Rayhart in His Own Words


Narrow Winding Paths


When I start a new work I don’t consciously sit down and say, “Today I’m going to start a painting.”  Usually there’s something on my mind and that’s the way I get it out, rather than talking to a friend.   I start sketching and if I like where it’s going I follow it.  Whatever the feeling or thought was, the sketch starts the journey.  It’s like two musicians improvising—one starts and the other follows.  With me there’s an inner voice and we are creating art:  my physical self and my spiritual self.  Together we create this thing called art.  There’s only one spiritual reality but everybody has their own personal muse.

When I paint there are questions and answers going through my head.  I’m in a room alone but there’s a conversation going on in my head and it comes out on the canvas.  Some people need a drink or a cigarette when something is on their mind and they need relief.  The act of painting gives me that relief.  I’m constantly in search of peace of mind and I find it through painting.  When I paint I find that muse and it says, “Come on, we’ll relieve you of that.”  And what you see is where they took me.

I discovered painting on my 28th birthday, seemingly by chance.  I never studied art.  Some spiritual force moved a good friend to buy me a beginner’s art set and that was it.  Before I started painting I was lost, and I was humble enough to admit that.   So a force said, “Now that you’ve admitted that, I’m going to guide you.”  When it takes over my body I just let it happen because I know that I’m being led by spirit.  If I said I’m going to take the lead, it wouldn’t happen.  I like to be led.  It feels almost effortless.  When I humble myself it’s a beautiful thing.  I know the difference when I get in the way.   First I humble myself; then I ask that they use me.
My beginnings were humble.  My grandma was a significant force in my childhood and that’s how her generation went about their lives:  answers came from a spiritual place inside.  If someone had a headache or a flu, the cure came from a spiritual place.  There was no money for doctors or for medicine.  It’s the same with the guy who works on my car.  He’s led by the spirit, the way he goes about his work.  That’s what he was born to do and he pours his heart into it.  If everyone went about their work that way what a beautiful world we would have.

Painting is a form of meditation for me.  If I didn’t paint for a day or a week, something would be missing.  I can feel the difference.  If I didn’t allow these transmissions of thought to come out on canvas, I wouldn’t feel complete.  Artists are like breakthrough agents—we bring something here that wasn’t here before.  We’re being used so that hopefully we can help someone else by inspiring them.

When people see my work what they see first are the colors.  They’re attracted by the colors but once they’re drawn in the substance takes over.  Without substance, the paintings wouldn’t speak to people.  I don’t know how it works; I’m not that smart.  For me it’s like a good conversation that comes out on the canvas but it triggers something deep in people.  A light goes on reminding them of something.  There’s a voice in this work and it speaks to people; it reminds them of something they’ve wanted to do, something they have to do before it’s too late.  That voice, that spirit, has a lot to say and it finds people like me.  It wants to deliver a message.  I’m constantly giving thanks and praise to it, and it to me.  It’s a beautiful conversation. 

When I am painting I can work for 4 to 8 hours straight.  It’s effortless, like a breeze on the ocean that carries you along.  It’s almost indescribable how good it feels.  There’s a sense of ultimate peace, like nirvana—the place you want to stay forever.  It’s the same with songwriters—the best stuff comes when this force is there.  It happens fast and effortlessly.  When the ego is there, it won’t happen.  You labor over it but it never compares.  When that force visits you, you come up with some amazing stuff.  First you have to kill off the ego and give thanks.  When you do that, great things start to happen for you and through you.  It’s the same with great inventors, musicians, leaders.


A Peace of Mind

Some of my paintings, like “A Peace of Mind” and “Narrow Winding Paths,” are complete thoughts with no interruptions from the outside world.  It was near sunrise when I was finishing “A Peace of Mind.”   I had to go to work afterward with almost no sleep but I had as much energy as someone who slept all night.  When I got home from work and looked at it I was amazed.  That’s how I know that something is using me to bring that about.  That spirit gives you all you need.  I hope and pray to remain obedient so that more of these “thoughts” will come through me.  That spirit wants to deliver a message; it has something to say.

Painting is a universal language, like music.  Everyone can feel it; no one is excluded.  When I’ve completed a painting it’s like passing the baton.  The viewer finishes the work by finding whatever it means to them, and it means something different to each one.  When I get feedback from people who say, “Something is going on here that’s touching me,” that makes my day.  When people see my work it connects them with something.  We’re all connected but along the way we got disconnected and now we’re just getting reconnected.  It’s a subtle thing, but it’s happening.  Everything is in divine order.

I don’t know where the art comes from but I’m blessed to be gifted to do this work.  You never know who you’re going to touch and how it may affect them.  It’s trying to convey a message.  There’s a force, an inner light, a spirit.  The word “spirit” is okay because it doesn’t limit anything or close the work off to anyone of any religion.  That humble spirit doesn’t care what it’s called.  “Call me God, call me whatever you like as long as I’m there guiding the way."


 Silent Sit    Miss Sunday Morning


 Visit:  Works of Rayhart