Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rising Flames

This piece is one of those works that speaks to me, for hours on end actually, I spend more time listening to what it has to say than actually painting it. Is she ascending or falling? floating or resting? sacrifice or crucifixion? Then there is the water (river) and fire that seem to want to reconcile with each other. I just sit and listen as the story unfolds slowly. I worked on finishing and starting several landscape pieces today as I worked intermittently on this one. Adding and taking away, changing colours, what to let go? and what to keep? What does this figure have to say? how does she relate to our inner psyche? the collective soul of the earth? Is she archetypal in energy or personal? She asks so many questions of me that I must rest when I leave her presence.

Struggling


I'm in that strange space I enter when painting something new and challenging. Unconscious fears arise and block progress, I am holding something back cause I am not ready for it to be released. The only way to free myself is to keep painting but it is torture to keep painting, I hate painting when I am in this space, I have to fight resistance and procrastination with all my will and sometimes this is more exhausting than anything, sometimes I just need to do something else. Yet the paintings keep calling me to work on them. Really struggling with these two pieces yet they are insisting on coming into being. Will probably work on some of my landscapes today and try to rebuild the confidence I need to return to the figures.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Today's Studio

Have been missing the studio and was becoming rather ungrounded for not being in there enough. Had a migraine for three days and then my sweet daughter came to stay with me for a few days. Felt good to get back today, the figures are taking me into new and exciting places.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Flowing & Release


Haven't rephotographed these two pieces since finishing them so here they are, they are somehow related to each other and I am enjoying seeing them after having not looked at them much for several months.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Landscapes


At the same time as I work the new challenging figure paintings I run back to the comfort zone of the landscapes which I work on side by side. The landscapes have taken on a life of their own as well and lead me into ever evolving discoveries, these two have been a joy to work on. I love the black gesso for winter scenes as it adds a depth and a richness to the dark colours. The other piece is full of colour, layers and layers of colour! I feel like I am singing when I work on that one!



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Birthing


Always a surprise to follow the muse, where she leads I follow. This piece is unfolding in unexpected colours and shapes that come from intuition and dreamtime.
I stand and watch in fascination as the painting comes to life before me. I am learning to listen and trust inner rhythms more and more. Rilke says, "Allow your judgments a silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this is what it means to live as an artist."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reveling in Revelation

These two poses have been speaking to me all week, suddenly I put them back to back and they became even more vociferous. Sometimes it feels as if I am just a spectator in my own process, waiting to be told what to do.

Next I redrew the poses onto wood panels, still working from intuition I applied collage before the drawing on one pose and after the drawing on the second pose. I collaged tinfoil and washi paper wherever it felt like it needed a shape. Later I moved to working on a different piece which I decided to underpaint in my beloved cadmium red as a symbol for the passion which underlies everything I paint these days. As I walked by these two pieces sitting on their easels with a pot full of diluted red I spontaneously painted them in quick gestural strokes...I LOVE these pieces, they are coming alive for me in such an exciting way. It really is like I am just there to move the paint around and something else decides where and when.
The more I trust this "something else" the more I revel in what is revealed to me.
Heard a beautiful Vivaldi concert tonight, each season was played by a different violin soloist, the music just flooded my soul with emotion and seemed to draw forth another dimension of these two figures that I am working with...so much goes on in the nonverbal world if one listens and looks. Art is so incredibly important to my well being, if I couldn't create I think I would die.


With love you don't bargain
there, the choice is not yours.
Love is a mirror, it reflects
only your essence,
if you have the courage
to look in its face.

-rumi

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Remembering

still working with the figure,
ideas abound:
eros
pomegranates
persephone
cherries
blood oranges
resurrection of the
divine feminine,
flowing
through
non-linear
time and space,
overcoming
patriarchal
guilt and shame
of the feminine
body,
reclaiming
the earth
and her
sensuous
aspects,
Remembering.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

working watercolour sketches





Here are some of the preliminary watercolours from working with Loretta, Now I have to figure out how to integrate these figures into the landscape, or maybe not. Lots of challenges ahead, have been working nonstop in the studio for days, might just take a break today and let my energy settle. It has been a long time since I have worked with the figure and I am discovering many similarities between the landscape and the human form. I have always felt that the earth's body is mysteriously an extension of our own bodies. I would like to be able to combine the two in a way that expresses this connection.

I am also hoping to produce several pieces for our upcoming group show "Eros" from these watercolours. I'm reading the Kama Sutra and the the seven spiritual laws of love which is so beautiful.
"Sexual energy is the primal and creative energy of the universe. Sexual energy can be creative at all levels - sexual, emotion and spiritual. In any situation where we feel attraction, arousal, awakening, alertness, passion, interest, inspiration, excitement, creativity or enthusiasm, in each ot these situations sexual energy is at work. Whenever we feel these states of awareness, we must put our attention on this energy that we are experiencing, nourishing it with our attention, experiencing it with joy and keeping it alive in our awareness. Sexual energy is sacred energy. When we have restored the sexual experience to the realm of the sacred, our world will be chaste and divine, holy and healed."
I have always felt that our society tends to strip away all the sacredness of this intense, beautiful energy, turning it into a vulgar commodity. This has been to the detriment of us all, creating shame and guilt about an energy that is so entwined with our creativity and joy. I hope to create several pieces that express this delight and celebration of sexual love and energy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Beginnings

I kept dreaming of a female figure and she kept trying to emerge in my paintings as well. I had started to paint small watercolours of two women entwined, one dark/one light, and both needed to create a whole. Then she appeared in the outer world, Loretta, my childhood friend, one modeling session with this beautiful model and I have a plethora of drawings, photos, watercolours and inspiration to work with. I have worked with many life models but to work with a dancer who knows how to express her soul with her body was a gift beyond words. It was an emotional and intense experience for both of us and I hope that I can paint something worthy of her ability to model with such courage, warmth and generosity. I am glad the holdiday festivities are finally coming to a close so that I can get back into my studio and work with this new inspiration!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Two Beauties



Christmas is over and a new year has begun...life has been tumultuous, unpredictable, full of emotion and ever so dramatic but here are my two beautiful
daughters snuggling in the morning. These two girls keep my spirit from soaring off to another universe and remind me of the beauty right in front of me. Their gentle love for each other and for all our family members reminds me to keep my heart open and walk strong and tall into the constant onslaught of Life. It is a new year and a new beginning for all of us.