozen images with the search word, “dimensions”. I showed each of them to her and asked that she let me know if any of them is what she saw.
Now remember, my mom was of sound mind. She had a limited vocabulary to describe what she was seeing. She was an honest woman and had no reason to embellish her story. To my knowledge she had no understanding of the word “dimensions” in a spiritual context.
She chose one out of all of them I showed her, as being what she saw except for what she saw was MUCH bigger. Understanding that what she was seeing was her entire peripheral view that made sense.
The image below is what she saw. Several months after her death, I tried to find the image again on Google and discovered it was an original painting by an artist in West Virginia, David Heatwole. I contacted David, told him Mom’s story and discovered that David painted this after he had a near-death experience. This is what he saw too. If David feels inclined to do so, it would be an honor to all of us if he shared his story.
This is one of many things mom described as her experience in the death process. My sister and I will be authoring a booklet in the future to ease the transition of those crossing, and those that they leave behind. It will be free, because that is what mom would have wanted. David has given us permission to use his artwork as the cover. Thank you again, David. heart emoticon
I’ll close with a couple of the life lessons mom shared in her final weeks. She said that life as we know it on Earth is not what it seems. It's completely different. She went onto say that material things are not important at all. After talking with many hospice counselors this seems to be a theme among the dying.
With that said, the meanings we give anything is how we perceive everything. We each have free will, and my point is … with deep respect, how you interpret this story reflects how open you are to fully perceiving all of the wonders of life. Our mother left us an amazing gift not only in life but also in death by being willing to share with total courage what she was experiencing. We will be forever grateful for that type of love she was willing to give us in her final weeks, and hope that we too in some way can pass that type of love onto others.
If your parents are still with you physically, Love on them. heart emoticon Happy Memorial Day weekend, my friends.
Image credits: www.davidheatwoleart.com
The beginning of the year started off with a mad rush to create a series of works around the figure in my 2 pieces titled "For thou Art the true Nourishment" of the man praying at the table with beams of light coming through the wiindow. The second one which was a commission completed in December at the Discovery Museum in Winchester, VA. I hadn't worked on this series, except the commission, for some time but had a lot of ideas sketched out waiting for the right time to complete. So here are the major works from this series featuring the Molecule man (ISH), his family and his mission, that I have completed thus far. I am hoping to add the four square pieces also featuring my reproduction of Van Gogh's starry night painting to the sides of the 18 wheeler that I am currently traveling up and down the east coast in that has my art and message on the back only.
The Umbrella Offering (molecules in the form of umbrellas)
This was the first major creative community collaboration that I organized in 1996 with the help of my high school art teacher Linda Leffel. The fish was created by 160 students and a few staff who volunteered to help created this project. In all honesty we started out with the idea to create a peace symbol which is a little over rated, I admit, but the reason we did not create it was because the Friday morning of what was supposed to be the day of installation a parent called into the school and asked to speak with the artist - me. She told me that the peace symbol was at one time (and maybe even still today) used as a sign of an upside down broken cross - a negative sign. Following that disturbing news to me, a non "christian" but one questioning the faith and every faith, I was then greeted with the familiar rain that seemed to follow me around when putting on events. This rain lasted throughout the day, and it poured! We were committed to doing this project with the school and camped out for three days until Monday when we finally installed the project. It was decided by a couple of us to create a fish because that was what Wes and I were into painting. It was a gloriously beautiful day. Unfortunately, many forgot to bring their umbrellas so you can see some of us who worked on the project outstretched laying in the itchy field along wit a lot of fabric for the gills. It was still fun. The fish of course was a symbol used by Christ and Christians which I was only a little familiar with.
A series of projects to kick off the new millennium - 2000 (Y2K) - 2003
The Flowering of a Dream - 2000
"The Flowering of a Dream - 2000" was conceptualized by my wife and I when eating at a vegetarian restaurant in Vienna, VA. This was the continuation of the "Umbrella Offering" created in 1996. This project was symbolic of my coming to the Christian faith which was secured while working on this project with Baptism into Christ and Crismation into the One Holy Catholic ORTHODOX Church (not to be confused with the Roman Catholic Church - the second church. For years I had been seeking the 1 undivided church, the one responsible for the assembly of the Bible and the authority on it's meaning and truth. This flower is dedicated to God who saved me from many things throughout my life and who has a plan for all of us. As well as my wife Dawn who I was dating during this time and then married shortly after. Read more about this great project at www.artscollaborative.com
"Come receive the light" Mixed media on canvas. This one is about the molecules of man being drawn to Christ like a magnet in order to go to heaven. I personally like the arrow pointing up. This was a very fun piece for me to attempt. The rain on the left side of the painting is symbolic for the reign of Christ. This is also a clue to why I use umbrellas in this series of work and in other piece of art that I have overseen.
"Gatekeeper Guardswell" Oil on canvas. The name comes from the meaning of my last name Heatwole which means Guards Well. Interestingly, my friend Eugene that owns this piece had written a poem/short story about a turtle that takes people off an Island - Kingdom 109. CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS KINGDOM THAT IS RULED BY EUGENE.
July 2003 - The largest installation to date was in the city that I have in the center of my name - Frederick!
"The Art In-Spire Maze - A spire to greatness" created in 2003. This was our first commissioned project with pay! The design, go figure, was a church spire with a stream coming from it, and it was the logo for Frederick Festival of the Arts. We were to recreate it on a large scale in celebration of their 10 year anniversary. It is the largest installation created to date. Who could have planned such an awesome finale to this series of community collaborations but God himself the greatest of creators - the TRUE CREATOR OF ALL CREATION.
Starry Night series 2015
On Facebook I held an art giveaway contest and I had some great responses.
And the winner is Debbie Turner!
In response to my question about how the photo of her with the sign took place in the hospital. Here is what she said: "With COPD, ya never know if you're gonna be in the hospital for 2 days or 2 weeks. I knew the deadline was coming up and I was getting nervous. I asked our nanny (who was so kind and offered to bring me some stuff) if she'd mind bringing my poster and taking a picture just in case I didn't get out in time."
11th generation artisan working in the shadows of the nations capitol at the top of the Shenandoah Valley