This painting is entitled “Out of the Dark Forest.” It is basically a self-portrait of a time when I was emerging from a very long and dark period in my life. My first partner had died. He was my first love and it was the first time I had had someone that close to me die. 

Going into a depression that lasted almost 5 years, I envision that period as like being in a dark forest. The trees in the background were all painted on separate canvas and adhered to the main painting in an effort to give them a bit more depth.

The images are from real life, a model posed for me, but they are more symbolic of me, one physical version – spent and empty – and the other a spiritual version arising to reach for the spirit that propels us all to something better… a life full of love, warmth, excitement, and yes, even sadness. But as long as we grasp that spirit then even sadness is bearable.

I know there’s a bit of humor here when it comes to the hand reaching for the spirit BUT, there really was no intentional alluding to a spanking…LOL! In fact, the image of the “spirit” was a concept I struggled to paint.

One day, while giving a massage, I noticed an image on the wall behind me…cast by the sun shining through the peep-hole in the door opposite. I’d seen it before but never really saw it like I did at that moment. It only appears during the time of year when the sun is in the exact right spot.

I had been thinking about how I was going to paint the spirit image…without it the painting was just about a spanking in the woods…but as soon as I saw this I knew it would be perfect.

I’ve often thought about painting over the hand so it’s not so open palmed (and therefore less spanky), but I kinda like that people go there. After all, humor is a light…a gift from spirit.. and with light there can be no dark.

You can see this painting in my online gallery at where you can buy the original or order prints.

And, if you’d like a free print of one of the four pieces in my Nebula Collection, go to … take your pick (I only ask that you pay for postage) and I’ll send it to you ASAP. Ordering your print helps support me as an artist and makes it possible for me to continue producing art that, I hope, resonates with you.