Every now and then my artistic skills ramp up a notch or two. Recently, this happened in a couple of different categories. One is in painting and the other is with my art dolls/spirit companions.
First I will tell you about the painting. Somewhere along the line my paintings became more detail oriented and tight. I can now see how “busy” they are. No matter where the object is in the field of depth, it’s clearly defined. However, I’m not trying to follow the rules of this physical world in anything I make. The world I paint is not Earth. It’s a place that comes from my imagination, which has its own set of rules. I do want the paintings to be successful in conveying a certain kind of feel and energy. I am now questioning whether the tightness of my paintings are effectively expressing the energy that’s coming through or not. The energy I’m feeling can be best described as super real, super heightened, and highly detailed. Yet, somehow I don’t think this is being conveyed as well as it could be. So, onward.
Making objects clearly defined while also appearing loose is quite a trick. I think of Georgia O’Keeffe when I think of clearly defined yet flowing and loose objects. I’m not sure when the tightness in my work began and I’m still looking at the symbolism of it compared to where my life has been the past few years. I do prefer routine, and enjoy organization more than I used to.
Anyway, I started a new painting a week or so ago and this new one immediately wanted to be started differently. This time I laid down a few layers of colors and textures without any objects. A figure started to emerge from the color field and then another. When this happened I was reminded of how I used to work many, many years ago. There is something very satisfying about helping a spirit emerge into a painting. As I paint, not just with this painting, but with many other ones from my past, I get to know the spirit that reveals him/herself to me. Each one that comes through shares different kinds of lessons and wisdom. Most of the time the spirits are benevolent. When they aren’t nice, they still bring amazing gifts.
Combining the new knowledge that the highly defined and tight painting style may not be effective, with remembering what allowing an image to emerge through the painting feels like, has led me to a new way of approaching the painting. This time I will put more focus on what needs to be kept loose and what needs to be tightly defined. This experience feels like the kind of step one takes after many many years (50 years) of practice. It’s the next spiral up.
As for the spirit companions, I can now see that I really want to give them environments, accessories, and friends. I want to create mini worlds for them. They have felt incomplete to me without these new additions. As an artist who needs to earn a living from my art, I’ve put way too much thought and practice into dumbing down my creations so that they can be affordable. A few years back I asked myself WHEN will I get to make what my heart yearns to make regardless of how much time, materials, and energy goes into it? The answer is now. The answer is always in the now.
One of my recent pieces is of a Spirit Companion with her friend in a shadow box. I see the box as an altar piece and a night light, as it will have tiny LED lights inside of it. (Picture above)
Some of the ideas for the spirit companion accessories and environments that have showed up in visions before are cars made out of twigs, dome homes, trees, flowers that are beds, tree houses, and more. I started working on a backpack for Racy Coon and hope to finish it at some point. It’s harder than I thought it would be. I also LOVE making headdresses/crowns, clothes, jewelry, shoes, staffs, and rattles for my Spirit Companions. Currently I’m in the process of creating a large spirit companion that IS the altar. She will be holding a tray where you can place your altar items.
Thanks for witnessing me on my journey.
What will I work on today?