It's 18 years ago now, crouched with my back up against the wall of the farmhouse where I was living at the time, suffering from a personal dilemma, I was suddenly grasped by the onlookers, “Korta & Hanni”, two cows who were both laying there staring at me whilst chewing their cud.
It was the tranquility & their presence in that moment that caught me off balance. My dilemma was so bad, I was inspired by the peace of that moment. I was riveted there for hours.
It was one of those many moments in my life when I had no choice but to be riveted. Nature in its entirety is a wonder as a whole but here I had found a particular affinity to cows.
This moment of recognition, of a deeper connection to my real self & life turns out to be momentous. Art will always be interpreted by the viewer, they will like or not like what they see and fail all too often to see beyond the visible.
I remember as I lived on a mountain top in Nepal, I was 23 years old, looking out across the Himalayas and Haridas as he walked past me saying, "That's not it Pete".
I always remember Haridas, not the Himalayas, breathtaking as they are.
I don't paint cows. I paint what happened to me as I was overwhelmed with the tranquility I shared with the cows in that moment of desperation. I had wished to die at that moment, as painful as that moment was. But, "That's not it Pete".
This "Tranquility Experience" happened to me and I recognize that it had to happen to me. What happened is not important now because I learned from it. I learned that I am beyond the trappings of the mind. Weighing up life is what the mind constantly does which in turn makes the mind blind as it searches for reason and purpose when in the heart there is no purpose but to go beyond, beyond the Himalayas.
I had no plan when I started to paint cows. I was forced like you are forced to eat food. It was that essential to me in that moment of desperation. I was extremely sad and I had no choice but to take notice of the tranquility present in the 2 beautiful cows "Korta" & "Hanni".
Maybe we can decide what we eat but hunger comes by itself.
While we look for what is right and wrong in art & life we discover that there is no right and wrong in reality.
The truth is, it is wrong to suffer, right is to be free from suffering.