I was born in England in 1954. I lived for a while in Germany and over 20 years ago I moved to The Netherlands to Arnhem, where I still live.
I have been involved with Western Sufism since 1995. It is the spiritual path that I have chosen to follow. When I first read a book by Hazrat Inayat Khan ("The world of thought") it was as if someone had written down my life's vision and principles for me. It's just a small book and I read it straight through in one go.
At the end of the book there is a page which states 'Sufi Thoughts', and I must admit my heart sank as I read "There is one Holy Book" would this be yet again 'and it's our holy book, it's The Book'? My fears proved ungrounded as I read on "the sacred manuscript of nature, the only scripture which can enlighten the reader". A flood of appreciation, awe and reverence spread through me and I knew I had to find these people who ever and where ever they were. I had to know more about them, where they met, what they did and how I could join them and become part of this Sufi family.
I soon became a muried (student) on the Sufi path. During my first Summer School in the Sufi Temple at Katwijk (seaside village in The Netherlands) I heard Murshida Rabia Ana Perez speak of the Dances of Universal Peace and I knew this was part of my path too and at the first opportunity I joined a course to train to lead these Dances. (For more information see Sufism)
The Dances of Universal Peace have become an integral part of my Sufi path and I lead the Dances in various places in the Netherlands and abroad. When the Dances call I do my best to answer.
For the rest I am also an artist and writer. I often paint with water colours but to also occasionally use oil and acrylic paints. I have had cards made of some of my work you can see them on the page ArtonCardz. My articles can be found in Sufi publications and in the Dutch magazine Powwow (see Links).
My work is greatly inspired by the Sufi themes of Love, Harmony and Beauty, the Elements and the use of symbols. The dynamics of the interaction of the elements and a metaphysical interpretation thereof are recurring themes is my work. (See Artoncardz)
The Sufi symbol is a constant source of inspiration and often appears in my work. A winged heart containing a five-pointed star and a waxing moon. The winged heart is a symbol for a heart that is in contact with the One, it rises above all. The star is a symbol for the spark of divine light (the soul) which is freely given to each and every one of us at birth. The cresent moon represents the possiblities we have to grow as the moon does each month. We too can reflect light, the light of the One. And the background in the symbol for the Sufi Ruhaniat International, the steady power of the Sun which shines constantly for one and all, no preferences no judgements as to who should receive the Sun shines clearly for us all.