Category Archives: Featured
If you’re coming from that place of “stuckness”, it must be acknowledged and recognized before you can move to someplace closer to where you want to be.
This painting was inspired by a dream I had the night before the memorial service for a dear friend and mentor who died, suddenly, back in 2011. He was a true healer and I became much healthier from the work that he and a couple of the other doctors he had trained did on me. He had incredible power in his hands and I was able to learn some of his magic.
In the dream, he knew he was about to die and he was perfectly fine with it. Before he left, though, he wanted me to lay my hands on him as he had on me. He wanted me to use what I had learned from him on him.
As the mentor is lost, the space opens for the student to occupy more space in their own life, to incorporate what the teacher has taught, make it their own and share it with smaller and larger circles.
This painting is on view as part of the “Electric Abstractions” exhibit at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) featuring the work of Jayne Behman, Robert Chapman and Daniel Leighton. The exhibit is curated by Ruta Saliklis and is on view April 20, 2018 through June 10, 2018. More info at http://www.danielleighton.com and http://www.sloma.org.
For purchase inquiries, please contact the museum.
New Huffington Post Blog: An Artist With Crohn’s Disease Looks Back at Living Without A Colon For 35 Years
35 years and 1 week ago today I had my entire colon (large intestine) removed (known as a “colectomy”). I was 11 years old. 6 years earlier I had been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.It was the first of what would be 6 surgeries. I had one each at age 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, and 21.
When I had that first operation, part of what we were expecting was that I would be cured. That was the language and thinking used by the medical community and the CCFA (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America), one of the primary funders of research for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD, which includes both Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease). The idea is that you if you take out the colon, you can’t have Ulcerative Colitis. This didn’t work out for me, though, because when I was 20, I was re-diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Even if it did work out I think the word “cure” used in the context of removing your entire colon which alters your life permanently in big and small ways is misleading to patients and their families. To their credit, some, including the CCFA, have stopped calling colectomies cures.
Anyway, when they told me I had Crohn’s, it meant that I was not cured and I thought I was going to have to go through all the horrible things I went through in the first 20 years of my life again and I just really didn’t think I could. So far, it’s turned out that I had one more surgery at age 21 and haven’t had to have one since. I do have number 7 coming up but not for Crohn’s, for a torn rotator cuff. One fear I have about it is that I will get sick again as I did before my last surgery. I was so terrified of having another surgery that I think I stressed myself into sickness because I took a major downturn that began when we finalized the date and ended with the removal of more of my small intestine (some had previously been removed in other surgeries).
One of my favorite clips from “The Power of Myth”…three transformations of the spirit, follow your bliss
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” – Joseph Campbell
Experiencing pain and loss is part of every human’s experience, but too often we skip over the feelings that come with it. Experiencing those feelings is a way to understand what we have gone through and to learn and grow from it. It is a pathway into the deepest part of ourselves. If we skip over those feelings, we relinquish a critical opportunity to create positive change in our lives.
The painting above is called In the Cave. I’ve had recurring visions of cave scenes for much of my life. I view a cave as a “container” which causes fear and provides protection. On the one hand, there is the fear of collapse, as well as one of the hidden terrors lurking in the dark. But there is also a sense of safety from various threats and invasions, both physical and emotional, that comes from the insulation that a cave can offer from the outside world. Since you are often…Read more on The Huffington Post
Moving through the world, he has taken on many roles. Some of these he’s chosen, some were forced upon him. Now he has come to a place in his life where he can decide for himself which of these he wants to keep and which he wants to discard. At any moment he can choose to step into any of his possible selves and immediately embody all of its attendant traits and characteristics.
Three days before my first solo show, I stood alone in a Dallas art gallery staring at one of my paintings. Tied Up At The Hospital is about my first visit to the hospital when I was five years old (which I referenced in my last post). Nurses were trying to place a tube into my stomach through my nose; I attempted, with my little arms and legs, to fight them off, until they finally held me down and tied me up. This painting is about the moment after that; the moment when I realized that I was powerless in this fight. I became detached from the whole experience, causing me to cut-off my emotions because they were too painful to feel. It was the right reaction at the time, especially since there were to be many more incidents, of a similar nature and magnitude, yet to come. Read more on the Huffington Post