“At some point, the individual’s actions must become synchronized with universal forces, a synchronization that eases life’s basic loneliness. You are enmeshed in a larger purpose. You are meant to be in a certain place and fill a particular role. You are being yourself, truly and entirely for the first time.”
– Jonathan Young, PhD, The Quest Magazine
In creating some of my pieces, my goal is to depict a concept or a personal interpretation of my feelings about life. When I receive confirmation from viewers that they resonate with what I am conveying, I know that I have achieved my purpose. It is like sounding out your voice in a canyon, and waiting to hear the echo to prove that you are there. The responses I get are my echoes.
I believe an idea is best when it is shared, and a work of art is best when it is understood. When the piece is the start of a new series, it is important to me that the concept be understood, for then I have the impetus to continue in that direction. Such was the case with the Kindred Spirits Series, and Brother Earth, Sister Sea.
The inspiration for Brother Earth, Sister Sea came when I was talking with a collector on the phone who shared that her daughter’s two favorite animals were dolphins and horses. I had recently become enamored with dolphins; somehow my intuition told that these two animals seemed connected. The next morning during breakfast, the inspiration hit me. I visualized a clear picture of what later would become Brother Earth, Sister Sea. Since most of my ideas don’t come as clear pictures, I payed particular attention to this one.
Months later, a woman named Lisa Ohrlund wrote me from Sweden, saying that my print called Night Run, depicting horses in waves reminded her of dolphins, and that she felt compelled to tell me that while she was travelling in Saudi Arabia, she had been told that the Bedouins believe that dolphins and horses share the same spirit. She had never seen Brother Earth, Sister Sea.
I then met a marine biologist and horse breeder, who upon seeing my painting, explained that he had often thought of the two as similar species in behavior and intelligence. The most recent came from my friend Janice Otero, a dolphin lover who spends much of her time tracking stories about their amazing spirits. She sent me this clipping from an Australian newspaper:
“Almost daily, Sandy Sandford helps out some of his horse trainer friends by exercising their gallopers behind his battered fishing dinghy on a secluded stretch of the Port river. Billy (the dolphin), performs as a willing and unpaid “pacemaker” for the horses as they swim.”
“He bobbed up one morning when he was only a little fellow – about two feet long,” Sandy says. “He seemed intrigued by the boat and horses and came in very close while his mother kept a respectable distance. It wasn’t long before he began swimming right alongside the horses.”