Intuition is seeing with the soul. Dean Koontz
I started this blog to write about art and life and where they intersect, and in my own life specifically. I am discovering that the intersection is constant as I live the art that is my life. I had a friend ask me recently where my inspiration came from or how I went from one idea in my art to another. That was a great question and it really got me thinking. Of course I am influenced by my experiences, whether its a book I’m reading (Historical Egyptian Fiction, History of Color, current reads), music I hear, walking in nature, spiritual growth, or the people around me. I notice that recently I have created a group of paintings that are related in some way and then moved on to another group of related paintings very different from the last. Its sort of like an idea manifests and I keep going with it until I feel done…that might be one canvas or 5, it might be all at the same general time or there might be some stragglers come along later. I don’t have a plan for how many pieces in the theme/style I just keep painting and see what happens! If you are familiar with my gallery you have seen my trio of bird paintings and the canvases of prayerful faces, of course before those I created floral pieces, nature inspired pieces, and life journey inspired paintings. As a painter, being guided by your intuition is a great ride, nothing is planned ahead and so many new ideas pop up over the hills and around each bend, its really fun. Its not like a pinball machine just bouncing from one idea to the next, more like Mary Poppins blowing where the wind takes me; there’s a kind of flow for me and even when I move onto something new you will still see pieces later that are the same theme or style as earlier pieces. An ebb and flow, starting new and continuing with older ideas and back and forth. I don’t work on one canvas beginning to end but have several going at once and move from canvas to canvas when I am in my studio. Right now I have about 7 canvases in various stages. Some were started months ago, but its not their time to be finished, some of them I have no idea where they are going, but that will come. And still others I know exactly where they are going, but of course am searching for more time in my studio!
And suddenly you know… its time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings. Unknown
I love starting new projects, ‘new’ and ‘change’ are a kind of high for me. A good clean high of course, but makes me feel really great just the same! Sometimes the logical voice in my head says “don’t get ahead of yourself, finish something up before you start another” or “should you really be using another canvas with he others not done?”, but I have decided to ignore that voice and relax and enjoy the process, knowing that they will all find closure. I had a canvas that I was starting to worry would never be finished, I just really didn’t know where it was going. I realized I had to let it go, set it aside, let it germinate so to speak, relax, and in its time it would come…and it did, one of my prayerful faces came from that canvas. The richness of the under layers add an interesting dimension and the energy from each carnation of the canvas builds until its complete and exactly as it should be. Now if you ask my family….over the years I have had some major flops in projects started and never finished. Not paintings, but crafts and of course they are only flops in that in the end I knew I wasn’t going to see them through. Now I realize that was ok, starting them and deciding to not finish them got me on the road to where I am now…so is that really a flop, or an exercise? I say exercise or learning experience! I will confess that I had a couple dozen skeletons for Old fashioned stuffed and trimmed Santa figures in my attic for over 12 years. I will never hear the end of the playful teasing from my family on that one, but in the end the Santa collective left my attic. I felt so much better when they moved on allowing me to free up space in my mind and in my life for growth in other creative endeavors….even though they were never completed. That project was more about making money right from the start than about joyful creative expression. It really wasn’t for me. I do sell my paintings, but I don’t start each piece with an idea of bringing in income. I start a new canvas to share a vision from my soul with other people, to lighten their lives. That is bliss.
I’m looking back over the pieces I have created in the last 18 months, because thats when I seriously got back to canvas painting. In that time I have taken classes and workshops locally and online to continue exploring new ways of moving paint on canvas. I am a lifelong learner and love learning from other artists. Every artist is constantly evolving, and I am finding new voice in my art with each canvas. My body of work over those 18 months is a clear reflection of me and my journey. Painting is also very tactile for me, I have mentioned before on my website that my hands are my favorite tool and its really true. That is one of the things I love the most about the faces I have been painting, I get to use my hands for about 75% of the painting. My recent passion is incorporating felted wool onto my canvas. I became an avid quilter about 28 years ago and I love hand quilting and applique, particularly with felted wool. The wool has this feel of…oh, lushness I guess, maybe its the lanolin effect but I love working with it! Its very soothing. I decided it was time to merge my two creative worlds….fiber art and painting. I spent a good while trying some fun ideas with textured papers, paint, felted wool, stitching, buttons, and a little detail paintbrush work. It was perfect timing with Valentine’s Day approaching, I made sheets of Valentine’s to send out. I had so much fun that of course this fun creeped onto my stretched canvases and its got me hooked. So today I am posting some new small pieces, mixed media and full of love, in my gallery which incorporate all those fun parts; painting with my hands, dripping and textures, stamping, brushwork, details, stitching, and felted wool! Of course they would make great Valentine’s gifts, but I created them full of love for any time of year. Check out the love!
It is interesting how Inspiration, Intuition, and flow all work together in the art that is my life. I won’t share too much right now, but I recently started a really big project that used to be a dream and is now becoming a reality thanks to this intuitive process. Yes, this project will incorporate the mixed media I’m sharing today. I won’t share any more details until August, I know thats a long time to wait, but it will be worth it. Ok, maybe July I’ll share a bit more, or June….maybe.
There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen. Rumi
Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, I like to think every day can be a day to show people in our lives that they are special, but since this one is designated for us let’s take the hint. Do something kind for someone you love, write them a poem, take them to a movie, or better yet buy them some art! Every time they look at it they will be warmed by your love, what could be better?
Light, Love, Laughter,