REVIVE MY ART STUDIO
On my birthday, October 2, 2020, I received a cosmic gift. Our house had burned to the ground in the Glass Fire in St. Helena, California. All of my paintings from the past 14 years had gone up in smoke. Everything we owned was just gone. I am deeply grateful that my family is safe and I have come to terms with it. I can make do with less and be creative about rebuilding; stuff is stuff. When I think about how detail-oriented my work was and how long it took to finish a painting, I am stunned to know that it has all been reduced to ashes. I lost more than a hundred paintings and counting. The loss of paintings was so profound, that I accepted it on the spot.
POSSESSED BY PAINT
I doubt that an accurate number of destroyed paintings, which includes random pieces, experiments and student assignments is even possible. Only six unsold paintings currently consigned with galleries survive today. Such detail on so many paintings for years and they do not exist in physical form anymore. To know that I will never see them again is a very bizarre, inexplicable feeling. Like a hallucination, if I could call it that. Often between sleep and wakefulness I find myself hovering over a painting, close to the surface as I obsess over tiny details and lose myself in paint. I used to go into a meditative state painting for hours, fixating on small areas, making minute decisions and changes that perhaps only artists might notice, understand or appreciate.
AGNI THE FIRE GOD
I feel like I painted for Agni, the Indian Fire God for all these years and I let go. Agni, the Fire God of Hinduism in India is the personification of natural phenomena. He is beneficent and maleficent; the fire of the sun, hearth and sacrifice. I chose to interpret this life-changing event with the positive Vedic symbolic meaning of fire, that of spiritual cleansing and rebirth. In this time of darkness, I will be my own light.
Dark times do not have to remind you of your darkest memories. I refuse to let this memory cast a shadow on my life. I am only interested in moving forward, towards the future that I envision, where my art becomes tangible again. An unpredictable, chronic condition with my hands limits my ability to find alternative sources to sustain my art practice. Your support will provide me with the means to rebuild my professional art studio so I can begin painting again. If this means something to you, walk with me as I make a brand-new start.
My goal is to build a new body of work. It is not in my nature to ask for charity; I put myself in this position after much deliberation. The Glass Fire was an unimaginable, life-changing event. I must face this challenge with pragmatism and fluidity. Your support will be my karmic debt. I will pay it forward.
SPREAD THE WORD
In these tough times if you are unable to make a contribution but find my campaign worthy, please share it to show your support. I will deeply appreciate your kind gesture. It will increase the chances of bringing my studio back to life. Thank you for your time and consideration.
To gain a better insight into my work visit my website
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Credit: Craig Philpott: Glass Fire footage @CphilpottCraig
Music: Vibhas Titu Rahul @vibhastitu
- Raymond Bonilla
- Sawyer Rose
- Neha Karira
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