Newberry Synergy oil paintingSynergy
oil on linen, 82 x 66 inches, studio inventory.

Laying down in a closed, dark, tiled space, too young to understand, too inexperienced to sort through feelings, and in too much pain to be aware of the world around him, the ten year old had no choice but to examine everything–or face oblivion. Deep inside him surfaced a feeling of goodness. That feeling would ultimately anchor him to life and earth.

There was an incident, outdoors, on a mountain dirt path framed by blue arid light. His companion pushed him over a precipice, a 40-foot drop with a severe incline. Being agile, he quickly spread his arms and thrust his feet forward and rode the hillside until he landed, his backside bruised and his hands and arms a bloody mess. If he had tumbled he surely would have broken his neck or crushed his skull. Twice he faced the threat of death, once from within and once from outside. Clearly there were bad people in the world, and he vowed he would never be vulnerable again.

Nature had no such evil. Light, water, air, and forms became his mentors, giving off energy that propelled his spirit. Over time he came to love friends and lovers, but there was one special place of being alone in nature, with his feet grounded on solid earth, his chest thrust out against the playful rush of water, and his head uplifted into the sun’s summer warmth. Here was a synergy of feeling, awareness, and participating in the present.

With this painting he shares that moment. In essence a self-portrait of everyone who has come through.

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