Rip Van Wagoner

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Rip Van Wagoner

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About

A light in the darkness.

In 2007 I woke in Albany Medical Center NY, confused and disoriented.  I explained to the nurses that I was an alcoholic and drug addict with a few years sobriety and not to give me anything stronger than an over the counter pain medication.  What I didn't realize was that I had totaled my motorcycle in a head on collision the day before and had a morphine drip in my IV.  I had lost my left leg above the knee and almost lost my left (dominant) arm among other injuries.  Over the counter wasn't going to quite cut it.
     Thanks to a few surgeries, along with a lot of charity and hard work, I was able to keep the location of Thereforever and reopened a little over a year later.  I had begun painting again as physical and emotional therapy and become much more aware of the spiritual.  Lucky enough to live a quick drive away from CoSM (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors), then in NYC, I made a couple pilgrimages during this time and when they moved to Wappingers Falls I became a member and began to go quite regularly.  Being surrounded by so many amazing artists inspired me and opened me up to new ideas and techniques.  Being surrounded by so many people of different beliefs helped me follow my heart, leading me back towards the higher power I had left in my adolescence and searched for through out my sobriety.
      Feeling as though I had awaken from a dream, I was reminded of local Catskill legend Rip Van Winkle that had slept 20 years of his life away after drinking with dwarves in the mountains.  Feeling in many ways reborn, I chose to begin going by Rip from that point on as a reminder of my awakening and to remember to Rest In Peace.  While creating art is one of the few times that I'm sure to find that peace, although sometimes buried under frightening layers of pain and suffering.  In that way I hope to transmute that pain into beauty, possibly even love, and share a page from my story to let others that suffer know that they aren't alone. Thank you for visiting.
                                                            A hundred thousand blessings,
                                                                Richard "Rip Van" Wagoner

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  • Rip Wagoner

    Owner, Creator, Healer

    After a devastating motorcycle accident I began painting again as therapy. Creating art is one of the few times that I find peace, sometimes buried under layers of pain and suffering. In this way I hope transmute pain into beauty, sharing it with you

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