Painted with Dan Aykroyd
CAD $325 – CAD $995
Synergy Art #1 – Suchiu/Dan Aykroyd
Although 2018 was the year I formally introduced my creation of the new art form Synergy Art, I had actually announced and began using the process at a private art show that was put on for me by a very prominent family in their beautiful home in the affluent neighborhood of Glencoe, Illinois in the north end of Chicago.
I had partnered at that time with a young doctor from Chicago, who wishes to remain anonymous, and it wasn’t until Colleen and I had a chance to travel to Aykroyd’s home in Kingston, Ontario that I found the opportunity to really dig in and start the full campaign that I had always wanted to.
So, there we were, we found ourselves visiting and staying over at Dan Aykroyd’s place. The day that we were doing the signing of my painting and prints of the “Blues Mocycle” I had asked Dan if he wouldn’t mind taking a few more minutes with me and basically experiment with me in this new art form.
Dan seemed delighted to work with me on this because he had never taken on an art project personally. This one of the main reasons I actually created the art form. It offers the opportunity of giving people a chance to create something outside of their normal creative ability. I always thought it would be a really enjoyable thing to involve people in becoming a part of a world-class piece of art whether they could paint or not.
So, we had finished signing the “Blues Mocycle” motorcycle prints and Dan was going to go out and get us some food for lunch. I asked him on the way out the door what his favorite color was and I had already painted a rough green background by the time he returned. This bench-marked the actual start of the very first celebrity Synergy painting ever produced.
I had a bit of chuckled on his return because when he saw what I had done while he was away getting our lunch, he believed the painting looked almost finished and didn’t want to paint anything on over it. Although that’s not what I wanted to have happened it certainly has happened on several occasions with other Synergy pieces I have done since. People would see the background that I created for them and not want to touch it because they believe that they would spoil it.
In quite of few instances, I have had to reassure people that this process cannot be spoiled and that, it is what they add to the background that causes the main jest of the painting to be created. I always tell them when they do their work, they can’t ruin anything no matter how much they like or dislike what they’ve done. It’s like the kindling wood that starts the fire going and without their input, I can’t create a synergy art piece.
So, Danny chose black to paint with and I gave him several brushes to choose from and he just grabbed one, and away he went painting like a pro. He began by outlining what seemed to be circles, he was being very careful with them to make sure that they were actually round and not oval, and as he painted he mentioned the word orbs several times. This part of the Synergy art piece is very important because everything that happens around me during the process becomes part of what the feeling, attitude, or drama of the painting will be.
Of every Synergy piece I’ve done that day and since that day I’m amazed at the fact that these paintings are creations that I could never have come up with or invented on my own. The excitement of being in the hands of an artist that creates something that is seemingly being intentionally channeled onto the canvas is exactly what I intended and I believe it actually turned out better than I could have ever imagined.
I know, a lot of people want to get into the artist’s brain when they look at his or her art. So, let me describe, from the heart, what I see in this piece.
What impressed me a lot most, when entering into this project, was the feeling of immense character of the actual Aykroyd family home that has been in his family for almost 200 years. It felt amazing, this was the same house he wrote Ghostbusters in. The same home that all of his early interest and knowledge in the mystic and the spiritual world was formed in. Most people don’t know but Dan’s father and grandfather were both experts in the occult and the world of spirits, ghosts, and apparitions. His father actually wrote the book on ghosts and Dan gave us a copy as house guests while we were there.
Even the room right next to us was official designated as the séance room. Dan had mentioned that when he was a child, many times his Grandfather, family, and friends would have séances in that room. The doorway to the basement was in the corner of the room and Dan as a child who probably should have been in bed at the time would peak through that doorway sitting on the stairs and watch the entire séance.
Seriously what a privilege it was for us to stay and sleep in that home, a home that is now eight generations of the same family. Imagine the feeling of sleeping in the bedroom, right next to the séance room. I had it in the back of my mind that maybe something would happen through the night you know squeak of a door a thump upstairs something that would be suggestive of the history of the house or the past that lived in that house. Oh sure it would scare the hell out of me but you only go around once, right?
The reason I described this, is because when I look at the painting itself I smell and sense the earthiness in the colors. I can still smell the age of the house and the fire that was always on. Dan always had a really nice fire in the fireplace for us and there was a continual magical little rain gently falling in the forest outside while we were there.
So, in general, while looking back looking at the painting as the main creator of the painting I did find things that were popping their heads out at me. When you look at the bird with the golden helmet in the finished piece and check out where it is in the rough background you will see the actual image of the bird was obviously in the brush strokes from the get-go. The alien was staring straight at me when I looked at the canvas for the very first time and it didn’t take long. I’ve had another Synergy Artwork that took me three weeks to start seeing things in it but this one appeared the instant I put my canvas up on the easel. Some of the images in the piece seemed confusing and also bizarre. There is what seems to be in the lower left-hand corner a strange-looking theatrical mask not pretty, actually more of a haunting caricature of a theatrical mask.
In the upper right-hand corner, which seems to be a spaceship window is a big fan window. I believe it was a window that seemed to influence Dan in the room before he started the painting. As in all my Synergy pieces, I ask my partner to take a few minutes and look at and ponder the background before they begin. I instruct them to allow whatever wants to happen inside of their heart and their soul to come out. Dan got it and really caught on to what he wanted to find. You could see him drawing forth his motivation as they would say in the acting business. So I watched him look around the room at the same time you could see was taking deep breaths of air experiencing his surroundings and looking I things that would spark the feeling and ideas.
The window I used in the painting, I believe, was put into the house when Dan and Donna first got married and had renovated the house. I am just guessing but I found it to be a little strange that the colors in the window were pure colors but the window seemed to have what could look to be a mistake in it. If you look at the four panels that fan around the centerpiece, you will see from left to right a green panel, a yellow panel, a clear panel, and a blue panel. The centerpiece of the window is a gorgeous garnet red. But, let’s go back to the clear piece. You would think that the centerpiece would have been the clear pane, leaving all four of the fan parts in translucent color, it just makes more sense to me. When he looked up to the window, I believe he was looking because the green was so beautiful to him, I don’t know that for certain I’m just guessing. Yet the clear panel was the one talking to me. It was like it was placed there to be able to see out of. I found that evening that, if you’re looking through that clear panel standing on the floor looking up you’re looking into the night sky or the universe and for some reason, it really hit home for me.
My interpretation of the painting is that you have somehow become stuck in the middle of time. You can look out the window towards what appears to be the Earth yet, the window you are looking through is on Earth. So, if you’re on Earth and you were looking back through the window, it’s almost like you’re seeing crossroads or connection points of many different worlds that are coming together at one specific moment in time. What about the theatrical mask, the orbs that have now turned into planets, the bird that has flown there, you can detect his path by his tail that seems to stretch for millions of miles back through a sort of crevice in time? The little toy spaceship too is obvious to me, but probably not to you because everywhere we went on Dan’s property Donna had place beautiful little metal toys in the gardens. I can just see Dan Aykroyd when he was a child on the farm, his imagination running wild while playing with his little toy rocket ship, dreaming of aliens either coming to him or Dan going to them.
So, when you’re looking at the brush strokes of this painting you will see many things that I won’t see. I will see things in a much different way because of the experiences that were wrapped around me at this time. The painting definitely takes on its own life who’s evolution is caused by two partners coming together to make a third partner, the third partner being the image itself.
I’ve tried, in the before and after images of this article, to show you where I discovered these characters. I have had many people walk up and show me many more. There is one character though, that really bothers me even to this day. If you look very closely, be patient with this, directly between the Green Planet and the Crystal Blue orb you can faintly make out what seems to be a wizard. There is a pointed hat there, an almost skull-like face with a long beard and enlarged humped shoulders. I’m embarrassed to say that, although I saw him there, he kept on saying to me something to me to focus on him but my sense was that he was just too obvious. The only reason I didn’t paint him and pull out his detail was that I’m writing this book entitled “The Wizard of Art”. In my heart, I felt that that wizard seemed to have undeserved arrogance about him and he wanted to argue with me. So, I felt in control at the time and I simply said “No… It is not going to happen!”
I won’t go through all of the details in this piece, I certainly would like you to try and discover a few on your own, that is the experience of Synergy Art at its finest. But however, I’d like to tell you about another one of the characters. if you look in the lower-left corner just to the left of the theatrical mask you’ll see what appears to be kind of a cutesy character with very large ears standing straight and tall along the edge. I’ve had several people walk up and think that it looks like a mummified Egyptian cat or animal of some sort and I have to agree with them. Now unlike the wizard that was trying to get me to detail it, this little character, every time I went to put more detail into it was literally pushing back and forcing me to leave it alone.
In saying that, I keep running into feelings that make me sometimes almost feel slightly insane. Over the years I really have begun to believe that from time-to-time there is some sort of a spirit induced into an image and Synergy Art seems to amplify this. I also believe that if we allow ourselves to become very sensitized to this, it can only draw out the best of us as artists. Although I fought it, I could not avoid the feeling that just as the wizard was coaxing me the little mummified character was pushing me away, very interesting to say the least.
And let’s now get to the elephant in the room we all know the Dan Aykroyd has produced an amazing vodka product that he calls “Crystal Head”. I didn’t see only one profile of a skull painting, I actually saw two. There they were overlapping. The one I have enhanced and if you look closely at the brushwork that the skull’s jaw is overlapping you’ll see an almost identical sized skull at the exact same angle as the one I’ve enhanced.
So the skull has shown up naturally in my painting, what do you do with that? Well, what I did, I’m going to call it a cheat. Yes, the skull was there by itself but in doing research on vodka I noticed he had a limited edition bottle that just blew me away with its awesome coloration. He called this Aurora, probably after the Aurora Borealis, it seemed to have a lot of the beautiful tones that you would see when oil is sitting on the water. With all of those wonderful rainbow-refracted colors, I couldn’t resist and why should I that’s what Synergy is all about.
What I thought was really amazing was that the skull came out of the raw brush marks of the background and the orb that Dan painted was touching its forehead. I painted it as a clear blue crystal orb just because it felt good. I have always understood that blue is a healing color that’s probably why it felt right to paint it that way.
So here we have the Synergy starting all over again but the painting parts are actually being the synergy elements on their own. The skull seems to be communicating with the orb in a transcendental manner. What could be the outcome of that… I leave that up to you.
Even the word I have been using “synergist” is something that will always pop up as a spelling mistake. It’s not in my book, I can call it whatever I wish, remember I made up the art form so I can also make up what I name those who get involved with it and this is how it works.
Very simple, you take two words and use the process of synergy to do the art, therefore synergy (the process) + artist (one who performs that task) = Synergist.
I won’t go into any more description of this painting but I will close this article with one more fact. I understand much more about the soul of my trade today because of Synergy Art.
In all of the years that I’ve been painting, I’ve often felt deep in my soul that I wasn’t ready to admit. I would hear objects talk to me as if they were in charge and commanding me to do something specific with them in a painting. I would often smell and even taste colors I was using, not literally of course, but they would be insisting that I use them in one way or another. Sometimes it felt right, other times it felt wrong.
And now I have thrown in the towel of belief. I don’t question it, I know it is in my soul to do my art and I also know that these decision-making tools are probably more natural than most people would care to admit.
And gee what a thing it is to enjoy and wow, where this takes me. When painting the Magic Bus, Jim Morrison kept on crying out put me in the painting I deserve to be there when I did my painting with Sting, my life logo, Alexandretta the little sleeping dragon forced her way into the painting, not unlike the way she has forced herself several times before. Every time I paint my Suchiu Blue onto a canvas I get an amazing taste in my mouth that’s as wonderful as any fine wine this world has to offer.
Bordering on insanity? Maybe, but I do believe now that there is some intelligence just beyond our ability to comprehend what is really going on. I don’t question that part anymore. I really believe but it helps me and that any artist, musician, actor, and writer probably have had this happening. Obviously, some of us realize it, there are probably who don’t realize it but hey, I’m not going to fight it it doesn’t scare me it just feels like fun, and maybe even further than that it seems to bring me closer to something extremely unique and special.
So, call me crazy if you wish but I know exactly why I LOVE MY ART so much and I have offered up my entire life to do it!
I believe it was George Harrison who said that our only challenge in life is to find Bliss and when I am doing my art, especially the Synergy pieces I am not too far off of just that!
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