Artsits at the Viroqua Healing Arts Center

Artists at the Healing Arts Center

Artist Pita Daniels

If art is a mirror, then the paintings here at the Healing Arts Center reflect a journey of personal healing.

Since arriving in Viroqua 10 years ago with Gabrielle and our two sons Calvin and Miles I have faced various physical and mental health challenges; cancer, a herniated disc, Lymes, anxiety, depression and multiple addictions.

As I have embraced recovery, I have held out my arms to my 'self'. I have named this art show 'Coming into one's self' to try and express that it's never too late to seek life at the deepest level possible. There, 'within inside' myself - to borrow a phrase I have learned many times from my lifelong teacher Prem Rawat - I have been learning that many of my thoughts, feelings and reactions come out of trauma and PTSD, and as I learn and gain awareness I take another step into my 'self', that indescribable place of light and love and darkness and fear...

As I learn about art I learn to express through art from that indescribable place. It's not always pretty. But when it is it REALLY is!

I guess I would say most of my paintings are abstract expressionist landscapes. They are informed by the many landscapes I have lived and traveled in from Nome, Alaska to Miami, Florida; from the desert of the southwest to the islands, woods, and prairies of the midwest; from the mountains of Montana to the jungles of American cities. They are informed by my inner landscape.

Somewhere along the way I lost my 'self'. In the haze I would always catch a glimpse, inspiring me to renew the search, but ultimately I sank into despair and was ready to leave the world. Then an awakening occured. And since then continual reawakenings. And I am grateful.

I am grateful for the artists that have come before me and surround me, especially the Chinese painter Zao Wu-Ki, Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keefe. Here in Viroqua many inspire me, but special thanks to Gabrielle Daniels and Vicki Ramsay who have always accepted me, and encouraged me, and stood by me. Many thanks to the artists at VIVA, who invited me to join their cooperative.

It is my hope that my work stops you for a moment, and in that moment maybe a thought or feeling comes forward to consider. Blessings on your journey. And thank you for looking.

Pita Daniels