Each member of the Visionary Guild is gifted in a certain domain, and teaches courses in their area of expertise – not just theoretically, but also through the direct transmission of knowledge and craft.
Australian artist Kuba Ambrose brings his unique combination of inner vision and skilled expression to the Academy’s curriculum. Born in Melbourne, Ambrose was visited by powerful dreams in his early youth, which prompted his need to create art.His work primarily deals with the timeless and ongoing relationship between humankind and the Creator. In 2005 he completed a Bachelor of Art in Painting at RMIT before embarking on a nine month journey to Europe to further his growing interest in renaissance art. In 2007 he spent six months working as a painting apprentice for Austrian artist Prof. Ernst Fuchs. During this time he accompanied Prof Fuchs with ongoing projects in Klagenfurt, Vienna and Monte Carlo and was introduced to a number of early renaissance painting techniques.
In 2008 Ambrose was employed at Victorian Art Conservation where he continued his art education, working as a picture framer and art restorer. During this period he began a cycle of painting exploring the theme of ‘divine influx’ expressing the interplay of divine forces within the receptive vessel of the human being. His travels led him to Jordan, Israel, Bali and Far North Queensland. Two years were spent living in the small rainforest town of Kuranda in Far North Queensland. During this period of writing and painting Ambrose began to assist a small community with the creation of the Recharge Kuranda transition town initiative and supported the formation of the Infinitus Studio. In 2011 he was invited to teach the Mischtechnik during a ten day painting retreat in Ubud, Bali. This was followed by the InSpire workshop in Cairns and the Sacred Realms and Sacred Visions seminars in Melbourne together with Daniel Mirante. In 2012 he travelled to Torri Superiore in Italy to participate in the Expanded Visions in the Mischtechnik seminar hosted by Laurence Caruana. In 2012 he released his first publication of writing Branches of the Vine – Poems by Kuba Ambrose.
His uniquely intuitive approach and strong feeling for spectral colours make him the ideal teacher for our courses on Seeing New Forms and Development of the Mischtechnik.
The art of Vera Atlantia probes into our most primordial experiences, from embryonic dreams to encounters with the Divine. Her colourful, delicately-rendered canvases reflect our intimate connection to Source and the deepening experience of spiritual awakening. Inspired equally by words and images, this Austrian-born artist has explored both art and writing as a life-long pursuit into self-inquiry, healing and the inner world of the soul. In particular, the Vision Journey has led her into deeper dimensions of consciousness and the imagination.
Her interest in cultural diversity and the manifold expressions of humankind brought her to the study of Social and Cultural Anthropology at The University of Vienna, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree specializing in Visual Anthropology in 2011. During this time, painting also became a source of deep inner healing, when personal loss revealed art as a tool for transformation and the internal processing of a whole range of human emotions. Such healing, she discovered, could not be expressed in any other way, except through art.
These realizations led her to parallel studies in Painting Therapy at the Institut für Mal- und Gestaltungstherapie and the Waldorf Teacher’s Training Programme – both of which she completed in Vienna in 2013.
Vera Atlantia participated twice in the Visions in the Mischtechnik Seminar in Italy, where she met Professor Ernst Fuchs and the artists who subsequently formed The Visionary Guild. These encounters led to deep and transformative friendships which further contributed to her artistic development. Since the summer of 2013, Vera Atlantia has led Intensives at our Academy (In Quest of the Inner Image, Spark in the Void) as well as the regular Seelenmaler (Soul Painter) Workshops, which emphasize art-making as a tool for self-inquiry and discovery. As a teacher, she often guides her students on Vision Journeys while emphasizing the creative potential of art for self-transformation.
Although she is interested in all paths leading to self-realization, her own spiritual practice is mainly oriented towards Dzogchen Buddhism. An early love for music is currently expressed through sacred chanting, and Vera Atlantia has led a number of Chanting Circles in Italy, Vienna and at our own Academy.
Detailed, precise, with a fine line and accomplished hand, Laurence Caruana brings a classical approach to his painting, which abounds nevertheless with fantastic, dream-like and visionary imagery. As principle instructor at the Academy, he brings many of these same qualities to his teaching, urging the student to explore both the technical and imaginative aspects of creation.
Born in Toronto Canada of Maltese descent, he graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Philosophy. To learn classical techniques of painting, he moved to Europe, studying at die Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna.
In Europe, Caruana led mostly an itinerant existence, living variously in Malta, Vienna, Munich, Monaco and Paris, while travelling extensively through Asia, Europe and Central America to enrich his passion for different sacred traditions and cultural iconographies. This passion is reflected, not only in his painting, but also in a series of books and articles, such as his erudite study into the ‘image language’ of myth, art and dreams called Enter Through the Image. Caruana also wrote and edited The Visionary Revue, an on-line journal where his highly-influential Manifesto of Visionary Art first appeared.
His art is highly mythological, exploring the interplay of different cultural symbols and styles. Classical in approach, hieratic in structure, his images vibrate with strong saturated colours.
In the year 2000 he received the invitation to work with Ernst Fuchs at the Apocalypse Chapel in Klagenfurt. It was here that he met Amanda Sage and A. Andrew Gonzalez, who were instrumental in bringing him into the Chapel project. More than a decade later, they realized that the seeds had been planted then for their joint Seminars and the Visionary Academy.
After Klagenfurt, Caruana apprenticed under Ernst Fuchs for a year, learning the Mischtechnik while working as his assistant in Monaco and Castillon. At the same time, his wife Florence Ménard worked as Fuchs’ personal assistant in arts administration.
In 2009, Caruana created The Visions in the Mischtechnik Seminar, a popular painting class held in the Italian eco-village of Torri Superiore, just across the mountain from Ernst Fuchs’ studio in France. After teaching solo for two years, Caruana invited a series of other artists to attend or co-teach, thus forming the foundations for the Academy. During the 2012 seminar, this idea was firmly set in motion, due to the inspiration of Amanda Sage and the confirmed collaboration of ten artists who had either taught or attended the seminar.
With the blessings of Ernst Fuchs, the couple of Caruana and Ménard co-founded The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art in the autumn of 2012. Erich Peischl, director of the Österreiches Kulturzentrum, went to great lengths to locate the Academy at The Palais Pallfy in Vienna.
As Academy Director, Laurence Caruana brings his strong organizational skills but also his profound love of Visionary art to the programme. In collaboration with his colleagues, he develops the curriculum and co-teaches a number of the courses. In this way, he is able to share his Old Masters expertise while exploring new facets of painterly creation.
A. Andrew Gonzalez
As a recognized master in the modern technique of airbrushing, Andrew Gonzalez brings a unique painterly approach to our curriculum, coupled with a classical idealization of the human figure.
Raised in an artistic family (his artist-father encouraged an early interest in drawing and painting), Gonzalez developed his own signature style, pursuing spiritual and visionary themes in graceful, flowing forms where the female figure expresses mystical states of the soul. Through synchronistic experiences, dreams and lucid dreams, he experienced a deep creative transformation, intensifying his research into tantric symbolism, comparative mythology and the frontiers of consciousness.
In the year 2000, Andrew Gonzalez began assisting Ernst Fuchs at the Apocalypse Chapel in Klagenfurt, accompanying him on further projects in Vienna and Monaco. During this time, he also met Amanda Sage and Laurence Caruana, with whom he would collaborate years later on the Seminar and Academy.
The artist views his work as ‘a contemporary Tantric or Transfigurative Art’ that explores the dramatic union of the sensual and spiritual. This emphasis on beauty and the Neo-Platonic idealization of the human form is a classical practice which the artist hopes to teach and share with our students through his course on Airbrushing during our Summer Seminar.
David Heskin’s art reveals a combined love of random shapes and concise figures, which he brings to our curriculum through his varied teachings in free expression and Sacred Geometry.
The Colorado-born artist is largely self-taught, exploring a variety of technical approaches to express Nature’s randomness and elaborate hidden patterns. On the one hand, his mana prima technique uses water and white pigment to express the free-flow of energy, imbedding its manifold signatures in paint. On the other hand, his three-dimensional paintings explore complex geometric figures by abandoning the regular parallelogram and stretching canvas over pentagons, hexagons and even curvilinear supports. Within these multi-facetted shapes or gently-sloping surfaces he explores new worlds of fluid form and hyper-dimensional geometry.
Inspired by visions of shared creation, he co-founded Dreaming Co:Nexus, an Artist Co:laboratory which combines different artist’s visions through collaborative Live Painting events and “Art Vigils” that can last anywhere from 18 to 48 hours – the artists coming and going to keep the candle of wakefulness lit, while passing back and forth the flame of creation.
In 2010, he and his wife Aloria Weaver travelled to Europe to study the Mischtechnik with Laurence Caruana and Amanda Sage, returning in 2011 to collaborate with Caruana and deepen their studies with him. As a couple and as co-creators, “DnA” (David and Aloria) have travelled extensively throughout the US and Europe – painting, exhibiting, lecturing and publishing. They have also held numerous workshops that combine the Mana Prima and Mischtechnik. Recognizing the necessity for a conscious rebirthing of culture, they founded Art Spirit Now, an arts organization with the exhilarating declaration, “The Renaissance is Now.”
The couple’s rare talent for sharing their creative process makes them a wonderful addition to the Academy faculty. Heskin in particular is eminently suited for teaching our courses on Sacred Geometry, Perspective and The Figure.
Olga Klimova brings a wealth of techniques to her teaching, from finely-detailed figures to free-flowing brushwork and vibrant colours. The Russian-born artist started painting as a direct result of deep mystical experiences, followed later in life by a practice in Vipassana meditation. Her art is the on-going attempt to re-connect with this deeper level of consciousness while sharing its blissful state of being one with the world.
After completing a classical art education in Russia, Klimova moved to New York where she created WizArt Visions, a scenography design and production studio which has developed numerous backdrops, fabric installations, U.V. paintings and stage settings for the festival scene. Coming to Visionary art through decor design, she has gained hands-on knowledge and skills in everything from large-scale compositional planning, projector use and perspective drawing to computer rendering, airbrushing and acrylics. Unity and self-reflection became the main themes of these projects, which combined symmetry, fractal patterns, portraiture and highly-saturated complementary colours to express greater dimensions of vision.
During the 2012 Visions in the Mischtechnik Seminar in Italy, Olga Klimova studied egg tempera and oil glazing with Amanda Sage and Laurence Caruana. Through the deepening of her meditative practice and this completely new approach to sacred painting, her artwork became more spontaneous, intuitive and alive – with swirling organic patterns, expressive figures and a fantastic, dream-like transparency.
Her high degree of skill in the Mischtechnik led to the invitation, in June of 2013, to co-teach with Laurence Caruana during the Enter Through the Image workshop at The Omega Institute in upstate New York. Here, she had the first conscious experience of channeling her brush movements, thus becoming acutely aware of the vast potential for combining meditation with creative expression. Opening herself to the creative flow, trusting in the process, and expressing those energies in painting – all of these have became vital practices which she wishes to transmit to her students.
Today, Olga Klimova exhibits her art internationally while teaching painting and maintaining her Wizart Visions design studio. Lucid dreams, channeled visions and deep meditation continue to inspire her work, which seeks to evoke the shared feeling of our deep interconnectedness. The artist brings to our Academy a delicate sense of rendering and realistic portrayal of the figure, combined with decalcomania and the free creation of vibrant, energetic forms.
“…Putting the mind aside and trusting the flow of creation, listening to the painting and one’s own subconscious, not trying to control what’s happening and letting go – all are very useful skills not only during painting,” she says, “but in life.”
British artist Daniel Mirante is a gifted painter, teacher and writer – at once imaginative and articulate – who shares with students a wealth of insights into the artist’s craft. He brings to our syllabus a wide range of interests, from metaphor, symbols and allegory to traditional artist’s materials and CGI as an aid for painting.
As a child he experienced powerful dreams and an early, unwavering fascination with both nature and art. In 1999 he graduated from the Manchester Metropolitan University with a B.A (Hons) in Fine Art, then completed a Diploma in Sustainable Community Development with the University of Middlesex. His interest in visionary and sacred art was and continues to be strongly influenced by intensive ceremonial work within indigenous cultures and mystical lineages. Initiating himself into painting in 2002, he sought instruction in 2004 from Brigid Marlin, a venerable teacher in the lineage of Ernst Fuchs.
The art of Daniel Mirante has a jewel-like quality, resplendent with numinous light and soft translucent hues. Archetypal beings populate his works – angelic beings and dakinis – equally inspired by Netherlandish painting and Asian thangkas. At times, enchanted Nature realms invite us to return to a long-forsaken garden paradise. “I am interested,” the artist says, “in making icons that honour the deep ecology, of mind and nature as one continuum, unbroken.”
Through the creation of his web-portal www.lila.info and through exhibiting and lecturing internationally, leading workshops and holding space for collaboration, Mirante has been instrumental in spreading awareness of contemporary Sacred and Visionary Art. Recently, he delivered a cycle of lectures, presentations, exhibitions and taught several workshops in Australia and Indonesia. After attending and teaching at several Visions in the Mischtechnik Seminars, he began working with Ernst Fuchs in Vienna in the autumn of 2012.
Mirante’s fascination with a diverse and exploratory range of painterly approaches and a supportive approach to the creative process make him the ideal teacher for our courses on Development of the Mischtechnik, Colour, the Figure and Applications of Computer Rendering to Painting.
Autumn Skye Morrison
…Translucent geometries, totemic animals and dancing patterns of light; ‘heartspeak script’, energy spirals and soulful feminine figures – the art of Autumn Skye Morrison evokes transcendental realms of joyful mystery. With free and graceful brushstrokes, the artist brings her own unique touch to our teachings at the Academy. “The creation of my paintings is like a waking dream,” she says, “a dance with inspiration and colour, allowing the imagery to unveil itself as I journey through the piece.”
Born in the Maritimes on Canada’s Eastern coast, the young artist journeyed back and forth across the country many times, absorbing new landscapes and adapting to new communities, before her family settled on British Columbia’s Sunshine coast in the Yoho valley of the Rocky Mountains. Spending her seasons between the majesty of the mountains and the serenity of the ocean, she developed a deep appreciation for Nature’s primordial beauty. Today, Autumn Skye lives north of Powell River BC, working in a studio that overlooks a sweeping expanse of ocean, island, mountains and sky. Her meticulous paintings give equal emphasis to creative intuition and skilled technique, building up the composition in glaze after glaze of translucent acrylics.
Her own creative process, which she seeks to share with her students, allows the artist “to release judgment, move past our mind, breathe deep into the process, and find bliss in each step; we realize that we are boundlessly assisted in our authentic and heart-centered expression.” And she adds, “As we honor our personal creative paths, we contribute vitally to the whole through our own well-being, by inspiring those around us and encouraging them to create as well, and by manifesting visual mirrors to the light, potential, and divinity of each viewer.”
Well-recognized for her Live Painting skills, she has been featured at festivals like Envision (Costa Rica), Beloved (Oregon), Eclipse (Australia) and Alchemeyez (Hawaii) while also appearing in The Bloom Series documentary on Visionary Art: Vessels of the Divine. Autumn Skye’s works have been exhibited worldwide, as well as appearing in numerous books, magazines and online journals. Having led workshops in Canada and abroad (including the popular Soul Portraits Art Retreat in Costa Rica), she was invited to our Academy to share her creative approach and technical expertise in both the preparatory phase (drawing, subject matter) and development phase (glazing, acrylics) for an original work of art.
“Each creation,” she reminds us, “is an offering: a positive reflection of ourselves and humanity, a celebration of evolving consciousness, an opportunity for healing and deepening, a vision of a bright future and Now.”
As an artist, ambassador, and visionary icon, Amanda Sage brings her own unique mix of painterly wisdom and media awareness to our courses.
After graduating from the Waldorf school of Boulder Colorado, her adventurous spirit brought her first to Bali, then Vienna, eventually landing in Michael Fuchs’ studio, where Sage apprenticed for two years in the Old Master’s techniques of etching and painting. Michael Fuchs introduced her to his father, Ernst Fuchs, whom Sage began assisting on different projects in Vienna, Monaco and the Apocalypse Chapel in Klagenfurt.
In the year 2000, she was awarded a studio at the WUK (Werkstätten- und Kulturhaus), a Viennese cultural centre and artists’ collective, where Sage served as administrator and member of the board for two years, as well as organizing open studios and cultural events.
That same year she met A. Andrew Gonzalez and Laurence Caruana in Klagenfurt, working with Ernst Fuchs on the Apocalypse Chapel. Sage was instrumental in bringing the three together, thus instigating an alliance which would eventually lead to their joint seminars in Torri Superiore Italy. During the fifth Visions in the Mischtechnik Seminar, Sage was again the inspiring force behind the co-founding of The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art.
The art of Amanda Sage is characterized by strong figure-work and portraiture, accompanied by energetic waves of intense colour. Each of her paintings is like a portal, opening unto infinite possibilities of seeing and expression. Amanda Sage is at the forefront of a new breed of visionary artists, using art as a tool for personal, spiritual and planetary transformation.
An adept of Live Painting, she now tours the world, delivering lectures, holding workshops and painting live while exhibiting her works. In June of 2014, Amanda Sage will lead our Spring Intensive, allowing students to ‘Free their Expression’ through live painting and collaboration. She will also lead the Drawing section of the 2015 Spring trimester, sharing her knowledge of design and thematics in the development of a painting.
As a professional Art Conservator, Art Technological Researcher and Visionary artist, Timea Tallian brings her in-depth knowledge of historical artists’ methods and materials to the Academy.
Born in Vienna, she graduated from The Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with a Master degree in Painting and Conservation. Tallian then worked for several museums and art related institutions worldwide as conservator, researcher and teacher (The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Royal College of Art, and The British Museum in London; The Academy of Fine Arts, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Austrian National Library, and Natural History Museum in Vienna).
After finishing a four-year MPhil research degree in 2007 at The Royal College of Art in London (exploring the practical reconstruction of 17th century painting materials and the alchemy of paints), she became involved in Art Technological Research, publishing papers and giving talks at various conferences.
In 2008 she was employed by the Austrian Government to train monks in conservation and historic artist techniques in the Himalaya Kingdom of Bhutan (Trongsa Dzong Museum project). During her eight-month stay, she had the unique opportunity to study Thangka painting with Lopon Sangay Rinchen (head-painter of the Trongsa Dzong Monastary).
These experiences inspired artworks that uniquely combine Renaissance techniques and Tibetan Iconography. Tallian also lectures on Thangka painting and holds workshops at the Shang Shung Institute UK (The London School of Tibetan Studies).
2009 till 2011 Tallian thought courses on artist materials and techniques at the Royal College of Art in London.
Although Tallian’s work reflects a thorough knowledge of historic techniques, in her recent paintings she also explores new media, particularly the air brush (under the initial guidance of A. Andrew Gonzalez).
Then, in 2012, she lectured on artists’ methods and materials at The Visions in the Mischtechnik Seminar and was invited to become a permanent member of The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art. In Fall, 2012 she also began assisting Professor Ernst Fuchs at his Atelier in the Palais Palffy.
Due to her rich knowledge of historical painting techniques, Tallian makes an ideal teacher for our Mischtechnik course.
The art of Emma Watkinson reveals a deep fascination with cross-cultural symbology, sacred geometry and the radiant expression of vision – all of which she hopes to share with our students.
Watkinson was born in Devon, England on the Celtic spring festival of Beltane, May 1st. After graduating from Plymouth Art College with a diploma in Fine Art, she travelled the world, living variously in Jerusalem, Egypt, Thailand, Cambodia, New Zealand, Polynesia, America, India, Italy and Mexico. These travels inspired a deep interest in all the world’s sacred traditions. She has a background in Druidry and was affiliated with a Buddhist order for many years. She has a long-standing interest in Western Mysticism and Kabbalah and is deepening her path in this tradition.
In 2010 she attended The Visions in the Mischtechnik Seminar, studying Drawing and Composition with Maura Holden and the Mischtechnik with Amanda Sage and Laurence Caruana. While attending the seminar the following year, she met Ernst Fuchs and eventually began working with him in the Autumn of 2012 in Vienna as a painting assistant. At the same time, she deepened her study of portraiture in a seminar with Michael Fuchs in his Klosterneuburg studio near Vienna.
Watkinson runs the Visionary Art gallery affiliated with the Elixir of Life project, a production hosting large scale music events and Visionary Art exhibitions (with space for live painting and collaborations) in London and at the U.K. festivals. Today, the artist continues her world travels as an exhibiting artist and live painter.
As a guest lecturer, she will teach those subjects in her greatest area of expertise, Perspective and Sacred Geometry, while also lecturing on Sacred Symbolism in Ancient World Cultures. At the end of the academic year, she will share with students her rich experience in exhibiting, selling and promoting art.
Equally skilled in the Fine Arts and the Healing Arts, Aloria Weaver brings to our Academy a unique integration of these two time-honoured traditions.
Born in Western New York, she studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the State University of New York, learning bronze metal casting, ceramic sculpture, etching and printmaking before specializing in classical techniques of painting.
A natural aptitude for the Healing Arts led Weaver to the New York Institute of Massage, where she emerged as a licensed Massage Therapist in 2003. Thus, her interest in the human figure progressed from formal studies in life drawing, anatomy and physiology to a more practical and ‘hands on’ approach to the body’s innate capacity for healing and expression.
In her art, Weaver explores the geometry of sacred forms, the armature of sacred space, and their integral relationship to the human figure. The highest role of an artist, she believes, is to become a healer, a visionary, and an intermediary between the realms of divinity and humanity.
With her husband, the artist David Heskin, she co-founded the cultural arts organization Art Spirit Now and the collaborative arts collective Dreaming Co:Nexus. Together, they travelled to Europe to study the Mischtechnik with Laurence Caruana and Amanda Sage, eventually deepening their knowledge of this technique with Caruana on another extended stay in Burgundy, France. When not teaching at the Academy, they are often travelling across Europe and the USA – painting, exhibiting, giving lectures and holding workshops.
Aloria Weaver’s expertise in geometry, armatures and the human figure makes her the ideal teacher for our classes in Composition, Proportion and Sacred Geometry.
In her capacity as Chief Administrator and Head of Communications, Florence Ménard is able to combine many years of professional experience with a deep appreciation of Visionary Art.
Born two hundred kilometres outside of Paris in Le Mans (France), she obtained a university degree in Business Management at l’École de Gestion et de Commerce, Le Mans, then studied Art History at l’École du Louvre in Paris. With professional experience in England and Germany, she is a fluent speaker of French, English and German.
In the year 2000, she became Ernst Fuchs’ personal assistant, co-ordinating operations between the Monaco-based studio and the Vienna-based villa and foundation.
Upon her return to Paris, she began a long career in Communications, specializing as a Press Liaison and Events Manager in the Arts. With clients as diverse as the Grand Palais, the Musée du Luxembourg, and the French Ministry of Culture, she promoted major exhibitions (Botticelli, l’École de Barbizon), art fairs (Art en Capital) and book releases (Rodin, Klimt, Schiele) to French journalists in television, radio and the press.
Working both in agencies and freelance, her more interesting projects included the Ministry of Culture’s Awards for Master Crafstmen (Maîtres d’Art) and the Cathedral of Nevers’ inauguration of its new stained glass windows. She has also worked for la Galerie d’Art Visionnaire de Paris and Chimeria: Festival des Arts Visionnaires, Sedan, promoting Visionary art to the French media.
Florence Ménard’s strong organizational skills are a great asset to the Academy while her experience in Communications is ideal for promoting classical education in a new genre of art. She also uses her years of experience to teach students ‘the ins and outs’ of how the Art Media works, during our year-end course on Artist Promotion.