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Natural Awakenings Central Florida / Orlando

On the Cover: Spiritual-Naturalist Artist, Johnny Dame

The Ecology of a Florida Sandhill in Autumn

by Johnny Dame

With my work, I have been blessed with the ability to fuse together my greatest loves: Nature, Art and Spirituality. Prepared by my Parents and embellished by my own discoveries, I have arrived at this revelation: I am a Spiritual Naturalist-Artist. I have always been fascinated with the mysteries and glories of the sky, the land, the waters and the animals and plants. I have also been fascinated by the Peoples of this Earth most sincerely connected to this Earth, particularly the Native Americans, of which I am Choctaw by heritage.

There is a special energy moving through the Universe affecting all things animate and inanimate. Having recognized this movement from an early age, I have dedicated my life to studying and celebrating it. The Lakota have a name which describes it beautifully: “S’kan, Taku S’kan S’kan” which translates to “Something in movement, Spiritual Vitality.” The Christians recognize this as “The Holy Spirit,” the Chinese call it “Tao,” and most ancient cultures have recognized it and named it as well. I have chosen to describe it as “The Holy Organic Pattern.”

To recognize this pattern is to recognize the inter-relationship of all things, and thus I create my art with a desire to express my appreciation and devotion toward the Spirit of these inter-relationships. We live in a unique time in the development of this Planet and the Human Race, and we are faced with enormous tasks of healing the Planet and providing the necessary resources for sustainability and survival. In the Native American Wisdom Traditions, it is said that all decisions we make should take into account the next Seven Generations.

Each and everyone of us holds a piece to this solution, and each of us have a responsibility to share the particular gifts and talents we have. It has been said that every time we celebrate beauty, we advance closer to Heaven. There are many ways to celebrate beauty which include singing, dancing, painting, writing, praying—the possibilities are infinite. This is the primary principle of the Essential Renaissance: Celebrate beauty and you are closer to Heaven. Create beauty and you bring Heaven to Earth.

In his travels through Florida, William Bartram, the famous Spiritual Naturalist of the 18th Century, often encountered a Spiritual Condition in the Land that filled him with Spiritual Ecstasy. He described it as “Elysian” which translates to “Heaven on Earth.” In my travels and experiences, I have also encountered this Sacred Condition in the Land. It is from this Blessing that I am inspired and from which I create my Art.

Johnny Dame is available for Commissioned Paintings and Drawings, Murals, Speaking Engagements and Classroom Presentations. His email is [email protected].

Visit his website: for upcoming events. His Instagram page #cypresseagleincludes more and beautiful videos.

Check both out—you’ll be glad you did!


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