Monday, May 18, 2015

My New Book: EXiting the JW Cult: A Healing Handbook

Hi Everyone,

Original Art Studio was originally started as a site where I could showcase some of my artistic endeavours (photography, photo art, digital art, collages, paintings, etc.). As I shared my attempts at creative expression I began to marry them with inspiring quotations from great thinkers in the fields of psychology, philosophy, and Eastern belief systems. With time I added a few more personal posts and then posts with psychological themes based on my work as a psychotherapist. Incredible people were encountered along the way, friends were made and great exchanges were had.

As I became interested in digital photo art I started making digital textures that folks could use in the creation of their digital art and set up a blog called Pixel Dust Photo Art, which somewhat pulled my attention away from this site.

At one point on this site, I disclosed in a couple of posts that I was raised in the fundamentalist sect (cult) known as Jehovah's Witnesses. I have since discovered a very active community of ex-Jehovah's Witnesses on Facebook and on YouTube. While visiting these sites it became evident to me that there were a lot of very wounded people who were struggling to cope with life after daring to leave that high-control cult. (I call it a cult because it clearly fits the criteria of a cult in that it engages in thought, behaviour, association controls as well as high levels of control on access to information and higher education.)

It became clear that with my background in the JW cult and my education, training and experience as a psychotherapist I could help some of these people struggling to exit the cult, or struggling to adapt to life once out. So I have spent the last six months writing a book and it is now up on Amazon. The book is entitled, EXiting the JW Cult: A Healing Handbook. If you or anyone you know is involved with this doomsday sect, this book could be a real help to them.

You can check out this book on by clicking here or below:

Although I am still painting and making digital art I have diverted a bit to write a book and have decided to share it here with you. I did design the cover (front and back) myself, so there is a little relationship to my "Original Art Studio" there!  :)

While I am aware that very few of you have any involvement with the Jehovah's Witnesses, I hope you will indulge my desire to share my latest attempt at creative expression of a different kind. Again, if you know of anyone currently or formerly in this repressive 'religion', please direct them to this book. Thanks so much!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015

... healing ...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


...and this is a good thing!

A piece of digital art made by layering different faces on top of each other (including mine), adding a couple of my digital textures and then treating the composite piece in Photoshop and RadLab. I know it has a rather grotesque quality ... but somehow I like it. The quotation seemed to fit well with an image composed of so many layers that could/should be peeled away ... and my current life process.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

have a happy ...

May yours be merry and bright!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recent Painting

Bonnie Zieman original acrylic painting, "Walk With Me" (24" x 24")  Sold   (click on image for a larger view)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

... sparked ... kindled ... ignited ...

This painting, as yet untitled, is part of my private collection.  It measures 36"x48"x1.5".  Click on it for a larger view.

There is a god in us who, stirring, kindles us.

~Ovid:  FaastiVI

The spark which is my true self is the flash of the Absolute recognizing itself in me.  This realization at the apex is a coincidence of all opposites ... a fusion of freedom and unfreedom, being and unbeing, life and death, self and non-self, man and God. The spark is not so much an entity which one finds, but an event, an explosion which happens as all opposites clash within oneself ... The purpose of all learning is to dispose man for this kind of event. The purpose of the various disciplines is to provide ways or paths which lead to this capacity for ignition.

~Thomas Merton

In a breakthrough, I find that God and I are both the same ... Love God as he is: a not-God, a not-spirit, a not-person, a not-image; as sheer, pure, limpid unity, free of all duality.

~Meister Eckhart