Ran Ortner is a genius.

“Open Water No. 17″, Ran Ortner. Oil on Canvas, 84 x 108″, 2009.

Amazing, right? This guy is incredible. I devoured Ran Ortner’s interview article in The Sun, “Water Water Everywhere”. You’ll want to do yourself a favor and go read every word he says. His perspective: surfing meets minimalism meets Albert Einstein meets oil pigment from the earth, all bathed in love and brilliance.

Ortner makes a breath-taking parallel between mountain and sea. He said people either describe themselves as mountain-people or ocean-people, but really mountain and ocean are so much alike. He lived in Alaska where the mountains dropped off into the sea, so he saw both together on a regular basis.

He says that mountains heave and fall just like waves do, just on a longer timetable. He chose to engage with the ocean instead of mountains as a metaphor for the human experience.

This is because its immediacy and constant changes mirror the timetable of our own lives more than the much slower life journey of the mountain. (!!!)

He speaks of his deep relationship to the “ancient body” of the ocean in a thought Thomas Merton’s writings inspired in him:

“Out of that ancient body comes this pulsing energy, like a metronome constantly marking the Now. I thought how powerful it would be if I could bring to painting even a fraction of the immediacy I feel when engaging with the ocean.”

Yeah, like I said, you’ll want to read every word in the article and then spend a nice, long time ogling his work here. By the way, Ortner’s website is every kind of minimalist power you’d expect from a guy like him.

So excited to share this JEWEL with you! Let me know your experience of his work.


P.S. Thank you, Lisa, for making me aware of this guy! You deeply enriched my life and creative practice.

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