Hello and Welcome Friends,

  October, 2005
volume 3 number 9

After several months in a row of prolific output, you'll see that October was a little quieter at the easel. Our return to Vermont from Nova Scotia began with a bang. I had one week to prepare for Gallery Walk. That meant cleaning everything along with unrolling, restretching and framing paintings from Nova Scotia. Some were large and it took me the full week to accomplish that task. The response from folks on October's first Friday event was very strong. It is always good to have folks tell me what they think about the paintings.

The rest of the month has been more complicated for a number of reasons I will not pursue in this newsletter. Rather, I'll tell you two stories that ended up in the only two paintings I've done this month.

The first story is about my friend Jack Caulfield. Some years ago, Jack and I became close friends when he came to me to ask my professional assistance in preparing materials for a play he wrote, produced and starred in. The play is called "Fire for the Ploughman." Here's Jack in the part of William Tyndale:

The play is a labor of love, divine love. William Tyndale set about transalting the Bible into English so that the gospel would be available for everyone (hence the title, fire for the ploughman) not just the elite. This predates the King James version of the Bible and it was not well received. Despite considerable opposition, Tyndale did indeed translate the Bible into English. Jack feels that many of Tyndale's translations are superior in their ability to convey the deeper meanings and beauty of the verses than the King James version. Here's our good friend Bill receiving the reward for his good works:

William Tyndale being burned at the stake. The banner coming from his mouth reads, "Lord ope the King of Englands eyes."

So Jack and I worked together on promoting his project. In the course of it we became solidly close and shared many deep conversations about all aspects of life, but especially religion. In recent years, Jack found himself riddled with cancer that became inoperable. When we returned from Nova Scotia we had Jack over for lunch. Our one hour lunch turned into six hours of wonderful conversation and sharing. At the end, I suggested that we do a portrait for his family, and here it is:

"My Friend, Jack Caulfield" Oil on Canvas 26" x 18"

During the sittings, Jack said something to the effect of, "You have to find Jesus in the painting, William." My response was the following:

The chair Jack is sitting in is a large, rustic bent wood rocker. The back of it is shaped like a large heart. The two rounded tops of the heart are behind Jack. The heart and the light behind him are the Love of God that embraces and supports him. The pillow behind represents how the divine Love has given him comfort. Jack's hands are resting on another form/pillow. That pillow is purple, representing the risen Christ in full authority. The light on his hands is the light of Jesus leading Jack into the unknown, represented by the dark background. The dark background is not made from black paint, rather it is blues and earth tone colors in combinations and layers. Nothing is empty darkness in the light of God.

Jack is a good man and we do not look forward to his departure.

I was going to say, "...on a lighter note." But perhaps I'll say instead, "Now for something completely different!"

I was lying in bed and started to envision pictures, paintings. Rectangles kind of float into view and I see things in them. It isn't anything I haven't done before, but in this particular instance, I could almost grab them and move them around, very readily changing imagery within rectangles. A very nice experience.

I went through about half a dozen images and one strengthened and came back a couple of times. Over the next few days the image would come to me at various times of day while I was doing other things, like bubbles of thought coming to the surface. Each time it seemed to be a bit more clear to me but I didn't know what the image meant or who it was supposed to be.

What I saw was a striding figure coming toward you. The picture frame was dominated by a deep green color, sort of like looking down through clear, fresh water that has things living in it. It was pretty dark over all except for the figure, head to foot. To my delight and dismay (at the prospect of painting it) the figure was very beautiful and emerging from the background itself in an emanating light. I couldn't swear to the clothing style. Everything was defined by emanating light rather than matter. The light was soft and warm. She (yes, a female) was smiling slightly with engaging and peaceful eyes. Around her and especially to each side, were flares of a warm light that were akin to what telescope stars look like except that the vertical axis was much longer than the horizontal was wide.

There was one more distinguishable symbol defined in light. An oval on its side with a horizontal line bisecting it.

So this went on for about four days. I wasn't obsessed with it, but it would return several times a day for me to consider. On the fourth day I was folding laundry and suddenly it came to me. "It is the earth!"

This was not like a voice talking to me, but more a crystallization of many ideas that came together to make this image stand for the wholeness of the earth, its people, its physical systems, its collective spiritual mind and its influence on the universe. It was a visual metaphor for what felt like Gaia. But that was the wrong word. Gaia is an older idea that didn't encompass enough of what I felt this image contained, but I counldn't think of what else to call it. After excitedly announcing to my wife, Patricia that I had a vision, I went next door and did a very quick drawing in just a few minutes.

"Gaia 10/19/05" Charcoal on Paper 22" x 28"

After several days of intense reading I came around to some teachings that confirmed more what I thought the image I saw embraced.

I started a canvas that was a completely different experience than the drawing. In fact it wasn't even an image of the vision I had, simply based on it. The painting is a visual metaphor for the all-embracing spirit of God on this planet, including everything physical, mindal and spiritual. As the title suggests, this is still emerging, not yet complete. Given humankind's current impact on the earth systems, it is my prayer that the maturing relationship between human beings, God and our home in space will continue to strengthen and all of us will embrace a more balanced view of living life on earth, doing the right thing, so to speak. The results will be a great improvement in how we live on this blue planet now and in future generations. We will all be the beneficiaries.

"The Emerging Planetary Supreme" Oil on Canvas 28" x 38"

So if that doesn't catch your attention, I don't know what will! (Laugh Out Loud)

It deserves a little explanation. So here it is:

First, the green is the color of life.

The light in the center of the forehead is obvious. It is the light of God. It is also the Third Eye of other teachings. There is a subtle cross radiating from it.

The symbol of the oval with the line came very strongly when I did the drawing. At the time I did the drawing I felt it was the symbol for the universe. In the painting I put seven of the symbols in the frame of the picture. Most were painted over at one point or another. Although I tend toward following my first reaction as to the meaning of the symbol, I have also thought that it could be a symbol for this planet. But I am inclined more toward the universe.

There is also the possibility that it means nothing and is a pleasing symbol. I've considered it from several angles now and can see where the symbol would have arisen from my readings concerning the structure of the universe.

Within her being is light refracted through water. The reference is to this being the blue planet with water as the mainstay of life. Light, of course, is the Light of God. It is also referring to His Light coursing through everything and something of a convoluted call to recognize God in the planet and get with the picture! Enough of the raping and pillaging of the earth in the name of greed! Wake UP! Honor Her!

From her face the light turns into energy which flows down around her shoulders like hair. Behind, the sphere of the earth, a simplified reference. From the upper left God's Love rains down on the planet in curtains of light based on the aurora borealis I loved so much when I lived in Alaska.

If you had told me that I would do a painting of the Emerging Planetary Supreme a month ago, I would have laughed at the incredulous notion. My, how things change!

And that is about it for my two stories. I hope you'll excuse the soap box message and allow me my visions! Thanks for taking the time to read what I have to say. I look forward to hearing from you all.


William H. Hays

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The Artist's Loft Bed & Breakfast and Gallery, Vermont
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