December 2010 / January 2011
Our theme "It's A Wonderful Life" came from the well-known Christmas movie starring Jimmy Stewart. The written submissions of our last issue "What Moves You?" spoke to us about bringing out from within, what really moves us to create "A Wonderful Life!"
So now, you may be asking yourself, why John Lennon. A friend of mine, Deborah Knighton Tallarico and her husband Leo, publishers of Spiritual Renaissance and founders of the Spiritual Renaissance Center in South Portland, Maine, sent out a celebration email that had been forwarded to them on what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday, October 9th. I loved the picture that accompanied the email so much that I kept it on my computer to remember the sense of life that it's coloring reminded me of.
As this issue was starting it's creation process, I had numerous artwork pieces to consider. As soon as Ron saw this picture on my computer screen not even in the selection group, he said "that one." "That one?" "Yes, that one."
Right under my nose, every day as I worked at my computer this small picture of John Lennon was there in my awareness, and not even making the connection.
John Lennon and George Bailey, the banker in It's A Wonderful Life, were both in search of "A Wonderful Life," both shared slightly tormented and tumultuous lives in their own ways. Both seemed to suffer under the limitations they saw within society, struggling between heart and mind but remaining true to their heart. Both found their way to their wonderful life. Both Imagined that it was possible.
So on to search for the artist that captivated my attention with his work. Some days I can't deny that someone or some ones are watching over my shoulder just waiting for their next assignment. With just one clue where to start I emailed Deborah. She had no idea, she just received a forwarded email. So I took a chance to listen to the voice that said just put in the title of the picture as photoshop listed it with its numbers and letters and see where you go—right to the artist, go figure. His artwork was featured on the Wikpedia site.
This search lead me to Stuart Hampton, a self-taught artist from the county of Dorset, England, who has his own unique and distinctive style of painting.
After he attended university he spent time in India, visiting temples and staying on ashrams in the South. And, it was upon his return to England that he began to explore his own creativity within art and poetry. I am excited, as always, to connect to fellow journeyers in other countries, and especially the artists who are willing to share their stories with me as they do through their art.
I asked Stuart if he would be willing to share with our readers, something about himself and his art. My coming into relationship with Stuart was through his art and poetry, not through a BIO online, though unbeknownst to me there could have been a lengthy one. Stuart is one who is true to his simplicity and message of Peace and Love. This is from Stuart.
"I was born in Manchester, England into a family of artists and musicians. I have always been quiet. A spaced out dreamy person who values all the things in life that are free. I love nature, people, feelings, and dreams. I try my best to keep the child in me happy.
I studied psychology with an intention to form a career, but I think really it was a subconscious move to try and further understand myself. I have spent most of my life questioning the nature of my existence and reality. Studying helped me to realize that my true calling in life is creativity.
At present I'm living in a community and am discovering more about myself. Music plays a big part in my life and inspires most of my artwork. I play guitar and sing. I feel through developing my interest in music and art I can appreciate the ancient languages of light, sound and colour that speak to us through our senses endlessly.
In my paintings I try to convey simple messages of peace, love, harmony and nature.
John Lennon, for me, is a great inspiration. I love how, throughout his life, he remained honest, loving, free spirited and true to what he felt deep in his heart and mind. I feel John Lennon was a great spiritual teacher because he has shown the world that an ordinary man from Liverpool can change world consciousness, all we have to do is Imagine.
I am Beauty, I'm all around
In the air, in the ground
the crashing waves of the sea
In dreams that spring endlessly
The sun, the moon, the whole of space
In every time and every place
I sit and wait to be revealed
For peaceful minds who see the real.
Peace and Love... Stuart."
As I visited Stuart's website I found through links that his work is in Art Galleries, and has been commissioned by Pete Townshend of "The Who" and Jimmy Page of "Led Zeppelin." His also was commissioned for the CD cover for "The Velvet Underground," one of his favorite bands.
The first picture of Stuart with a peace symbol is also the cover to his exploration of art, poetry and philosophical musing, in a 22 page book that can be previewed through the link www.lulu.com/content/7580540. It is an awesome collection of his poetry and his artwork, it is worth checking out.
Thank you Stuart for allowing this sharing and for all of the wonderful exploration that lies ahead. We all will continue to Imagine.