Chapel of Sacred Mirrors / Wappinger, New York / Aug 2 - 11, 2014
Alex Grey is often called one of the world's greatest living artists. What an amazing opportunity and experience to spend over a week as a student in the Master's studio! He and his wife, the artist Allyson Grey, were gracious hosts, art and spiritual teachers to 16 of us at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM) in upstate New York. The painting intensive is an annual occurrence and this was the last to be hosted in their private residence and studio.
Located on 40 mostly wooded acres, 60 miles north of the big city and near the Hudson River, CoSM is ground zero and a vortex of the Spiritual and Visionary Art movements. Founded by the artists Alex and Allyson Grey, the property holds many supportive structures and staff that house a growing community of visionary artists, studios and residencies for ongoing artist workshops and retreats, a museum, a gallery and a home base for the weekly Art Church and monthly Full Moon Ceremonies. The Greys had large galleries and have enjoyed an amazing success and following for decades in New York City, achieving national and international acclaim, starting with Alex's visionary masterpiece works, the Sacred Mirrors. Alex is also the author of numerous books and spiritual teachings, among them Art Psalms, The Mission of Art and Transfigurations. It was through his books and videos, that were at our local, public library, and his speaking engagements here at UF, that I became familiar with his work. I've had my eye on the Painting Intensive for years and this was my time to do it.
A 21 hour drive over 2 days from Gainesville, FL to Wappinger, NY enabled me to bring all my art supplies, some large paintings for a presentation, and everything else I would need for the 11 day pilgrimage and adventure. What a beautiful, natural setting it was there and after arriving, I was surrounded with a cocoon of love, warmth and support that lasted me the duration of my stay. What an incredible value. For $600., I enjoyed 7 full days and nights of intensive art and spiritual instruction directly from the Masters and all of my meals, healthy and delicious, were included too! The Greys were very accessible to all of us, so very generous, gracious and helpful to each of us. We spent every day from 10am in the morning until 11pm at night with them, lectures in the dining hall and painting in their grand studio. They even ate all their meals with us. So humble are they, artists of such high acclaim and achievement, to take time for us. Their latest book, Community, Journal of Visionary Culture would give me more insight into their mission and a better understanding of what is most important to them.
There were many surprises during the week that were always taking this workshop to the next level. We were greeted by the Grey's upon arriving at dinnertime. They welcomed us most graciously, and in a joyous fashion, sharing some of our goals for the week ahead. We received the invitation to set up our easels in their private studio! That is where we would work, during the entire week, in their great studio, side by side with the Masters. We each had the option to present our art to the Greys and that was great fun. I think mine was successful and everyone really liked The Keyhole Project and the C3D effects in my large space paintings. We also each had an intensive group critique of our 2 paintings from the week to wrap the workshop. Probably the biggest surprise of the week was the announcement one morning that we would do a self-portrait that day. The mirrors were passed out and most of us jumped in. The Full Moon Ceremony on the last night and Art Church the following day gave me the full range of experience that CoSM offers. The many staff and resident artists were so loving and welcoming to me. It was common for them to walk up, smile and embrace me, and say how much they appreciate my art. For me it was a good validation and encouragement of my work and all the efforts behind it. It is nice to leave my local art scene and be embraced and celebrated by a wider, a more national and international, audience.
It is amazing how much I learned and how much I was inspired by this experience. The Greys have a mantra, With Grace and Ease, and they express that with everything they do. They want pilgrims to learn, grow and experience transformation at CoSM, and we do. They want to encourage and grow the Visionary Art Movement, and by doing so, encourage and grow a more positive, hopeful, peaceful evolution and future. They are currently building the museum and reliquary of visionary art that will permanently house the Sacred Mirrors and other masterpieces of visionary art.
- Tim Malles Art Studio
- Gainesville, Florida, United States
- Astronomy themes, landscapes and public art are some of the targets of my work. These are the best of times as we stand on the threshold of unprecedented discovery in space. As a space artist, I am grateful for and inspired by the amazing images of faraway places that the great telescopes of our generation have given us. As a plein air painter, I am inspired to quickly capture light, color and movement with the focus on our rapidly changing environment. As an artist within the live public art venue I am inspired by the opportunity for creativity, spontaneity and exchange.