On a fundamental level, the Gates represent a path of enlightenment that can be achieved through meditation. Each gate – from Earth to the Stars – are passed through while ascending to the top. The climb itself, fueled by a desire to achieve an elevated state of spiritual awareness, takes one closer to an understanding and relationship with God. These eight works represent my personal journey through the gates.
From an aesthetic perspective, my contemporary art is strongly influenced by 19th century impressionism with a nod to the graphic arts. It is very much a left-brain, right-brain balancing act, an essential element in reaching an effective meditative state. My work also contains layers of allegory of which I will explain at each painting. Currently, I have completed five gate paintings, with three more in progress. The entire series will include eight works that will be completed this year (2021).
The defining theme of the entire series extends well beyond the direct reference to each specific gate. However, the predominate theme involves the presence of the veil: the spiritual barrier that lies between our physical and spiritual self and separates us from God and the truths of Heaven. By degree, each work serves to represent the existence of the veil and its many restrictions on our spiritual selves. Though restrictive, there are people who are granted brief glimpses of spiritual truths through the veil, as if seeing into Heaven through openings, or holes. Such views, or glimpses, might occur with the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, or some other significant emotional event or physical trauma. For others, a glimpse through the veil might be in the form of a powerful dream or vision. In these works, I represent the veil as an ever-present gray shroud.
Another dominant aspect of my work is the use of layering. Each layer represents the challenges we face in life. More importantly, the layers also represent the positive and negative elements of each individual gate. As we strive to embrace the positive and shed the negative energy from our lives, we advance along a path to the summit in an attempt to draw closer to God. After passing through each gate: earth, water, fire, air, life, sound, and light; we reach the stars and attain a more spiritual closeness with our loving Creator.
Lastly, I use circles to represent not just holes in the veil, but God and the round. The “round” is the encapsulation of God as truth and light and marks the beginning and end of His work in all things. It also represents the eternal oneness of all life. As such, I’ve come to consider the veil more than a hindrance in my search for truth and light. I see it as a gift from God; one that protects our rights to agency and helps define the developmental parameters of my eternal life journey. Indeed, everything happens for a reason.
Welcome and enjoy.
The underlying picture is of the Mesa Arch in Utah. The veil is most dominate in this first representation of the Gates and reflects our struggle to be strong and overcome fear. While the underlying painting is, in and of itself, sufficient to represent Earth, the veil at this level is thickest and least likely to reveal truth save for only a few. The circles, namely the three largest, represent God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. This theme is continued throughout the series.
The underlying picture is that of the Havasu Falls in Arizona. In this, the veil once again dominates the scene and casts a nebulous gray-scale view of the falls. The magnificent circles of color represent the holes through the veil and serve as a reminder of God’s gift of natural beauty to be appreciated. The Water Gate serves to increase our passion for goodness and beauty by shedding our debilitating guilt. This gate represents the cleansing power of water.
Fire is often seen as a predominately destructive force, but it serves a far greater purpose in renewing life. In this Gate, Fire serves to remind us of our right to self-government, or agency: to be free to use our minds as individuals and find truth and understanding through God. It cleanses away the shame of mistakes and our impaired worldly judgment. Thus, like the Phoenix, through fire we can all rise up and be reborn.
Air (Project is working)
The underlying picture is of a couple walking away from a campfire, toward the distant surf on Ocean Shores, Washington. The overlying picture made from the circles is of the Tree of Life: root, trunk, branch, and leaf. The first four gates are represented in the underlying picture and can be seen through the veil overlay. For me, the life gate offers a promise of joy in the shared oneness with people and nature. It helps shed the darkness of anger and enable us to enjoy the true purpose of life. It’s not about possessions and wealth, but rather peace and serenity through life and love.
Sound (Project is working)
Light (Project is working)
The underlying picture is of Jerusalem at sunset. In this, the final gate, the veil is thinnest. As we have journeyed through the seven gates to reach the summit, the veil opens to reveal the majesty of God’s realm. Once we rid ourselves of negative energy and learn to embrace the positive attributes of the gates in sequence, we literally draw closer to our God. In this final gate, when we shed our Earthly attachments, we’re more open to God’s Heavenly energy and feel His love for us.
For questions about ordering prints of these paintings, please contact Ken at (firstname.lastname@example.org)