Destiny moves in unknown directions

Destiny moves in unknown directions, we all know that.  Seventeen years ago, I was guest artist and lecturer aboard a ship making a circumnavigation around the world, to mark the new millennium in the year 2000. (See Blog posts of 12/2008). We had a class of twenty-five student/passengers over the  4 1/2 months of the voyage. 

Amongst them was a couple who lived at that time in Colorado. The woman proved to be an excellent watercolorist and very good draftsperson.

Natasha and I have been on many ships in the same capacity. Over the years I’ve had maybe a thousand or more students. We stayed in touch with only a handful, and amongst them, this American couple.

A few years ago they moved to Arizona. In late 2013 they sent us an email to ask if we’d be interested in looking after their house and their cat, a Bengal breed, while they went on vacation for the month of February. 

Since we reside in Victoria, BC and our winters are wet and chilly, the request came as a welcome respite. 

Henri van Bentum with friend, the "Bengal" cat

To make a long story short, we not only took them up on their invitation, but returned again the following year while the couple went on a 3-week Christmas holiday.

We probably would have gone back again since then, because we are very fond of this unique species of cat (and great fun to be with) --- except in the summer of 2015, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer.  Happily, however, it seems that now those ‘alien stowaways’ have been defeated.

Not long ago my artist/student contacted me. She asked if I’d like to write a children’s story for a series of watercolors about tropical fish and coral reefs. 

Gladly I obliged.  

And so our collaborative project was born:  a children's fable that will be published as a printed book. The title is “King Neptune’s Jewels with Tails and Fins” (c).  We're currently in the production stage, and the book will feature some twenty illustrations by my artist/friend, whose idea is now becoming reality. 

We will keep you posted when the book becomes available.  It will be self-published, using Amazon’s “CreateSpace”.

So, like I said at the beginning of this post, destiny moves in unknown and unexpected directions – which sometimes proves to be a pleasant surprise.


One of the paintings from my "Organiverse" series / on cover

Below is a picture of the cover from the most recent issue of Network Review, an international journal published by Scientific and Medical Network, showing mandala #26 from the set of #100 of my "Organiverse" Starry Night edition.

To read about the history of the Organiverse portfolio, simply enter the word "Organiverse" in the blog Search box.  Or visit our Vimeo site with videos of the full set in both the original, Helios edition, and the Starry Night edition.


In addition, here is an item published on our website about the Organiverse Handheld Set.

 Art, Meditation, Ecology
  Atom by Atom - Dot by Dot


Created in Morocco and on the island of Madeira by artist Henri van Bentum, born in the Lowlands in 1929.  van Bentum's work is in several public and many private collections around the world. All 100 mandalas in the Organiverse series are done in pointillism, dot by dot.  Each mandala is only 8.5 cm. in diameter.

"The work of Henri van Bentum reminds us of organic processes on the cosmic and microcosmic levels. His work helps me understand the vastness, complexity and beauty of the cosmos. 
 van Bentum's work is executed with a fine sense of colour and other elements. 
I see his work as a paradigm for enduring works of art in the future." 
 Leslie Mezei, Former Professor of Computer Sciences, University of Toronto


Organiverse is a meditational aid or 21st century kasina device. It is used to enhance meditation practice. It works by simply placing the cards face-out in the display module and, after allowing for some time to pass, move the front facing card to the back of the holder. In this way you will rotate through the Organiverse mandalas in sequence. The idea is to go through the whole series of 100 spheres.


Henri van Bentum was one of the first eco-artists beginning in the 1950’s. He has always advocated ‘Small is Beautiful’ and works on a small scale, using a minimum of resources for maximum results. The Organiverse rotation handset comes in a unique wood display holder made from recovered wood from Vancouver Island, as part of the Woodworkers Guild “Wood Recovery Project”.

This box is made from recovered Garry Oak.

“Organiverse is a glimpse into the multilayered beauty of all that is Life. These mandalas offer an immense opportunity for healing and for a heart-based understanding of who we are physically, emotionally and spiritually. A dance of colour, form and contemplation.” 
 Dr. Mark Sherman, MDCM, CCFP