~ Rebirth ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 700mm

‘Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed’
Antoine Lavoisier

Death is inevitable but it is not the end, for each action, great or small, has an impact which ripples in the world for eternity; it will never again be the same. Death is but another transformation, one as old and inexorable as life itself. Where the body and mind fade and separate from one another, new life emerges, springing from the ashes of the old. Each and every part is reformed and reused in a constant cycle of death and rebirth.

This piece began and was heavily influenced by the spring season, in which the experience of regeneration and renewal is most apparent. The Green Man awakens from long slumber and begins his eternal march once again; bluebells blaze into life, carpeting the ground in greens and purpley-blues; lambs and bunnies dance energetically in the fields. The morning light peaks over the crest of the hills and bathes the world in warm light as spirits, flanked by their ancestors, step forward to into the world again, reborn into yet another form. The endless cycle of transformation beings anew.

This piece is dedicated to my grandmothers, each of whom played a massive part in making me the person I am today.

~ The Invisible God ~

Watercolour & Pen 500 x 700mm ‘Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.’ – Hubert Reeves  

For thousands of years, nature was central to religion and peoples’
lives. However, people have have increasingly taken steps to separate ourselves from the natural world, all the while exerting a greater pressure on it. We pray to invisible human gods and thank them for our lives now, whilst passing over the destruction of the natural world that supports life now and for future generations.

From the irreversible loss of biodiversity and habitat destruction
that supports entire ecosystems and drives humans into closer contact with novel, deadly pathogens, to air and water pollution, soil
degradation, and so on, the signs of negative human impact on the
natural world are everywhere. While difficult to comprehend in a
globalised world, each of these are elements that represent a serious threat not only to the survival of animal and plant species, but also humankind’s.

This piece was intended to mirror the way we look through rose-tinted lenses at the natural world. At first glace this piece aims to depict a relaxed, calm scene, with a personification of Gaia sits surrounded by an idealised clearing with native animals plants. However, the signs of decay are everywhere. The blooming plants conceal a base of poisonous-to-man plants, the animals are scared and injured, ancesteral trees silently wail for their lost kin, while even more are marked for felling, carrion crows circle hungrily above as the doomsday clock records its latest position.

The signs are everywhere.

~ The Wanderer's Solace ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 700mm

Not all those who wander are lost.’
– Tolkien

This is the first major collaborative painting that me and my partner, Jade (jadeansellartist.com), have completed together.

This piece is representative of the journey of life together and of cocreation. It is based around the union of spirit that occurs in the joint pursuit of creative endeavors: the coming and weaving together of two minds. It is a very personal piece that references many of the areas where our passions are joined.

~ Tree of Ages ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 500mm

‘We are all but recent leaves on the same old tree of life and if this life has adapted itself to new functions and conditions, it uses the same old basic principles over and over again. There is no real difference between the grass and the man who mows it.’Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

 

The Tree of Ages is a massive oak, stood alone on top of a ridge. It is at the centre of all life and of all stories, with each root, branch, and leaf representing a different path. Constantly growing through the ages for all eternity, it is at the centre of the world. It records the beginning and end of all life.

In Irish mythology, trees are a connections to the our ancestors, their deep roots reaching down into the depths of the world, forming a connection between our world and the spirit world. The oak tree in particular has a special significance, as the daur (door), to the Otherworld. From this place the faeries emerge and dance and play music.

The tree sits amidst a protective stone circle that wards off evil, protecting the doorway to the faerie world through which the faeries emerge, dancing and singing with their music. At the centre of the tree, guarding the entrance sits an icon of Cernunnos, the horned god, radiating with life-giving magics.

The tree has many mushrooms blooming out of it, referencing their duel-role as transformers of the old and deceased, and as the seeds of new life. It is also a reference to the symbiotic relationship these organisms can have with their hosts, enlightening them with wisdom and nutrient, as well as protecting them from harm.

It is surrounded by personifications of the seasons, an everlasting cycle of states that make up a tree’s yearly cycle. In the spring, new shoots sprout, eer representing the fertility of spring, the dog of the summer hunt, the waterbird, or swan, hails in the coming of the rains, and the hawk, the death of winter.

~ Going Up! ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 700mm


‘Gate Gate Pāragate Pārasamgate Bodhi Svāhā’ (Gone gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, Enlightenment hail!’) – Heart Sūtra mantra

An ancient, nobbled staircase, leads up towards the one stood at the top, dressed in robes. Ancient symbols mark each stone step, carved out by the countless beings that have gone before, to be worn down by the countless that will come after. Palms are sweaty and heart is pounding, the decision has already been made, fate already accepted.

Ancient mantras resonate in the distance and grow with intensity. Like sitting aboard a train as it pulls away from the station and begins to pick up speed. Day fades to night, as waves of warm emotion begin to rise, flooding into every single part of your system. The outside world begins to blur as objects merge into one another, with their bright colours, as you continue climbing. Time distorts and with each blink a new story unfolds, like the kaleidoscopic flowers all around. Trees meld into one another, dancing before the luminescent sunset glow, clouds steam in in a great swirling mass. You reach the top and stand upon the cusp. The old man considers and then embraces you, as an old friend, one you have known your whole life. He wishes you on your way and with a click of both fingers you jump into the patterned abyss.

This piece is a recreation of a loose sketch I drew on one of my first psychedelic experiences. It is about coming up.

 

~ Levitating Sacred Dimensions ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 700mm

‘When the light turns green, you go. When the light turns red, you stop. But what do you do when the light turns blue with orange and lavender spots?’
Shel Silverstein

Firey light rays burst from three eyes, blasting through from this plane, into the next. Notions of reality are erased from existence as objects begins to bend and flow. Mosaic tiles flow forth in a web of patterns, coating the walls and ceiling. Flowing paisley material animates and take on mechanical forms. Shifting clouds swirl
silently across the sky as trees animate and dance without breeze.

Time and space are reconfigured, as infinite doorways open and pathways are revealed, explored at once, simultaneously, before and then after. Like dejavu, but from within, innate; a rollercoaster of colour and emotion. The warm, blazing sunlight ebbs into cool glistening moonlight. Is it hot or cold or neither or both?

This is a personal piece about one of my favourite states, the discovery of which had and continues to have a profound impact in my life. Like dejavu, but from within. How could things possibly remain the same?

~ East Notley ~

Digital
1000 x 1500mm

A contentious ridiculousness. It is Botley road though, where you can fish for whales and dive into poisonous bushes, so what did you expect? Can I help you occifer?

~ Jade's Looking Glass ~

Digital
1000 x 1500mm

A piece I made for Jade from the window of her old room, where it all started.

~ Path to Enlightenment ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 700mm

‘The path to enlightenment is really very simple – all we need to do is stop cherishing ourself and learn to cherish others. All other spiritual realisations will naturally follow from this.’ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

This piece explores the idea of enlightenment and the different paths taken to reach it. Enlightenment, or great awakening, is reached primarily through inward reflection; an effort to expose ignorance and emerge, free from desire or suffering. It is a prevalent idea in religion and mythos, and whilst stories of this concept vary, with varying significance, the general precept is the same.

The route to enlightenment, whilst revolving on looking inward, is moulded through experience. Although each archer’s arrow hits the same target, each will be fired from a slightly different perspective. The target may be the same, but no two arrows that hit will have done so in the same way. This idea is represented through the different staircases and unalomes, that whilst differing superficially, all lead to the same target: the eye in the sky (symbolising awakening), depicted above Mount Kailash, and grouped ascent to the upper eye (enlightenment).

The fish is a reference to the hunt for the mythological Salmon of Knowledge, an ordinary fish who resided in the Well of Wisdom. When this salmon ate the nine hazelnuts that fell into the well, it gained all the knowledge in the world. Should a person persevere on the long and arduous task of finding and eating the fish, it was said that this knowledge would be transferred to that individual. This fish is flanked by a dorje thunderbolt and a ringing bell. These represent the two major facets of a journey to enlightenment, skilful activity (the dorje) and wisdom (the bell).

 

~ Spirituality ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 700mm

 

‘The opposite of spiritual is not material but egotistical.’
– Michael Pollan

 

At the core of almost every spiritual belief is a set of moral principles, laws that seem to go beyond our own existence but yet are somehow pre-programmed into our being, passed down through our ancestors. Psychedelics, at one time central to religion, can give us a glimpse or more of this vast caravan of innate knowledge. We are transported back to a more humbled state, where things are much more simple and yet infinitely more complex. Right and wrong appear more vividly, and the nature of being is brought into question.

This piece explores the duality of reality, particularly with regard to
spirituality and psychedelics. Two figures stand mirroring one another, one a representation of mystical experience and the other of spiritual belief. They are superimposed on a repeating outline, illustrating this eternal connection through space and time (light). Each is linked
telepathically through the other’s third eye by a repeated infinity-weave with no ends.

At the centre of the piece lies the lotus flower, which is symbolically aligned with the enlightening state, having emerged from the muddy waters below. The red lotus (representing thinking from the heart, love, compassion) fades to a blue lotus (symbolising learning and wisdom). At the centre of the two, both positionally and chromatically, is the purple lotus, which bears both halves of mysticism and spirituality.

 

~ Licorice Infinite ~

Digital
1000 x 1500mm

The view over Lincoln from Liquorice Park. Made for an old friend.

~ Peace ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 700mm

‘People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.’ Thich Nhat Hanh

This is a piece about a reawakening. The sun god been reborn, brought fourth in a spectrum of colour, wherein all are even and there is no place for darkness.

This was one of the first pieces I made of what I later learned would be labelled visionary art. It represents a turning point in my life in which hopeless anxiety gave way to belief and light. The world, although full of nightmarish horror and greed, was also full of love and light. Powerlessness had no place when new meaning was found, a driving force that has not left since. New realms of possibility had opened as doors of infinity were flung open.

 

~ The Seven Chakras ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 700mm

‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.’
Albert Einstein

Nothing is something worth doing.

The cool morning light breaks the horizon and beams through the window as the first gong is sounded. Pitter-patter of small feet is all around as the macaques make their way into the grounds, winding up through the balconies to join us(/rob us). We rise and make our way to the courtyard, up the stairs to the temple, hulking statues of snow lions on either side. I reach the main doors and push through. Strong, smoky incense dominates the air and bright colours blaze into view all around; ancient stories transcribed all over every wall and great banners swing gently from the high roof. I sit opposite an enormous, looming golden sculpture, watching down kindly upon us and close my eyes.

The room immediately takes on a different form, a soft rustling all around and clanking as the massive instruments are brought in and moved into position somewhere up ahead. Bells chime lightly as they sift across the room. I calm my breathing and begin to count, preparing for what is to come. Several more minutes pass, a gentle shuffling and clinking, before sound dies down. All have arrived.

With a deep, whirring bellow, the horns begin to howl, blasting through the still air. They are soon joined by the wailing of trumpets, pulsating with echoes of the past. Hand drums begin to clatter from every angle and bells sing out loud; hair stands on end as crashing symbols are added to the ensemble. The sound rises, more, more and more, reaching higher levels of intensity. Sound breaks through me like the waves on a beach, smashing into every part of me. The sound increases further, deep emotion wells up uncontrollably and radiates outwards. The intensity reaches unbearable levels, louder and louder, around and around.

And then suddenly, it is over, there is nothingness, save an unfolding lotus, bathed in a spectrum of light.

 

This piece is about a the state of emptiness and paradoxical feeling of oneness, observed in meditation.  If only it were not so brief.

~ Awareness ~

Watercolour & Pen
500 x 700mm

Nothing is something worth doing.

 

This piece was inspired by the spring rains in Nepal. At the end of each deluge, the sun would burst back through the stormclouds in amazing spectacles of light. Sleepy rivers reawoke and came crashing back through wide gorges and the dull, dusty browns of the landscape burst back into life again.

 

~ The Guardian ~

Pen
297 x 420mm

~ Spangled ~

Pen & Marker
420 x 594mm

Hot or cold or neither or both?

 

~ The Seasons (Pentaptych) ~

Watercolour & Pen
2100 x 420mm

‘What is normal at any given time? We change just as the seasons change, and each spring brings new growth. So nothing is ever quite the same.’ – Sherwood Smith

~ The Faerie Cattle ~

Marker & Pen
297 x 420mm

~ Son of the Land ~

Marker & Pen
297 x 420mm

~ West Uncommon ~

Digital
1000 x 1500mm

A big meadow where the pointy hat men grow. Why not go and see how much they know?

West Common, Lincoln.

~ The Magic Carpet ~

Digital
1000 x 1500mm

~ Interconnectivity ~

Marker & Pen
420 x 594mm

~ Balance ~

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”
Dalai Lama XIV
 

Marker & Pen
594 x 841mm

 

~ Summer ~

Watercolour & Pen
420 x 594mm

~ Aether ~

Watercolour & Pen
420 x 594mm

~ Autumn ~

Watercolour & Pen
420 x 594mm

~ Spring ~

Watercolour & Pen
420 x 594mm

~ Winter ~

Watercolour & Pen
420 x 594mm

~ Peace Alt. A ~

Digital
420 x 594mm

~ Peace Alt. B ~

Digital
420 x 594mm

~ Peace Alt. C ~

Digital
420 x 594mm

~ Romanticism ~

Watercolour & Pen
420 x 594mm

‘Our objective as a realist is to maximize our worth, and our objective as a romanticist is to be foolishly youthful.’ – Bongha Lee

~ Pana ~

Pen & Pencil
420 x 594mm

‘Don’t let the windows of your home be so small that the light of the sun cannot enter your rooms.’ – Eskimo Proverb