It’s my dream that one day the four unicorn paintings seen in the video will belong to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and exhibited in the Fuentiduena Chapel at The Cloisters as a contemporary tribute to the “The Unicorn Tapestries” that inspired their creation.
There’s a story to tell about how I ended up painting wall-size images of unicorns after the intense inner search that became the “Black Collage Paintings”. There’s definitely NOT a logical, chronological or clear-cut path from one series to the other. I was living and learning life lessons (clearing away karma from this and previous lifetimes and in turn reclaiming parts of my soul) that prepared me for the next part of my journey. Remember, I paint from my heART, and where it leads I must follow. So get comfy because the story’s a long one…
The day I walked into the rooms at The Cloisters in Manhattan in 1988 and saw the fifteenth century “The Unicorn Tapestries” was the day my world changed. That was the day the unicorns got in touch with me. I felt so much LOVE my heART nearly popped out of my chest (The Cloisters by the way is a museum, part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art but on its own site, made out of the stones of several medieval monasteries that were shipped over from Europe and reconstructed on the northern tip of Manhattan in the 1930′s. It features works of art and gardens from medieval Europe.) Getting back to the unicorns however, I must say that they’re totally real, though at the time I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I sense more than ‘see’ them, but was too afraid at the time of getting laughed at as an adult if I talked about them, so I’d stopped talking and then stopped paying attention.
At least that was the way it was until I stepped into a room and saw the unicorns woven into the stunningly beautiful, wall-size tapestries. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather! I was twenty-seven years old and standing there with tears streaming down my face. Other people passing by looked at me strangely, but I couldn’t stop. I later read somewhere that the unicorn is the highest energetic being of the Elemental kingdom (higher dimensitional etheric beings of the four elements – fire, air, earth & water), being the most pure and innocent. No wonder children love them - they’ve got the same vibrational frequency! I guess my love of art history and a mysterious ‘connection’ to the Cloisters opened me to a much higher energetic space, because the unicorns got my attention that day by showering me in the purest, lightest, most innocent LOVE I’d ever felt up to that point!
I’d been mysteriously ‘called’ to the Cloisters you see, having been attracted to its brochure amongst dozens of others on New York’s things to see and do, in a rack in the foyer of the YMCA where I was staying with a dozen other fine art students from the university I was attending. We’d raised money for two years to come on a week-long trip to see first hand much of the art we’d been studying in books for the last four. Curiously, I’d ended up going to the Cloisters alone and on a ‘whim’ as the others were already doing something. I’d only glanced at the brochure to look for the address so I could get there, but really had no idea what I was going to see. I ended up staying for hours, caught up in what I now know was my first CONSCIOUS experience of multiple dimensions and simultaneous time periods. Before I left that day, I bought a book about the tapestries, knowing that someday I was going to create some art work that had something to do with them – I just didn’t know what.
Well time and life went by. For six years I lived in a small hamlet called Cluny east of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. By this time I’d started the “Black Collage Paintings”. On a number of occasions I felt compelled to get out the book I’d bought at The Cloisters in New York and marvel over the beauty of The “Hunt for the Unicorn” tapestries. I couldn’t think of what I might create so I kept putting it away. Finally I read the book from cover to cover and was stunned to find out there was another famous fifteenth century set of wall-size unicorn tapestries still in existence at the Cluny Museum in Paris. Again, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Cluny isn’t a common name and here I was living in the only place in Alberta, maybe even in Canada with that name! I vowed somehow I’d get over to Paris to see those tapestries.
More time and life went by. It was now 2002 and I was sitting in the middle of a hushed, climate-controlled, circular room staring at the five “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries. It had taken eight years, but I’d finally made it to the Cluny Museum. As I sat there literally surrounded by these medieval masterpieces, I felt cocooned in a rich, red, silent, soft world of beauty – as if I was inside my own heART. No one who’d gone in that room with me said a word. By intuitive agreement we knew we’d entered a sacred space. It came to me then that I was meant to create something to continue the conversation. I was another conduit for THE MESSAGE. The actual idea for what I was going to do hadn’t shown up yet, but I knew at some point I was going to create a tribute to the two sets of unicorn tapestries that would speak to the heARTs of many people (over the years I’ve learned that beings from all over EVERYWHERE, from other stars, dimensions and energetic places, both ‘within’ the planet and elsewhere have worked tirelessly on our behalf to ensure we ascend along with Mother Earth to our next level of evolution, as the twenty-first century (also called the ‘Age of Aquarius’) gets rolling. The unicorns are among those who’ve been helping us, and I was one of the ones who heeded their call for assistance.)
By now you might be saying, “Hold on, what the heck are you talking about? What MESSAGE?” Weeeell it’s really simple. The first part of THE MESSAGE is: “LOVE lives in the HEART. OPEN YOUR HEART to LIVE.” The next part of THE MESSAGE is: “LISTEN to YOUR HEART and go where it takes you. Where IT leads, you follow.” In other words, use your mind and body to carry out the heART’s instruction. The heART designs, the mind and body build. We need ALL THREE to experience the physical dimension. (This, according to the ‘Higher Ups’, is the original meaning of the ‘Holy Trinity’. )
So to transcend duality, use heART, head and body in that order and VOILA - you LIVE in UNITY/ONENESS. Easy peasy no? ( yes, well is hasn’t been that easy for me ) The heART is where purity and innocence live. They’re qualities of LOVE/UNITY. Access to unicorns, other Elemental beings, angels and ALL aspects of EVERYTHING happens from the heART. I’ve learnt over the years that just knowing this as a good idea (mind only) is not enough. I must LIVE it (heART, mind and body together), which doesn’t mean I’m an expert or do it all the time , but I AM more and more conscious of the moments when I do.
However getting back to the story… even with that amazing experience seeing the”Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries, I really only had half of what I needed because I still didn’t know how to take the inspiration in my heART and turn it into art work that paid tribute to those masterpieces. I went home, told myself I was crazy for ‘tuning in’ one more time and made an intellectual decision to ‘get real’ (whatever that means). I was going to start on a series of horse paintings. Yes, that was the logical thing to do. Two years before I went to New York as a fourth year fine arts student, I’d discovered a photographer named Robert Vavra, who’d made horse photography an art form. His coffee table books, Such is the Real Nature of Horses and Equus became world-wide best sellers. He hand-painted and manipulated his photographs to create breathtakingly beautiful images long before computer graphics came along.
I was inspired by what he’d done and wanted to use some of his images as references. I went to the local library and typed in his name to see if it had any of his books. The first two that came up were not on horses but… you guessed it, unicorns!!! One more time you could have knocked me over with a feather! I was trying really hard to be smart and paint things that would be easily accepted and marketable and POOF, two unicorn photography books popped up in my library search! Two books, two sets of tapestries. So much for intellect. It was ‘game over’. In a flash I knew what and how I was going to paint my tribute. I would make large hangings of painted unicorns. It was time.
The first thing I did was contact Mr. Vavra via fax (it was that or letter since he didn’t use email) in Spain where he lives half the year. I needed to get the copyright use of his images. I wrote a letter explaining who I was and what I wanted to do. Ten days later he faxed back saying he was touched by my letter, and that normally his photographs sold for $20,000 each. He would however, make an exception for me if I was willing to pay $1000.00 for a one time use of all the images in his two books. It was such a generous offer I immediately got back to him, thanked him for his kindness and told him I’d send the money ASAP. We later spoke by phone and I promised him if I ever ended up doing any reproductions, I would give him 10% of each sale. Then I got down to the business of painting.
More time and life’s gone by. I’ve got nine done now and wouldn’t you know it their style’s changed along the way Four, three and three are similar. Five of them have finished edges with luscious upholstery fabric and hand crafted rods and finials. I intend to have all the large ones finished in that fashion, but of course it takes time and money. In the mean time my heART’s called me to create “The Cup Cake Paintings” and “Paper n’ Such Collages”, both of which use unicorn and angel images. Apparently the unicorns aren’t finished with me (maybe they never will be…). Whatever art work comes next will come from EVERYTHING so all I need do is have a little faith and listen to my heART
To see unicorn paintings by other artists please click here: unicorn paintings