Transcendent Artistry Blending Worlds

Author: Lea Kosovac

For the occasion of Earth Day, we had the privilege of delving into the artistic realm of Kerry Edmondson, whose captivating paintings weave a narrative of interconnectedness between the natural and spiritual worlds. In our interview, Edmondson shared his unique perspective, eschewing human characters for ethereal figures—angels—who gracefully oversee the fauna inhabiting his canvases. This deliberate choice serves as a conduit, facilitating an exploration of the profound relationships between angels, animals, and the divine. Through his brushstrokes, Edmondson unveils a world where barriers blur, where the spiritual effortlessly intertwines with the natural, fostering a serene harmony that invites viewers to ponder the intrinsic connections binding all life forms. In his vision, angels embody luminescent guardians, guiding us to perceive the sublime beauty and interplay between nature and spirituality, reminding us that in this vast expanse of existence, there exists only seamless unity and harmonious interconnection.

The Awakening Times (TAT): Could you share a bit about yourself, your journey and background in the world of art?

Kerry Edmondson (KE): Hello and thank you very much for this opportunity. I was born in the United States in Tennessee and moved to the beautiful Pacific Northwest (Oregon) in my late twenties and have been here ever since. A wonderful move on multiple fronts, most notably in meeting my wife. I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can recall. I developed a real interest in art in my early childhood days and this has remained with me ever since. I spent countless hours pouring over books on Renaissance Art in my youth and using them as references for drawings. In college, I took several painting classes and one teacher had quite an effect on me in simply getting me to really expand my outlook on things. A lasting effect for me and lessons not forgotten. Beyond this, I am self-taught and have honed my personal technique over the years. Themes that deal with an exploration of spirituality have appeared in most of my work. This path has always intrigued me, be it in literature, music, or the visual arts. The overall creative process has been a lifelong passion for me and one that only seems to grow and expand in my life journey. I feel I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my time on the planet when I am creating.

TAT: Your recent series of paintings has made a profound impact on The Awakening Times team. What inspired the absence of human figures in this collection? 

KE: I would say rather than having an absence of human characters per se; I instead have focused on painting figures as represented by angels. This allowed me to both explore the relation between the angels and the various animals in my work; while also being able to explore the relationship we all have between the human and the divine. The incorporation of the winged figures also represents something of a bridge between our world and the animal world whereby winged creatures exist.

TAT: Your paintings often depict angels watching over animals. What inspired this recurring motif, and what message do you hope viewers take away from it?

KE: Spiritual world as represented by the angels in my work interacts with Nature in ways that are relaxed, curious and coming from a place of harmony. There is no real barrier between the Natural and the Spiritual world, which is a goal of mine to explore. The inspiration being that all life reflects the spiritual world, we simply do not always see it this way. In certain paintings the angels sit near to what we might consider dangerous animals, but there is no sense of any danger, only a sense of mutual wonder and respect. I keep the angel figures featureless while concentrating my details on the animals and their natural background. The use of white for the angels is my depiction of them as bodies of light, which also translates into their lack of facial features etc. A hope for my work is that anyone who views them can see this representation of the interplay between Nature and Spirit and that there is no separation, only a harmonious inter-connection.

TAT: Your use of color and light in your paintings is captivating. How do you approach capturing the essence and energy of the natural world in your artistic compositions? 

KE: I paint with acrylic paint in a very layered approach whereby I use a gloss medium to both add a sheen to things while also allowing for a depth of color to be created. The essence of the variety of animals that I depict in my work is expressed through using both their overall posture, while also focusing on details such as facial expressions etc. My intent is to capture the spirit of each animal as positioned in its natural environment. I cannot always say that I know exactly what I am first trying to express when I start on a painting, so I will often let things unfold as they will and reveal themselves accordingly. A conversation of sorts between myself and the output of what I am creating.

TAT: As we delve into Earth Day and the theme of environmental responsibility, please tell us where do you perceive our collective stance in fulfilling our duty towards Mother Earth? 

KE: We all must realize that we are not separate from the very thing that provides for life; this planet

Earth that we live on and share. Mother Earth supports and sustains us. We are given the gift of life and have a real responsibility to give something back. The Earth is home for all of us and we must find ever increasing new ways of being good stewards. Something is asked of us for our being here and we need to understand far better what this is and how to best answer its call.

TAT: Your paintings evoke a sense of harmony and interconnectedness with nature. How do you envision art’s role in promoting environmental awareness, and action? 

KE: Art is of course a very definite language much like the mystery and wonder of nature is a language. It is a means of communication for speaking to something deeper in us. Art has the unique ability for both creating new things and reinterpreting the things that we can already experience in the world, so this can allow for a fresh perspective and focus for the viewer, listener, reader etc. Therefore, art can say so much about issues such as environmental awareness in ways that are difficult to express otherwise. When art speaks to our essence then it communicates with that which is essential to us all and to everything.

TAT: Have you drawn inspiration from any spiritual beliefs or practices in creating your exquisite artwork? 

KE: I have had a long-standing fascination with world religions and have been quite fortunate to have done a good amount of international travel, which only further deepened my interest in different spiritual traditions. I have also been studying the art of Tai Chi for thirty plus years now, so this has left a real imprint on me. I am most interested in the common thread that runs through all the great religious traditions, as this explores what is common to us all. We have something of a divine spark/seed in us and it should be a goal to grow this and share this with others throughout our life. One of the avenues that I have tried to convey this through is my art. All creative acts are imbued with some level of the spiritual, as the artist is harnessing their inherent abilities and there is always something of the unconscious at work. It is this place where we can communicate with one another on quite a different level. Furthermore, this part of us that is moved by a piece of music or viewing a painting etc. is that which is at the heart of all of us. My art seems to resonate with others, and this brings me immense joy and a sense that I have achieved my aim.

TAT: Could you share any personal encounters with wildlife or experiences in nature that have profoundly influenced your artistic perspective? 

KE: Living in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, I am surrounded by natural beauty with proximity to the ocean, mountains, and forested areas etc., so this has influenced me in ways that are both subtle and overt. I like to spend as much time as I can in nature as this always has both a restorative and an inspirational effect on me. Beyond where I live, experiences such as my time in Tibet or in Borneo and for that matter all my travels stand out as having a real impact on me that is difficult to fully express in words. The energy of these locations/experiences leaves me with a strong resource pool to draw upon.

TAT: Additionally, have you found any inspiration in the works or activism of figures like David Attenborough, who has dedicated much of his life to advocating for endangered species and environmental conservation? 

KE: I am of course familiar with David Attenborough and admire his work, but I cannot say he has had a direct influence on me. However, I fully support and am inspired by anyone taking a front seat in working to save endangered species and conserving the environment that we all share and depend upon. I read somewhere that the energy produced by a specific species once lost becomes a requirement that everything else must fill. As endangered species are lost, we feel the strain, and this is on top of all the other stressors produced on the planet by our expansion and every growing population. If this path is not averted at some point, then a tipping point of sorts will certainly be reached. It is our duty to see that this does not occur, and we really do have the means to achieve this.

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