Discovering the story, and painting it along the way
For quite a long time after I completed a painting, I would just post it to the website gallery, on the blog as an image only, and then move on. After a while I began to add a quote that I felt went along with the “theme”.
However, behind the scenes there was always an adventure, a path of life experiences leading up to the completion of each painting. These experiences are a part of the painting process, along with experimenting, and discovering new painting techniques to accomplish a texture, colour, or light.
And the discovery of what it is I am painting and why…the story of the image and understanding life through the creation of the painting.
Stage One; An image of a Lion popped into my head and I wondered how in the world I was going to paint all of that fur! I also wondered why I was going to paint a lion. At that time, only a part of the greater image of the painting would arrive in my mind. Never the entire image. I began painting the lion. I found that if I painted a wash of colour and then scratched the paint, it would create a nice look for the fur.
Stage Two; By adding more washes, and scratching them with different degrees of pressure, some of the scratches maintained the wash underneath, creating an interplay of light, tint, and texture.
Stage Three; More washes of the deepest contrast were applied in specific areas, as well as some additional texture with a bristle brush.Then using an opaque cream colour, and a fine brush, I added the highlighted whiskers and hair around the face and random areas.
As the lion reached this third stage the “setting” for the background of the image came into my mind. This was an older type of subway system with brick walls. Personally, I had been listening to, and observing life around me, and all of the changes that have been happening so rapidly worldwide for all of us. Issues with lifestyle, belief, religion, and who’s right and wrong were escalating. I realized that the unconscious norms of society about “how to live life” were rapidly leaving, and leaving many at an emotional, economical, and spiritual loss, escalating an inner feeling of confusion, depression, despair, and mistrust.
So what is left to one and all in these highly charged, and rapidly, changing times? Perhaps the mode of “follow the leader” is failing completely, and each person must now look within themselves, and find what is true for them.
I painted the rucksack, symbolizing that from the moment you were born, all of the tools and skills you needed in this lifetime came with you. As a very wise and funny friend of mine says, “sometimes, you need to remember when and where you left your backpack.”
I painted the candle for the light within each of us that is illuminating our way, especially in the dark.
The clock symbolizes time, in that the time is now, living someone else’s plan for you and remaining un-true to yourself is over for everyone, and this is the discomfort, the “shake-up.”
I painted a compass to represent that although we may not trust it, we each know what direction is our own, and the world map, represents a reminder to be open to all possibilities, and that maybe our own path is not just one place, but many places along the way.
The young girl symbolizes the innocent child of the universe in each one of us, and through this part of ourselves, this goodness is available, by simply asking.
As I put the finishing touches on the Lion, this powerful, protective creature of grace and strength, I came full circle with my experience of the painting, and the present moment in my own life. The Lion represents the Creator, the God or whatever you choose, that beats your own heart, no matter what name the Creator is given in any culture or belief system. Present when we are confused, present when we stamp our feet and demand the whole “story” before we try, always present, always there watching over our individual path, custom designed for each and every one of us, with offering us what we need to know each step of the way when we choose to ask and listen. When we ask, when we follow our own truth, we are each a pathfinder of our own story.
Sometimes we bump into other people’s stories, but that is a different painting!
This is the “The Pathfinder”