Painting the Path

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.

Lion Stage one.

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.

Lion Stage Two

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.

 

Lion Stage Three

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.

Ruck sack, Candle, Clock and Compass

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”

The Pathfinder

Thank you

 

 

Painting the Lightness of Being in 2018

In the wee small hours of New Years Day, I did not make a single New Years resolution.

Instead, I began to play around creating this simple image, and I as I did this I made a choice.
This choice will allow me to fail again and again, and walk away full of insight, inspiration and information.
That’s a Win-Win deal for 2018.

The choice is to be present and firmly grounded within the light that we each carry individually, and collectively.
If I find myself “thinking ahead”, or into the future, I will be powerless in the present, as well as if I am choosing to “sight-see” in the past lane.
Each time I become aware of this I can ask what was the thought or emotion that distracted me into leaving the present moment?
With this insight, I will learn more about myself, and create inspired changes with this information.

Mary Palelogos wrote it beautifully;

“There is a light that shines so magnificently that we forget it exists.
That is the light within us.

Each one of us is born with that light. We are the light at our core that’s our essence. Our light is always there, and it’s available to us to access at any time. What covers up that light is all the fears, negative thoughts and past baggage.
Our energy becomes dense and heavy as we walk around carrying the weight of the world.

We have convinced ourselves that this is who we are and we are meant to live in this way. This is not the case. The truth is we need to let go of everything that is weighing us down, holding us back and limiting us in life.

It is our birthright to feel true joy and a lightness of being. When we let go of who we think we are based on the ego keeping us captive, with its insistence that we are our thoughts, fears, personalities and dramas, we give space in the present time to find out who we really are. Who you are is a radiant soul that has come here, in this time and space, to shine your light and share your gifts with the world.”

To see the full article in the HuffPost, here is the link.

Painting “Whispers” & Happy New Year

Whispers

Whispers illustrates a moment experienced as a nudge, an intuition, or simply the feeling of just “knowing” something, although you may not be able to explain why. It’s about becoming still and listening. It’s about asking what to do, and then listening for the answer that is calm and clear. To capture that moment visually and paint it, I decided to use the symbolism of the crow, the fox, and the willow. Although various attributes can be found for each of these, I chose the following;

Fox – The Celts believed the fox to be a guide, and was honored for its wisdom. Fox is alert, clever, and mindful of his surroundings.

Crow – Crow symbolizes the void or core of creation, from darkness to light and the keeper of the sacred law.

Willow Leaf The Willow represents balance, learning, growth and harmony. The willow tree represents strength and flexibility while standing firm, and withstanding the greatest of challenges.

Whispers is about listening, paying attention, discernment and making choices that are true to yourself.

Happy New Year to all in 2018. May you hear inspiring whispers of wisdom, grace, truth and lots of humor!

 

 

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.

Painting Kindness & Compassion

I created this small design swatch as I thought about the power of kindness and compassion. Within the design, a figure emerged as the essence of kindness and compassion. She made herself comfortable and proceeded to pose for her portrait, so to speak, and became the painting. I felt she had a great message in her eyes, and a message needs a stamp. May all our moments also include the gift of offering kindness and compassion to all.

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