Talking Numbers Suite Gallery. The "Talking Numbers Suite" is comprised of ten mandalas, all meditations on the numbers one through ten. This mixed media project water color, pen and colored Inks, with touches of acrylic began in and was completed in It was inspired by my studies of both the history and philosophy of Mandala, and my studies of Numerology. They turned out to be extremely profound meditations which radically elevated my consciousness and eventually lead me to the concepts and histories of Sacred Geometry.
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Charles Gilchrist is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible artists of our time. He has dedicated his life to art and has been studying mandalas and sacred geometry for longer than most of us have been alive.
He has well over 3 million views on his YouTube channel, where he shares his discoveries about the subject. In this interview with Charles, we talk to him about surrealism, knowing as a child he had a gift and how his family reacted to it, the subconscious dream world, consciousness, how the times we are living in now are much like the Italian Renaissance and much more. By the time I was 3 and a half, I was completely convinced that I had been given a talent to accomplish some kind of goal that Deity had given me.
I was a very naive little boy. I was raised in a Christian background and I was very much interested in what Christ had to say about things and I was very convinced that God, whoever, whatever that was, had given me talent to do this work. It was some kind of spiritual related work, so I started very, very early.
Very early. CS: Was there a specific medium that you were into the most back when you were that young? CG: Well I started coloring when I was a little bit over 2 years old in coloring books.
That bored me right away and I started copying images from magazines and books and things like that. I tried to make it look like the image that I was looking at. Which is a typical stage of growth for an artist to try to copy other imagery, you know? Then I started drawing from memory, that was a major kind of breakthrough for me, when I started investigating my own memory and make images from my imagination.
So I was doing that by the time I was 4 years old. Everybody in my family and the people in the neighborhood and everyone that saw what I was doing were kind of amazed and I had the realization that I did, in fact, have some kind of special talent because of the way people were reacting to me.
CG: Well, my parents were a little bit uncomfortable with that. I was kind of discouraged by my family. They were a very conservative family. They either drain you out of it, or you keep going. I kept going. I was pretty stubborn. But by the time I was about 10 or 11 years old, they were finally convinced that I did have talent and my first real feature was of a perfectional painter. I was the youngest student that she ever took.
Her name was Mrs. She was a really good portrait painter and a landscape artist. She trained me in how to see and draw and she made a big influence on me. I was about It was a brand new school and had a fantastic library and I got turned onto the surrealists. Are you familiar with the surrealists? CG: Well, I consider the surrealists to be the major movement of the 20th century. It was a group of artists who were interested in this new kind of energy happening related to psychology.
There was a group of them that got together and wrote a surrealists manifesto and they all signed it. So it was a serious movement, a serious Art movement.
The major aspect of it was that it was transcendental. It was self investigative. CG: Well, I discovered meditation at the same time. I had a rebirthing experience when I was 30 years old where I became convinced that I should concentrate even more seriously on fine art. I ran into Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, people like that, that were very interested in mythology and psychology. I also got turned onto TM, Transcendental Meditation, and started meditating. I saw that in my surrealistic work there was a lot of geometric aspects.
There were a lot of references to numbers and geometry and I realized that was the deepest level of my own psychology. It went into archetypes that were below, or beneath my own psychology, like universal archetypes. I was tuning into that. Geometry was a major factor and that led me to the discovery of mandalas. I started doing a bunch of experiments with geometric mandala kinds of imagery and when I discovered that, I also discovered the sacredness of geometry, the archetypal perfection of it and I became enamored of the whole power of mandala making and almost simultaneously sacred geometry.
CS: There was a point in your life when you were doing photography and that has played a major role in your life. Could you tell us about how you got into photography? CG: There was a point when I was a young man, I was married, I had babies and I had to make a living and fine art was not paying for anything, basically.
I rose to a fairly high level in that field and that has really been beneficial to my teaching potentialities. CG: Yea! There was a certain point in my life when the digital world and the internet started to happen and I had this profound realization that was where the future was going to be and that it was headed toward the area of video and digital photos and video was going to be the key aspect of education.
So I started training in that area. My videography is just an extension of my photography. CG: Yea it was very successful. I think I have somewhere around 3 million views now and it kind of like put me on the map.
The whole thing happened because of the invention of the printing press. Suddenly books were not handmade anymore. They were machine made and they were much more reasonably priced. Right now the internet is the equivalent of the invention of the printing press, in terms of the vast effect the internet is having on the education of the world. CG: What I have discovered over the years is that when I find a really potent student and I start systematically teaching him or her into the area of sacred geometry, they have a particular resonance with it and they see it from their own perspective.
My teaching inspires growth in them, which I would have never have thought about. Gabriel is one of those kinds of students, perhaps my best student. He was a very quick study and he has all this background in architecture and the building industry and he came up with this concept of ARCOTU. I thought it was an incredibly powerful direction for him to take and I have tried to support him in any way I can. I support him completely and am happily part of that neighborhood.
Buildings, environments, which are based on natural building possibilities like non-toxic alternative energy systems. Everything that we need to have happen in the architectural arena is covered by ARCOTU and sacred geometry is a very potent aspect of that vision.
CS: Are there any other projects or events that you would like to share with us? CS: Yea. CG: I would say something about people who are being drawn to sacred geometry. On the one hand, it appeals to what you would call the right brain, our intuitive side. It also appeals to our capacities for reason and science. People are being intuitively drawn to sacred geometry, just like I was. Follow your heart. CS: I really appreciate that.
If you could share one message with the whole world what would it be? CG: One of the major dynamics that was going on in the Italian Renaissance was the conflictual nature that was going on between the scientific community.
It dissolves the seeming conflict between spirituality and science. That is what is happening right now in the world. That is the major important part of what is really happening. The oneness of the universe is starting to be experienced by numerous people that have never felt anything like that before. The whole essence of sacred geometry begins in the single point. The first archetype of sacred geometry is the single point, oneness, unity. The whole thing just expands out of that.
CS: Beautiful. I appreciate your time and I want to say thank you again for everything. Thank you for sharing all of your information with us. I am excited to see you at Mad Tea Party! Christopher Selomon: When and how did you first get into creating art? CS: How would people react to your art? CS: [Laughing…] Did you end up going to school for art?
CS: I am not. What is a surrealist? CS: Meditation? CS: Did photography help you get into film making? CG: I appreciate that. CS: Is there any advice that you would give an aspiring artist?
Exclusive Interview with Charles Gilchrist : Master of Mandalas
the art of Charles Gilchrist