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About the Artist

The Ever-Virgin Mary

On December 12th 1531, Our Lady appeared to a converted Aztec man named Juan Diego on top of Mt. Tepiac just outside of Mexico City.

She requested of Juan that he go to the Bishop of the Catholic Church in Mexico City and tell him about her. She also said that the Church was to build a temple in honor of Her and Her Son Jesus in that place.

Juan followed Her instructions. The Bishop was polite, but he required proof of this apparition of Mary before he would undertake such a request.

Juan went back to Mt. Tepiac and Mary appeared to him again. He told her what the Bishop requested. Our Lady told Juan to come back the next morning and She would give him the proof he needed.

Juan returned home to find his uncle near death. The next morning, Juan avoided Mt. Tepiac, choosing instead to go directly to the church so he could find a priest that would perform last rites for his uncle. Mary encountered him on the way and told him that his uncle would be fine. She then instructed him to go to the top of Mt. Tepiac, gather all the flowers growing there, and bring them to her. He did as She asked, and when he returned She arranged the flowers in his tilma (cloak) and told him to give the flowers to the Bishop.

A year earlier, the Bishop had made a special prayer to Mary. The Aztec Indians of the area were known for very barbarous acts and for making offerings to pagan gods. The Bishop had made a mission of converting them to Catholicism, but he was uncertain of his path. He asked Mary to send a sign that he was doing the right thing – he asked for Spanish roses to come to him as proof.

Juan went into the Bishop's office at the Church, presented him with the roses, and said, "These are from Our Lady." The Bishop fell to his knees, looked at Juan, and in front of him and 7 others, Our Lady of Guadalupe mystically appeared on Juan Diago's tilma.

In the years following these events, 9 million Aztecs converted to Catholicism. The tilma was made of a cactus pulp fiber and should have rotted in 20 years. It remains in perfect shape to this day, 470 years later, despite hundreds of years of time, burning candles, and millions of hands placed on the exposed tilma.

In 1921, a bomb was placed in front of the tilma. When it went off, the bomb destroyed the altar, bent the iron cross 20 feet away, and blew out the windows – but no harm came to any of the people there at mass, or to the tilma.

In the last 50 years, science has discovered through a magnification of the eyes on the image, a reflection of the 7 people who were in the room exists in the pupils of Our Lady. The stars on her cloak were the exact constellations of the apparitions on December 12, 1531 – only they were reversed as if the seer was outside the universe looking in.

To this day, thousands of miracles have been attributed to these events, and the 23 million visitors at the shrine in Mexico City each year.

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American Freedom Series

"On Freedom's Wing" was the start of the American Freedom series painted right after 9-11. So many people responded to that painting that I felt inspired to create "Liberty's Flight" which was the 2nd in the series. The final painting in that series is "Reflection of Freedom.".

"On Freedom's Wing" -- America's strength and beliefs have made this country home to people seeking freedom. We have no boundaries. Like the Bald Eagle, we can soar to great heights and weather any storm. We can achieve our dreams by riding On Freedom's Wing

"Liberty's Flight" -- Standing with dignity and honor; Lady Liberty is a symbol of strength and endurance. Through peaceful and adverse times, America remains a pillar of justice, hope and freedom. We will always stand united and pursue Liberty's Flight.

"Reflection of Freedom" -- New York honored the memory of all that were lost on September 11th, by holding up two large rays of light in place of the Twin Towers. "Reflections of Freedom" is an interpretation of the heavens sending back two rays of light as a tribute to our strength and unity in time of crisis.

Each of them stand alone as unique and inspiring pieces. All 3 together, make a beautifully connected triptic. It is like looking out a 3 paned window at one large scene of freedom.

The Homecoming

  • It is part of my mission to recognize and honor those who serve, or have served our country as well as others who have gone beyond the call of duty. This painting was created to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragedies from the events of 9-11.

    There are many camoflauged components in the painting. I have highlighted and detailed each, which you can review by clicking the menu to the left.

    A wise man once said, "Freedom is not to do what ever one wants, but to do what one ought"

    I believe that in order to live in peace and make the changes in the world necessary for us to get along, to succeed, be prosperous and ultimately survive, we need to start loving and giving of ourselves unconditionally to each other.

    Thank you for reading about this painting.

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  • The words at the bottom of the painting say, "OUR FREEDOM COMES NOT FROM THE GENEROSITY OF THE STATE, BUT FROM THE HAND OF GOD". The words that followed this statement originally were, "So Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Your Country."

    01
  • The soldier is returning home. As he looks over at the picture drawn by his daughter nailed to a telephone pole with a yellow ribbon tied right below it, she writes "In God We Trust" and "I Love You Dad."

    02
  • Between the soldier and the town are ghosts of policemen, firemen and soldiers honoring him for fighting for what they gave their lives for.

    03
  • One soldier was his buddy wearing the same deployment patch he is.

    04
  • As your eye follows the four telephone wires towards the town then beyond, you'll see four snow lines going up into the mountains. At the end of the lines are four F-16 fighters flying in the Missing Soldier Formation.

    05
  • Between the 3rd and 4th jet is the 3 firemen raising the flag in front of the remnants of the twin towers in Manhattan.

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  • To the right of the 4th jet are the soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima

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  • On one side of the main telephone pole, in the mountain, is Mother Teresa, who gave her life to the poorest of the poor. On the other side is Dr. Martin Luther King, who gave his life defending Freedom.

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  • In the snowiest part of the mountain, to the left, is the Pentagon. World peace is defended there daily. In flight, below the Pentagon is United Flight 93, on the side of the plane, in the immortal words of civilian Todd Beamer it says "Let's Roll"

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  • At the top of the mountain is the American flag again in the mountain and the sky with our nation's symbol, the bald eagle soaring to great heights over all the sacrifices in the name of God, Country and Freedom.

    10

Awards and Honors

  • 1998 Ducks Unlimited National Package Print Artist
  • 1998 North East Wildlife Fine Art and Nature Expo Featured Artist of the Year
  • 1998 Oklahoma Wildlife Artist Festival Featured Artist of the Year
  • 1997 People's Choice Award - Oklahoma Wildlife Art Festival
  • 1995 Michigan Ducks Unlimited Sponsor Print Artist
  • 1995 Minnesota Ducks Unlimited Sponsor Print Artist
  • 1995 International Ducks Unlimited Stamp Print Artist
  • 1994 Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year
  • 1994 Wisconsin Ducks Unlimited Sponsor Artist
  • 1990 Eagle Conservation Print of the Year
  • 1990 Minnesota Wildlife Heritage Featured Artist of the Year
  • 1990 First Runner-Up Federal Duck Stamp
  • 1989 People's Choice Award - Minnesota Wildlife Heritage Show
  • 1989 Winner - Wisconsin Duck Stamp

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