“The Light”

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Pastel on paper, 22” x 30”
Custom framed in gold.How do we draw what is not possible to draw? What cannot be seen? How can we possibly interpret what is beyond the physical representation of this world? Pure Spirit, The Light; the aspect of our existence that illumines and guides, protects and sustains us as human beings regardless of circumstance. Does Grace have a sound or a visual component? Well we can try, and we can sense it in each other, in the ways we help and uplift each other when it is really really needed..

My friend Tommy Mastro has ALS. He lives the daily existence of witnessing his body deteriorate and stop working bit by bit. It is physically, emotionally and psychologically painful and exhausting. Having a friend or a loved one with ALS will catapult you into wanting to help and support in any way possible. My window into all of this has inspired me to advocate and help wherever I can. I am grateful for every opportunity that comes along to join in the fight, to raise money and awareness.

“The Light” was made specifically to help raise money to support and sustain the incredible cost it is to live with ALS for Tommy and his family. There is a benefit coming up Sunday, Sept. 7th where “The Light” will be auctioned. The starting bid will be $500. If you are interested in participating in this auction and cannot be there please contact me.

It has been beyond amazing to see you all participating in the #ALS #icebucketchallenge and donating. It is a miracle really. I made this before any of this began so know that this drawing carries within it the vision and hope for a cure. It is about the light and the spirit that exists in us all especially when it is seemingly dark. ALS has finally come into the light, into the forefront, no longer an unknown disease desperate for attention and funding. The light of our awareness is here now and will play a huge part in bringing forth what is needed for all those living with this awful disease. You will be seeing here more art made specifically for ALS charities and to support people and their families who are living with ALS. I look forward to sharing it all with you.

Much Love,

Tobie

Eclipse Series

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Black sumi ink on paper.

These were made during the last two eclipses in April ’14. Exploring stark and strong emotional contrasts. These moments occur with urgency and a necessity to illuminate truths that may be hidden from our view both internally and outwardly. This requires courage, tenacity and a genuine willingness to see beyond what seems like total darkness. Faith that beyond this darkness, is the most benevolent Light.

This series will remain up for the next two weeks at Sweetly Inked. 548 West 28 St. Suite 230 at 11th Ave.

 

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Christmas 2013, “Star of Wonder”

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My “Star of Wonder” ultimately depicts an event that forces you to change direction completely towards something higher. This event makes it impossible for you to move or think in the same way as before. It carries with it a deep longing to seek a higher, deeper, more expanded truth. To leave wherever you are now for higher ground. It is clearly a Divine intervention; a beam of light from above that shines from far away into the unclaimed, disowned, dismissed parts of ourselves. My “Star of Wonder” came in the form of a series of events this year, some joyous, some heartbreaking but it was clear that everything that has happened was all far beyond my own doing or creating.

Even as a long time meditator there are times when I just can’t find the God within. Yet in those moments it is amazing to find that yes, God is out there as well and can be seen and perceived clearly through the lens of humility and vulnerability if I let it. If I allow myself to see He is as much out there as in there. The prayer and the silence are in perfect unison. The Yogi and the Christian parts from my roots in perfect unison finally, no longer a conflict. A healing and an expansion that has changed my path and my perspective entirely, allowing for a much broader pathway for my ancestors to love and create through me. Westward leading, still proceeding…

These events, these unmistakable Divine interventions reconcile what is disconnected in me, if I have the faith and trust to see them that way. We are being healed even if it hurts like hell. What’s more, we are being brought to a place that we might never ever go on our own. No longer able to contain the darkness, we put our face towards this beam of Divine Light and begin to travel willingly… we move towards what is holy, what is sacred and only that. We move unswervingly towards what is true, what is meaningful and beautiful – towards what is clearly the road Home, my path illumined by pure Grace. This new path has illumined our minds and hearts so we can no longer see or follow anything else but this Light. It is the path of Love. Star of wonder, star of night… westward leading still proceeding…..

 

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I played this incredible rendition of the classic “Star of Wonder” by Tori over and over while making these drawings. There is nothing like it; filling me with an elevating exalted spirit, triumphantly moving upwards and onwards….. Heaven is here, Heaven is there, and it is a major blessing to experience it all as a gorgeous Divine Orchestration – it is a blessing to surrender to this “solar fire”.. westward leading, still proceeding ……………

 

“Star of Wonder”

We three kings are coming again
Bearing gifts from the east, from the east

Some say a star will rise again
In the hearts of humankind
Some say we have been in exile
What we need is solar fire

Star of wonder, star of night
Star of royal beauty
Westward leading, still proceeding
A star ‘ceeding, a star of wonder

We bring gold and myrrh for Him
From the east, frankincense from the east

Some say a star will rise again
In the hearts of humankind
Some say we have been in exile
What we need is solar fire

Star of wonder, star of night
Star of royal beauty
Westward leading, still proceeding
A star

Star of wonder, star of night
Star of royal beauty
Westward leading, still proceeding
A star ‘ceeding, a star ‘ceeding
A star of wonder, of wonder

Merry Merry Christmas to you all. May 2014 bless you with the greatest and highest perceptions of whatever is given and not given. May you find a deep contentment and bliss that only the best kind of goodness can blossom and thrive from.

MUCH LOVE, Tobie

REPLICA – Martin Margiela Scent Memory exhibition for SHOWstudio

A group exhibition in London at SHOWstudio featuring artist’s work incorporating Margiela’s new line of fragrances. We were all given a fragrance to inspire a visual that came from the unconscious to the conscious mind. Mine being “Promenade in the Gardens”. I loved this process!

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My scent memory: “BOYS IN THE TREES”

Almost immediately this brought me back to the foyer in the house I grew up in. Perhaps this scent was close to something my mother wore or maybe one of her friends.

~ My mother and her friends are getting set to go out. The women are all dressed up. The front door is open, the cold air comes in from outside, their high heels clicking around on the octagon tiles. Their coats on, perfumes all intermingling with their laughter and jokes. I am sitting on the stairs watching through the banister.

It is an innocent time, full of wonder and confusion. This scent carries the resonance of a grown woman. It is earthy and sensual, warm and confident yet it brought me way back to a time when being in the fullness of being a woman felt very abstract and far away. I am reminded of a brilliant song by Carly Simon from the 70’s called “Boys in the Trees”. She had such a way of describing that time and this song describes my inspiration for this drawing perfectly.

I found a rather young and introspective photo of Naomi Campbell by Steven Meisel which had exactly the right feeling for this as she was the model that I given to incorporate.

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Carly Simon “Boys in the Trees”

I’m home again in my old narrow bed
Where I grew tall and my feet hung over the end
The low beam room with the window looking out
On the soft summer garden
Where the boys grew in the trees

Here I grew guilty
And no one was at fault
Frightened by the power in every innocent thought
And the silent understanding passing down
From daughter to daughter
Let the boys grow in the trees

Do you go to them or do you let them come to you
Do you stand in back afraid that you’ll intrude
Deny yourself and hope someone will see
And live like a flower
While the boys grew in the trees

Last night I slept in sheets the colour of fire
Tonight I lie alone again and curse my own desires
Sentenced first to burn and then to freeze
And watch by the window
Where the boys grew in the trees

“Boys in the Trees” is available for purchase at the SHOWstudio online shop.

SHOWstudio NY SS/14 Fashion Week

This was probably one of the most enjoyable projects yet and what I was working on as I turned 50.

Here were the variables. Take it as artful as possible without leaving behind the essence of the clothing. The shows were daily and I needed to make these in one shot and upload them to their tumblr site asap so I chose to work in charcoal. They come fast and they’re quite physical. Overall I had a blast. The soot everywhere, the music filling the space and I got to do it all in my studio without a single constraint or distraction. For almost every one, I would finish, look her up and down and be like I have no idea about this but there’s no time for criticism or doubt or anything – get out of the way and send it off. What genuinely surprised me was how well these were received. You really never know.

I’ve been at this a long time now. I’ve wanted to make this kind of statement for years; bold and expressive drawing with a strong emotional content yet still referencing the fashion. It is my vision that my drawings will find their way more and more to the right venues, working with the people and the collaborators that will truly embrace this work. Working with SHOWstudio could not have been a more perfect new beginning, a more perfect way to move into this next decade. So these girls carry with them pure delight, enthusiasm and hope for really good things to come.

This series is available for purchase on the SHOWstudio shop.

Now Is The Time

There are some people that spark something in you that you carry in one form or another throughout your life. Something about them finds a place in your heart and stays there regardless of where life goes. This kind of reminds me of that line from Joni Mitchell’s “Case of You”.. “part of you, pours out me, in these lines from time to time..” It’s all in there, and at some point it makes its way onto the paper; the people, the music, images and impressions. Ultimately it’s love.

Tommy Mastro is one of the first people in my life that would leave something in there, in that reservoir of inspiration that I would draw upon for years, consciously or not. We were friends in high school, he was one of the first seriously talented people I knew and I wanted to be around that. He was clear that he would be a drummer – a really good one, for his life’s work. I was clear that I would make art as my life’s work and so that is how it went. To this day I cannot listen to Led Zeppelin without a deep appreciation for all the good things about that time. The music and so much about Tommy stayed with me even when it was time to take off for NYC and make my dreams come true.

Fast forward to now, more than thirty years later, a lot of life has happened. I did not stay in touch with Tommy Mastro throughout those years though remarkably in sort of parallel universes we both carried on, staying true to making art and music without much compromise, dedicating our lives to our passions and a spirituality that would give it all so much more meaning and purpose.

When I found out that Tommy had been diagnosed with ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, we reconnected. He can no longer play drums. All life as he knows it to be has changed and will continue to change in ways that no one ever imagines their life will go. The way that this disease will progress is completely unknown. Life has become 100% about living in the present moment in order to find the peace and contentment that is inherent in all of us in every circumstance. It is now all about the now, even loving THIS now, this time.

We acknowledge the opportunities we have in this moment to connect in more authentic ways, reaching farther and deeper into ourselves, while simultaneously reaching outwards to help, soothe, reassure and support. In these kinds of now we get to expand the virtues; compassion, generosity, empathy, selflessness.. We find genuine bliss that is beyond what happens. It is there, and it is miraculous. There is no other reason to be here really. When we can no longer “do what we do”, this is what we stand on and it is becoming more and more obvious that this is all that really matters.

I am compelled to be a part of helping Tommy to just be able to move through this in a way that regardless of how this goes he can be free of as much stress as possible, to mainly keep his focus on all the goodness that is. As we know, a huge part of living with an illness is about having the best of the best in the ways of nutrition, practitioners, physical therapists, whatever assistance is necessary at any given time, and that most of that is not covered by insurance.

If you have been thinking about buying art from me, now is the time. 100% of your purchase will go directly into a fund that is set up to support Tommy through this. Go to the editions section on here and choose whatever you like or if you want to come for a studio visit I’d be happy to have you. Contact me directly and we can sort out the details.

Nothing would make me happier than to utilize my work in this way. The intention behind this work has always been to uplift and inspire and now is the time for it to serve in an even more expanded way.

With much love,

Tobie

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