More energies…

I finished ( at least I think I did lol) the latest large painting. A mass of energy directed onto the canvas, this one is what it is and the responses to it have been interesting and diverse, which is what all art should evoke. At 40 by 60, with the bold colours and movement, it is not for the weak of heart, or for those who favour more subdued colours or scenes, but I love it…I think…unless I work on it more. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to get a photo that captures the essence of it live as the light tends to play with the layering of glazes and changes the colours and the details.

untitled-View 1 oil on canvas 40/60 knives

untitled-View 1
oil on canvas
40/60
knives

Untitled-View 2 Different light Oil on canvas 40/60 Knives

Untitled-View 2
Different light
Oil on canvas
40/60
Knives

And something that harkens back to the series I have been playing with. This one shows the complimentary yet conflicting energies that sometimes we deal with in our souls.

Energies Oil on Canvas Knives

Energies
Oil on Canvas
Knives

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Energies

After a while of different directions (turtles, moose, aboriginal inspired styles), I found myself swinging back to the knives. I had a need to return to bolder, bigger, more movement. There were energies at play, building, waiting to be told in giant stories with broad strokes, energetic slashes and colour, colour and more colour.

Awakenings was the first to emerge, followed by Vertigo, the largest canvas to date that I have worked on, almost as tall as I am. Both of these are going to TAG Art Gallery in St Catherines, along with Ghost Spirit and others.

The last one is untitled to date as it is still a work in progress, but it is pure energy, an explosion of colour. We will see where that one ends up, but channeling energies seems to be where I will be playing for the next while.

Awakenings Oil on Canvas

Awakenings
Oil on Canvas

Vertigo Oil on Canvas

Vertigo
Oil on Canvas

Size perspective-artist and Vertigo

Size perspective-artist and Vertigo

Untitled-Unfinished yet

Untitled-Unfinished yet

Energy

I am a firm believer that we as artists are conduits for energies. Sometimes a work will “flow” effortlessly onto the canvas a symbiotic meeting of spirit and media. Other times, there is a battle, a struggle where it seems like energies are at cross purposes. Perhaps, the story being told isn’t the “right” one for the moment, the intuitive spirit is waging an inner war with the logical, what is thought to be the “right” story.

For this painting, I started off with an idea or concept. I have always loved Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings and saw a plate created to represent her work that was stunning, a balance between delicate and powerful. I loved the energy that it had so started off with that in mind. Wrong. Somewhere deep within, my own energies, the place where I am in my psyche, spirit, was at counterpoint to what I thought I wanted to do. I started off in one direction and absolutely hated it. It was not subtle (not that many of my works ever are). It sat there, heavy on the canvas, flat and boring and disappointing.

I looked at it. Left it. Looked at it again. Was tempted to pitch it. But stubborn woman that I am, I was determined to fix the damnable thing. And that was when I let it go-the preconceived notions of what I thought I wanted to achieve, the ideas of what it “should” look like. I pulled out my knives, mixed a crap load (technical term) of colours that I “felt” at that moment, and hit it blind, no direction, no “have to”, no “thinking” or “should”, just “be”, let the energy and where I am take me into the space and place where the energies are just channeled from the soul onto canvas.

I am much happier with the energy of the piece, the flow of colours, contrasts and movements because that is where “I” am. And that is the whole point really sometimes ūüôā Not the best pic as I took it on my phone since the painting is wet, really large and hard to move, but you get the idea I hope.

Energy

Have you ever?

There are so many things that I would like to capture on canvas-so many things I would like to try.

Have you ever wanted to paint a full wall? Take a blank slate and just cover it in colour? A huge canvas and just set yourself free and smoosh, and splatter? What about taking the canvas and becoming the implement that paints, use your hands, your feet, your whole body to immerse yourself in the process so that you and the canvas become one.

Have you ever wanted to paint the smell of spring rain? The sound of the loons on the lake as it stills and reflects during the magic hour? The smell of the wood smoke from the sauna-the anticipation of relaxation before the plunge into the chill water that refreshed and rejuvenated the soul? The hush in the forest in winter when giant snowflakes drifting delicately to the ground is the only sound you will hear? The sound of a child’s laughter-the full belly kind that is pure unabashed joy? The feeling you get when you play with little baby toes and fingers? That kiss at the moment where things click and you melt? The warmth of a hug where all you need is the strength of the arms around you? The taste of tears? That deep satisfying moment where you are sitting with someone and not saying a word, and everything is good in the world?

Oh the things left to try.

Upcoming: Intuitive Expressions Artistic Workshop

That’s right, everyone gets to come together and play with intuitive expression.

I’m offering this workshop Saturday, July 12 from 10:30-3:30. Lunch will be included. Spaces will be limited¬†so any interested parties should contact me soon to reserve a spot. As we will be spending the day outside, an alternative rain date will be provided.

The whole day will be spent in a lovely outdoor setting in Branchton, Ontario, ideal for inspiring the creative spirit. The purpose of the workshop is to break creative boundaries, to learn how to listen to your intuitive spirit, to learn how to be playful with your artistic adventures again, and most of all to have fun. There are no rights or wrongs-it will be what it will be, and the idea is to let go and flow on the journey of self expression.

It will be up to you to choose your materials to play with. Large or small canvases? One canvas or multiple? Paper? Collage? Acrylic, oils, side walk chalk?

I would suggest that you choose something that will allow you to really blow the boundaries out of the water-try some free form body tracing and painting-use large brushes, rollers, knives. Squish, splatter, layer, texturize¬†and blend to your heart’s content. And if you get stuck, break the creative head block by jumping in the pool and floating for a bit ūüôā

More details will be forthcoming including fee, registration form and materials suggestions.

Namaste and come and play!

Annie

Intuitive expressions workshop

 

Studio Downsizing Sale!

Right now, I am in the midst of reorganizing my studio. I am in the midst or putting together some inspiring outdoor venue painting workshops for this summer where everyone can be¬†inspired and play without boundaries. Since I’ve decided to bring in some huge canvases to play with new ideas and techniques, that means making some room. For a limited time, any piece not currently¬†associated with a gallery will be offered at a “downsizing” price. Shipping and handling fees are extra. Scroll through your favourites, and send me an email when you’ve chosen the ones you would like. First come-first served. No holds please. Have fun! Annie

Therapeutic Creativity (Creative Process)

It’s funny the number of conversations I’ve had with people recently about stress, health, finding a balance in life and all the ways we try to offset the potential negative effects, the coping mechanisms we put in place to try and make our lives rich and livable.

Some friends and colleagues find their zone in running or exercising, for others it’s yoga or Pilates. In speaking with my sis, meditation came up. She’s gotten to the point where she can zone out and meditate in public places, even on a plane. And I thought “How cool is that! I should try that!” Now for anyone who knows me (and can stop laughing at me long enough to keep reading), there are still waters in me somewhere, however they tend to conflict with my Tigger¬†like bouncing. Combine that with two very energetic, rambunctious, boys under age 8, a full time¬†teaching career, which I love, my dogs, my art, my….fitting in time to just sit and train my mind to slow down and relax, well, hmm. Sure, you can lecture me all you want on the whole¬†“You have to make the time” and so on, but there’s the reality that rears its time consuming, “Would you like a shower or meditate today?” ugly head.

For me, it came to a point where two different doctors told me that I had two different masses growing, which in essence would kill me in one of two ways, neither of which was going to be pretty, or treatable. And breathe. And breathe again. And panic. And cry. And oh shit (add more expletives-very creative ones). And breathe. How does one go through testing, still be a parent, try to keep a household running and a career going, all the while there is a gigantic very ugly elephant (not the cute pink candy box kind) hovering over you in the corner? Then, came the conversations about meditation. Then, came the epiphany.

While I may seem to be¬†organized¬†chaos in motion, bouncing all over the place, there are very deep, very still waters inside me. In my own way, I¬†do mediate. I do zone out and lose focus on everything else, allowing a sense of calm connectivity and peace wash over me, letting the “noise” from without go. ¬†For me, my therapy, my healing, my rescue comes when I paint.

Art is therapy. The creative process is therapeutic. It calms, it heals, it allows you to channel emotions, frustrations, fears, anger, all those things that we can’t look at face on. It’s interesting¬†because since I have started painting, I have tried to explain to people that¬†a good painting session is when I get into the “zone”, where I don’t think, I just do, I just am and it all flows. People have asked multiple times, “What¬†were you thinking when you painted this? What was your plan? Your process?” The explanation that I wasn’t thinking anything, that it just came, seemed somehow insufficient and I have had a hard time trying to put to words the channelling process that just spontaneously¬†occurs on occasion. When the spirit moves me, for lack of a better phrasing, the directions this takes me are sometimes never where I intended to go but somehow my spirit or soul knows what I need more than I do in that moment and we just go there.

Using art as therapy isn’t a new thing, but I do belive that it is something that should be¬†promoted more. Instinctively, I have encouraged and nudged some of my students in this direction. When they’ve been angry or troubled, I’ve actually given them the canvas and paint and said go put it all on there. Use your brushed, your fingers, scratch, slash, blend, smooth and most of all PLAY. The results have been phenomenal as you can actually see someone else’s soul on the canvas-their moment in time where it all came to being, right there, in front of you. It is breathtaking.

Does it have to be¬†paint? Nope. I know people who lose themselves in clay, in the movement of the wheel-in wood, the grains, the stains, the textures-in dough, the kneading, shaping, rising. It’s all the rhythm, the movement, the passion, the emotion and the soul. The moment where you can let go of everything and allow the immediate to immerse you and take over. The end result¬†isn’t as important as the process. Whether you like it or hate it when you are done, it is what it is.

So go forth, let you inner child out and the calm peaceful vibes in. It’s therapeutic and good for the soul, yes, but more importantly it can be just plain fun.

Some examples of “Hmm…and where di this come from?”. Enjoy.

 

Fire DancerOil on canvas SOLD

Fire Dancer Oil on canvas SOLD

 

"Indomitable" 36 by 48 Oil on gallery canvas

“Indomitable”
36 by 48
Oil on gallery canvas

 

Torn-SOLD Chicago

Torn-SOLD Chicago