You know what they say about healing – you’re constantly spiraling back to your lessons, uncovering deeper and deeper layers that need to be healed.
And when you are in the collective year of The Hierophant, you can find yourself dismantling “the way things are done” in favor of the way you would rather live your own life, even though it may be counter-cultural.
I love painting intuitively. Often, I start by picking up a bunch of different kinds of paints – heavy bodied, inks, fluids – in a variety of colors. I always have a variety of mark making tools on my table, ranging from brushes and pencils, to catalyst blades, palette knives and my fingers; and a variety of mixed media supplies like colored pencils, oil pastels.
Just throwing everything together, following my impulse, and seeing what arises brings me immense joy. Like on this piece – finding those little hearts within the layers of paint, and then noticing so many more abstract heart shapes peeking out throughout this piece.
On being a rebel, a stream of consciousness prose poem + a painting from my studio
“I will participate, but not as asked.” ― Jenny Odell,How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
When I was in my fiery teens, my father declared me a rebel without a cause. I’ve always been contrary. If you tell me to go up, I will go down. If you tell me not to do something, you can be sure that I will go right ahead and do it. And then proudly tell you that I did it too. That fiery rebellion of my teenage years has mellowed over the years, though – I guess that’s what they call aging.
I may not be a fiery rebel, but I am still contrary. I question most things. I tend to think deeply. Sometimes, it is annoying. It would be so much easier to just go along with what everyone else is saying. With the things the world seems to value. With what everyone else is chasing. It is so much more difficult to try and swim against the tide.
I spent most of the weekend in the studio – painting, writing, creating. Completely engrossed in the paintings and projects before me. Flowing between paintings and projects and journaling and enquiry.
Not every weekend is like this, though I wish it was! Not every painting session goes so beautifully. And that got me to wondering.
At the end of each year, I do an annual studio clean up: clear out the mess, scrub the dried paint off the table, and throw out the junk that tends to accumulate over the months. I thought I’d give you a little before and after of the process, plus a quick little studio tour!
My art studio is in a spare room that also doubles up as the husband’s study area, and these days as my home office.
Once upon a time, I hated abstracts. I didn’t understand the fascination with Jason Pollack’s crazy lines (still don’t), or why a single stipe of red across a canvas is considered “deep and meaningful work that traces the oeuvre” of an artist’s life and work (still don’t).
And still. I felt a pull towards abstract paintings. One that I didn’t understand. I mean, didn’t I just tell you how much I hated them?
So I tried. And resisted. And failed. And tried again. I got myself some books to try and understand abstract art – two, really:
As artists, most of us have our favorite color palette – the paint tubes and color pencils we reach for over and over again. Mine are blues, pinks, purples, and hints of orange.
Sometimes, though, it’s good to pick up the colors that you tend to ignore. For this particular painting, I spied a little-used tube of emerald green, which I decided to pair with orange and some hints of turquoise blue.