Illustrating Timeless Laughter & Dreams

Laughter is timeless,
imagination has no age,
and dreams are forever.

– Walt Disney

I was laughing so hard I could barely catch my breath
and all the dreams I have ever had since before I could remember,
came rushing back into my awareness.

My inner cheerleaders exclaimed, “O thank God! The woe is me drama opera is finally over, let’s get to work.” I had just returned from traveling on the road of comparison and doubt, and inspiration could not find me there. Inspiration can only travel on the road of belief. There it is. I chose to change my mind, turn myself around and with that, inspiration was waiting to greet me. Inspiration doesn’t snicker, but,…I really know that I heard a faint voice say “Interesting choice for a summer vacation ….”.

Sketching in Facial Features

I began to work. This was just an experimental sketching exercise to get going again. I randomly chose a reference image I felt was reflective of a moment of bliss.

Expanding the image with shading and details.

I continued to sketch with line and shading. The face took form and I enjoyed her expression.

Laying in her hair as if a breeze of inspiration came to visit and inspire this moment of bliss.

While sketching her hair I imagined a breeze of inspiration that had come to visit her and inspire this moment to pause, accept and enjoy.

Okay, done with the exercise, move on.

After some time, I thought to myself this exercise was a great start, let’s move on, I can’t use her, she’s a recognizable figure. But then I thought, I was having fun and I loved the moment captured, so I decided to stay with it and expand the image into an illustration.

 

Sometimes we experience brief moments of bliss that have no connection to anything that is outside ourselves, and everything to with the truth and inspiration within, and inherently available to us all. For this, I am truly grateful, and will hopefully never get lost driving down the useless road of doubt and comparisons again. This is my experience while creating the illustration “Laughter & Dreams. – Thank you.

 “Laughter and Dreams.”

Laughter & Dreams

 

Illustrating Mother and Child

Stage 1 – Sketching and base washes

This piece began with listening to an inspired thought. I was going forward with the intuition to let the work create itself.  A new illustration technique arrived in my mind. I think I was vacuuming at the time.

I saw the face, and I saw the kindness and the strength within the eyes simultaneously. I didn’t worry about the challenge, although I wanted to. I wanted to commit to stepping back, and let the work develop itself. I assured myself it was just an experiment in trying. Lets see what happens.

Stage 2 – Sketching Hair, Adding Washes and Detail

We moved on to the hair. This was created by sketching and adding washes. This stage enforces patience. It feels like a thousand strokes, and with the right focus, can also be a meditation. It’s interesting how much I wanted to know the “outcome”, as if commiting to trusting that step by step process depended on if I liked the final work. I found this quite similar to life in many ways. The temptation is not to take a risk that involves your inner knowingness and time, unless you have an advanced guarantee of the outcome you hope for. In this case, I didn’t. And most work can take up to sixty hours.

Painting the Peals (of Wisdom).

I have never worked with pearls in an image, and this was fun.
Pearls represent calmness and centeredness. They also represent faith, loyalty, truth, purity, and personal integrity. Pearls of wisdom. Something was cooking here…..

Stage 4 – Peonies and Butterflies

The next time I sat down to work, the flower arrived in my mind, and the butterflies. Peonies represent riches and honor. Butterflies represent change, hope and transformation.

Then the work became quite. Was it done? Was it finished? I wanted it to be, I wanted to move on, but…I wasn’t sure. I left it up where i could see it. I would peek at it from time to time while I cooked or cleaned. At times I would sit looking at it. Nothing. All was quiet. It wasn’t done and I didn’t know why.

Days passed and I started a new illustration. I checked back, but still, there was no “green light” feeling. I had no inspiration for a next step, still I trusted that it just wasn’t finished.

While working on something else, I saw this illustration in my mind, and the next inspiration arrived. Her baby. And just like babies, we are not exactly sure when inspiration will arrive, but it will.

All that is represented here is about the challenges of trusting ourselves, trusting our inner compass. It’s about approaching each moment with the faith of a child, and caring for our faith as if we were our own children. It requires loyalty, truth, and personal integrity. It also requires patience, perseverance and a great sense of humor.

I think not knowing the outcome was worth the endeavor, and I am pleased. Which also includes the ability to celebrate ourselves. – Thank you.

This is “Mother and Child”

 

Painting The Orchard, A Parents Illustration of Transformation

This Is An Animated Painting

Transformation

My youngest launched himself from the nest two years ago. During the excitement, the packing, and the plans, I painted. Then I animated the painting to illustrate observing the transition, and the transformation we both were experiencing. This animated clip is very short, only one minute and twenty-three seconds.

The Orchard

Change has its own timing,
it can’t be rushed
and most likely it won’t be convenient,
that’s part of its charm.


Art & Design: North Liza Lane
Music: Joe Hisaishi – Evening Wind (Yuugure no Kaze)

When my children launched themselves into the world, I was required to experience a transformation from being the guide in front of my child, into the supportive position of standing beside a young man. My job now is to trust their own intuition, their path choices, and their own decisions. I ask questions to prompt their wisdom to come forward.

Their “owner’s manual” is deep within them, and it is private. I was not given a copy. It is fortunate that I could not get my hands on it, or I would have probably started a “protective” editing process. Possibly ripping out whole sections. Not a good plan. I truly enjoy this stage with both my sons. I really like this position. We are now good friends, and we laugh, and we enjoy the journey together. I also enjoy my empty nest. I am filling it up with discovering myself and who I am now, after a job that I can only trust, was well done.

The Orchard is my illustration of the experience of being a mother, a caretaker, and then releasing them into the world. This painting and animated clip is two years old, but it came into my mind when thinking about Fathers Day, of being a parent, or caretaker, or a guardian. – Thank you

Painting The DreamCatcher

I thought about creating a design for a cell phone case, and then….

Hands off the steering wheel.

Inspiration politely sat down next to me, and with a nod I took my hands off of the steering wheel, and became a peaceful passenger enjoying the ride.

The experience felt like grace and trust, and my mind became still. The familiar motions of creating took on the synchronicity of a metronome. I enjoyed the view, and time passed without a single thought. This experience taught me that creativity can happen quite well enough on its own, without the interference of my “artistic considerations.”

Good, bad, right, wrong, contrast, light, shadow, colour. Or the doubts, “does this image make sense, is there a message, or, will anyone get it?” Considerations that any person in the act of creating may experience again and again. Sometimes, these considerations can also be fears, and a prison. These fears are a burglar invading the serenity and the joy within our desire to create.

I enjoyed the experience of not thinking. Four hours the first day, and then five hours the next, peacefully casting my line into a realm of dreams. The painting was finished quite quickly, and I felt that somehow, I had moved closer to a precious space within myself, and into the sacred space that is within all of us. Next, I will attempt the wonders of house-cleaning without a single thought, how great will THAT be? Until then, I now have my cell phone cover, and a few more items to share. — Thank you.

 The DreamCatcher

Links to the cell phone case, and other items to share.

Links; PrintCell Phone Case, Tote, Pillow, JustDreams Card, Mug, Notebook, Wall Clock.

Society6.com/northlizalane

Till next time…….thank you.

Painting “Opportunities & Choices”

I heard this painting before I saw it in my mind. I listened to the rythmic sound of the tracks. I drew my sketch and painted a train shortly after pulling into a station. As I painted the passengers, I realized they felt dull, and resigned to their continuous, and repetitive journey of this train. That became the symbolism of the train itself, outdated, dark and uninspired.

Sketch & Train Body

Symbolism
 The train represents traveling through life with only the tools of a “mass form of thought” that is void of any questions, awareness, joy, or truth. The repetitive sound of this train represents all of the unconscious judgements, ignorance, and fear that has been repeated over and over again all around us, accepted, and then passed on, and pressed on, to the next generation.

Train with Background & Foreground

I painted the background architecture next, and the platform, wondering where this image was going? Was it meant to be this dark?

An elephant appeared on the platform and was quickly joined by a few friends. I chuckled at this.

Elephant, Zebra & Parrot

Elephant
Symbolizes nourishment,
instincts, focus, and family. Nourishing the true instincts within us, that we arrive with, daily shifting our focus to the bigger picture, to the bigger family of all of life that surrounds us, every person, place and thing. Practicing patience, and asking for guidance for the understanding of others while we question our own ignorance.
Elephant symbolizes letting go of the lies we may have been warned to “never forget”, and we may have held onto through our loyalty to those that gave them to us, as others had given to them, possibly believing they created some sort of safety.

Zebra
Symbolizes other viewpoints and new ideas, new ways of resolving problems, asking within to understand, and recognizing there is a higher truth connecting all individuals, and the world around us. Life is filled with millions of colours, and is not just black and white.

Parrot
Parrot is a symbol of mirroring habits, characteristics, or ways that are not necessarily reflective of who you really are. The parrot also represents the vigilance of paying attention to what you are saying unconsciously to yourself, and to the world around you with your words, attitudes, and behaviors, in the quest for acceptance.

The Child

In this painting, the child represents each moment of each day. In a moment of misunderstanding and confusion, we are being given an opportunity and a choice. Do we choose to shelter ourselves in judgements that condemn another individual as being less than ourselves? Does this unconscious reaction, really make us feel safe when misunderstanding another person, triggering a fear within us? Or do we trust in our connection to a much, much higher form of wisdom and grace, that will guide us into a larger awareness, unconditional love, and the patience to keep asking for the highest truth, until all of the lights come on within, and we see ourselves connected to all. Grace and wisdom has always been there in our suitcase, waiting to be open and unpacked.  Each moment is our opportunity. Do we board the train of mass thought, or do we choose to rise to a higher platform, and hold hands with the alignment of the greater good of all?  Thank you.

This is “Opportunities & Choices”

Opportunities & Choices

Painting Peace on Earth & Learning About Peace Within

It began while I was painting a polar bear, in late September.

It began with a Polar Bear

Filled with inspiration to paint the soulful eyes, and gaze of a beautiful polar bear, I set to it. I worked, and worked, happily creating every hair, and every detail with so much love. After many, many hours, I had almost completed the face, and I began to imagine the next steps, and the story that the image of the bear would tell when it was finished. At last it was time. “So!” I asked the bear, because yes, I do talk to each painting, and the painting tells me what is next, “…what’s next, a baby bear, two baby bears…a day in the snow, the love of a parent?”

Nothing.

The bear just stared at me. I stared at the bear. I had created plans, and conditions, this was going to be a really lovely piece…..right?

Nothing.

As so often in my life, I then willfully forged ahead, and I painted two adorable baby bears. It didn’t work, didn’t fit, it wasn’t the story and it didn’t have any magic. Well, I thought to myself, I will just put this away for now, not a loss, just……a mystery. It is what it is, I will wait, I will check back later.

Bear with Background

One month, and a few other paintings later, I rediscovered a technique I had used with acrylics, and I created a background of an abstract aurora borealis. This was just what the polar bear painting needed, I thought. Yes! And there was the bear, resplendent with the new background, looking good!  

And then……there was nothing more.

I began to doubt, and then I wanted to stamp my foot, …..and after quite some time, I humbly understood this was about grace. Life is about timing, respect, and a compassionate acceptance of all things we may not understand immediately. Pushing an issue,  a person, or a situation to be different, or fit my plans, is not something I would do, then why would I push or make demands of myself, or this painting? I stared at the bear, and bear stared back at me, and I apologized for this offensive behavior. “Let me know when you are ready,” I said to the bear, “I’ll be listening.”

December began, and I was thinking of presents to buy. The polar bear painting came into my mind. I went to the painting and I looked at the bear, and the bear was looking at me.  Respectfully, I patiently waited, and then I began to see an image just starting to appear, and then becoming a little clearer………and there it was, an angelic face.

Plans for the day were set aside, and I painted, and this sweet face became a young girl. And the young girl fit perfectly with the Polar Bear.

This was peace, and I felt peaceful while humbly listening to what the painting wanted.  I had just been taught a great lesson, and I am thankful. Peace on earth begins with peace within, and from within, it will naturally pour out and into the world.

This painting is titled “Peace on Earth”, and it is my Christmas card for this year, as well. This is my Christmas lesson and gift, and now my Christmas story to share. Merry Christmas to all, and may peace be within you.

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