Today we’d like to introduce you to David V. Gonzales.
David, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved exploring my world through some type of medium that I could express my emotions. Through my years in life, I see that we are all artists creating our world. There are limitless mediums to do this. Art to me is an awareness and an expression of life.
My parents recognized the love and passion I had for art and placed me in art classes when I was a kid. My Grandma Gonzales had a closet filled with various art supplies. I can still remember the smell of that art closet. My Dad was an inspiration when he created art to hang in our home and I spent time copying my cousin Carlos’ drawings. When I was about 10, my Dad won an art contest in Las Vegas, Nevada and it made a huge impression on me.
I have had various jobs throughout my life and doing art was always calling out to me. I found time to do artwork when I was not working at a job. I waited tables, did landscape work, construction, chainsaw carvings, painted signs, window art, taught Reiki classes (energy healing work) and did psychic readings. I also created “Soul Portraits” for people which were channeled paintings of someone’s spirit guide or angel. This was an interesting chapter in my life because it opened the doors to the metaphysical realms of life. There were many spiritual experiences that I had during this time that are a bit unexplainable and now I realize that I was receiving spiritual downloads.
My wife Deborah and art collectors were always encouraging me to get my work in the resort towns. I got a late start in having my artwork represented by a high-end gallery. In 2013, The Raitman Gallery, located in Summit County was the first gallery to show my art and sales just exploded once I got my work in there. Since then, I have been painting full time. I have worked with pro athletes like Lindsey Vonn, Bobby Brown, Greg LeMond, Mikaela Shiffrin and Chris Anthony to help raise money for non-profits. Last year, the Tiger Woods Foundation reached out to me and asked if I would paint Tiger for his fund raiser in Las Vegas. It was a huge honor.
One of my favorite things to do is working with non-profit organizations that are helping others. Throughout the years I have donated my artwork to various charities. One of my most memorable events was painting with world renowned skiers, Lindsey Vonn and Jonny Moseley to help raise money for the Lindsey Vonn Foundation.
Years ago, when I was studying martial arts, playing basketball, and running I would come to a place within myself where everything dissolved and I would be in a flow state. I wanted this same type of feeling woven into my paintings. It is important that when I create, I am in the moment. The love and energy I have for life is intertwined into my art. I spend my mornings devoted to meditation, stretching, and exercise. When I am painting, I am in constant motion. I see my works like yantras, instruments that radiate love to the entire world.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Throughout my life I have always been drawn to personal development and always working to better myself. I see now that I am the creator of my world. The power I give my thoughts and the stories I create within result in a certain outcome. There have been all kinds of lessons and struggles that have helped me grow and better understand my place in this world. I have hit the bottom and failed many times in all areas of my life. These times have been my greatest teachers. At the time I am going through these experiences, they have been utterly miserable and hard to deal with. There have been many times where I just gave up, only to find myself hungry to get back on my feet again. I realize now that the hard times, the obstacles have been essential ingredients to become more enlightened in life. All along I have been making choices that have been creating my world.
Less than two years ago I participated in a personal transformational course called Landmark where I had an unforgettable experience that has laid the tracks for where I am today. Before you dive into the course, they have you fill out a questionnaire and the main questions was, “What do you want to achieve through this course?” I wrote….”To truly connect with others and to be non-reactive when things get really tough; to be centered and calm when things get stormy in life”.
So much of my life during that time was like a rat race and though I really care about people, I have sort of checked out. Three days into the course, I had a few mind-blowing experiences. Just to let you know, I do not do drugs or even drink alcohol. In the course, I witnessed a lot of people that had a lot of break throughs, but out of the 180 people that took the course, I was the only one that had this experience that I am about ready to share with you. In short, I collapsed and when I started to stand up, I felt as though every cell of my being was vibrating and all this energy was running through my body. When I opened my eyes, everyone in the room was standing up. I scanned the room slowly and as I locked eyes with people, there was no difference between me and them. Myself dissolved into oneness with everyone. There was just pure love, pure bliss. What I do know is that this love unifies everything and everyone….it is one thing, one energy…. everything else is a lie, an illusion. It is so loving, so powerful, and so beautiful. All my senses increased during this time.
This intense feeling of bliss lasted several hours and eventually tapered off into a powerful state of being where I just wanted to love everyone and wanted everyone to have what I had. I prayed that every single person on this planet comes to know this place, “Now”. When I awoke the next day and went out into the world, I was expecting to see everyone enlightened and blissed out. I was so confused as to why I was not seeing this. LOL!!
I realize now that this love that we are has divided itself so that it can know and experience itself. There is so much division in our world, yet we are all one. After a week or so went by, everything went back to being the same. I have been frustrated by this, wondering why this experience did not stick. So, ever since this has happened, I have dug my heels into researching this topic.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
I am a painter and I am known for my sense of motion and energy in my artwork. I paint sport scenes, wildlife, people portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, and abstractions. I have created artwork for various national and international sporting and festival events. Creating the artwork for these events has been instrumental in getting my art in the public eye. About 30% of the work I create are commissioned. I am about 8-10 months backed up with this type of work. I am grateful that the Raitman Gallery represents my work in Breckenridge and Vail. Over the years they have become like family.
What does success mean to you?
For me success means to not be afraid to fail in life and embracing my fears. Success is not a destination, it is a journey to the limitless potentials and experiences of life. The moment I am content and think “Awe, this is it”…. I have stopped growing. The moment I have conclusions about life, I have closed myself off to possibilities. Art /life belongs to all and is forever expanding.
One of the fears I have embraced recently is my fear of the cold. I was so afraid that I could not bring myself to watch videos of people like Wim Hof, known as the “Ice Man” plunge into cold water. Once I watched his videos, I knew that there was no turning back; that I would have to bring myself into the cold elements. I always wanted to overcome my fear and gradually I did. There is something beyond words when I am in a cold river. My body feels so grateful, saying “Thank you, thank you”. It literally brings me to tears of joy and laughter. This was far from what I was expecting to experience. There are days when I do not want to go into the cold water and during these times, I have to trick my brain. I tell myself … “Just soak your feet. You do not have to go in all the way.” Well, every single time, I end up soaking my entire body fully in the cold water. LOL!! I created a 5×4 foot paint of a bear that reflects my experience of “Entering Cold Waters”. I chose a bear because they love the water and it is one of my favorite animals. The bear symbolizes being larger than life and it means courage; qualities that were essential when I was embracing my fear of the cold.
- Address: 223 Gore Creek Drive Vail, CO 81657
- Website: https://www.raitmanart.com/collections/david-v-gonzales
- Phone: 970-476-4883
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Elks Studio
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