These histories and the fascinating flourishes from these threads of insight from other spiritual traditions, as well as more foreign threads from my own western tradition, have put a lot of color into my work. There was a significant color addition when I finally broke through my resistance to Trecento and Quattrocentro gold backed figurative works. I began to find interest in Byzantine and Greek/Russian iconography in both mosaics and paint. I was rewarded by new insights into the images of religious traditions, not quite my own, although they were still significantly Christian.

Renaissance and Baroque painting and sculpture became fascinating to me only after I had fallen in love with Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism. My first awareness of a love of any artist’s work came when, as a young man, I delved into van Gogh’s work but I was soon grabbed by Monet, and then strongly, internally, spiritually by El Greco.

Each of these artists became mentors to me through the phenomenon of East coast museum shows. The mega block-busters were all-important to me. I devoured all that I could. Eventually, the big shows led me to delve deeper into the recesses of the museum collections. Visiting the Cloisters and returning to the Greek and Egyptian sections of the Metropolitan kept my inquisitive eye constantly delighted and challenged.

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