As I get ready for my solo exhibition in March, I want to share the story of the first painting in this body of work; I Am Entirely Possible. The beginning, the messy middle and the triumphant end (or close to it!)
I began by stapling a large piece of canvas (5 ft by 5 ft) to my painting wall. It's in my home studio and I have a bright light on it so I can work anytime, day or night. I follow my creative urges pretty regularly so having a large, loose canvas around that I can paint or collage on without any desire for an outcome nor any pressure of a deadline, works for me. This canvas already had some layers of black and white gesso from another time so it was a good starting point. When I started it, I had just finished my last show of the year (2023) and there were no shows or deadlines on the horizon so I began creating with the intention of painting whatever I wanted. This is a good strategy to use when you've just finished a project and aren't ready to start the next one but still want to create. I called it my Vision Painting!
The first layers are always about freedom and I let things fall out of me. I write, doodle, cover it up, collage, scrape, sand, anything!
When I sense something interesting in it, I have more intention with my choices. I steer myself toward a certain color palette or composition. I'm still free with my paint but it's a particular color. I'm still playing with marks but they're lining up in a certain way that is balanced. Sometimes I get here and start to feel restricted, constricted, frustrated. I know something isn't right but I can't put my finger on it. I know to take a break and I may have left it at this stage for a week!
Now that I've taken a long break I can look at it more objectively and ask myself, "what do I want?" Pink! It felt great to add this luscious band of pink but...I was still at a loss.
A teacher once told me, "when in doubt, start coming in from the sides with cream", so I did. I added some leaves and a rounded shape trying to move toward a flower arrangement on a table. (Pic 1) Then I let got of all the cream and layered it all with blues and greens (pic 2), and then came in again with cream! (Pic 3) These are big jumps and while I don't have a play-by-play for how it all happened, I can tell you that sometimes a big, bold move is just what it takes.
Layering bright colors on the cream over the blues and greens felt so right. Even though I started with nothing in mind, I slowly developed the desire to get to something good, to arrive at a finished piece. I could sense in my body I was getting closer. One last flip of the canvas and I that's when I see "her".
Arms fully outstretched, welcoming and encouraging, holding life. My canvas has become a mirror and I see myself welcoming life and love, letting myself be vulnerable, keeping my heart open to possibilities. The title is what I felt at that moment.
I Am Entirely Possible.
I'm at the finishing stages now, creating a border and hanging system, varnishing and adding my signature. It will be the central painting in my solo exhibition in March. When you see the landscapes, figures and portraits in the show, my desire is for you to find yourSELF. As you look at each piece, imagine the waters of inspiration flowing over, under and through you. As you interpret each painting, feel the shifting seasons and connect with the energy of life’s constant renewal. Enjoy everyday moments of gratitude, simple acts of kindness and precious sights of awe and wonder in the natural world. I want these paintings to bring you closer to your inner SELF.
My hope is that you will find a piece that speaks to you, that you can take home and make your own. My hope is that you will find a piece that inspires you, makes you smile, makes you think, makes you feel. My hope is that you will find a piece that makes you happy.
The show runs from March 10 through March 23 at F1VEart Studio & Gallery in San Diego, CA. I'm having an opening reception on Sunday, March 10th from 1 - 5pm. See you at the show!