The artist’s themes

In addition to working as an artist, I am a Psychotherapist and a Yoga Teacher. Themes from these two areas of my life inform and inspire my work. Obvious influences can be seen in my mandala paintings, and in the paintings that tell a story about spiritual or emotional journeys and struggles, for example in the ‘Conference of Birds” triptych.


Life is a Leela, a divine dance. It goes around, as all nature goes around, in a spiral of joy. (1)

Paintings inspired by ideas about how the universe was formed and re-formed. Contemporary scientific theories ask us to consider unimaginably large or tiny and dense amounts of matter and energy, explosions of a cataclysmic nature, infinite numbers of universes, and 11 rather than 3 dimensions!
In Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics (2) it is suggested that that the mystical traditions of the East constitute a coherent philosophical framework within which the most advanced Western theories of the physical world can be accommodated.

Andre Linde discusses the idea of isolated regions peppered throughout the cosmos, where matter undergoes a massive inflation in size, then evolves into new, separate universes. In each of these universes, the process continues, with new universes sprouting from far-fling regions in the old, generating a never ending web of ballooning cosmic expanses. (3)
This description from Hindu mythology describes a similar process: Brahma sleeps and he awakens. Every time he sleeps the world falls back into its original formlessness. Each time he awakens, he again creates it. This process is continued until he completes his hundredth year. At that time he and all of existence cease to exist. Each day in Brahma’s life lasts 4,320,000 human years. Each night is as long as a day, but deeply silent…(4)

The purpose of these traditionally was to help focus and bring clarity to the mind in meditation. the circular dance of chaotic everyday experience recedes as we quieten the mind into one-pointed attention.

INNER AND OUTER LANDSCAPES – The Conference of Birds
Loosely based on a Sufi poem of the same name by Farid Ud-Din Attar, which describes the Sufi (or mystical Islamic) path to enlightenment (5)
The poem uses the birds’ journey to represent the stages of spiritual experience. At the end of the tale, after many trials and setbacks, the birds discover what they are seeking can be found within themselves.
The Green Man or Jack in the Green.
He personifies the annual death and rebirth of the earth.
The end of one thing is always the beginning of another (6)


Paintings inspired by creation myths, and scientific theories of what is most likely to have happened as the universe came into being, of how light might have formed, and how our planet evolved from formlessness (7)


1) Hindu Gods, Priya Hemenway. Pub by Evergreen, 2006. ISDN-13: 978-3-8228-1704-9.
The Bhagavad Gita, Trans E. Easwaran, Pub by Nilgiri Press, 1985. ISDN 0 915132-35-4.
2) The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra. Pub by Flamingo, 1976. ISDN-978-0-00-654489-0.
3) The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene. Pub by Vintage, 1999. ISDN 0 09 928992 X.
4) Hindu Gods, as above.
5) The Conference of the Birds, Farid Ud-Din Attar. Pub by Frances Lincoln Ltd, 2002. ISDN 0 7112 1758 0.
6) The Green Man, Ronald Millar. Pub by S.B. Publications, 1997. ISBN 1 85770 131 3.
7) Universe, the Definitive Visual Guide, Ed Peter Frances, Pub Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 2007. ISDN 978 1 4053 1640
8) The Bhagavad Gita, as above.
The Bible, King James Edition, Oxford University press.

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