​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Starting in 1977 I began a series of images based on the use of the Sutra (eastern sound patterns used to clear the mind) for meditation. In 1984 an ICON SERIES started with my paying attention to photographs in daily newspapers, not reading the text, but using the images as illuminations to continue the meditation spiritual tradition. Both still inform my work.

I began to recognize that all photographs did not convey the same response or dynamic connection between the image and myself as viewer. Only a few stopped me, capturing my imagination, arousing my empathy, and inspiring my own text. Those had the quality of ICON - true symbolic signs. 

Images of war and human tragedy often brought pause. Sports pages with photographs of athletes in the midst of their game evoked a connection to traditional stories of sacred events — for example TRANSFIGURATION (players looking up), or RESURRECTION (players seeming to move beyond earth's playing field.)  

My process involved making multiple copies of a photograph and using them for a collage. I paired this with either a painting on wood illuminated with gold leaf or a line drawing on paper illuminated with aluminum leaf.  

The intention was to push the original photograph toward a visual interpretation of references in sacred text such as BURNT OFFERING, EYE OF THE NEEDLE, ANNUNCIATION, or VISITATION. 

On April 5, 1997, the  photo by SEBASTIAO SALGADO in the New York Times exceeded all others. Here was a truly sacred MOTHER AND CHILD. 



 

    

Salgado's photograph prompted the work below. 

ILLUMINATIONS  IN  BOOKS  OF  HOURS  WERE MADE FOR  CONTEMPLATATION 

MOTHER AND CHILD     each image  24" x 18"