If you've reached this page, many of you know already, this is a painting
of an old photograph of the late Jonny Copp as a baby in India with a
sadhu. I painted it as soon as we received the tragic news of our friends'
fates in China this summer. It was my gift to the Copp family and the
only way i could think of to show them what an honor and inspiration it
had been to have known Jonny while he was walking among us. The original
painting (which is 48"x24" acrylic on wood) will always remain
in the loving care of Jonny's family, but there was great interest in
this piece from many others in the community. So finally I would like
to offer high quality giclee prints of this sacred image to the larger
boulder and world-wide communities who loved Jonny and who have been moved
by his spirit as well. Truly an inspiration right from day one!
When I presented this painting to the Copp family, Phyllis, Jonny's mother,
told the beautiful story behind the original photo i painted from. I was
drawn to this photo in particular for a reason i did not understand, and
when she told the story, it became clear.
Here is the story from Jonny's parents, Phyllis Copp & John Copp:
Jonny and the Sadhu
In 1975 the Copp family embarked on a round the world journey in a
Jeep truck with a camper shell named Snoopy and baby ( Jonny ), then
13 months, who was born in Singapore. With minor thousand mile detours,
and unplanned month long segues into the lives of kind hearted folk we
met along the way, it took more than a year to ramble down the most
desolate roads in the world, through India, Asia, and Europe and onto
a freighter bound for Baltimore.
One of the beautiful memories of this trip
was the day that Jonny met the Indian Sadhu (holy man).
In June of 75 while
John was carrying Jonny on a walk through a small low mountain village near
Shimoga in western India, a monsoon rain storm hit. The nearest shelter
was a 2000 year old small stupa temple. Jonny was put down on the
stone floor inside and quickly crawled away to explore. To John’s surprise,
he found Jonny in a dark corner attracted to a Sadu with flowing white hair
who sat in his loin cloth on a cushion, his peaceful face lit by candle light.
With big smiles on their faces and their eyes glued to one another,...it seemed
that Jonny and the Sadhu were somehow immediately joined in some mutual
vibration. ( John always say’s, “it’s because they were both wearing diapers”).
Jonny’s desire to explore and trust in the universe started very early and
throughout his life produced many adventures and his diaries, journals and
other writings tell of the beauty and development of relationships around
the world. The family went back to visit our newly made friend in the temple
several times during our stay there. On one of the occassions he blessed Jonny
with sacred oil and ashes on his forehead and low spoken prayers. On the last
day before our departure,...this beautiful soul came walking into our campsite
with hands full of magenta boulganvia flowers and his prayer beads to give to
Jonny as a loving gift and remembrance of their time together. John caught the
moment on film and it is a treasured photo of our family,...and one that
also seems to have captured the imagination of many.
After Jonny passed,...
the artist Janet Guenther painted her version of Jonny and the Sadhu, titled
“Humble Beginnings”,...and very generously gave the original painting to our
family. We are forever grateful for her very meaningful gift of one precious
moment in time.
* We are also moved and delighted that Devaki Murch has been inspired by
Jonny to embark on a new venture of bringing artists and adventurers together.
Congratulations Devaki as you begin this wonderful new journey.
Thank You, Phyllis.
**Just as a side note if you havent picked up on it: I've included some
special illustrations in the Sadu's hair that are very specific to the
"legend" of Jonny Copp... You might see an Om, a Yin Yang, a
crescent moon over the flatirons, a drum, an ice pick (doubling as a penguin
--which represents the grace and strength it takes to continue moving
forward through the darkness and into the light, included specifically
for the family), and a seagull (Jonathan Livingston Copp's namesake).
I am honored to know that so many of you will have a this special piece.
Please send this link on to anyone you can think of that would like to
have this print in their home or gift to a loved one this cozy season.
Safe and Happy Holidays to you all!!
And on a quick, more personal note: I am ever grateful for the love and
support I continue to receive from my amazing communities regarding my
artwork. Without you, continuing to create the pieces I do would not be possible.