How I’ve looked forward to the announcement of Pausal’s new limited-edition vinyl album release, Along the Mantic Spring.Well, it’s almost here! The album will begin shipping May 6, 2014, but can now be pre-ordered at Pausal is the ambient music collaboration of Simon Bainton and Alex Smalley. Please go listen to audio samples at the link. It is otherworldly music. And utterly beautiful.

Along the Mantic Spring cover art

The title of the album was taken from the title of my painting used for the front panel.

The album is gate-fold, or four panels. I created several interlaced ink drawings for the two interiors. They are figurative (human and beast), intuitive, magical, mythical….

Here are some pictures of those drawings laid out. As Pausal’s music filled my studio, it was completely effortless to find inspiration.


I’ll share a bit about the title and coinciding painting used for the front panel. Along the Mantic Spring was composed, as usual, starting with a feeling, as opposed to thought-out, stringent imagery. I sensed I would be conveying something sacred. Soon, the figures arrived and the shapes and patterns coalesced. When I paint, there is always constant tension and resolve, a back and forth external/internal dialogue; I am being communicated with and am communicating to. I react to the combination of colors, textures, patterns as much as having an effect on them. All of this, in turn, inter-plays with my current experiences, even the very music that is playing. Sometimes the title will come to me before a painting starts. Sometimes months before. But in this case, I named it afterward. When I finished the work, I did not know the full story of what I had painted but it was obvious that the figures were involved with one another and also with the elements around them. So I went searching for a name and the plot of the story. It started with a word,”grotto”.  Soon I was reading about oracles and prayer places…. by Trey Ratcliff

I have a keen interest in anything ceremonial, anthropological and mythological . It’s comforting to read about scientific adaptation, laws and phenomena, but so to is learning about the ignition of, the migration and cultural borrowing of spiritual and philosophical ideas that have gotten us to this point. We’ve always been grappling with physical mortality, but also with our soulishness. We’ve built temples, etched cave walls, held hands as we stood in close circles and watched the stars to intuit our purpose, be it in love or hunting or war.  I was fascinated to read again about the oracle at Delphi and the mantic, message-bearing spring. It struck a note.


This idea of communing with gods, with each other and with nature resonated with some of my own experiences. Also, certain phraseology from my charismatic religion of youth, such as”living waters” and “the spirit moved on the face of the water”, came back to me in a delightfully fresh way. It hit home. Communing with one another and touching nature binds us together. It sets certain truths free. As you can see on other panels, the theme continued on and story kept building. I am even still finding out what the story is all about!

When I spoke of the title concept to Alex and Simon, we discovered an uncanny similarity of ideas regarding communication. We all agreed that the painting title would also be a great album title too. I will always be deeply honored and thankful to have had this experience and to have worked with such gracious musicians who were open to an organic flow in creativity.

Below is the back panel with hand-lettered the titles, credits, music label and other information.

Thanks for reading. Should be posting again soon since I just finished a large painting. Here’s a glimpse… taped and covered in glassine. 😉