People often ask how I begin a painting .. what is my process? I love this question because I feel it helps them to really get to know the artist within me and provides such great insight into an artist’s world. The answer is: it is different for each new piece I create… some just flow and some have to be worked and reworked. Often a vision for a painting will pop right into my head and I will quickly sketch it out before the vision disappears. The sketches stay in a file that I go back to for inspiration and some never make it on a canvas. Sometimes it begins with a hike in the desert, taking in the beauty, the colors and the natural organic shapes that live there. And sometimes, my work begins with tears. Tears you may ask? Yes, tears …. beautiful, cleansing tears that make way for the sun to shine & inspiration to bloom! Tears, a sign of strength not weakness… the honoring of emotions and letting go.
The act of creating comes from deep within. My latest painting began with tears, as I sat in my studio staring at a large blank canvas. I was overcome with emotion thinking about this gift… this beautiful gift to pick out glorious colors that I love and arrange them on a canvas that feels good to my soul. I was reflecting on my life, wanting my art to represent the journey I continue to live out. I thought about how my dad pounded the pavement as a young artist, painting what felt right to him and how he & other teachers taught me to do the same. I thought about how a sensitive soul can get lost in the shuffle of life, underestimated at times. I thought about the heart and how much this small & intricate organ experiences in a lifetime: the pain, the joy, the disappointment, the strength, the fear, the hope, the love and how important it is to feel, really feel, all of these emotions. I thought about what my agent recently told me (I don’t really have an agent, actually a dear friend, smile) “It is time to stop holding back, time to fly!”
And then, with those tears still flowing, now standing in front of that large blank canvas resting safely on my sturdy wooden easel ….with strength and clarity, the chosen colors mixed, I picked up my paintbrush…it just began .. .every tear turned into a brush stoke. And then, when the tears dried, my eyes saw a bold and strong piece. I couldn’t stop painting …I worked on into the night.
The how it begins…. unique to each work…. and with the completion of each piece, an honoring of the artist within me … an artist who wants you to know that a good cry is healing, as for the grace that blooms from those tears is simply magical….