I have had many teachers of art within the last 40+ years as I've evolved with my visions. My paintings have become more of a consequence of meditation rather than the result of sensual stimulation as we find an abundance of in the art world today. So I can say that these paintings are the outcome of my visions, which are important to me, not simply fanciful imaginations.
I base my work on the descriptions found in Vedic and Vaishnava scripture. I study, the visions come, I meditate, I draw, then paint. It is nothing mystical to me, but the mystery may lie more in this and my previous life's history, as is with each one of us. The mystical realm that some are fearless to tread involves asking such questions as: why have we come to this point in our mundane or spiritual evolution that we find ourselves doing the things that we do? I have always tried to find out the answers to complex questions by employing the creative process. By becoming a small creator myself, maybe I could break the code of some of the wonderful mysteries of the big Creator. I found out later that the work was already done for me, I only had to listen and study under teachers who carried the answers with them, handed down from the beginning of time.
I studied fine art for a short time at Reed college in Oregon a few years before Steve Jobs (Apple founder) came on the scene. Like him I also came and went from there for many of the same reasons. You outgrow the system when you have a higher calling. I just needed knowledge of technique to expedite the surge of creativity that was flowing through this young aspiring artist's 'nadis' (yogic channels for the flow of consciousness). Like him I also went on pilgrimage to India. Unlike him I had no interest in computers (until much later) and didn't get fabulously wealthy.
My first art guru was a Navaho lady in California when I was 10. She drew the most beautiful horses with perfect anatomy. She emphasized the importance of the 'line' in art and stressed that "the line is sacred, and when all lines finally come together, your art becomes perfection and is pleasing to the Creator". I gradually searched beyond worldly forms to find expression of what wasn't conventionally expressed. All my old art heroes shared technique, inspiration, the drive to excel, the tools of the trade, but not the sense of purpose or a mission. That's what I was seeking the most.
Today all the tools and techniques for painting are available for those fortunate enough to have access to it, and we can easily learn from all the masters old and new. You will know if you are meant to paint, it's not a question you have to deliberate on for long. It's spontaneous. Art is never stagnant but it continues to inspire, expand and stimulate realizations. Everyone has intrinsic visualization capabilities, but learning to tap into it and utilize the purport from it is an art. As my best teacher A.C. Bhaktivedanta has taught me, "Art means arranging things for the best utility. Beauty may satisfy but may not have any higher utility. A picture, a poem, anything is art when it serves the very best utility."
Some may think this statement limits the definition of 'Art', but if you meditate deeply on these words, you will have personal insight into what I call 'Internity' - the eternal internal - the "best utility" of our human experience is how we use it for best results, which are the results that YOU (the true self) really desire, not what society pressures you into. You can learn to bring it out of you from deep within, where you find the true essence of who you are, and externally expressed, it becomes a joy to share with the world.
These externalizations on canvas are from visions which have an extraterrestrial origin. According to the Vedas the beginning of painting descended from the higher planetary systems an unimaginably long time ago. This genre of Transcendent art aims to express pictures with a message, a story or 'leela' as it is called in Sanskrit. The descriptions that influence my art are found in the ancient wisdom of the Brahma Samhita, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, the Puranas, and more recently the Chaitanya Charitamrita, Govinda Lilamrita, and the many books by the Six Goswamis of Vrindavana, Visvanatha Chakravarti, Bhaktivinoda Thakur, and A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.
Gross matter can only assist in the creative process, but it is always Spirit that moves the mundane elements. Through this gift of creativity each one of us can touch that higher consciousness where 'sat' (eternity), 'chit' (unlimited knowledge), 'ananda' (unlimited bliss) and God are manifest.