Rising (An Ode to Japan) . 40x30 inches . 2011

1. natural lighting
2. artificial lighting
3. artificial and UV lighting combined
4. UV lighting only
5. no light

Ingredients: acrylic, beach sand, candle wax, crushed glass, phosphorescent pigments, varnish, water & light on canvas.

Oh, Japan.

You've been on my mind for decades. I always knew that one day we would meet. I've admired your style, your history, your food, your people for so long now. I feel like I know you, yet I haven't actually seen you for myself. I just totally dig you. You're shiny and neat and I want to introduce myself, up close and personal.

Things were so much simpler last month.

It's heartbreaking what you're going through. It's devastating to watch. You're all over the news. People are saying some pretty intense things about you. It's difficult to weed through the hype to find the truth. Some people feel we shouldn't meet just yet. They want us to wait. We've waited my whole life, and they think we should wait longer.

Sometimes it just takes my breath away to imagine what you must be feeling right now. So few of us can really imagine. This is an unbelievably awful thing you're faced with.

I believe in you, Japan. You're ancient and wise and I trust your ability to come through. You're more capable to handle a situation such as this than anyone else.

Although I will be hundreds of miles from the affected areas, my heart is with all of you. It will be an honor to stand with your people and support those who are facing disaster right now. I hope and pray that my presence in your land shows you how much those of us in my country support you. I am not afraid.

One day this will all be a memory, and your Greatness will shine even brighter than before. You will rise up. You will conquer tragedy. You will stand as a beacon of human perseverance and strength.

I'll be seeing you next week. The cherry blossoms are coming. I bet they'll look more beautiful this year than any year before it. Though my personal sadness over the last month cannot compare to yours, I hope this time can be a renewal for us both. Let's hold hands and take one step forward together. We might just rise higher than we ever dreamed.

I love the gritty, sandy, crackly texture. This painting is deceptively colorful. In the sunlight, there's hints of blue and yellow and orange, almost shining straight through the darkness. It sparkles in the light, oh-so-subtly.

I'm proud of this painting.

Though I normally donate 10% of all money made through art to Acres of Love, I'm donating that percentage of Rising to The Red Cross, to help with the disaster in Japan, or wherever else in the world needs help and funding for disaster relief. There's certainly no shortage of countries who need the help. Sometimes it seems as though the planet is just cracking in two, doesn't it? I hope this artwork can serve as my hope and prayer for all those affected by such disasters. It would be impossible to overcome if we weren't all working together.

The final image, glowing in the darkness, is what I believe for the future of Japan. A peaceful sky, a full, rising sun. Light. Hope. Beauty. I have no doubts it will be so.

This is my final painting to be shown in my Studio C Artists Collection. The show is tomorrow night, March 26th, from 6-10pm. One night only! I truly hope you can make it. Many of these paintings have already sold, so there will not be a second opportunity to see (most of) them again.

Make a night of it. Get dinner in LA, and stop by for a bit to have a glass of wine and look at some art. There's beer too! I'd love to talk with you. It's kind of like a party. :) Here's where you should go:

Studio C Artists
6448 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

View Larger Map

There's parking on the street, and a couple of lots nearby.

I'm really excited. It's been an interesting month! I'm looking forward to celebrating all the work I've done, seeing friends, meeting new ones, and then resting briefly before we embark on the biggest trip of our lives. Quite a time to be alive. I'm feeling grateful for every moment.