Behind the Art: The End of Forever

I have to say that being able to share my art with my dad during his final days on this Earth gave me a lot of joy.

We were fellow writers who actually worked together for a bit and were very close. He was a big fan of my art. So, sending him pictures of my new paintings was a great new form of communication for us.

And for my painting the “End of Forever,” I threw in a little Easter egg for him — the snow-covered mountain in the upper right.

Dad knew immediately that it was a reference to Mount Fuji, which he and my brother and I set out to climb one summer day in 1970. In this painting it represents a spiritual element as it is considered one of three sacred mountains in Japan and has been the site of pilgrimages for centuries. While we had to turn back due to inclement weather that day, I consider completion of this painting as a fitting conclusion of that personal journey.

This painting is another in my series called the “Spirits of Babylon” and it was my first true “landscape.” I drew a lot of inspiration from the works of the late Matthew Wong Of course, this being a Michael Robinson painting, the landscape is a portal into another realm of meaning.

We have the two main characters still trying to communicate across an expanse. This time it’s a fire ball that hits the top of the canvas with a fiery contrail behind it. Is that fireball coming up from the ocean or plunging in?  As with several other pieces in this series, this conundrum explores the connection between the beginnings of the universe, themes of “intelligent design” and our duty to communicate beyond our own sphere.

I think it’s kind of cool that I put them on ocean rocks rising from the sea that could serve as pedestals as though they were statues. And staying with the Babylon theme, they have sparks coming out of their hands. It’s their unique mode of “talking” in an attempt to bridge the gap between them.

I’m particularly pleased with how the ocean came out. I painted the wave patterns from my own personal experience. See, I’m a former competitive sailboat racer who knows how to find the wave and wind patterns that most others can’t see.

For this piece, I decided to give the sky a deep purple horizon topped by a fiery sunset that adds extra dimension to the meaning of the painting and also reflects the intense nature of the fire ball.

And as I often do, I took the title from one of my favorite hard rock songs. It’s on Feral Roots, the terrific Grammy-nominated album by Rival Sons.

I do hope you enjoy the story behind The End of Forever and the painting itself. Check out my video talking about the painting here.