Galen Garwood, art, painting

Galen Garwood, art, painting

The days are getting longer. You, Kados, and I are celebrating another year, another promise. What can I tell you, or show you, or give you to bring you into this blossoming light?

From my little house on the river in Northern Thailand, I’ve been tying up the loose ends of things, projects begging to be finished and set free.

As many of you know, I’d been planning a journey back to places and friends dear to me in March of 2021. Because of the pandemic, those plans drifted out of reach. I reset hopes for March of 2022, but now, as that date approaches, this too seems unlikely.

Kados, my intrepid insinuator, my second self, my imperturbable mischief machine, has continued to keep me comforted in a nice warm bath of patience. “Stay focused in the now moment,” he cautions me. “The journey is always here and now. Can you feel the constant blooming? Let’s gather up these reflections of friendship and weave them into a warm blanket of light and love. Let’s walk to the river’s edge, where the water slows, rises then falls over the dam, stand in the undulating currents, spread wide our wings into this wobbling world, and offer seeds of hope across the universe; we’ll soon find ourselves in a more balanced, peaceful home filled with gentle wonderment.” 

“Is that a promise?” I ask.

“That is a promise.”


Galen Garwood, art, painting

Sunset for Lucile, oil on canvas, 72″ x 48″ 2018

When I was in the 9th grade, I lived with my grandparents in the small town of Edison in southeastern Georgia. My grandmother, Lucile (MaUdi) Middleton Loback, was a remarkably creative spirit, always making art of one kind or another, despite having to take care of her brothers and a husband, all of whom were equally married to alcohol, as well as being a second mother to my oldest brother and sometimes me. 

On the dining room wall was a painting she’d done in 1917 when she was only nineteen years old. It’s a small vertical canvas depicting a creek meandering into the woods, a crimson sun setting behind a copse of pine trees. I was captivated by the painting’s serenity, its calm, quiet sense of hope. When I grew up and became an artist, living in Seattle, Washington, my dear MaUdi gifted me with the painting, nestled within a gold-leaf frame, and it hung in my various residences for nearly two decades, never letting me forget my grandmother’s creative spirit and that she had passed the painting and its promise on to me. 

In 1998, preparing for my journey to embark on the elephant film project, packing up and giving away what I couldn’t sell, I decided to give the painting to a family member for safekeeping. I didn’t know how long I’d be gone. As it turned out, quite a long while, and in 2017, just before I began the Meditation Series, here in my studio in Northern Thailand, MaUdi’s tender landscape revisited me in a dream; the next day, I contacted family members to see if I might somehow reconnect with it. But, sadly, her little ‘Creek at Sunset’ has gone missing; no one knows where it is.  

‘Sunset for Lucile’ became its Memoriam, and my grandmother’s love for art became my sunrise. The gift is in the giving. Always.




An online quarterly publication featuring a variety of art and artists, essays, interviews, and profiles.


To be officially published and available on FEBRUARY 1, 2022

BENCH, A Story of Wonder 

Galen Gartwood, art, painting

“A timeless tale about the magic of Mother Nature and how long after humans pass, the trees, rivers and other bodies of water remain and carry on with their business. Reminiscent of Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”, Bench is a tree that becomes a log that becomes a bench that speaks to those who touch it and keeps on giving generation after generation. A wonderful book for all ages with vivid imagery and a mixed cast of interesting characters.”  —Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review

I had planned on getting BENCH published on July 7th, 2021, the date of my 77th birthday. It seemed an auspicious date, as Kados reminded me, “You’re seventy-seven years old, born 7/7/44. The number 7 puts you between the world of the living and the dying, a balance toward completeness. 77 minus 44 = 33; this is Trāyastriṃśa, a word that arrives from the number 33, symbolizing the second in the six heavens of the Buddhist cosmological desire realm. And don’t forget: 33 is the sum of three cubes. Oh, also there’s this iteration: 4 plus 4 = 8, minus 1 =7 or 4th prime number, 7 minus 4=3, the 2nd prime; 3-2  give you number 1, this journey for a new beginning. ”

Even though I postponed the date, it’s not too late. I’m still seventy-seven. The auspiciousness remains.

Wishing all of you a marvelous trajectory into 2022

galen garwood, art