Saint Bernie

Saint Bernie 8x10

It’s said that the eyes are windows to the soul.

But sometimes it’s wise to block what’s coming in while keeping a sharp awareness of what’s out there. Sometimes it’s wise to protect what we let into our eyes and our soul.

And sometimes it’s good to keep our private sanctuary private, and not let every passer by look in our windows.

But every filter, every wall, every defense works two ways. It keeps out, but it also alters what and how we see.

Just as sunglasses protect the eyes, but alter colors and the full spectrum of our vision.

Or maybe Bernie just has cool shades.

If you support my work, please use patreon.com/SpyderWebb, my paid platform where you can actually put bread on the table, paint and canvas in my studio, and help me make new work.

P.S. I love to transform people into saints using their photos — wouldn’t it be fun to commission a portrait of yourself or a loved one in this style… or maybe even a pet… Hmmm — animal saints, why not?

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Saint Keith

Saint Keith 8x10I met Keith on the boardwalk at a beach last year. 

I suppose given recent events some folks might object to a police saint, especially a white male.

But people are people, some closer to one end of the spectrum of exhibiting traits that we admire than others. Some are selfless, thoughtful, dedicated and true heroes. Some aren’t.

Like everybody else. Human, y’know?

If you support my work, please use patreon.com/SpyderWebb, my paid platform where you can actually put bread on the table, paint and canvas in my studio, and help me make new work.

P.S. I love to transform people into saints using their photos — wouldn’t it be fun to commission a portrait of yourself or a loved one in this style… or maybe even a pet… Hmmm — animal saints, why not?

Gwenn Seemel, Artist

Image result for gwenn seemel self portrait

I haven’t met Gwenn, we haven’t spoken on the phone or exchanged emails, and as far as I know, she is not even aware of my existence. And yet she has been a source of inspiration, encouragement to be my own quirky self, and the cause of some wonderful deep thinking.

As an artist, she has a completely unique style, one that reminds me of my dot paintings from many years ago, without being anything like them.

Well, let me explain. The inspiration behind my multi layered dot paintings was that we and all that surrounds us, and in fact everything in the universe, is all made up of these tiny vibrating, dancing packets of energy.

Gwenn’s style is made up of many layers, little marks, broad strokes, all woven into a lively colorful piece that fairly dances with energy, and more than that, with joy. Every part of the surface is filled with this glorious frenzy of life and mutually entwined with every other part of the artwork.

It’s magnificent.

But more than that, she is brutally honest about her life, her struggles, and absolutely ready to share what she thinks about everything from copyright (she’s against it) to sex (she’s for it).

So I want to encourage you to go to her website, gwennseemel.com and spend some time with her art and her vlogs (in English and French — I don’t know how she finds the time to do them and paint as much as she does!).

Lastly, I want to encourage you to jump over to her Patreon page (patreon.com/gwenn) and become a patron/supporter. Someone like Gwenn doesn’t come along very often, and supporting her in a tangible way would just be a good thing for the world.

That’s how we can become patrons of the arts like modern day Medicis and make a difference in today’s world.

And if you support my work, please use patreon.com/SpyderWebb, my own paid platform where you can actually put bread on the table, paint and canvas in my studio, and help me make new work.

P.S. I love to transform people into saints using their photos — wouldn’t it be fun to commission a portrait of yourself or a loved one in this style… or maybe even a pet… Hmmm — animal saints, why not?

Saint Chrissie

Saint Chrissie

“Do you look in the mirror and cringe?  What a disservice you do to God.  You are created in the image of the Creator.  By this we do not mean the physical likeness—we mean the very essence of The One, which is love, caring, compassion, intelligence, self-awareness.  The human form takes many shapes, sizes, and expressions, as do flowers, as do puppies, giraffes, and all of God’s creatures.  It is the human way to judge.  It is God’s way to love.  Is it any wonder you have discord and disease when so many judge instead of valuing and recognizing your innate divinity?  The mirror is a tool—an opportunity for you to see that which lies on the surface is equally as valued as what lies in the depths.”

— From Sanaya (www.SanayaSays.com)

We’re so often told to ignore what lies on the surface, but Sanaya turns it completely around. It is precisely our variety, the richness of our diverse physical forms that should be appreciated, and celebrated as an expression of the divine.

That’s what Everyday Saints is all about. Celebrating life.

If you support my work, please use patreon.com/SpyderWebb, my paid platform where you can actually put bread on the table, paint and canvas in my studio, and help me make new work. That’s what will really help.

P.S.

I love to transform people into saints using their photos — wouldn’t it be fun to commission a portrait of yourself or a loved one in this style!

Saint Ray

Saint Ray

I think most combat veterans will understand the look in his eyes. Ray is a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War, and he’s deeply involved in helping veterans in any way he can.
     The light and dark sides of Ray’s face remind us of the extreme nature of war. Experiences range from unimaginable horror and sorrow to unbelievable bravery and a deep bond among those who serve together, a bond that only they can fully understand.
     Let’s remember to separate the politics of war from those who are called to fight it, whatever their country, whatever time in history, those men and women who are tasked with doing what no human being should have to do, with seeing what no human being should have to see.
     Let’s remember these are fallible human beings, as we all are, who had to make split second decisions of life and death and then have had to live with the memories forever.
     If you support my work, please use  patreon.com/SpyderWebb, my paid platform where you can actually put bread on the table, paint and canvas in my studio, and help me make new work. That’s what will really help.
Portraits that celebrate the human spirit.
P.S. Would you like me to paint your custom portrait or a portrait of a loved one in this style? Get in touch — I’d love to work with you.

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.

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