Fan Mail - Pacific Moonrise (A Tribute to Sue Evans)

Pacific Moonrise was the perfect gift to buy for myself after my friend, Sue Evans passed away. There are some people you meet who have such an amazing impact on your life they deserve to be referred to by first and last name; Sue Evans was one of them.

Pacific Moonrise

Pacific Moonrise

We met by chance, but it wasn’t an accident. It was one of those moments where the coincidence was too great to be ignored; a moment when the Divine seemed to remove the cloak and say, “Yeah, I’m here and nothing will ever be the same again.”

This is a story that could fill several books, but I’ll give you the Readers Digest version…

I’d been looking for a house in the Uptown section of Minneapolis. Apartments were easy to find in that neighborhood, but houses… not so much. When I spotted an ad for an open house the following weekend, I called the owner to ask if I could see it before then, as I was headed to Chicago on Friday. She agreed and I met her that very evening.

I liked her instantly, as if she’d been my older sister in a different life. We got to talking and I asked what she did for a living. She was a therapist. When I mentioned that one of my closest friends was also a psychologist, Sue Evans asked for her name. When I told her, she looked at me and said, “That’s my business partner. I’ve known her for more than 30 years.” She laughed when I asked if an additional reference would be necessary. That laugh, a husky huh, huh that I’ll never forget.

I ended up renting the house from her, and because she lived within walking distance, we became great friends. About four months after we met, another close friend of hers (Bobbie) flew in from Mexico for a visit. One night, in early February, we were all drinking wine and Bobbie said Sue Evans had a “thing” for whales. I laughed, not knowing there were people with such random interests.

Bobbie owned a home in Mexico, on seven miles of unadulterated beach. The property also had four casitas, a swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen and a rooftop palapa overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We were welcome to come and stay for free, and oh… whale season was upon us. About three glasses of Chardonnay later, Sue Evans and I were booking flights to the Baja for the end of the month.

After we arrived and settled in, Bobbie told us she’d secured a whale-watching trip for the following day. We got up at sunrise and picked up another friend named Azul who was, without question, the prettiest human being I’ve ever seen. I mention this because I’d overslept. Being late meant I wasn’t wearing any make-up (which, as a blond, basically erases my features), my hair was in a messy bun, I was 20 pounds overweight and my clothes made me look homeless.

By contrast, Azul was half my age and a petite yoga instructor from Brazil, who had long black hair, huge green eyes and was wearing an outfit that honestly made me question my heterosexuality.

As an avid photographer, I began taking pictures when we got out of the car. It was a beautiful morning, the water in the cove was calm, seagulls flew overhead, 15 boats (each with a captain a handful of passengers) were lined up on the shore and that naturally gorgeous young woman was the picture of joy and love; all images calling for my attention.

I was snapping away, when Sue Evans called me over. “This one’s ours,” she said. Having grown up around boats, I absentmindedly climbed aboard, picked a spot and started scrolling through the pictures. Then… I heard it; the voice of an Englishman. The depth of his tone, resonated in “places,” that VERY much confirmed my romantic gender preferences.

Do you ever take a moment to NOT look at something because you know the minute you do; your life will change forever? NO? Until that time, I hadn’t either. I took a breath and then locked eyes with him. It was complete and instant love. We’d been married in a different life and we would be married in this one too.

He smiled at me and that was it. My heart was his. I’d been single for eleven years (talk about a dry spell!) and I’d never known real love before that. My parents used to say, “You’ll know your soulmate the instant you see their eyes.” I didn’t think lightening could strike twice in the same family. THEY got to have big love, I got other things. And yet there it was, there HE was. I didn’t know whether to giggle or cry with gratitude.

We spent about five hours on his boat that day and I never saw him look at the gorgeous girl seated next to me. Not even when she spoke directly to him. After the trip, he hugged each of the women and then came to me. He wrapped his arms around me and held me, then looked into my eyes and everything outside of the two of us disappeared. We kissed and every part of me knew he was the ONE.

As my friends and I walked to the car, I asked, “Did you see that?” Sue Evans responded with, “What… the kiss or the energy I’ve never seen between two people before?”

They came up with a plan to invite him over to enjoy the Dorado (fish) he’d caught, cleaned and given Bobbie as a token of his thanks. He accepted. After dinner, my future husband and I got a blanket and walked to the beach. Sitting side-by-side, we could see dolphins and whales playing beneath a full moon.  

With no one else in sight we did more than just kiss that night, we consumed each other. Several times. We were married two months later and I have Sue Evans and a whale-watching trip to thank for that.

Two years later she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died shortly after.

Pacific Moonrise is a tribute to her. If she didn’t have a “thing” for whales, I never would have met my husband. It was a magical trip and she was a magical person. Thanks to Pitre, the best days of my life will return to me each time I look at Pacific Moonrise.

I forgot to mention how I found the painting… Sue Evans had it too.

Fan Mail - Messengers of Light (submitted by Kathy)

When I saw Messengers of Light it sent a chill up my spine. The painting was a visual representation of the reason I’m on earth. To me, there is a haunting quality about seeing a select group of people walking alone/together in the dark. Bearers of light looking both weary and calm.

Messengers of Light

Messengers of Light

My oldest sister, who was eighteen my senior, used to say that I was born forty-five years old, knowing things about people and life instinctively. Eerie wisdom she called it.

There have been other labels; earth angel, shaman, indigo child. Being in the presence of “different” human beings makes most people uncomfortable, until they find a box to put them in. In the last 15 years several new categories have been created to pigeonhole people: autistic, ADHD, Borderline Personality Disordered.  It’s odd that no one seems to think neurotypicals need defining.

But, I’m off topic. This is supposed to be about Messengers of Light.

I’m particularly drawn to this piece because Pitre shows children as messengers of light.

I remember being 6 years old and waking up on an upper bunk. There were flashes of light dancing on my skin. I didn’t think about the source because I was fascinated by the circumstances; it was as if I’d just incarnated. The soul who’d occupied this body, all the days before that moment, was something akin to a place holder. It was my turn.

I crawled down the foot of the bed, felt the wood floor beneath my feet and heard something in tandem with the rise and fall of my chest. Breathing… the breath of life. I smiled and whispered, “I’m human!” The flashes of light called me to a dormer window. I looked down and saw a house across the street engulfed in flames.

It rocked my soul’s concept of what it meant to be human. Mother earth wasn’t beautiful; she had claws. The perfection I’d known was gone in that instant and every fiber of my being knew I was in a very dangerous place… the world.

I heard a child’s voice, “What’s going on?” I turned to see a girl— my sister, I assumed— on the bottom bunk rubbing her eyes.

“A house is on fire.” The sound of my own voice startled me.

She darted out of bed and stood beside me. “Oh my gosh!”

There was a girl, about 10 years old standing on the lawn. She was in a white night gown looking up at the flames. There other people were outside, but only the girl stood out. “She’s going to live with us.”

My sister looked at me. “Kathy?”

“The girl in the white dress.”

“Kathy.”

I shrugged. “Okay, Kathy. Her family is going to move to Florida but Kathy won’t want to go. So, Mom will adopt her. Oh… and she’s going to marry our brother when she’s nineteen.”

The way she knit her eye brows was so different from her previous expression, I realized she was confused. Didn’t all people know things?

That was the first of a lifetime of prophecies.

Soon, Kathy was resting on a cot in our room. My mother was stroking her hair. “Take this,” she said. “It’s only an aspirin but maybe it’ll help you sleep.” She handed her a glass of water. “We’ll get you a real bed tomorrow. You can stay as long as you like.” She kissed her on the forehead before leaving the room.

Kathy sat up on the cot, looked at me and said, “You look different. Like a grown-up trapped in a kid.”

I laughed and knew we would be very good friends. For many years I was closer to her than anyone else.

Now, she and my brother Neil have been married for 41 years. They were the ones who gave me Messengers of Light for my 50th birthday. I’ve never received a more touching gift. It was their way of saying they accepted, maybe even appreciated, my “otherworldliness.”

Bringing light into a dark world isn’t always easy, but as the painting shows, it’s imperative to keep walking the path of ethical truth, because I am, aptly put, a messenger of light.    

Fan Mail - Retribution - (submitted by Kenneth)

        When I was living in Hawaii, I had the pleasure of meeting John Pitre at an "All Artist Event" at a Wyland Gallery on the North Shore.  

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Retribution.jpg

        I was walking through the Artist show rooms, and I was looking at one of his works, and I heard a voice from behind me ask, "What do you think of this piece?"  Thinking it was a consultant trying to get me to buy it, I responded with, "I'm not really fond of it."  I then hear, "Could you tell me why, I'm the artist that painted it."  My head dropped, and I pointed over to a piece that I really did like, and said, "But I LOVE that one!".  He then asked me to explain to him why I didn't like the one, and really liked the other.  He and I talked for a good 30-45 minutes, not going over just the one piece, but every piece in his display area.  He allowed me to have my photo taken with him.  Blew me away.  I still have that photo today.  It actually helped me to get a job as an art consultant when I moved to San Antonio at the now closed Wyland Gallery at the Rivercenter Mall.  

         As of today, I now own a signed and numbered print (Restrictions), and a signed and numbered poster of Focus on Light.  I also have posters of Israel Martyrs, Retribution, Remnant of Power, Domination of Power, and a small open edition of Aumakua and the Ancient Voyagers.  

         In the future, I hope to have more. 

Respectfully,

Kenneth

John Pitre Fan for Life

Fan Mail - Moonlit Dream (submitted by Kate)

Synchronicity is a strange thing. There are times in people’s lives when there seem to be none-at-all and other times when there are so many coincidences, you can’t help but wonder about the significance; the meaning behind the snapshots of time that practically beg to be critiqued in a gallery.

 
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Two years ago, I returned from a vacation at a seaside resort in central California. The trip was exactly what was needed to restore a sense of calm and connection to the universe. Even though my life wasn’t where I wanted it to be, one evening I somehow “knew” things were about to change for the better.

At the time, I was single, thinking about relocating and dreaming about having a child. Being thirty-four meant the clock was ticking and I was seriously considering artificial insemination. But, that changed the night I went for a swim in the ocean under the full light of the moon. Floating on my back I stared at the contrast of a dark sky and the bright moon, and for the first time in many years, I stopped thinking; stopped trying to control my future and I was… pregnant with possibility.

You might be wondering why I’m writing to the artist about my experience.

When I returned from that vacation, and reality starting consuming hope, a friend came to my home with a gift; a painting from John Pitre. It was called, “Moonlit Dream.” When I unwrapped the present and saw what lay beneath the paper, I cried so hard my friend had to ask, “Are those happy tears or is this a hormone thing?”

I laughed through tears (which is “as they say,” the greatest emotion), placed the painting on the couch and gave him a hug. We’d been friends for many years, but it wasn’t until that moment that I realized he was the One for me. We made eye contact. He smiled and said, “Do you know how many years I’ve been waiting for you to look at me that way?”

One kiss and ten months later we welcomed a baby girl. Her name is Hope and she’s a night child; sleeping during the day, staring at the sky at night. I would have written sooner about how a single painting changed my life, but as you can see I’ve been a bit busy. Not only did I marry the man of my dreams and have a baby— who has all ten fingers and toes, but we relocated to San Diego.

Last weekend, as we unpacked our things and began settling into our new home, I unwrapped Moonlit Dream. I know it’s unhealthy to be attached to things, but I can’t help it. Every time I look at the painting, I feel the same way I did floating in the Pacific Ocean and kissing my husband for the first time. Life can be filled with magic and if I ever begin to forget that, all I need to do is pour a glass of wine and look at Moonlit Dream to restore a sense of calm and a connection to the universe.

I didn’t know how potent art could be, but to say Pitre’s work is powerful… is an understatement. His painting didn’t just move me, it altered the course of my life. Now I’m living authentically and you have no idea how good it feels. Please know I’m forever grateful for a gift that keeps on giving.

--Your greatest fan, Kate

Fan Mail - Temptations of a False God (submitted by Carla)

I recently purchased a print of Temptations of a False God, not only because I admire John Pitre’s work, but the message in this painting is one I need to be reminded of. There’s a reason I bought it, I’ve been (mostly) sober for over 40 years. For those times when the temptation to use becomes overwhelming, this painting serves as a daily reminder to abstain. 

 
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Every addict and every addiction has a trigger. Like a gun in the hands of a maniac, you never know when or where the impulse to shoot(up) might occur.

In recovery they say, “day-by-day.” I wish it were that easy. For me, even after all these years, it’s more like minute-by-minute. Some people have addictions. Maybe they eat, drink or shop too much. Me, I don’t have an addiction, I’m an addict. What they call a “white-knuckler.”  To be honest, I’m not that discerning either. If you can pop it, snort it, shoot it, or swallow it, I’ll do it.

I mean… I’ve done it.

Like Robert Downey Jr., I grew up with addicts. Addicts who didn’t hide the drugs from their children and addicts who thought it was funny to see a kid stoned or high. Before you start feeling sorry for me, don’t. The problem wasn’t taking drugs or alcohol— I LOVED it— the problem was… I had no problem with it, but everybody else did. Teachers, bosses, friends, lovers.

I lost everything and everybody by the time I was 19 years old. Do you know what it’s like to pass out in Minnesota and wake up naked in the back of a van in New Orleans and have no idea how you got there? It might be a funny story if I were a guy, like the one in the painting who’s passed out on white pills, but I’m not.

Back then, I was thought of as attractive. The type of pretty girl who some guys would love to see unconscious and at that point I had no idea who I was with. I don’t mean I didn’t recognize the person… there was no one else in the van. This was at a time when there were no cell phones and I had nothing to wear and no money.

Luckily the story ended much better than it could have, with a knock on the back door and a woman asking if she could come in with some clothes. I didn’t know her, but I’ll never forget what she said after I dressed, “Child, I’m not going to tell you what to do… Lord knows I ain’t been no angel… but if you don’t get some help, you’re not going to make it to twenty-five.”

Not only did she give me clothes, a bus ticket home to Minnesota and money for food, she gave me a future. When I saw Temptations of a False God, I remembered her words, “Lord knows I ain’t been no angel…” and realized I’d worshipped drugs, idolized them. Back then I thought giving them up was akin to forsaking God, but the painting helps me to remember the pain and destruction that can happen when I put my faith in the wrong things.

I’m no angel either, but at least I’m a better human being than I used to be and Temptations of a False God is helping me to stay that way. Many thanks Mr. Pitre, you’re giving me strength, day-by-day, hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute.

Cheers! (yes, pun intended) – Carla

Rare Artworks by Surrealist Master Found 30 Years After Studio Fire

25 hand-sketched studies, early patent drawings, and original Pitre oils found

Thirty years after a fire destroyed the home of surrealist master painter John Pitre, several rare works—once thought destroyed—have been found undamaged.

The collection, which a studio manager found in a broken drawer, contains unpublished original drawings, color studies, and sketches.

Jazz
Envy of Angels
Terminal Anxiety

A devastating fire destroyed most of Pitre's personal possessions thirty years ago, including his original art catalogue, prototypes for a range of inventions, as well as artifacts from a lifetime of international travel and a self-designed ultralight aircraft. 

After the fire, Pitre managed to rebuild his body of work and become one of the top-selling painters of his time. Often called a modern-day DaVinci, Pitre designed and piloted experimental aircraft as well, and he founded Natural Power Concepts, a renewable energy technology company. He also invented two of the most financially successful fitness products of all time.

The items were found by a studio manager in a forgotten cabinet of locked metal drawers.

“Some of the drawers had been pinched closed and obviously not opened for years, maybe decades,” said Zach Thomson, manager of Pitre Fine Arts in Honolulu. “When we moved the studio, I dislodged the drawers, pulled everything out, and was shocked to find a huge stack of original drawings, color studies, and sketches - many of which remain unseen and unpublished to this day. John and everyone else had thought these items perished in the fire.” 

Pitre's best-known works include “Restrictions” (which has sold over seven million copies in print) and “Split World,” which portrays the struggle of nature against industrial expansion and pollution. His career has spanned over fifty years.

The newly-discovered works are currently undergoing review and evaluation and may be made available to the public in the near future.

Seeker of Dreams Color Note
Fantasy Forest Color Note
Voyage Of Man

Images of the newly-discovered works are available at [http://www.johnpitre.com/exclusivemembers/].