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Fine Art

by David Arthur-Simons

Miracle days

I turned to drawing, painting (and writing) in primary school as a way of holding onto my world that was constantly disappearing in front of my eyes as my parents moved continually from one country to another. By the time I was 15 I had moved 14 times and lived in five countries on three continents. My lack of a primary and constant locus made it difficult for me to find other people with similar world experiences, and made me distrust the "real", tangible world. Through drawing and painting I began to create worlds of my own that compensated for the material world that I seemed to constantly lose. I discovered that through art I could make eternally present the transient world that I seemed moment by moment to lose.

I am currently working on a series of 365 paintings (one for each day of the year, painted over a number of years, each painted only on its designated day of the year) known as "Miracle Days".

In working on "Miracle Days" I meditate every morning on "The Course in Miracles" Lesson of the day and allow myself to visualize landscapes and figures of the spiritual realms where things fly, glide, leap and fall from one dimension of illusion to another defying everything that is considered possible in earthly terms. I then paint what I visualize in my meditation. I don't stick just to the Lessons in my mediations but allow other themes and ideas to enter into the process such as dreams, myths, books I am reading, films I have seen, etc.

The advantage to working like this is that I have a painting to work on each day, and I can come to it (every year) with a fresh and nearly objective perspective. The negative and sometimes crippling effect is the sense that I will lose the "good" aspects of the painting if I add anything more to it after not seeing it or thinking about it for a year. Certainly after not seeing a painting or working on it for a year the inclination is to feel that it is finished or that it has a historical significance the way it is, so that to alter it is to play with history and risk losing everything.

This sense of loss can sometimes be completely crippling and paralyzing and prevent me from continuing with the painting. Yet every morning once I move through the feelings of loss and take up the brush and start to paint again, I invariably "improve," move forward and bring the painting closer to a final resolution. The feeling of loss seems thus to always turn out to be a false warning. What I have seems always to appear better and grander than what I might have. By working on these paintings and the feeling of loss they incur I am coming to appreciate that what I have is never as great as what I might have if I step out of my own light.

My holiness envelops everything I see (2005-2008)

My Holiness - strip of 3 images

My Holiness

I rest in God (2005-2008)

Rest in God - strip of 3 images

Rest in God

The gift of Christ is all I seek today (2005-2008)

Gift of Christ - strip of 3 images

Gift of Christ

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Articles in this Issue

Jan Michael-Vincent, by Alan Huffman
Jenkins Pet and Supply, by Sean Lanigan
Pax, Ishango, by Maureen Duffy
The Extinction of Vancouver's Crested Mynahs, by Wayne Grady
Fine Art, by David Arthur-Simons
Maritime History, by Andrea Curtis
Public Works, by John Parsley
September 2008


David Arthur-Simons is a New York painter who holds a Masters Degree in visual arts from the Sydney College of the Arts in Sydney, Australia, where he grew up. He moved to Chelsea in New York in 1995. For the last 3½ years David has been working on the "Miracle Days" series and expects to finish the series in 3 to 4 years. View more of his work here.

Where loss is found.

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