Friday, September 28, 2012

Inspiration, Vade Mecum and Intuitive Art

Vade Mecum
encaustic 30x30
Inspiration in our lives.  This is what we are visiting this week in my intuitive painting class.  So what inspires me? 
  1. laughter
  2. sunrise
  3. nature
  4. the color orange
  5. my Mom
  6. older people out enjoying life
  7. beauty in words
  8. creating something from the heart
  9. magic moments
  10. so many more...
Number 8 and number 9 need a little more explination.

For me, number 8 is not necessarily creating art.  There is so much more to creating from the heart, at least I believe so.  For me, its things like:
Making my husband's lunch in the morning.  Sending a "thinking of you " text to a friend.  Writing thoughtful words.  Sharing a smile.
You've seen it - the way the light shines in just the right way, there is a certain radience to it that lights up an object in a delightful way.  My Dad called these magic moments. He had honed his senses to see these things in life - the magic moments.  He would stop and pause, and watch that split second when the light on an object was perfection.  He would stand and stare, taking it in and remembering the detail of it.  He logged hunderds of magic moments into his mind where they would stay until needed for inspiration.

I also find inspiration in collecting things that catch my eye.  I have little piles that have come from pockets, stashes of colorful things, cards. pages torn from magazines, 1000s of photos in Picasa.  I have the need to touch fabrics and objects.  I take artist dates to Anthropolgie and I think I touch just about everything in that store.  I have to.. its in my wiring, the curiosity and the need to connect with things that inspire me.  I often pick up things, touch things, thumb through books and pause to look at something without thinking - it just happens. When we draw inspiration from our lives.. its not just the tangible things that we can lay hand to. Sometimes its the words of friends, its the steam curling from a bowl of hot soup, a smile, the way the flavor of dark chocolate dances on your tounge. The thing about finding inspriation in our everyday life is to notice it.   It's the ability to feel that little flutter of the heart when something inspiring lights up the moment and we learn to recognize it and take a mental or physical note of it. There is no telling when that glimmer of inspiration might circle back and be the thread that leads to something new. 

The deer painting above is my first intuitive piece.  He just showed up during my last painting session.  I had kept a photo of a deer - one of my things I collected somewhere along the way.  His image kept dancing across my mind.  So, here he is.  Several layers of playful color introduced over the past couple of weeks in Flora Bowley's class resulted in this painting.  He was painted with no thought, no sketch.. freehand with only a notion that he was what needed to be on this panel.  When I started to paint him, I kept telling myself - don't think, just paint.   I did spiral out to clean up a few mistakes - like an oversized ear, but really, he is pretty much how he came to be.  There was a point that I just knew, I was finished - no more.   I have a feeling he is here to guide me on my way to new destinations of colorful art - thus his name Vade Mecum.
It's Party Time - YAY!

Monday, September 24, 2012

FILM26 - The Letter T

T is for...
Me and T
 I set off on a photo journey.  I have my favorite haunts.  One is the docks at the top of South Lake Union.  I was taking photos and having a grand time, when a gentleman approached me.  He was a little suspect of me snapping photos on his dock and a little gruff. 
 He was curious to know a little bit more about my antics.  I probably looked a little out of place as I wasn't dressed like a dock hand.  When I told him I was shooting a photo project, he lightened up a little.  We chatted a bit and I managed to get him to laugh a little.  He left me with a warning to be careful and not fall from the dock.  I'm really hoping that I didn't look like the type that would blunder over the edge and into the water.
 I hit my other favorite place to take photos - which is Capital Hill.  Its a big difference from the docks for sure.  I do love wandering the streets there snap happy.
 I did manage to get to Fremont area.. another place I like to wander.  I even stumbled on the Theo Chocolate factory there.  I opened the door of their retail store..  The smell of Heaven wafted out at me..  chocolate - mmmmm.  I'll go back for a tour someday soon - very soon.  No photos there, sorry.  But, I found this nifty stop sign in the hood.
 I have terrible luck with Impossible Project film.  I don't know enough about Polaroid to know if its actually the film or the camera.  This is the second Polaroid box camera that I own, and both have this same issue with the film. 

That's a wrap for the letter T.  Need to start leaning my brain on U.  See you all in a couple of weeks.  Film only film :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Layers, Tapestries and Shine

detail of a larger piece
In my intuitive art class that I am taking, one of the big lessons I am learning is the beauty of the underpainting.  The layers beneath the surface are deep and broad.   In our class we are learning to let the underlayers build and weave a beautiful fabric of color, happiness and play.  There is no thinking in the early stages, only painting, layering and mark making.  No critiques, no analysis, no standing back - just paint.  When I find myself standing back to analyze.. I quit, stop.. and wrap up.  The layering process is a warm palette followed by cool and so on.. with bold strokes and freedom... put on the panel using the beat of music and different tools.  The colors intertwine and intermingle to create an amazing story behind the final work.  As the painting progresses it is up to me to bring to the surface, the story of what lies beneath.  I'm looking forward to this final step.
It really makes me pause when I think of a painting in this way.  I'm usually, so focused on the surface and how it looks that it didn't occur to me about this underlying tapestry of layers.   As the artist of a multilayered piece, I am the only one who really knows the mystery of what lies under the surface of my artwork.  In the end, its my job to bring all that to surface and let it shine and tell its story.   
I've been reusing old panels. the paintings that I made in the beginning of my encaustic learning.  I'm finding, because they hold the story of the beginnings they make the paintings so much deeper and richer.  Its not about starting over with these, its about building on the roots that are already there.  I didn't white them out or scrape them back.. I just built upon them.
All of this is making me think of how it relates to us as individuals.  We all hold an amazing tapestry that we have created through our lifetime.  How do we bring to life and let shine the beautiful multicolored layering that lies under the surface of each of us?  We, as the artists of our lives, need to think about how bring all this beauty within, tell its multifaceted story and let it shine, baby... Let it shine!
Happy Friday everyone...  hit the button and see some amazing artwork.

PS.. we're still working on layers in class.  I really don't have anything to show yet.  Stay tuned... I'm getting closer. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Intuition, Listening and Practice

encaustic on birch 16x16

I - Internal
N - Natural
T - True
U - Unmistakable
I - Instinctive
T - Tuned In
I - Insightful
O - On the Mark
N - Never Fails

I don't remember where I found these words actually.  But, I wrote it down thinking that I would put it in an art journal or at least do something with it.  So, here it is today - fitting actually, as I am working on painting more intuitively by taking Flora Bowley's Bloom True e-course.
The thing about intuition is that you first have to hear it.  For many, that is not so easy.  Our lives have geared us to hear only the chatter of everyday and all that chatter can drown out our internal voice. Our minds are a little over run by the ego, so to listen to the heart or the gut is a bit tough. Then, to actually trust it and act upon it takes even more mojo. Its a mutual trust thing - this acting on a gut feeling or listening to the heart. It doesn't really matter from where it originates in you, its just there, waiting to be heard.  Intuition is there to guide us and provide us with wisdom.

So, how do we hear it - this wisdom within?  Well, I think it is something we must work on every day.  Its not just a matter of listening today and it works.  Sometimes that works, but other times we are met with silence just when we feel we need a little help.  I believe that the ability to tune in is like any other skill in our lives - practice makes perfect.   So starting today, lets each carve a little time out to tune in.  I think we will all be pleasantly surprised at the amazing things which will result from a little listening time.

We are still in the early layering stages for the intuitive painting class, so I don't have much to show at this point.  I should have something to show you all by next week.  I worked up Sentinel in between making panels for class.  So, I guess there is a little intuitive carry over in this painting. I'm very happy with how she turned out.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Postcards, Swaps and Blog Hopping

Over the past few weeks, my mailbox has been receiving sweet surprises in the way of postcards.  Kat Sloma over at Kat Eye Studio, got the brilliant idea to liberate art by means of a postcard swap.  I send 5 cards highlighting my artwork and in return I receive 5 cards of other's artwork.  It is worldwide and all kinds of art.  Each card I received had a beautiful quote on the back in addition to the beautiful artwork on the front.  Starting today, we are all invited to join into a worldwide blog hop celebrating the liberation of art.  All the participants who have blogs will highlight the cards received and provide a blog hop link at the end of the post. 

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong" - Joseph Chilton Pearce
postcard by Janet Smith

"May the beauty of the natural world fill your heart with joy and peace"
postcard by Deborah Tisch
"The best most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched- they must be felt with the heart" - Helen Keller
postcard by Katja Ward
"May you find joy today and may your eyes see the beauty around you.  Have a lovely day.  ♥Liz
postcard by Liz Velichko
"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." - Thomas Merton
Postcard by Kim Giery
 What a lovely bunch don't you think?!  If there was a blog or website indicated I provided the link under the card so that others can visit and see more from one of these great artists. 

Thank you, thank you Kat Sloma for putting this together this year!!  It's a wrap for 2012 - Beautiful work, all!  Happy hopping everyone

Monday, September 10, 2012

FILM26 - The Letter S

Sometimes its easier than other times.  Simple really.  The letter S for me was a breeze.  In fact, I had so many letter S photos that I had to set some aside.  The weather in Seattle has been outstanding for the past 48 days as I write this.  We are going for an all time record of dry days in Seattle - 51 in 1951 is the line in the sand.  Maybe we will cross it... maybe not.  But, no matter how you look at it - we've had one amazing stretch of summer.
Me and S with Sculpture
 I took an afternoon and headed to the Seattle Center area of town.  I stopped off at the Olympic Sculpture Park. 

Seattle Space Needle, Summer Sky and Jet
 Had to have a photo of the Space Needle for S - had to.

 I originally planned to take this for R - Rawr!  But I didn't get around to it and lucky me it really is a Stegosaurus.

 Another one of those - had to, photos.

 Yes, really, it is a Studebaker.  As I was taking photos the owner came out wondering what I was up to with taking photos and basically casing the car.  I explained the FILM26 project and it seemed to make sense to her. 

Suicide Doors (on the Studebaker)
 According to Wikipedia - the gangsters liked suicide doors because it was much easier to shove someone out of the car. 

Me and S in Color
One day, two rolls of film and 20+ miles on the car.  Nice!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Getting Ready, Being True and Intuitive Art

Poppy Pods
encaustic 8x8

I'm getting ready to dive head on into 5 weeks of intuitive painting.  Flora Bowley's online class starts on Monday for me.    I did send her an email to see if she thought that I could participate with encaustic and not miss out by using a different medium.  Her response was that really this isn't about the medium.   It's a class about learning to trust our intuition within the artful process.  It's a class about listening to our hearts when we create.  Its a class about letting the art speak as it goes and let it emerge into what it is meant to be.  In other words... yes!  encaustic is fine to use and I can always switch midway if I choose.  I've decided to take a run at it with encaustic to keep true to me.  So, I've been busily making lots of wax medium, big pots of cool colors and making space on my painting table for large panels.

This class is really coming at the perfect time for me.  I'm sort of in between things and searching a bit.  The ability to be able to trust within ourselves and what we do and create is huge.  So often we doubt or second guess what we do and don't let that inner voice truly speak.  I'm very hopeful that I can embrace the essence of her lessons, but also keep to my own style as much as possible.  Should be really interesting to see what comes of this.  I will definitely be sharing what I learn and my thoughts on the process.  So, stay tuned over the next 5 weeks to see how intuitive painting + Flora's style + Marji's style + encaustic all combine into one happy artful journey.
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