What were you thinking? Is that what you are thinking?
I just received this 16 x 16 inch cold press paper and I was anxious to try it out. I had this crazy idea to water down my acrylic paints and drop tiny pools of color with a medicine dropper onto really wet watercolor paper. Acrylic paints don’t really bleed into each other, they sort of swirl around each other and leave some cool patterns. But then I over did it. I didn’t stop in the first 5 minutes like I should have…I went 15 minutes until I had an overworked ugly patterned piece of paper!
In my head I saw forcing the shape of a vase. Red flowers on top black and blue vase below. This is why you should go with the flow and not force an image! There was no melding of colors and the page looked like it was split in half – dark and light. I probably should have quit right there and threw it out but did I? Nope.
Next, I added white gesso to the dark side and black paint to the light side. Did this help? Nope.
Then I walked away. Did this help? Yep.
At this point I sat down and really looked at all the areas of the painting. There were some pretty spots and I started with them. I isolated areas and then started to make these little paths. Small paths into large paths and after some time, the entire image and all the paths started to become connected.
There are the cool blues and the warm reds and they work off each other. Apart yet together, together yet apart. Two separate paths creating one united image. When you get to that point, your mind starts to wander. We are all separate minds, separate souls yet we are one, humanity. Humans manipulate and transform their environment, yet we are one in existence with this earth and all its inhabitants. We are ONE. We are connected.
A close family friend who is a wonderful artist and art teacher gave me a little bit of advice on abstracts. He said to let go of all of your mind’s preconceived notions and get to the point where you tap into the ANCESTRAL SOUL. Carl Jung used this term to refer to the thousand if not million year old energy containing the mysteries and survival experiences of the evolution of life. If I interpret this correctly, the CONNECTEDNESS of all humanity of all time, past & present.
So, my painting wasn’t all that great, but I left my cerebral mind far enough behind today that I’m happy for its journey. I get it. Boy, all I have to do is open my Facebook page to see all the crazy thoughts and opinions people have on guns, rights of one’s (or others )body, nations, Gods. My reactive thought is always “I am not THEM.” But really, I am. If we decide to change our society based on consumption, go along with business as usual or NUKE the planet we live on, collectively we are one. Globalization is teaching us this. How connected we all are. It’s deeper a concept than I can hold onto for too long, but I get it. I don’t know what to do about it, but I get it.
If I sit and ponder these questions, while dribbling paint all over the place, then I have pushed myself, further than the day before. And that is what this is about for me.
A comment was made to me this morning that I should paint a snow painting today. To capitalize on the storm and hopefully get extra traffic toward my web presence. You know, that made a lot of sense, but you know what I felt, a stomach ache. My mother would say it was my intuition feeling a big SHOULD. I “should” do this or I “should” do that. When you are in SHOULD mode you are not paying attention to your own wants and desires or your intuition. I mention this, because I didn’t paint a snow-scape today to amuse some people who may be following me. I am doing this 365 not for attention (don’t get me wrong it’s nice!) and not for profitability(that would be nice too!). I am doing this for me. 100% for me. The blog forces me not to buckle or cave (because I probably would have quit after day 20) and it pushes me way out of my comfort zone. Out of “when I feel like it” and into “all of the time”.
As a child I always knew I was an artist. Somehow between the ages of 10 and 35 my purpose was derailed. But I tell you what, staying home to raise my kids and in some way losing my identity as an individual for 8 years, gave me all the time I needed to gain clarity. I know what I want. I want to do art. I don’t care about making money. I don’t care about keeping up with my neighbors, I don’t care about where I am in 20 years. I know I want to create art. Right now, not for any other reason than for me.
We are all connected. If I do what my soul asks and you do what your soul asks. If we all get off our asses and stop letting all the fake reality of “life” get in the way, we could all be gifts to one another. It sounds cheesy, but that was the glimpse I had today.
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I love this piece! I’d buy it….you are so talented. :-)
Well said Mary ! I wish I could loosen up :-D looking @ your art I have almost thought I might give acrylics a go !
Do it! The only thing you have to loose is your ego! I have a good three hundred and some odd days of ego shedding to do! My only recommendation is be very giving with the paint on your palette. I am such a nut about wasting paint and having it dry out, that I am stingy and waste a lot of time messing with the paint instead of painting! Also, it is awesome that you can layer acrylics. With watercolor you get one shot, with acrylics you can keep working on an area until you are happy….let me know what you think!
Mary, I’m so glad Elisa forwarded me a link here. She’d mentioned it, but I hadn’t followed up. This piece of work is stunning – I believe the first picture is actually the end product? Most of all, I am deeply thrilled for you in the understanding you came to at the end of this entry…it is the grandest gift you can find (creating art purely because it fills you), though for some reason it is often hard to accept. I’m delighted that you have not only accepted it, but are humbly sharing it with others. So totally excellent! Sending blessings to you on your beautiful journey!
Hi Julianna. So nice to see you even if it is virtually! I can still remember sitting in my studio not knowing which direction I wanted to go in. I don’t know if I am any closer to an answer, but I did at least attempt to choose a starting off point and yes it does feels great! I can’t wait to see where the year brings me. I feel very alive. When you get a chance, I’d love to hear about what you have been up to. Thanks for looking me up! -M
It seems to me you are on a brilliant path; one that will open up layers and levels that you might as of yet be unaware of their existence. What a fabulous gift you’ve given yourself!