Open, Somewhat Abstract, Somewhat Surreal
Queens University of Charlotte, NC
38th Annual Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Award of Excellence, 2011
Bon Air Art Affair Judges Choice Award, 2006 & 2007
Chosen as a finalist in the Salem (Orb-e) Emerging Artist Search in NYC, 2000
Member of Amsterdam Whitney Gallery (NYC), 2003-05
Member of Washington Project for the Arts at the Corcoran (WPAC), 2000-08
Member of The Loudoun Arts Council, 2006-2009
Paint Magazine, élan Magazine, Washington City Paper, Washington Project for the Arts at Corcoran Artist Directory, Book Art Press (BAP) - New Art International, ArtWanted.Com- Creative Minds, The Wasret Collection, American Art Collector, Decor Magazine, Art Business News, Loudoun Times-Mirror, The Mcgraw-Hill Publishing Company, RCTV 28
élan Magazine/Artist in First Person
modern RESTON Magazine
Through art, I wage war within myself, for the rewards of peace. I adore each painting like a mother's first glimpse at its newborn. In short, I paint to allow for creation.Today, I am a vessel, for which art is created through me. Although, my pursuit of this passion, was not a pleasant one; filled with lots of stumbles, pitfalls, failed relationships and disappointment.
In a web of methodical events
Of how I should vent
Whilst I search for another excuse
Suffer the abuse
Oh, what’s the use?
Up the creek
We all shall, one day, travel
The puzzled child shall unravel
Yes, that was me, a combustion of suppressed emotions; jaded and disillusioned. However, the pressure from those emotions gifted me with an abundance of insight into a place I had never known before, the world of my truest ‘self’.
Prior to my art creation, it was simply, me, myself and alone, plagued with the proverbial question, of who am I? And then, immediately, I’d change again. The common everyday battles, trials and tribulations consistently led me astray. And denial set the tone of what appeared to be a life-long dismal journey. I had been removed from my humble beginnings and subtly misled into lesser surroundings; realizing that this cycle, had become a vicious one. Heartache and pain encompassed my interior, forcing me to gravitate towards what was considered and accepted to be inferior. If possible, please at any given moment; place your entire self into the mindset of this pain-stricken, individual, of whom I’ve begun to describe; someone, inherently, unaware of his gradual demise. Nonetheless, I trudged on, simply to suffer more abuse and alienation. In fact, folks near and far would come, just to sit at this table of misgivings and offer their grandest support. Yet, with the slightest wind of doubt or mistrust, they were ghastly, blown away. So, often, I was left to my devices. Everyone had gone away, and the sullen blue jay, resting in my windowsill of pain, still sang as if it didn’t know any better.
Within the stillness of the silence, I began to transcribe doodle drawings and random thoughts on scrap paper, tossed about my room. However, these random thoughts appeared to be poetic and almost rhythmic. Years would pass, within this strained solitude; I had accumulated a vast amount of these doodles and poetic random thoughts or ramblings. In fact, these ramblings, once read, came across as prayers or some sort of ‘cry out’ for a way out. A chance to one day, discover my purpose.
I need a friend
Please let me in
Shall I ever sin
An angel now,
Covered in dust
Just as my insides have begun to rust
Please surrender the secret,
And I’ll keep it between us
Throughout these daily rituals of deep contemplation, I began to realize there was an actual transformation taking place within me. I was no longer, the one I thought I knew. I had surrendered the ‘ego’ and allowed myself to become one with the universal spirit of giving; the light, which would eventually, lead me out of despair, and into a place of peace and reward. No longer was I Ray Hart, I was becoming Rayhart, a poet, an artist.
So now, as I continued to write from this vacuum of solace, words of such would pour from my pen and onto the pages of my daily journal;
I believe that I am first and foremost, a poet, who believes in the preservation of good people, good poetry and good paintings. This in turn will lead us toward a good place in our lives. My art will be poetry put to paint, as I am somewhat of a fallen angel, resurrected as a saint. Nothing short of the abandonment of reality, interpreted in the intensity of every brush stroke. In actuality, I will not paint these paintings, they will somehow paint me. Every emotion, which I may have suppressed in my past, will be evoked in my artwork. Thus, my constant focus will be on the underneath as it prepares to rise. And my aim is to capture and relay it in a poem visualized as a painting. Hence, painting will become my voice, and through it, I speak only in the language of love. Tempting the most hard-pressed nonbeliever to join in and celebrate the art of living.
Art had become my vehicle, driving me toward freedom, an escape from what I once deemed as a normal course, and toward my natural purpose in life. Thus, the search was over, as I had found my way. A new journey had been discovered. Inspiration enveloped me; I was alive and everything around me, within me, was in constant motion. Therefore, my artwork must be as well. Realizing now, that when I am in my personal flow, I can effortlessly, experience art creation, a skill which I had not formally been taught.
The evolution of my art is continual, and its unexpected conception was due in part to a simple gesture of kindness from a friend. As mentioned earlier, prior to stumbling upon my path of art creation, I had been lost and uninspired. In college, I had studied sociology, so, I had no inclination that I would be creating art today. So, this friend's gesture of kindness, I speak of was a simple beginners painting set, given to me as a birthday gift. She too, had noticed my inability to find peace and happiness within; yet she did not shun the opportunity to help. Again, I had no expectation for this gift, nor did I have any idea that I would have taken to it as I have. In short, the magnitude of appreciation for this gift was and still is enormous, as it served as the beginning of the art career which I pursue today.