Artwork by Brad Perks - Lightscapes Studio
Reflections - Religions of Life  - CON Temporary - Resurrection - Eyes of Gods
Easter Celebration of Rebirth 2011 - Dreams Detours and Destinations
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Reflections By Janine L. Williams

There are many defining moments in life that change us forever, whether we deem good or bad. We relish the good times that bring us happiness and inner peace. We replay the bad times over and over in our mind in hopes to create a new end result. What could we have done different, we ask of ourselves?

We are blessed to have been placed here on this earth to have our heart and soul tested. The spiritual bodies above look for those who can rise up to this challenge. Those with the most to offer, and often the most to sacrifice, are laden with the greatest burden to carry; a cross to bear. The truly gifted children find their way in the end, somehow never losing sight of something more promising to find. They follow an elusive light, ever twinkling in the distant skies. The universe beckons up a promise for those who can persevere. Multi-dimensional in many ways, the chosen ones seek the truth and search out new frontiers. Enlightenment is their reward. Wisdom is their gift to share

In his works, Religions of Life, Brad Perks captures this journey through time. Darkness and confusion dominate in the beginning. Tortured thoughts and overwhelming fears eventually give rise to the greatest revelation and beauty in the end. Somewhere over the rainbow we all hold on to the notion that our dreams might be fulfilled. Few might understand the depths of emotion or the turbulent tides along the way, but all will wonder what these pictures portray when faced with the brutal honesty that this artist brings forth. To place one’s inner being so naked for all to view takes tremendous strength and fortitude. Judgment day is always feared by those who bear the cross. Will we be crucified or embraced; loved or distained? The journey is one of faith, and not a passage way that many would venture through to the other side, or even attempt to understand. For those who survive the journey, the treasures are boundless.

The innocence of a child should be protected by the angels above, but at times the evil spirits descend on the blessed child who might give rise to their greatest challenge. Bind the wings before they can take flight. Dampen the spirit and bury the soul, never to rise again. Somehow, the gifted child perseveres and attempts flight with its broken wings; always struggling to soar the skies despite its tether to the ground.  Many years of learning and healing are to be invested before the humbled spirit gains its strength and power to endure and rise above the flames that might engulf if left unattended. While the scars remain, the shackles are finally released and the new unbound freedom inspires the innermost soul.

Religions of Life
Religions of Life


Tensions in Balance
(1976), reveals this struggle between good and evil; what we desire and what we succumb to in order to placate the expectations of those who surround us. Perhaps we all have gradations in-between, but the ends of the spectrum punctuate a clear division.  Our identity may be captured at any point, but ultimately we seek approval; often to our own demise. We first seek the approval and love of our parents. We look to them for acknowledgment and support in developing our own sense of self-worth. We venture out, testing the turbulent waters, but encounter disapproval.

A special friend on our same journey opts out, no longer able to bear the harsh judgment of society anymore. Unable to meet the expectations of parents, he finds a different path to acceptance. Left empty and feeling eternal guilt, the questions brought forth remain unanswered; the inner dialogue never finding resolution.  Why did you leave me alone? Did you not love me enough to stay here on earth with me and share all that we had to live together? What lesson did you want me to learn as I felt I let you down? I should have done something more to save you. You chose the easy road, but I will persevere . . . albeit lonely. It’s not likely anyone will come along who might understand, let alone approve; so it’s best to retreat underground. Let me put on my mask so that I can hide, as it’s best not to take a similar route. Something tells me that I need to endure; that my mission is not yet fulfilled. Please be my guiding light to the promised land. Help me cross the golden bridge over the dark, turbulent waters and the murky depths below. Help me to find the answers. Help me to find the truth.

Indeed, the self portrait drawn is a clown; outwardly happy but deeply saddened within. The layers of heavy makeup cake the face, concealing the darkness hidden inside. The painted smile is merely a façade created for the outward world to see; underneath fighting back the unbearable tears that threaten to well up and spill over. The mask must be peeled away layer by layer, much like the skin of an onion; stinging the eyes until a tear finally manages to fall silently down. Eventually, streams will wash away the layers piled on top to reveal a superficial level of reality. Cleansing the inner soul will take even more time. Screaming from the inside to just be who we are, we succumb to the demands placed upon us by society. Our wings are cropped and the weight of our burden appears insurmountable.





In Barely Across (1977), Perks removes the superficial layers of the mask, hoping that true happiness will be his reward. He realizes that he has barely chipped the surface of the outer walls that protect the child locked in a self-imposed prison. Escape can only be found in the relentless chiseling of a sharp pencil that moves its way effortless and endlessly across the paper . . . a canvas that reflects the struggles between good and evil. The hand is now dismembered from the rest of the body, seeking to escape that which the brain has been programmed to believe.  Must the heart acquiesce as well? A mere shadow of the true self; is it possible to erase away the pain? Even when erased, the canvas is a clouded with grey. The picture remains elusive despite the intricate weave. Now tangled in tethers, freedom eludes the saddened spirit.

2 Understand 22 - Bearly Across

Struggling Success





In
Struggling Success (1978), Perks continues up the ladder to perceived success, but is disappointed that it’s not the promised stairway to heaven believed. In all actuality, the ladder climbed is down into hell. The rose garden offers no promises of a sweet and fragrant refuge. Instead, it is a minefield of thorns that draw blood when touched in the entangled mass. Each prickly thorn is a tiny syringe drawing out the energy from within, and poisoning the weakened spirit from the innermost soul.




In Save the Children (1979), the devil entices the lost child into another disparate world, offering up temptations along the way . . . drugs, sex and money. Venturing off course, we soon realize that the medicine we hope will assuage our fears poisons us even further. Darkness descends, and yet we cannot hide. There is no where that we feel safe, loved and accepted for who we are truly meant to be. Why isn’t that good enough, we question? Still a child we ask, “Where is our savior”? The cross gets heavier and the burden greater to bear.

Save the Children

Looking Ahead



Perhaps to forego our dreams is reality. Perks accepts the role society dictates, but in Looking Ahead (1980), he still holds on to the hope that the future may bring fulfillment. The road to travel is long and winding, without an end in sight though. The money in the hand is inconsequential to the treasure to be found at the end of the rainbow. Will the sun set before it is too late? Before he can forge ahead, he must first take care of his failing health. A diabetic with a life sentence, can he overcome the odds? The physical body requires nurturing before the heart and soul can reign. Life is a delicate balancing act where the scales of justice don’t always appear weighted correctly. The chain is heavier on one side, we fear; scales imbalance by the chains that weigh us down.


In order to be free, and to look with hope to the future, we must first confront the conflicts and demons from our past. Always searching for the love of our parents, we search for other ways to replace that which we feel is unfulfilled.  A mother’s love and nurturing is at the core of the soul. In Conflicts and Freedoms (1981), Perks searches for a woman who can fill this void and make him whole, but realizes she does not exist except in fantasy. Could one woman ever meet all his needs, he asks? So, he looks to one who fulfills his passion, to one who fulfills his intellect, and to one who sustains equilibrium in a more pragmatic life.  The angles of the triangle are not right for forming a full circle that unites love in its purest form.  Severing parts of the self from the whole, keeps one from finding the kindred spirit that speaks to the body, mind and soul. Our sense of unity and completeness, in its ultimate resolve, is drawn from within. While another special person can bring fulfillment, they cannot unite that which is disjointed on the inside. The lesson learned is invaluable. Only we hold the key to our inner happiness. We must muster our strength to unlock the door and accept the person who has been lost inside for so many years, and shed so many painful tears.

Conflicts and Freedoms

Dreams Detours and Destinations …………..by Brad Perks 1982 - 2011
The path traveled is rarely a straight line pointing to our destination. Living well is about the journey as our measurements change. I was examining my life with a magnifying glass in 1982. I discovered my pencil could reveal my cluttered confusion and maybe help erase it. I was becoming ever more frustrated waiting to express the artist inside. I was preparing to finally indulge my artistic gifts. I was not sure of any final destination. My conflict tempted me into a dark twilight of poisonous delusions and drugs. It was a CON game of lies and a detour from rational thought. I found a spiritual energy that tapped into a source of healing. The darkness ended as I cleansed my body of toxic chemicals. I made my leap ahead and found my light. My 30 year detour was a meandering path to be here now as this artist. The buried treasures in my time capsule have been unlocked with the dawning of Resurrection and Eyes of Gods.

DREAMS - CONtemporary CONfusion   1982 - 1983

!982 was my awakening as the artist. I was on thresholds of childhood fantasies. Both near and far away scenes were in the eyes of my dreams. This collection of drawings is called the CON-Temporary. They are my first attempts at living color pencil. The beginning of the journey was a stairway of stepping stones with easy to follow cooking instructions. I could see beyond valleys of darkness into this new dawn of illuminated light brilliance and clarity.  I began the year with the ignorant hope of altered states. I ended the year in desperate need of spiritual repair.

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CON temporary
Great Eraser



The Great Eraser 1982 – I discovered my pencil was like a new best friend with a magic wand. My pencil was trying to erase the shadows and fears illustrated by the Religions of Life. This new set of tools made me feel stronger.  I set forth with my great eraser to repair the tattered and torn pieces of my life. It seemed such an obvious self realization. I had a solution to dealing with the torture I inflicted living between two worlds. I transported myself beyond my business with my magic pencil. I felt like a genie set free from captivity. I began an exploration into color. This first picture had less clutter and darkness than all previous ones. I was working a much larger canvass. There were spaces of light separating the fragmented pieces of this jig saw puzzle. I was drawing in the evenings after work in Denver. It was a satisfying way to conclude my days. I would wake feeling refreshed.






Show and Tell 1982
– My drawings were revealing my inherent survival instincts. I was learning to see beyond the fragmented pieces. There was a new tapestry of images breathing life on my paper. I looked forward. I felt the innocence of my inner child standing in front of his classmates at school. What was I learning on this new adventure in living color? What could I share with others? I was drawing my 1982 diary now showing me visions of reality or delusional illusions.


Show and Tell

Compose Yourself




Compose Yourself 1982 - I see myself as an artist wearing a French barrette. I was discovering myself while drawing the inner reflections of my life. Could I learn to draw the visualizations of a new future? So many questions left unanswered. I was searching to find a new direction. Businessman by day and artist by night seemed unsustainable. I drew a new self image to explore where the journey might take me. Starving was the word that preceded artist in the echoes of my parents. My business as a clothing rep continued to prosper. I felt undefined. I bought a house. I bought a new car. I had an empty feeling with my composition. Who is the YOU in my YOU-niverse?






Sea Sandcastles Within Reach 1982
– I enjoyed building sandcastles at the beach as a child.  I learned the next tide of waves would recreate the canvass. What was within my reach as an artist trying to achieve success? What could I build that might withstand the next set of waves? Would I find the proper balance between reality and fantasy? I wanted to take a closer look at the hand I was dealt. I wanted to make experienced choices my parents and family could all be proud of. I had climbed up hills making a living without life. The roller coaster ride was about to begin. It felt like boarding a thrill ride in play land at the beach. The child in me was back in torturous conflict with this evolutionary process. The multitude of questions outweighed the answers. Where was a creation or a picture of life that defined me? Paydays were growing along with my discontent. I felt trapped by my own success.


Sea Sandcastles

Alien Attacks



DETOURS

Alien Attacks 1982 – The dark days were approaching. The “alien” attacked my conflict possessing my vulnerable discontent. I began a dual identity. Businessman by day and artist by endless night. I was introduced to cocaine by an artist named Harm von Holden. Purest of the uncut pure he called “Rainbow”. The poison allowed me to draw all night and function all day. I rarely slept.  My world was a dark twilight zone. The bright colors faded back into shades of black and grey. The strokes of my pencil were heavy handed and angry. I funneled everything I was into the crystallized rainbows shimmering off the piles of cocaine on my Betty Boop mirror. My hands were black with ebony pencil. My finger tips were stained yellow from the tobacco is used to calm my rush. My stomach could only hold more alcohol if I puked. I kept a bucket by my bedside praying I could sleep before the break of day. My body was covered in sweat as I lay in my water bed waiting for the chest pains to end. I did more coke to stop feeling so horrible.  I got out of bed in the morning with another line. I had a Bloody Mary for breakfast to bite the dog. I continued to function in my daytime business world waiting for the demons of night to mask my pain.


Voice Hear Today 1982 – Two months of daily cocaine abuse was killing me. I only slept after drinking myself beyond vomit and cold sweats.  My inner voice of good conscious knew it was time to move beyond this twilight existence.  The rose began to wither on the vine. I felt like a ghost of a man as I was now erasing myself from the page. I needed purification and soul food. I felt beyond awful. I had poisoned myself. I began my withdrawal by keeping my cocaine in a safety deposit box beyond my night gallery. Placing a limit was my first baby step.

Voice Hear Today
Prey


Prey 1982 – I admitted to myself that cocaine was an evil toxic serpent preying on my well being. Prayer became a constant companion. I heard the words “Give it to God” growing up as a Catholic. Prey illustrates Jesus holding the coke grinder in his hand next to a snake.  I started the cleansing process to wash myself clean and get sober. I ground up my final gram and filled my bottle for the 16 hour drive to California. I had the time for a months rest in December. I needed to be away from the friends I partied with. I removed myself from the source of the cocaine until I felt strong enough to resist temptation.




Starring Role as ME


Starring Role As Me 1983 - I returned to Denver in January of 1983. I was back to sober and ready to move beyond the shadows of despair. I was thankful for the business I had grown in Denver. I still wanted to be an artist somehow. I felt trapped by my successful business. I was ready to accept living the life I created. I did not see an easy way out. I owned a business, drove a new sports car and owned a nice house. I allowed my “stuff” to hold me hostage to life as a sales rep. My father was so proud of me for living a life he assigned value to. I found myself praying often. I wanted to avoid the discontent and dis-ease that lured me into the cocaine trap. I returned to California for Easter in 1983 for a recharge. I knew my family would help me continue to find my way.  On Good Friday I was bitten by a brown reclose spider. I returned to Denver after Easter. I nearly lost my leg from the narcroused (dead) tissue caused from the spider bite. My fever continued for two months. I was hospitalized for two weeks in June over my birthday. I once again had time to reflect on my priorities. Feeling lucky to be alive made my decision easy. I sold everything and returned to California by Thanksgiving. I placed myself into the Starring Role as ME. And the adventure begins. 25 years as a photographer. Doors and windows opened before me. What a FUN way to be an instant artist.



DESTINATIONS


Over the Rainbow 2002
– 5 planets were lined up during Easter of 2002. I was drifting into a relaxed state in pouring rain. I remember how electrically charged I felt waking from my dreams. I visualized where I had to be as soon as I could get there. The sky was a weird inky black as I drove to my lone tree on the faith of intuition. The rainbows end appeared as the sun was setting over the rooftop of a school.  There was an oak tree at both ends of the rainbow. Over the Rainbow has been seen by members of the United Nations, Roots of Peace, Tree of Life, printed as spiritual book covers, featured in articles, used by banks and countless preachers for their Sunday sermons. This rainbow has been on a world tour I could have only dreamed of. This picture represents my defining moment as a fine art photographer. Ansel Adams said “Sometimes I arrive when God is ready to have someone take the picture”. I heard this call. I call it GOD luck. 25 years living my dream as me. Photography was a divine detour as an artistic photographer. 600 weddings later I have now concluded this career.

Over the Rainbow  2002
Over the Rainbow
Resurrection 2010 - Computer Drawings
Resurrection - computer drawing
Eyes of Gods 2011 - Computer Drawings
Eyes of Gods - computer drawing
Resurrection - Oils on Canvass 2012
Resurrection



Resurrection 2010 - 2012
– 3 months in a wheelchair gave me pause to reflect on where I wanted to go from here. Today is the time for these old drawings to see the light of day. It is time at 55 to share these scars that have healed.  Another might find healing in these detours of mine. I offer the HOPE of resurrection. I offer the strength of knowing we all have bumps in our journey. Roads can crumble and be rebuilt. Teachers say you can find another way around your mountains. My current path is not one of church built faith.  I attach no brand name to who I have become. My spiritual witness comes from photographing nature. I feel a breath of life in all that is connected in the living universe. Life is God’s electric spark. I have found God’s spark of life in me. I have found eternal energy that is neither created or destroyed.  And so begins the next recreation of my life as a seasoned artist





Eyes of Gods 2011 - 2012
– Madonna symbolizes the Mother of God in Christian religions. The Eyes of Gods see beyond the known universe as Madonna embraces her child. We are the children of this place and these times.  A lifetime is a momentary speck of what is forever. I am just a grain of sand on a beach. I am like a drop of water in the ocean. I am accepting of those who find comfort and faith in the church community. I am accepting of those who embrace no faith or concept of God.  My beliefs are one of LOVE of all peoples and faiths and beliefs. I ask that we learn to share this planet with all that is living and breathing in the Eyes of Gods and Mothers of Nature. Embrace your fellow man.  This is the age of man until this world is recreated once again in the eternity of forever.


Eyes of Gods - Madonna - Oils on Canvass 2012
Eyes of Gods 2012
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In his work, Resurrection (2011 - 2012), Perks finds the culmination of all the lessons learned. The palette chosen is no longer dark or shaded. Instead, the colors of the rainbow bring forth the dreams finally realized. The tapestry now weaved is of the finest golden threads, illuminating the world below in the warmth and light of its halo. The demons are released and the inner self is finally at peace. So much has been learned now that the truth prevails. Now it’s time to impart the wisdom gained to those misguided and lost venturing down their own lonely path. One cannot take the journey for them, but one can help them to see the light where dreams can be fulfilled. It is not an easy path to travel, but revelation finally frees the spirit, and hence the beauty within. Each day awakens anew. We have been resurrected, at last.  .....(Janine L. Williams)


In Conclusion

Here is my timeline. I finished Tensions in Balance at 22.  I took a 33 year journey including detours to arrive at 55. My full circle moment has arrived in perfect time. I will unveil what I began in hiding with a pen name of Disc Skys. My unspoken feelings have remained potent in the words of a thousand pictures. They have found their voice.  My story has spent years as buried treasure in Grandmas steamer trunk. The Disc Skys of my 20’s has risen to be embraced by Brad Perks. Disc Skys helped make me who I am. Ageless spiritual wisdom draws upon the reflections of a lifetime. The harmony of a life in balance is now resurrected. I welcome my  journey with the brilliance of peace and self love. I can feel the universe sparking the life within all we call living. My candle pierces the shadows of once dark despair. I have weathered the storms of desparation. I know the sun continues to shine beyond dark storm clouds we can rise above.  This is my new old beginning to end.. This is me being this artist as I recreate my new old horizon again.. Soulful Journey forth in faith my friends     http://www.bradperks.com


Help sponsor this message of Hope.
Signed 8 x 12 inch print sets (18 picture ) are available for a donation of $500
Send check and address to Brad Perks  4055 Kimberly Pl  Concord, CA 94521.

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Sent Good Friday April 22, 2011

Easter is a time of renewal. Here is my 33 year long journey I call “Dreams Detours and Destinations”. Picture collections include Religions of Life, CONtemporary, Resurrection and Eyes of Gods. It is struggle with a happy ending.  I want you to share with this picture with anyone who is taking a detour from living their dreams.

Reflections was written by Janine L Williams.  She helped me find today.

Memorable Replies

Mike Mckillip  (lifetime friend)

Nice collection of art. I admire your courage and self confidence in exposing the story of your life behind the design of each picture. The best art comes from the soul and that is obvious that your drawings are very deep.

They are too deep to fully absorb in a short period of time. Some of the older ones certainly have had time to ferment properly and now be celebrated for the seasons of past year's Harvests.

It must be a great feeling to finally bring these out of the cellar to finally exhibit not only the art but display the milestones that created these moments in the complexity of ones own life.

Few people possess what you have got in this collection of transforming the mental state to the physical state as a personal visual transformation of one's own life. Healing can only come through growth and your saga of self 

is a very inspirational one that can be related to by anyone who has searched their own soul for the most important answers to the most allusive questions in our lives.

Thanks for sharing such a personal adventure, nothing boring about Brad's life, a true extrovert at heart. Isn't that what life should be, not sitting back but experiencing all the highs and lows to their fullest that life has to offer.

 Kahlil Gibran said in one of his stories " The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain", Life is full of checks and balances.

Thanks for sharing your life with us Brad. I'm proud to be friends with someone who cares so much about himself and those people around him as well!  
You are a good influence on us all, I can't wait to see the next drawing.

Anne Boyle Mendenhall - Picassio. Wow my dear Brad I had no idea. You are so talented!

Lori Covach Rittinger - Congrats! Incredible and very creative work!

Rob Balliet  (Friend from High School)  Wow.  Very strong stuff.  Seems that you are a better human being for your travels.  Thank you for sharing.

Chris Otey (Friend from 1980’s) I received an E-mail from you addressing your 33 year journey.  It made me miss you all the more.  I remember those pictures hanging in your home in Wash Park.  I even think I see Astro in one of them.  I am so pleased to see the progression from such a dark place to how enlightened you feel now.  I am so sorry I was not a better friend to you during the dark times.  You were one of my favorite people when I worked for your brother.

Byron Anderson (Friend from 1960's) Thanks so much for sharing your brilliant art! and some background description of your emotional and intellectual journey.

Fantastic!  :)

Scott Herndon (friend from 1980’s) 
Loved the drawing collection!  It brought back old time but with new eyes to appreciate your work.  They are amazing and beautiful.


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Brad Perks Lightscapes Studio Gallery     4055 Kimberly Place     Concord CA 94521    925. 680-1024
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