I created the sweet image above in order to affirm my word for the year which is GENTLE. It is a word I need to keep close at all times in regards to my thoughts and actions towards myself. I just adore the image and it goes well with the new plan I have committed to in my creative practice. My mantra is multilayered but the main gist is to manifest a rigorous practice of daily art making that is guided by my own gentle hand. This renewal of my word is a direct result of my recent artistic adventure in New Mexico.
I've just returned from an amazing week long creative experience that I will not soon forget. The first three days were spent in Santa Fe with Ivy roaming the epic galleries along the Canyon Road corridor. I am truthfully at a loss for adequate words about what I saw and what was evoked within my mind and the emotions I experienced. Words like "amazing, awesome or gorgeous" fall far short of the multilayered and complex response that I had. That being said it really was amazing, awesome and gorgeous to behold paintings that were larger than life and created with an ocean of painterly colors. It seems to me it is a must do experience for any and all artists who crave the adrenaline high of intense wonder and unimaginable inspiration. All I can say is go and see, feel and experience it for yourself.
My response to the next four days at the Ghost Ranch retreat Call of the Wild Soul created by Erin Faith Allen was no less intense. To get some idea of what it was like for me think crazy rollercoasters, phobic fear of public performance and the darkest dark under your bed. Yes I know it sounds awful but it wasn't. I learned from Orly Avineri, Flora Bowley, Misty Mawn and Katie Kendrick and was offered far more important and personally challenging lessons than how to paint or draw. Although the painting and drawing were super challenging as well. The overarching theme of the experience for me is that I need to be open and vulnerable to transformative experiences when creating art. I tend to resist the intense emotions and mysterious shadows that come up when I do art. This sum result is that I severely limit my growth potential as an artist and stifle the joy it holds for me.
So I am taking action. Less social media, less negative self talk, more art making and self love. A recipe for transformation. I have written these words in capital letters in my notebook and on my studio wall. I AM OPEN TO BREAKTHROUGHS.
*** The image at the top was created by cutting up and laying my own drawing on top of a post card I purchased in New Mexico. I took a photograph and brought that image into my iPad and painted over the entire photo using Procreate. The postcard is of an acrylic painting done by Matt Adrian of four seagulls playing charades.