About Norman
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We have always looked to our temples, cathedrals, sacred areas, and mandalas to establish a sense of quiet connectedness with something greater than ourselves. While nowhere near as structured as the traditional Buddhist and Hindu mandalas or religious labyrinths, my paintings provide a spiritual “space” or a focal point for meditation.

Jung believed that mandalas are archetypal forms, occurring in many religions, dreams, schizophrenic drawings, nature, and industrial designs. He suggested that they are part of what he called the “collective unconscious,” and as such are an organizing principle built into all of us. The center point of a mandala represents the center of our being—a still, calm point, about which the chaotic elements of our lives revolve. Creating mandalas, Jung believed, provides a way to get in touch with our quiet central point and to symbolically bring order to our internal chaos.

Tibetan monks and Buddhists created elaborate mandalas for purposes of meditation; I paint as a means of achieving a meditative state in the viewer. By having the viewer travel inward, through the dozens of layers of paint and lacquer, I attempt to create an environment in which there are no recognizable objects, just feelings and colors that induce moods and calm. It is my hope that you’ll find this in my work.

My painting technique allows for an infinite arrangement of naturally occurring patterns with a depth of as many as 60 layers of lacquer and oil paints. In each painting, you may focus on a different pattern or section with each viewing. Perhaps today one section of color will interest you. Tomorrow a pattern or an area of the layering’s irregularity may become your focal point.

I attempt to produce a sacred, meditative space, much the way Mark Rothko suggested that his paintings created “mythological temples.” I make no effort to suggest recognizable shapes. I think each viewer will see what he will—like a Rorschach image—and travel deeper into the image. Each layer of lacquer and paint begs the viewer to immerse himself deeper into these layers and into his own psyche.

This concentration and delving deeper into this state of calm is a fascinating experience that has inspired me greatly in my work as a painter. I find myself wanting to revisit this exercise and experience it again and again.

Art is a potent means of achieving a meditative state, not unlike that of Buddhist monks and others in their temples and cathedrals. Art can be a space for us to enter in order to lose ourselves, feel more connected to the universe, quiet the mind, and perhaps even reach higher states of consciousness.

Born in New York City in May 1956, Norm has lived in the Bronx, Queens, Richmond Virginia, Vienna Virginia and now resides in Sarasota Florida.

Norm has been a designer and an art director for 36 years. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. He studied painting privately under Nick Apgar, a protégé of Joseph Albers. He attended the Corcoran School of Arts. Later he received his graduate degree from Georgetown University.

Norm has had gallery shows from New York City to Florida and has won an assortment of awards in several juried shows including First Place.

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