Solar Flare I

"I am, and always have been, inspired by Nature. Having gone from studying at Harvard Extension, working at a biotech pharma in Kendall Square, Cambridge, to having to deal with escalating disabilities - multiple sclerosis and bipolar disorder - to finally housing insecurity. The one constant, grounding, beautiful, and always available thing in my life, my solace, and my saving has always been these 'free gifts' of Nature. No matter what the challenges in my life, the state of my physical and mental wellness, Nature's Healers - the Forest, the Ocean, the Sky, the Sun, and this Earth, in all her beauty and splendor, are always available to me. It is through these magnificent gifts I find my inspiration.

The 'Solar Flare' series was begun on July 1 of this past year [2020], entering into the sizzling heat of the summer. This summer's heat was my inspiration. I happened to come across some Nasa photos of solar flares, and found them to be stunning, beautiful, and fascinating! I was in awe and a bit obsessed, and in the end, I felt these came THROUGH me rather than FROM me. This was done in mixed media, and with a variety of paints - alkyd, acrylic, and oils.

For the first time in my 61 years of creating, I used spray paint, and for the first
time, hardwood board. I loved the process with spray paint. It was an adventure. It was very freeing, and it was actually great fun. I love the finished product. I can really feel the sizzling heat and energy every time I look at these paintings."

- Romani Berlekov

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Artwork: Prayers Riding the Thermals by Cheryl Kinderknecht, Temple by Jeff Diener