'For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.' ~Carlos Castaneda
As a child, I loved to daydream, watch the clouds, wander in the woods. Being out in Nature was what I enjoyed most ...swimming in pure mountain rivers, collecting colorful rocks, and riding horses.
My paintings are my magic portal back to what's still most important in my life. Looking at them on my wall makes me feel good. They take me home.
I've always just painted for myself. I didn't, in the beginning, consciously intend my art to communicate any particular message or metaphysical connection with the Earth, and Nature, but as my work has developed, and others started commenting and sharing their perceptions ...and in the formation of this newly emerging artist's statement, this pattern is becoming delightfully more clear to me.
All my work is done in soft pastels, the most permanent of all media when properly framed and cared for. The pure earth pigments rolled into sticks, and applied directly to paper, or pastel board, like drawing, or coloring with crayons, feel most natural to me. Soft pastels also have a luminous, almost three dimensional effect that I find most suitable for creating the inviting, and magical element I seek to capture in my paintings.
Coming from an artistic family, I received much inspiration and training since early childhood. I am the fourth generation in a family of oil painters, and studied for a number of years, together, with my grandmother, under the late Dorothy Horne Decker. Ms. Decker was a local portrait artist in Vienna, WV, where I grew up, known mainly for her miniatures of U.S. presidents displayed at the Butler Institute of Art.
A more 'practical' career, pursued after graduating high school, failed as a result of undiagnosed autism. After a short term in the USAF, and after working, unsuccessfully for multiple transportation industry employers, I finally became disabled in 2003, due to mental and physical health issues resulting from stress, and work incompatible with autism.
In 2004, I was given a large collection of soft pastels, and happily returned to painting.
In 2007, I hesitantly entered my first competition, and to my surprise, 'Cranberry River' won a prestigious award at the Parkersburg Art Center's annual competition in Parkersburg, W.V.
However, due to stress, uncertainty, and remaining health issues, my new art career moved along very slowly. In 2010, I moved off grid, and back to nature, in the Arizona high desert, where I slowly began to recover my health and mind from a lifetime of stress. Then, in 2011, several of my paintings were selected to be featured at the Lyzart Gallery in Glenview, IL. Over the next couple of years, I spent time walking, taking pictures, healing and painting. I also learned how to build my own website for my art. In 2014, I was diagnosed with autism. A huge relief to know, and understand after all these years ...I am now able to get on with my life.
One of the most important lessons I have learned over the years, is that life supports us, if we pay attention, recognize, and don't block our possibilities. I believe we are meant to follow our hearts and be who we really are. When we take even a step in the direction of our deepest desires, doors begin to open. My best advice to any aspiring artist is to trust, and keep focusing, and moving forward to your goal, not getting sidetracked or distracted by other people's fears and beliefs.
For me, autism isn't a disorder. I wouldn't want to be any other way, than how I am. I think we are the Indigo people, the Rainbow tribe, returning to lead people back to a freer, and more natural way of being, closer to Nature, and our hearts. If my art inspires that in you, then I am happy.
Note: You will notice some of my paintings are signed Rayne Tsering. This was a name given to me by a Buddhist monk in 2008. For a couple of years I used this as a pen name, and artist profile.