As a co-creative vision, this book involved the synthesis of many brilliant cultural creatives. First and foremost, I want to acknowledge my mother, Susan Stedman, for her wisdom and steadfast devotion to the project. Not only was she my confidant, she was also an enormous source of emotional support and a fastidious editor. I simply couldn’t have done this project without her. I would also like to acknowledge Michael Slavenski for believing in me and for his generous investment in the DVD. He literally gave me hope in the darkest hour and has been a monumental hero in my life and in the lives of so many others who know him.
A book like this, which is documenting a genre of visionary art, takes a considerable amount of time and devotion. This book took over twelve years to complete and went through many stages of evolution. I am most grateful to all of the artists for their unwavering patience and devotion. My soul was continually nourished by their precious art, music and writings, which hung on my walls, rotated through my altar and appeared on my computer screen. I am honored to have befriended several of the artists, not to mention having the opportunity to see their studios, original paintings and even watch them paint. I am in complete awe of all of their creative genius and learned so much from them.
I would particularly like to thank Mark Henson for all of his inspiration and support over the years. I consider Mark to be a crucial “hub” in the transcendental art movement. Not only has he done a lot of service work for the visionary art community, but for the last ten years he has organized one of the best visionary art shows in California called TheTransformational Art Show, which happens every year at the Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa. I was fortunate to show my art there, which allowed me to meet some of the best California visionary artists of our day. I also want to thank
Paul Heussenstamm for his savvy business advice and abundant perspective. And I am most indebted to Suzanne Deveuve, Andrew Annenberg, Theressa Sharrar, Leslie Gibbons, and Krista Lyn Brown for their friendship and emotional support.
One of the most fascinating things about the creative process is the mysterious unfolding of the journey and the synchronicities that occur along the way. There were indeed many mountains to climb and at times I felt completely lost in the woods, not knowing where to go next. To my surprise, an angel would appear. This project was literally done on a shoestring budget and I was fortunate to have a few angels who sponsored the project and me financially. I want to acknowledge Cory Jones, Kent Schoch, Tim Kohler and my favorite sociology professor, Kooros Mahmoudi. These men saw the social importance of this book and understood how much of a sacrifice I made in my life to make it happen.
I would also like to acknowledge Abba Yahuda and Brian Lloyd for assisting me financially in a time of great need. A new warrior brother by the name of Cliff Scheick saved the day on numerous occasions. Not only did he come into my life when I needed a friend, he sponsored the project with a computer and excellent business advice.
I would also like to thank an amazing angel by the name of Jerry Schneider. He mysteriously came into my life during a time of great need and commissioned me to do a painting for his mother. He also sponsored the project with a new Macintosh laptop, which came nearly a week after my computer died. Ironically he didn’t even know this had happened.
And in conclusion I want to thank all the people who helped me with editing: Greg Marchese, Ian Luepker, Matt Fawcett and Eric Alan. And also the gang at White Cloud Press—Gary, Steve and Steve Scholl—for all of their excellent advice and for believing in the project from the beginning.
Last but not least, I should acknowledge Dave Emrich and Kelly Harding whose book design so fully realized my original vision of text and images.And in the last hour, my beloved John Grimshaw helped with editorial revisions and design work, not to mention emotional support when I had nothing left to cross the finish line.