I grew up amongst the rolling, pastoral hills of Wisconsin. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a major in history and a minor in literature, I moved to New York City with the intention of becoming a writer.

That idea did not lead to the publishing success that I had been expecting. After four years in the city, I decided to move to upstate New York where I built a small cabin in the Adirondacks. Inspired by Thoreau and Zen philosophy, I wanted to live a self-sustaining life of voluntary simplicity surrounded by a natural world of trees and wild animals. It did not seem a hardship to learn how to live without electricity, cut wood for heat and grow my own vegetables. Wary of commercial foods, I switched to a macrobiotic diet, bought organic, whole grains and other supplies in bulk at the local food coop. One bag of rice last a year.

Gradually I became disenchanted with the publishing world and became more and more attracted to the craft of the visual artist. I had enjoyed drawing since my childhood but up to this time it had never been the focus of my attention. As an artist I knew that I didn't want to live off my paintings. I wanted to preserve the freedom to create whatever inspired me. Eventually, that led me to concentrate on drawing the human figure.

About a decade ago I read a book by Layne Redmond, WHEN DRUMMERS WERE WOMEN. That book made me realize for the first time that in prehistorical times the world was dominated by a matrifocal culture. Because of my history background, it was a shock to realize that our present patriarchal culture could not be presumed to be the natural order of human society. With this understanding I had to acknowledge as a man enjoying the benefits of a privileged gender that it is indefensible to think of or treat women as inferior in any way. ISIS RISING is the outgrowth of this realization. It's an attempt to help restore the balance using the art image, poetry and book reviews.

Kimberly Berg