The Vessel for the Mystic Journey

I finished the boat. Or at least the model — 65 inches long. Crafted of 1/8″ birch plywood and basswood and glue. I had intended to cover it. I tried several tests with heat-shrink dacron. I would have had to construct the vessel differently to allow that to work. Then I thought of veneer. Either large pieces or thin strips. I abandoned that too. As it happened the more I looked at the skeleton structure of the vessel the more liked it.

I took photos all the way through construction. I want to make a slide show of that, quickly showing the fabrication.

vessel for the mystic journeyvessel for the mystic journey #1

The Muses

I am building a boat. Not a fine wooden skiff for sailing the marina. Nor a ketch to circle the world. Mine: a vessel for the mystic journey. Thin, sleek and I hope beautiful. Yet useless, at least as a vessel to navigate water.

Why, you might ask? I have to blame the muses. The idea surfaced in 1986 — long, over 18 feet and made of cedar strip. The complications, craftsmanship and time required all undermined its creation.

Yet every few years the idea resurfaces. Until this spring. Having surfaced again, I gave in.


Below the drawing you can see the four large circles and then intersecting smaller ones that dictate the placement of the ribs of the boat.

Below the drawing you can see the four large circles and then intersecting smaller ones that dictate the placement of the ribs of the boat.

Boat Drawing from 1987

Boat Drawing from 1987

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Finding Authenticity

Heading home tomorrow after almost five weeks in Provence teaching painting workshops

This is another short video on authenticity. Sometimes the question, posted on the screen, gets cut. It’s “Is there an antidote [to not being authentic]?”

I’ve got one or two more of these interview videos. Then I’ll have a few paintings from Provence this year.


Another short video clip from the whispered interview. Two minutes. For some reason the first few seconds get deleted from the video, where the question is posed. The question here was, Is mastery of any sort a process to creative authenticity?

I’m posting these clips because to my mind a strong co-relation exists between expressing beauty in an art form and finding a deep communion with spirit within,  the foundation of our authenticity


Finding Beauty

Sorry about the video not being in the last post. The preview looked fine, then the video disappeared when I published the post. Apparently I’m not the first person to have this happen looking at the help page.

This is another short clip from the whispered interview.


A few months ago the photographer Jakob de Boer, from, asked me to answer some questions on authenticity. I wrote a book Creative Authenticity and he felt the ideas there were relevant to his website on mastery. We spoke, and he recorded, the conversation on Skype. He asked me several questions. I’ll post them all over the next few days. Each video is about a minute long.