Herons in flight. A surreal story about joy and happiness watching a dream grow.
The birth of vision and heaven










Surreal oil painting herons flight – The Birth of Vision


Full Description

THE BIRTH OF VISION – In the shadow of my father’s glory Surreal painting herons flight

Interested buyers, don’t hesitate to ask at this link for a “First in first serve” acquisition of the framed original or number 1 of 15 limited edition acrylic enhanced reproductions. Surreal painting herons flight


Watch over your dream
Predators hunger
Will destroy
Due diligence
Wise counsel
The elders of heaven
Ready to deploy


The surreal oil painting herons flight was inspired by the series “Dancing with Joy” 1 & 2.

While videoing friends windsurfing at Rangiputa, Kari Kari Peninsula, Northland, New Zealand I heard strong guttural sounds of Herons cavorting in the sky above me. Looking above the Macrocarpa trees I observed Heron’s fantastic antics and realized I had a new story to tell. Videoing windsurfers was relegated to second place.

They were using strong sea breezes while playing games in air currents and then landing in the Macrocarpa trees for periods of rest. That was it, I had to photograph these images.

A few days later my curiosity led me to Google to answer some questions. Why the behavior? Google answered … it was spring and this was part of their mating dance.

I saw the pleasure they were experiencing. It seemed to be the life they were showing was reflecting the glory God placed in their character.

This surreal story had to be painted. Surreal painting herons flight

My reasons

I wanted to paint the expressions of pleasure and delight seen in the image, something like when a child plays securely under a father’s watchful eye. You will know what I mean if you have experienced this emotion. Do you remember when you first noticed, your natural father or your heavenly father’s joy* is enjoying you? The delight of seeing a son or daughter playing with such childlike abandon in the growth of a dream is contagious.

* PS. Many have never experienced emotional joy and family pleasure in a close-knit community. Ian is sensitive to that pain and says, “There is hope”. Embedded in “The Pillars of Heaven” series Ians use animal kingdom anticks as parables of living dreams and pleasures. Ian discovered the Birth of Vision in his own life and uses his journey reflections to paint expressions of being born again from confusion, bitterness, suicide, un-forgiveness, rejection, sexual and substance abuse, depression, hopelessness, and homelessness. Ian’s journey is being favorably watched by caring elders in the unfolding new life.

Creative choices

I chose the idea of the pillar from this thought. Any person who builds their faith upon the wisdom from heaven will only dance with joy in discovering the freedom promised. The truth in these words, “I love you and get great pleasure out of seeing you enjoy what I have given you to enjoy” is my experience after being born again. This is a pillar of heaven, echoing an affectionate and wise father’s affection toward his offspring.

From the beginning of life’s rich story, I wanted to tell you what I have discovered. The pleasure received in taking time out to meditate on the story unfolding with the Heron’s mating dance-inspired questions … Why? Answers led to discovering more wonders in creation. Awe and deep gratitude welled up with love from my God and father who gave me birth. Without shame I love him and when seeing such amazing creativity in life I only love Him more.

This is true. When you set your mind to what is pure and clean, not on the negative press, your spirit will have a continual feast. It will dance with joy. “Guard over the thoughts of your heart” … this is one of the pillars of heaven.

Our common inheritance

In this painting, my research into the indigenous art storytelling of Australian Aboriginal and New Zealand Maori developed. How would they depict the same insights? I admire these people and see a lot of wonders in the way they live their culture in art and music. As my perceptions developed I include a combination of western fine art and indigenous disciplines.

I discovered something common in all people. The desire for cultural identity, peace, love, the meaning of life, where we come from and where are we going to run like a living cord through all mankind. This separates us from the animal kingdom. We all worship something greater than ourselves and tell the story of what our cultural beliefs speak.

Maori art symbolism

The Maori consider the predator Mangopare shark a renowned symbol for natural abundance, strength, agility, and determination. The movement of the spine (symbolized in the Koru pattern)  and warriors sought to emulate them on the battlefield to meet their goals.

Mangopare hammerhead art represents the qualities of abundance, strength, agility, and determination.

Australian Aboriginal art symbolism

I love the vibrancy and symbolism of Aboriginal dot painting.

Dot painting is unique to Australian Aboriginal art and recognized globally. On the surface, the dot is simply a style of Aboriginal painting not dissimilar to cross-hatching or stencil art used in Western art. Exploring deeper Aboriginal dot painting history you discover a world of camouflage, secrecy, and ritual. What the Aboriginals depicted in their want of cultural worship I now use exploring the visual medium from my culture. I tell stories of what I see and am indebted to God for Aborigine’s storytelling techniques and simple use of what they had at hand.

The search for an invisible supernatural world is so clear in their art stories.

I gleaned this information from many sources.

Indigenous art inspirations

The term ‘dot painting’ stems from what Western eyes see when facing contemporary Aboriginal dot painting.

Their painting style arose from the Papunya art movement in the 1970s. Papunya Tula (The Western Desert – South West of Alice Springs and now venturing further into West Australia) artists used a process that originally mirrored traditional spiritual ceremonies. Their rituals demanded the soil be cleared, smoothed over like a canvas, and prepared to draw on. This was much like the dark, earthy boards used by the Papunya Tala and created for an inscription of sacred designs, replicating movements of ancestral beings upon earth. Aboriginals understood the spirit world in this way.

Outlined with dancing circles the dreaming designs are often surrounded by dots.

Afterward, the imprinted earth would be smoothed over and painted bodies rubbed away, masking their sacred secrets. The Papunya Tula painting style derives directly from the artists’ knowledge of the traditional body and sand painting associated with the ceremony. Portraying these dream-time creation stories for public viewing has required the removal of sacred symbols and careful monitoring of ancestral designs.

Modern technologies and communication systems have made these secrets known to all.

The indigenous influence art disclaimer

My attempt to paint, study and replicate indigenous art is very naive.

In the best way, I know how there is no way I would knowingly disrespect a people group who I dearly love. I study, at my own pace and these studies unmask a deeper honor toward these dear marginalized people. Embedded in this sentiment I am borrowing their creative intelligence to partner with my western cultured photorealism painting.

I am an Australian citizen of this world and honored the Aboriginals who have given me so much pleasure with their wonderful storytelling interpretation with design, and dot painting colors, alongside the rhythmic sounds of their musical didgeridoos, knocking sticks, dance, and song unique to aboriginal culture.

There is much to learn as I embed what I understand crossing the bridge of knowledge and empathy from my culture into their indigenous cultures.

This is my Godly inheritance and I look forward to experiencing their offerings in heaven where there is no fear, hatred, prejudice, or offense to darken what God created to be good.

Women’s Fashion

We have allocated numerous segments from this painting to be reproduced in our street gallery called “La Festa” @ Vida and multiple product lines @ “Fine Art America”



ORIGINAL FOR SALE  * Bid or tender for the original artwork. All offers are considered around $25,000.
Painted with professional oils on fine-weave, gesso-primed linen canvas for long life. Canvas is stretched on New Zealand pine and oil paint is protected with brushed dammar varnish.
* Original and Limited Edition reproductions are supplied with Provenance, coded Authentication of Sale Certificate, and maintenance/care information.

The full size 1000 x 1000 (same as original) on stretch mounted archival canvas price is $3500 in GST
A master acrylic artist will digitally recreate the original painting and use hand-painted brushstrokes to replicate the original painting.

Unframed sizes | 960 x short side – $960  |  650 x short side – $650
Printed on long-life archival canvas and protected with two coats of UV archival protection spray.
* Stretch mounted reproductions will incur added charges for mounting and freight.

Unframed sizes | 594 x short side – $120  |  420 x short side – $92
* Posters printed on fine art papers and treated with two coats of UV archival protection spray.


Multiple images photographed with a Canon 5D and 7D, color-enhanced digital illustration created on an iMac in Photoshop CC. Painted on fine-weave, gesso-primed linen canvas for long life. Stretch mounted proudly on hardboard and protected with brushed dammar varnish.


Images from “The Birth of Vision” are exhibited on Women’s Fashions through Vida and multiple product lines at Fine Art America

  • Includes insurance and package/handling fees.
  • The Original and Limited Edition reproductions ship with the Provenance coded Authentication of Sale Certificate and maintenance information.
  • Poster art prints ship in insured tubes.


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