Art is an authentic reflection of the artist’s mind and spirit,
like a mirror through which the viewer observes the artist
 through his own perception. 

The depth of this intimate expression contains a void, a hidden catalyst that beckons the viewer’s attention to fill it by creating a better reflection of himself, placing his own meaning into it, and completing it as his own work of art. 

In your light, I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to write poems.
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you, but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art. 

Rumi
1207-1273
World beloved Persian Sufi Poet.
A wealthy nobleman, a genius theologian, a jurist
and a brilliant, sober scholar.

Visit Facebook for updates, Twitter for arts and culture,
Pinterest for a visual feast, and YouTube to meditate through art to ease your mind and soothe your soul.

Become a Witness to Your Thoughts and Feelings

Step out of your mind and become a witness to the stream of
your thoughts and feelings, like walking alongside a river
and watching it flow. 
Meander within a world of contrasts of Mother Nature; she has secrets to tell you. 
Let her colors, forms, and textures take you to an exclusive virgin
 
territory to create in abundance: 
The Future!

Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal until, bit by bit, the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged with the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river – small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea and painlessly lose their individual being.

    Bertrand  Russell
   1872 – 1970
A British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist,
 and Nobel laureate in literature, 1950.
 
 

Creativity Is My Passion

My passion and interests lie in learning and setting new goals to create new ways to improve life. They inspire and motivate me to learn even newer and better ways to develop and enhance my expertise to transform lives in many different ways.   

Each completion of a new and challenging task has taught me skills and abilities I couldn’t have discovered had I not endeavored to explore new territories. The discoveries have inspired me to explore even more. 

By now, I have learned enough to realize how little I know, which has awakened me to the discovery that my skills and abilities are far beyond what I have been made to believe about myself. The journey has led me to come home to myself and discover who I truly am.

I am very grateful for what I have achieved and the blessings of personally experiencing the State of Ecstasy, where I can bask in the serene realm of detachment as I continue to create effortlessly with reverence for the Source of Creation within myself.

 

Iran Lawrence

“Sixty years ago, I knew everything. Now I know nothing. Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”

Will Durant
1885-1981
America’s gentle philosopher

He sought to unify and harmonize the great body of historical knowledge, which had grown voluminous and become fragmented into esoteric specialties, and to vitalize it for contemporary application.

The Journey

I am an Iranian American, a widely published and exhibited award-winning artist, and a recipient of the University of Delaware Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement, awarded to alums who have exhibited great promise in their professional and public service activities.

In 1986, when the New York Museum of American Folk Art and 3M Corporation launched a national competition for the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration, 28 regional and national judges gathered in New York City to judge 1200 pieces of submitted artworks.  They were judged for originality, overall appearance, design composition, and technical expertise. I was delightfully blessed to become an award recipient of that competition. 

I was already trained as an artist under the tutelage of a Japanese teacher when I enrolled in the University of Delaware and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. I later earned a Master of Science degree in Interior Design and Architecture from Drexel University and a Master of Fine Arts scholarship to Temple University, Tyler School of Art. 

In hindsight, I now realize that I was on an evolutionary path with a desire to understand life at a much deeper level that could satisfy my curiosity.
I didn’t quite know what it was that I was looking for. But I knew that the more I studied and learned, the more interested and curious I became. 

My life had become a cornucopia of skills and know-how gradually acquired throughout my evolution. I had traveled to many parts of the globe and had become acquainted with many diversified cultures. I was genuinely interested in everything I was doing and enjoying my accomplishments, but there was a persisting void within me, like a longing for something that I could not clearly define and know how to satisfy; nevertheless, a few questions kept me preoccupied regarding good and evil, life and death and the universe with all its phenomena.

Knowing what I know today and looking back through my rearview mirror, I realize that all along, I was looking to commune with the Source of Creation within Myself. 

At the end of my studies in fine arts, and after nine years of college, I fell serendipitously in love with philosophy – the love of the pursuit of wisdom – a pivotal blessing that drove me to embark upon studying Eastern Spiritual Philosophy, a subject deeply rooted within the ancient wealth of my Persian heritage, Zen Buddhism and well defined through the disciplines of epistemology; a branch of philosophy that unravels nature, methods and the boundaries of human knowledge.

This endeavor illumined and clarified my entire perspective on life and took me home to my true Self, as Rumi puts it very eloquently: “…to my beloved, the Source of Creation.” 

As a multi-disciplined artist, interior designer, educator, and personal development Consultant, I can confidently say that my spiritual and intellectual skills and abilities have reached a point of release, a critical point when I became aware of the Source of Creation within myself, and my creativity expanded into an exploration of Life itself as an inclusive canvas of art.

Personal development / transformation is a matured and ripened consultation / mentoring system for an exclusive breed and lineage who seek personal fulfillment and clarity beyond the short-lived gratifications of the material universe – the elusive quest of most people that is much like drinking saltwater for satiating thirst, which only exasperates the desire; a mirage that continues to beckon the ‘thirst’ of the unconscious seekers toward a pool of freshwater but delivers only a barren land. 

If we could define ART as a form of skill and ability that expresses and produces practical, desirable, and beautiful results in a given field, then life itself becomes the most splendid canvas of art, an art that necessitates the inclusion of a variety of physical, sensual, spiritual, and intellectual skills and abilities to live it masterfully with joy – a state of Ecstasy* that is often achieved by highly creative people in the arts, sciences, sports, and others.  

But here is the caveat: Ecstasy is the product of a transformation process, where every aspect of one’s life runs through a fine sieve, where the self-erected barriers gradually fade away, a threshold that, when it is crossed, reveals the truth behind the concealed masks of one’s environment and the veil of mystery over the face of Good and Evil falls off. This is when life begins to reveal its Magic through a gladdened and peaceful heart that transcends the soul!     

Personal Transformation is a very esoteric ancient spiritual process that originated deep within the Ancient Eastern Hemisphere with a backbone solidly placed in divine virtues. A very magically skillful process that manifests a new externally desired condition by a change within the internal reality.
This is an endeavor not much suited for the fainthearted or 
the dilettante seeker but for the brave hearts and genuine seekers who desire a path of a heightened state of awareness, where one can transcend his false perceptions and dark shadows that lead toward a new door in the middle of nowhere to discover and begin a fresh new and wholesome companionship with Himself as an extension of the Source of Creation!

It is a path strewn with many Karmic challenges to overcome and observation of rules that, although not enforceable, when broken, make life mysteriously uncooperative and at times even brutally punishing; nevertheless, handsomely rewarding when they are diligently observed with integrity and courageously applied.

Becoming a personal development consultant grew naturally as an essential complementary dimension of my creative work, a consultation service designed to help and awaken one’s “Innate Creative Forces and Abilities” by hacking the roots of his perceived barriers to recreate life as a meaningful and evolving new work of art; an art that its purpose is to create beauty, to immerse and bathe oneself in the beauty of Truth and tap into the treasury of the soul and experience a divine communion with the Source of Creation.

The title Guru (teacher/mentor) was given to me by those I have helped experience a Personal Transformation and new Magic in their lives.

One of the rewards of such consultations is when a new client says: 
I wish I had met you a long time ago!

We cannot arrive at the presence of Truth before we discover and become thoroughly acquainted with the true essence of our being, the Beauty of Truth – our Spiritual Essence, our Inner Magic, the Source of Creation that is mysteriously trapped in our being by our false perceptions, self-denials and foisted conditioning of our environment that are desperately longing to be released.

The distilled summary of what I have said here is deeply buried within the quote below from Rumi for only the brightest minds to perceive and pursue its essence.

With light and bliss,
Iran Lawrence
 

What is Ecstasy!

The origin of ecstasy: in Greek, it is a trance-like spiritual displacement, being outside and existing in a different and more orderly reality, an elevated state of spiritual bliss and delight.

Ecstasy is a measurable sensation of freedom and a palpable, consciously liberated detachment from all but a single overpowering desire with the certainty that one is competently in command and control of his creations, knowing with confidence that he will soon be witnessing his intended form of creation.

This is a state often experienced – but not exclusively – by highly creative people in the arts, sciences, sports, and others; a state much imbued with courage, commitment, and the willingness to take chances, make mistakes and be wrong; a state that once attained, the fruits of its rewards become profoundly soothing, satisfying, meaningful and enduring as self-expression and personal calling.

Ecstasy is a state where high skills and challenges come together with immediate feedback. It is a supernatural state of being highly focused with clarity, a state where time stands still, self-consciousness disappears, and competence effortlessly and spontaneously merges with action under full awareness, a state that overshadows all other concerns.

It’s the dawning path of a particular form of consciousness when dormant forces and abilities begin to awaken with a well-concentrated awareness. It’s the achievement of a state requiring considerable skills and preparedness. It is reached unexpectedly in many ways during one’s quest for growth, evolution, and, ultimately, a state of enlightenment. It’s like suddenly witnessing the blooming of a new rose in the garden of one’s heart, and once its fragrance is sensed, its sensation of Freedom transcends one beyond any physical pleasures known before.

Ecstasy is a metamorphic state much like the peaks of the tides in the sea of enlightenment, fermenting the grapes of the soul into wine. Once the first sip of it is tasted and deeply absorbed, one continues to remain in its proximity and freely chooses to move in and out of it at will. This is the time when the ultimate meaning of truth begins to beckon one into communion with Divine Love.

Iran Lawrence

From this turquoise blue sea, every vessel is filled to its capacity.

Persian Mystic poet, Rumi

Iran Lawrence

An Homage to Rumi

Longing for Thee

Yearning for the seclusion in my soul,
I sought a moment of solitude in my being.
The anguish of thy void unsettled my peace.
Verily endeavored to deceive myself,
weariness cloaked me from toe to brow.
I succumbed and fell under a willow tree.
Oh, the soothing shade…
The splendid grass…
The heavenly breeze…
The thought of thee…
Dancing ethereal dreams in my mind…
Drifting me into a trance…
There…
I began to walk with thee…
Indulging in the wine of thy grace…
And then…
The ruckus of songbirds awakened me…
My drunken eyes scarcely opened…
And found thee lying beside me…
Holding a lotus in thy hand – for me…
Oh, how I long for thee…

Iran Lawrence

My spiritual quest in a poem…

The Morning Dew

At every dawn, I fervently
seek the fragrance of the only rose.
Bathed in the morning dew, it lures and beckons me to
quench my thirst.
I hesitate eagerly, and it
beckons me more.
I approach it cautiously and
only wet my lips.
I become intoxicated more
 than I can bear.
I heedlessly fall into having more, and the thorns lacerate me from head to toe.
I stumble back to my solitude, licking my wounds to make me whole,
I become intoxicated even more.
I comb for sanity and vow to repent.
On my knees, I earnestly pray for
more and more.

Iran Lawrence

Lotus

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not.
My basket was empty, and the flower remained unheeded.
Only now and again, a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.
 That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing, and it seemed to me that it was the eager breath of the summer seeking its completion.
 I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart. 

Rabindranath Tagore
1861-1941
Calcutta, India. 
Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature – 1913.

Tagore was a Bengali polymath noted as a poet, short-story writer, song composer, novelist,
playwright, essayist, and painter. Author of Gitanjali – Prayer Offering of Songs.

The West considered his poetry as profoundly spiritual and mercurial.


His mesmeric personality and otherworldly dress earned him a prophet-like reputation in the West. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of the modern Indian subcontinent.

Dear Lady

 71″ x 71″
Dear Lady is a piece of  America’s artistic heritage, saluting the Statue of Liberty’s Centennial Birthday Celebration. The Museum of American Folk Art in New York City launched a nationwide textile art/quilt competition in honor of the Statue of Liberty Centennial in 1986.

The remarkable skills and talents of numerous artists across America were put to task for one year in creating masterpieces worthy of the symbolic stature of the Statue of Liberty as the best in contemporary design/art and artistry judged by 28 regional and national judges in New York City.

Dear Lady became a part of The Museum of American Folk Art’s collection to tour the nation’s best museums and galleries in the United States and abroad for three years.

 

A Historical Jubilee

An honorable and noble competition;
a celebratory burst of pride and courage embracing America’s national ideals.

A visual fireworks echoing
with the sound of drums and trumpets, boasting America as
   the Leader of the Free World.  

The Central Medallion

The heaven’s rays emanating from
 the torch is shining over the 13 original
colonies illuminating the path to freedom in America as a destination of hope, optimism, and opportunity.

Pride and Courage

White signifies purity and innocence, red for hardiness and valor, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. 

 

Liberty and Justice

The eagle’s claws transformed into the stand of the Liberty Bell in striking position. The arrows symbolize the wars fought to preserve peace and democracy.

The wreath is an intertwined branch of olive and laurel, a tribute to American cultural achievement.

The olive branch for peace, goodwill, and victory is derived from the customs of ancient Greece, who waged war not for occupancy; thus, it is a symbol of victory, honor, and clemency.

Precision and Workmanship

The blue background is one piece of fabric with 50-star cutouts in designated areas to place the white fabric under them to reverse applique the blue over white to prevent the shadow effect of white over blue.

The spikes of Her crown are pieced individually and then appliqued over the blue background. Many stars are then quilted in the blue sky background.

Design Continuity and Vocabulary

The overall design expresses America’s ideals placed on an interpretation of the flag as the background. 

The 50 stars representing the 50 states are uniformly placed, bordered by a chain of olives and laurel leaves, and pleated in white to complete the piece with a homespun flair from the home of the immigrants.

Presidential Citation

Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement, Awarded for exhibiting great promise in professional and public service activities. University of Delaware, 1995.

With University of Delaware President Dr. David Roselle.

A proud moment shared with family and friends on stage.

President's House Reception with other award recipients.

Inspiration

Creation is complete at the moment it is imagined within the unbound spiritual universe. But when it is attempted to be expressed within the physical universe of boundaries and limitations, we experience unforeseen challenges to overcome.

Several years of contemplation, a few rounds of testing and experimentation, over 5200 pieces of material, and 12 months of creation strewn with challenges resulted in this piece called Inspiration.

O'keeffe II

3′ x 12′
Hand-dyed Cotton Fiber Art Quilt
Set of 3, installed on three stretched canvases.

O'Keeffe II

A Corporate Commission.
Installed at a Law Firm
One Liberty Place,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kaman

90″ x 100″
Hand-dyed Cotton Fiber Art Quilt.
Installed on a single
stretched canvas.
Margate, New Jersey beach house.
The house is a recipient of the Architectural Record’s
Award for Design Excellence.

 

The Winds of Change

38″ x 50″
Hand-dyed Cotton Fiber Art Quilt.
Installed on a stretched canvas
within an 8″ cove behind glass.

The Winds of Change

Hand-dyed Cotton Quilt.
Corporate Commission.
Recommended and referred by
Delaware Art Museum.
Jefferson Plaza Lobby,
Wilmington, Delaware. 

O'keeffe I

5′ x 9′
Hand-dyed Cotton Fiber Art Quilt. Installed on a stretched canvas. Corporate Commission.
DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Boardroom,
Wilmington, Delaware. 

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and me miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.

Michelangelo
 Creation of Adam
Italian painter, sculptor, architect and poet, Renaissance artist, and 
an outstanding figure in the history of the visual arts. 

Transcendence

We transcend from a single form of creativity into exploring Life as an inclusive form of art when the cultivation of our spiritual and intellectual skills and abilities reaches a point of release. This is a critical point when we become aware of the Source of Creation within ourselves and begin to manifest what we imagine and aspire to gladden the heart and soul of humanity as the ultimate canvas of art.

Iran Lawrence

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