Within this earthen vessel
by Kabir, translation, Tagore

Within this earthen vessel are bowers and groves, and within it is the Creator:
Within this vessel are the seven oceans and the unnumbered stars.
The touchstone and the jewel-appraiser are within;
And within this vessel the Eternal soundeth, and the spring wells up.
Kabir says: “Listen to me, my Friend! My beloved Lord is within.”

The Earthen Vessel Series
7 pieces, scroll down to see them all & click the images to enlarge

St. Francis: The Healing Nature of Wounds
Acrylic Paint on Wood and Clay, 58" x 18" x 18" SOLD

Our experiences of pain are mirrored for us by St. Francis’ stigmata (the sacred wounds of Christ). I planted aloe vera in St. Francis’ stigmata, to illustrate the healing power wounds can bring to our lives. 
This sculpture was broken into many pieces during a move. The instant he broken I understood this was an integral part of this piece. St. Francis was a nobleman who went to war and was imprisoned and became very ill. He was broken and when he returned to Assisi he could no longer resume his life. But it was his very brokenness that allowed him to reform as the amazing example of love he became. Our brokenness and wounds leave their marks but frees us to become greater than we were.
For more on the meaning of this piece check my blog entry: St. Francis Broken.

The Pregnant Virgin: Creative Vessel 
Painted wood and clay, 55" x 16" x 16"

The pregnant Virgin Mary, the ultimate symbol of a creative vessel, sits on a pedestal depicting the Annunciation (the Angel Gabriel telling Mary she is pregnant). The piece explores how the fecund stream of Creativity enters the world. Mary here is the Womb, the physical location of creation. She is the artist’s exemplar. The endless wellspring of creativity is constantly seeking to pour through the artist so that it may be joined with matter in the act of making art. This is the artist’s sacred duty, channeling Above into below. 

For more on the symbolism of the Virgin Mary as creative vessel see my blog here and here.

Hildegard of Bingen: Finding Voice
Acrylic Paint on Wood and Clay, 60" x 18"

Hildegard is a 12th century German Abbess who had had an amazingly creative life. At a time when few women wrote, Hildegard, produced major works of theology and visionary writings and was consulted by and advised bishops, popes, and kings. She wrote treatises about natural history and medicine. She is also the first composer whose biography is known.

Early in Hildegard’s life she started having visions. She received a divine message that she was to write down her visions. When she refused, she became ill, when she wrote she was healed. She is an example of the miraculous healing powers of surrendering to your own creativity. For more on Hildegarde check my blog here.

Beethoven: Listening to the Universal Heartbeat 
Acrylic Paint on Wood & Clay, 24" x 60" x 18"

I was deeply moved when reading Beethoven’s letters. He wrote that his hearing loss “… brought me to the verge of desperation, and wellnigh caused me to put an end to my life. Art! Art alone, deterred me. Ah! How could I possibly quit the world before bringing forth all that I felt it was my vocation to produce?” This piece is about listening and perseverance. Beethoven listened to silence through unstoppable ear ringing, heard the Divine heartbeat and translated it for the human ear. His example help keep me going when facing adversity. Watch me discuss this sculpture Below.

St. Teresa: The Interior Castle

The Teacher: Opening to Love

Meister Eckhart: On Birthing