Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Flower Dance"

"Flower Dance"

I've been gaining momentum regarding my painting process. Sometimes I can paint two things in one day. I am finding I am painting quicker now, not thinking so much. The image above was painted on a small rectangular left-over scrap of paper. I didn't tape it down onto a board so the paper buckled just a tad. Oh well, in my anxiousness to get going, I sometimes leave out "rules" regarding how to paint in watercolor. Rules stifle my free-flowing creative process anyway. And I see one of the flowers going off the edge as I look at it now. Oh well, I've always been one to move things off the edges, these flowers are dancing and don't want to be held prisoner within the page. Like me, who wants to keep pushing the envelope, taking chances.

It was night time when I painted this. The world was quiet, the cool winds were blowing and then a tiny bug walked into one of the flower's centers. The environment was so peaceful I swear I heard his little foots making their way across the watercolor paper. I'd like to think he saw two real flowers on my studio table and just wanted to sniff their perfume and give me his seal of approval. So I'm happy in my own little fantasy world.

And then my brain the next day says "you're running out of things to paint, oh no!!!"
An excuse, who knows? Am I sabotaging my creative process? Probably! I have about 400 photos of flowers, etc I took still on my camera so no sweat! Time to download them. Then I'll probably be overwhelmed by all the choices. Is this my resistance voice coming through?Yet, I'm finding this resistance part not so loud these days. Maybe because my energy is low I do not have that "fight" to resist.Yet, when I'm painting my reserve strength comes through. Ah, the passion beckons me then and any tiredness is washed away, a distant memory. It's magic!

Anyway, back to my painting process. I'm painting the originals brighter now. This will alleviate me having to pump up the color slightly on the computer. In the past, I've had a light hand with watercolors, using too much water with the paints. This can dull the color. Less water now = stronger colors. So, two changes in myself. Painting stronger, brighter colors and painting at a quicker pace. And still another change. I am going to start framing the originals now. I don't think people like prints that are framed, though many have faithfully bought them in the past. I put some originals into a portfolio and lo and behold threw out some of my artistic creations that didn't appeal to me. I have never done that before! Wasn't easy, memories came up associated with that particular time in my life when I created a particular image. Positive/negative emotions came up. Processed them, let them go. All part of the overhaul cleaning process I am undertaking. Both internally and externally. Nothing is sacred anymore be it old drawings, business suits hanging like antiques in my closet, or whatever else I'm clinging to. I'm going the simple way, monk-like, buddhist-like, eating rice, drinking tea, meditating. That's my goal anyway, my soul feels lighter, baby steps to get there.

So that's where I'm at. Can't brood anymore, action is so much more effective really. Still, my imagination rears its head again. I'm wondering if that little bug is making watercolor footprints on his trek out into the world. Ah we're all artists, aren't we, longing to make our mark somewhere.......

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spread Your Wings, Oh Butterfly

"Spread Your Wings, Oh Butterfly"

For about the last 6 months, maybe more, I've been in a cocoon. Not bad sometimes, but detrimental when you don't want to face the world. Which is where I've been. On the other hand, it can be good to be in a cocoon especially as an artist because there's lots of ideas to be tapped into within the self. And quiet, alone time is necessary. To incubate, process, reflect. And now as I am aware of where I'm at now, I realize how low my energy is. Supreme effort to paint. Yet, the good news is.....

For the last week or so, I've been painting almost every morning for at least an hour. An antelope, a dolphin flying the air, a lion and now the butterfly here. Focus and determination really has to be my support now, for much of the energy I have lately has been going to cleaning, throwing away, looking for a job (not necessarily in that order). But I realize I need to take some of that precious energy (which is really pretty darn low lately) and devote some of it to my creative life. It is my therapy, my lifeblood and many other things words cannot describe.

When I was painting the butterfly, I started reflecting on a workshop I took many years ago when I lived in Florida. It was a chinese brush painting class and we painted lots of butterflies in that class. I think hints of those techniques came through as a created the creature above. The butterfly floats, I float the paint and twirl the brush like a dance. Also, there's elements of stained glass effects in the watercolor, spiritual symbolism.
I have to keep going, one moment at a time, facing each project, all aspects of what needs to be done. But I know I am saving/and or reviving the life of my heart and soul when I paint, And for those reasons, gotta paint.....

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Wild Mustang"

"Wild Mustang"
Watercolor and gesso

I guess I'm in an animal spirit/animal totem kind of place lately. Finding the meaning of animals and their connection to my personal life makes everything more connected. And I feel more one with the world. Jamie Sams says that "horse is physical power and unearthly power. In shamanic practices throughout the world, Horse enables shamans to fly through the air and reach heaven"....and that "true power is wisdom found in remembering your total journey. Compassion, caring, teaching, loving, and sharing your gifts, talents, and abilities are the gateways to power". Wow, some pretty deep stuff about the horse which I so love and am taking into my inner self. I think I'll share some more images and attach Jamie's words from the Medicine Cards book because it just feels right for me right now.

Now back to the image above and its creation. I like to make my animals more dreamy and less realistic so they're coming from the spirit world, right? Now I sound like I'm justifying myself. Just go with the flow..... Anyway, I scanned mustang in and some areas of the body got cropped off, like most of the tail. So I decided to crop the tail off entirely (hope it didn't hurt, horse buddy) and then eliminated some of the bottom area of the back legs. They didn't seem proportionally right anyway, oh that darn monkey mind chattering in my ear again. Now wait, this is a dream spirit animal (yes, Jamie I hear you in my other ear) so quiet down you darn chimp! Anyway, the front legs have more force and they're kicking up nice and strong so I wanted to emphasize them cuz he's/she's A Power Animal so flail away.

The sky background was originally an experimental piece on how to make skies using watercolor and lots of water. I decided then to add the mustang to it. So yes, I took an old piece collecting dust, and added some more life to it. Wild horses can't keep me down when I'm painting at times and even though I'm feeling some anxiety about life in general, I am taking the anxiety and painting with it. Many times today I wanted to stop and say forget it. but I persevered.

In the last few days I have painted a lion, an orange bird, the wild mustang and just now a great blue heron. All animal spirits who seem to have the power to alleviate some of my turbulent feelings that otherwise could build up and wreck havoc on me.

Thanks, Jamie Sams, for writing some great books on animal medicine. They're a good jumping off point for me in my creative process. Thanks, Judy, for suggesting me get the book "Dancing the Dream" by Jamie Sams. Just ordered it from library. And, Elena, I thought of you today as I painted, remembering the exquisite horse images you created and posted on your blog.

Anyway, I'm off to take a ride on the horse and fly to heaven. Well, maybe just to a higher spiritual plane but I'll be back to continue to share who I truly am becoming. Maybe not quite a shaman yet, but a warrier woman sure sounds good at the very least.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter

"Hoppy Easter"
Digital Art Painting

Today my inner child artist wanted to express herself. Playing and painting using the computer fulfilled that need.

I have a birdie painting I did yesterday which is still drying a little bit. Watercolor, gesso and even some crackle paint used to create the feathered friend. Experimenting with different effects was playful too. The key word is Play.....

And now out to enjoy the beautiful day. HOPPY EASTER!