If you think an Artist is way more relaxed than an Industrial Manager or Investment Banker, you are very wrong. Artistic work itself may be a little bit more quiet than the run between meetings and conferences, but the continuous struggle to make a living, to keep up with everydays bills and invoices is extremely stressful. A lot of times, it takes away all creativity and you end up running in the hamster wheel. Paintings don’t turn out that great anymore. Income becomes less, which increases the stress level, all resulting in even worse artwork. The Down Spiral begins and it takes an enormous amount of consciousness to be able to step out of this circle of self destruction.
A year or two after one of the worst phases of my life (Mom died of lymph nodes cancer), I woke up one day with a very warm and cozy feeling. It was a grey and rainy German September day, but in my heart, there was some deep orange shining light. I kept laying in my bed, daydreaming about beautiful mountain scenes, flooded with bright red evening sunlight. It was an overwhelming moment full of harmony and homeness. When I got up, I felt full of life. I started the coffee maker and switched on my Computer to look up pictures and locations of red desert mountains on the Internet. The first place which popped up was Sedona Arizona. This is home I thought – I want to go home!
Sedona is located about 100 Miles north of Phoenix and 30 Miles south of Flagstaff, which is still in the Upper Sonoran Desert of northern Arizona. With an elevation of 4,500 feet (1,372 m), Sedona has mild winters and hot summers. Sedona’s main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. No wonder, that almost one hundred Hollywood movies were filmed in this bizarre nature. Just to name a view like Broken Arrow, The Comancheros, Johnny Guitar, The Karate Kid, The Quick and the Dead, Starman, Universal Soldier, this location makes some Childhood memories awake.
The name Sedona isn’t Spanish, nor Native American. By early 1900, about 15 homesteading families first called Sedona area home. T. C. Schnebly, an enterprising young man from Gorin, Missouri had married Sedona Miller. T.C.’s brother, Ellsworth, and moved to Arizona for health reasons. He organized the little village’s first post office and suggested the names, Oak Creek Crossing and Schnebly Station, to Washington, D.C., but the Postmaster General at the time had a prejudice for one-word names for postmarks. Ellsworth advised him, “Why don’t you name it after your wife?” And the name was given.
The Delta Airlines Flight 117 took off at Stuttgart Airport at 10 AM, and landed in Atlanta Georgia ten hours later. With two hours of layover, the connecting flight to Phoenix Arizona was on time, and in late afternoon, I picked up my rental car at Phoenix Airport and checked in at the Hampton Inn close by. After a wonderful long sleep (which is very unusual after such a long flight), the journey began.
The Interstate 17 from Phoenix to Flagstaff curved along the famous Saguaro Cacti, desert stones, mountain- and valley areas until the Exit to 179 to Sedona about a little more than an hour later. And all of a sudden, there, they are! Out of nowhere, the red mountains appeared. I was overwhelmed. Before entering Sedona village, I passed a little place called Village of Oak Creek. A warm chill with goosebumps went down my neck when I had the sign “Welcome to Sedona” in front of me.
The next few days were probably the most peaceful days in my life. The walk along the native indian art galleries, sculpture- and jewelry stores inspired so much, that for the first time in years, I couldn’t wait to have a canvas in front of me again. I hiked for hours and hours. Sometimes, I just sat down for one hour somewhere on a red rock and listened to the wind. Some say, Sedona is one end of an energy vortex, which enables you to connect directly to the energies of the Universe. I do not believe in supernatural powers, nor do I believe in all this esoteric crap. But somehow in that moment, my life changed from a depressed hamster wheel artist to a highly motivated sparking life lover.
Call it a coincidence or Universal Energy, but while I was still on this vacation trip, I received a call from a business friend from Dayton Ohio. And to make a long story short, after a work period in Dayton Ohio and Detroit Michigan, I ended up with a job offer in the very North of Phoenix Arizona! I visited Sedona many, many times again, met some wonderful friends there, and even started to look for a house right in front of the red mountains. Many of my most brilliant oil and acrylic paintings were created during that period.