Saint Annabelle

Annabelle Final Small

In his book Tribe of Mentors Timothy Ferriss interviewed author and teacher Sharon Salzberg (sharonsalzberg.com). He asked her “If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say?”

Her answer was exactly in line with what I’m doing in the Everyday Saints series of portraits:

“You are a person worthy of love. You don’t have to do anything to prove that. You do not have to earn love. You simply have to exist.”

Isn’t that how we think about children? They don’t have to do or be anything special, they are just loved. 

So what’s going to happen to them when they grow into adults with political and religious views, or unconventional life styles or life choices? 

Here’s a thought: 

When we run into someone whose all of the aboves challenge us, what if we just remember that they were once children, and that inside that person, that child still lives. Still worthy of (and desiring, and needing) love and encouragement and affirmation for simply being.

We’ve got this great sea of humanity to play in. 

Let’s play nice.

If you support my work, please use  patreon.com/SpyderWebb, my paid platform where I can let you pay for it, where you can actually put bread on the table and help me make new work. That’s what will really help, putting your money where your mouth is.

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Saint Christie

Christie Final 2Lighter

All that detail took awhile, but I’m happy with it. I like the contrast between the busier parts of the painting and the simpler larger fields of color: her dress, face, and of course the halo. I simplified the details in the face more than I have in other paintings, and I think that’s a trend I’m going to keep exploring.

This stained glass/psychedelic fusion does interesting things to faces, in an abstract way. It’s something that has to be done with caution, though. The thing is, I never want to lose the humanity of my subjects in favor of the abstract elements.

The idea is to amplify the spirit so that others can bond with the subjects as sisters and brothers, not to objectify my subjects as an excuse for playing with pure color and design. The color and design are tools to enter into the deeper truth of the spirit we all share.

If we are all one, then not only are the faces depicted in the portraits us, we are also them.

What I’m hoping is that as we look at these paintings, especially as the numbers mount up, that we’ll see not only more of our common humanity, but also that in doing so we’ll enter into our own spirits more deeply, learning more about what’s in the depths of our own souls.

Saint Bill

Bill Final

Bill is another artist I met at a powwow, and who graciously agreed to be part of the Everyday Saints project.

Every life is sacred, every life is worthwhile, every life is an important thread in the great web of life.

Everyday Saints is able to continue thanks to your support at patreon.com/SpyderWebb

Spyder SpiritPainter Webb

Saint Heidi

Heidi FInal

I met Heidi briefly at a powwow. I don’t know what specific physical challenges she is dealing with, but from interacting with her briefly she seems to be an independent woman very much in charge of her life. She seemed to have a real inner strength, and I wanted to celebrate that.

Heidi chose to do her part in the Everyday Saints project by showing yet another aspect of the magnificent, varied humanity that we all share in common.

Thank you, Heidi!

If you would like to join in with the Everyday Saints project, please go here.

patreon.com/spyderwebb
spyderwebb.net

Woman in White Turban

Woman in White TurbanA fellow artist I met at a powwow. Unfortunately, I didn’t get her name, but she wanted to be part of the Everyday Saints project. So I’m just calling her Woman in White Turban.

If you’re wondering about the signature on the paintings, I’m signing all the paintings in this series SpiritPainter.

patreon.com/spyderwebb

What’s with “Everyday Saints”?

“And Why did you change the title of the blog?

I’ve had a lot of fun as an artist over the years, made a living, but now the art — and the fun — has a larger purpose.

I’m painting Everyday Saints: portraits of ordinary people — all kinds of ordinary people, to show that every life is sacred, precious and holy. It has nothing to do with religion, although if you see my work from a religious perspective that’s cool.

I’m using visual language that has traditionally been used to signify holiness to show that every life is precious and holy and an expression of the divine.

Which is not to say that everyone behaves in a holy or divine way (I know I don’t)! My paintings are about the intrinsic value of life, not the choices we make with our lives.

There’s been too much hate, too much neglect, too much shaming and killing and bullying and pointing fingers at “them.”

“Them” is us.

All lives matter isn’t a slogan or catch phrase for me, it’s what I believe to my core.

Fifty years of painting has brought me to this point, and this is now my life mission, my chance to make a difference in this world from this point forward.

If you want to learn a little more, or join with me in this project, please go here.

Everyday Saint: Deborah

This is a dear friend, and the mother of the young woman in my last post.Deborah Final

 

Ordinary, everyday saints

Wyatt Saint

Wyatt    Acrylic on Canvas, 18 x 24″

Gary Saint

Gary    Acrylic on Canvas, 18 x 24″

These are the first two paintings I’ve finished in what will be a series to show that every life is holy and sacred, no matter how ordinary. I want to do anonymous, ordinary everyday people. Not “flattering” portraits. Sacred portraits of souls. So I’m using my SpiritPainter name to sign them.

Let me know what you think, I’d really like to hear back.

Love Awaits

love-awaitsNot passively, but alive, like a determined weed, growing where we least expect it to thrive. Of course it’s only a weed as long as we reject it. Once we embrace it, we can see that it’s this amazing strong beautiful flower that spreads faster than dandelions on a suburban lawn.

Oh yeah, we reject it because we think we’re not worthy of it, or we think it hurt us before so it’s most likely going to hurt as again, or a thousand other reasons.

Dumb.

Dumb dumb dumb.

Understandable, but really… dumb.

The thing is, love doesn’t actually care about any of that. Because when we get over the dumb, it’ll still be there.

Waiting.

And even if we never get over the dumb, it’ll still be there. Growing in the deep waters of our soul.

Waiting.

You picking up on a pattern here?

This image is from my gallery, Paintings — check it out here when you get a chance: 

If you’re interested in purchasing the original for your collection, shoot me an email to see if it’s still available.