For Roberto

(Robert Venosa – Angelic Awakening)

Why Cling

Why cling to one life
till it is soiled and ragged?

The sun dies and dies
squandering a hundred lives
every instant

God has decreed life for you
and He will give
another and another and another

– Rumi

Dear Friends,

I have put off posting this entry for a week, as our friend Roberto Venosa has past away at his Colorado home. (please see below)

I hope this finds you well. In the last week, we have seen our son Rowan turn 21, and now he is in New York filming a documentary along with his friends Colleen (she is Directing) and Adam (he’s the DP). Whilst in New York, Rowan will probably get a chance to visit with our old dear friend Nels Cline, and his wife Yuka. Nels has known Rowan since he was a wee button, and it has been about 8 years since the last time they got to hang out together. Ah, a perfect summer occasion!

We got to spend time with our friends Kyle and Trish and their son McKenna (2.5 years old!) this past week! It was delightful seeing them again. Nothing better than friends, kids, hanging out eating and drinking together!

Working on lots of art, the magazine and various projects. Spending some special time with Mary. I do love her company. The yard is an absolute riot of green. We are eating our way through the continual harvest of beans, peppers and aubergine. This is perhaps our best garden in awhile. Mary is the champ with the green thumb.

I hope this finds you well.


On The Menu:
The Links
Younger Brother – Spinning Into Place (Acoustic Mix)
Robert Venosa Memorial Event/ August 21st/ Boulder Colorado
For Roberto
Robert Venosa Art
Rumi: Life & Death
Younger Brother – Train


The Links:
Flight In Medieval England
Desktop Jellyfish Tank
Obama Is Asked To Defend His Administration’s Opposition To Medical Cannabis — He Can’t
Zoologger: The world’s smartest insect

Younger Brother – Spinning Into Place (Acoustic Mix)


Robert Venosa Memorial Event/ August 21st/ Boulder Colorado

Please Join All of Us.
For a Memorial Life Celebration
We will be honoring Robert Venosa’s life and art

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Ceremony from 3 pm till 5 pm

At the
Boulder Events Center
2805 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80304
(Right across Balsam from Boulder Community Hospital)

We invite you to arrive before 3 pm

Robert loved life and celebration and once said: “when I die please just throw me a party!”

So we are honoring his wishes and inviting the community to gather for an after party with conversations, sharing food and cheer at the ‘Harburg Residence’,
one of Boulder’s great landmarks, also known as the ‘Wedding Cake House’,
located on 1020 Mapleton Avenue, on the West side of Broadway.

Please bring a dish or drink to share. A grill station will also be available to all.

Please join us, even if you were not invited personally but feel called to celebrate Venosa’s memory .

We do welcome love donations to the ‘Robert Venosa Foundation’.
Make checks payable to:
Wells Fargo Advisors
Attn. Laura Hay
1155 Canyon Blvd. #200
Boulder, CO 80302

(Robert Venosa – Garden Of Delights)

For Roberto:

I found out last week when I awoke one early morning that Robert Venosa had passed away early the previous evening.   I had known that he was ill for quite awhile, but still it took me by surprise. Robert’s work had been part of my life off and on since my late teens. We had a personal relationship going back some 10 years, and had spent time, most delightfully together on a few occasions. It seemed an impossible event, but yes it had happened.

I have watched the reaction to his passing on the web. Many people were moved by Robert, and there has been a large outpouring of emotion and thoughts regarding him and his work. I have held back for a few days, trying to get my thoughts aligned before I put this out. I hope it conveys some of what I have been thinking and feeling about his life, and works.

I first became aware of Robert’s work in his collaboration with Mati Klarwein on Santana’s album covers. I would see his work show up on various albums over the years, and then in the 80′s, I started seeing his work in various magazines. All of it was engaging. In the 90′s after I re-emerged into the culture after a hiatus, I became distinctly aware of his art. It seemed everywhere. His work was lauded by Terence McKenna, and others. I was enthralled by what he was producing. I wrote him a couple of times via email, and he responded. We finally met in the early part of this century at Mind States, where he and Martina were giving an artistic presentation, and participating on the art panel. We spent many hours hanging out over the course of the event. It was absolutely delightful. A few years later, I had the pleasure of them visiting our home on their way back from a gallery opening in Eugene. We stayed in touch, and talked frequently over the years.

Robert and Martina have been the nexus point for what is called “Visionary Art” for lack of a better descriptor for the last 3 decades. Their work alone, and together has laid the foundations for the emerging generation of current artist. Robert’s studies under Ernst Fuchs, Mati Klarwein, and his time living and studying with Salvador Dali ties him firmly in with the pathway from Symbolist, Surrealist, Visionary. It is from this context that Robert’s and Martina’s works delineate perfectly where the vanguard has been for over 30 years. Robert was the real deal. He put in his time, studied with the masters, and his work stands, and will stand the test of time.

Robert had a generous nature, when he found out that I had a passion for Orientalist painting, he sent off a copy of “The Orientalist” (Western Artist in Arabia, The Sahara, Persia & India) by Kristian Davies. Just like that. He was deeply involved along with Martina with the foundations of “The Invisible College Magazine”. I told them my idea about having a journal that would capture the currents of culture and art, and they enthusiastically supported it by suggestions, ideas and allowing us to use their art for the first two editions (PDF’s at this point). Martina had been working with me over the last year helping to assemble the re-issues as she could whilst taking care of Robert at their home. Their support was invaluable emotionally and artistically.

A dear friend described Robert’s & Martina’s relationship as “perhaps one of the great love stories of our times”. From where I am, I must concur. The energy between them seemed to be of common delight. It was an immense pleasure to be in their company. They thoroughly were in the moment when I spent time with them. Present, and thoughtful.

From my POV there was defining elements of Robert’s art. His work was unique. You knew it was his when you saw it. Can this be said for many artist? He captured a moment of eternity in all of his works. I am moved time and again as I go through his paintings. Some move me to such emotion that I am transported to the timeless moment. His gifts I would describe as Light, Luminous, and especially the sense of “Presence”. What he painted, many had experienced on the inner journey. It was a beautiful gift that the Muse had bestowed, and he did not squander it, but shared, and gave freely of.

His kindness and artistic gifts shall perhaps outlive us all, and that is perhaps as it should be.

Adios Roberto, thank you for all that you shared and gave.

Bright Blessings,

(Roberto Venosa)


Robert Venosa: Paintings

There are so many good ones to choose from. I have put them in no particular order except that the portrait of Martina is one of my favourites…

(Robert Venosa – Martina de Duoro)

(Robert Venosa – Dos Angeles)

(Robert Venosa – Yage Guide)

(Robert Venosa – Ayahuasca Dream)

(Robert Venosa – Cerebralation)


Rumi: Life & Death

(Robert Venosa – Portal to Edentia)

Life & Death

look at love
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love

look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life

why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend

why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how the unknown merges into the known

why think seperately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last

look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs

look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once

the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together

look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox

you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me

be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don’t get mixed up with bitter words

my beloved grows
right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be

come on sweetheart
let’s adore one another
before there is no more
of you and me

a mirror tells the truth
look at your grim face
brighten up and cast away
your bitter smile

a generous friend
gives life for a friend
let’s rise above this
animalistic behavior
and be kind to one another

spite darkens friendships
why not cast away
malice from our heart

once you think of me
dead and gone
you will make up with me
you will miss me
you may even adore me

why be a worshiper of the dead
think of me as a goner
come and make up now

since you will come
and throw kisses
at my tombstone later
why not give them to me now
this is me
that same person

i may talk too much
but my heart is silence
what else can i do
i am condemned to live this life

i’ve come again
like a new year
to crash the gate
of this old prison

i’ve come again
to break the teeth and claws
of this man-eating
monster we call life

i’ve come again
to puncture the
glory of the cosmos
who mercilessly
destroys humans

i am the falcon
hunting down the birds
of black omen
before their flights

i gave my word
at the outset to
give my life
with no qualms
i pray to the Lord
to break my back
before i break my word

how do you dare to
let someone like me
intoxicated with love
enter your house

you must know better
if i enter
i’ll break all this and
destroy all that

if the sheriff arrives
i’ll throw the wine
in his face
if your gatekeeper
pulls my hand
i’ll break his arm

if the heavens don’t go round
to my heart’s desire
i’ll crush its wheels and
pull out its roots

you have set up
a colorful table
calling it life and
asked me to your feast
but punish me if
i enjoy myself

what tyranny is this

you mustn’t be afraid of death
you’re a deathless soul
you can’t be kept in a dark grave
you’re filled with God’s glow

be happy with your beloved
you can’t find any better
the world will shimmer
because of the diamond you hold

when your heart is immersed
in this blissful love
you can easily endure
any bitter face around

in the absence of malice
there is nothing but
happiness and good times
don’t dwell in sorrow my friend

Translated by Nader Khalili “Rumi, Fountain of Fire”
Cal-Earth Press, 1994

(Robert Venosa – Celestial Tree)

Younger Brother – Train


(Roberto & Martina, Portland Outside Our Home)


O lovers, lovers it is time
to set out from the world.
I hear a drum in my soul’s ear
coming from the depths of the stars.
Our camel driver is at work;
the caravan is being readied.
He asks that we forgive him
for the disturbance he has caused us,
He asks why we travelers are asleep.

Everywhere the murmur of departure;
the stars, like candles
thrust at us from behind blue veils,
and as if to make the invisible plain,
a wondrous people have come forth.


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