Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Painting with Watercolor or, How Control is an Illusion

Watercolor Tonal Studies

If you ever needed evidence that control is an illusion, try working with watercolor paints. These are a few tonal studies that I was working on the other day.

I began drawing mandalas and experimenting with different art supplies at the beginning of 2007. The painting below is from March of 2007.

Watercolor Mandala inspired by Rachel

Student grade watercolor sets like this Winsor and Newton Cotman Water Colour Sketchers' Pocket Box  are fairly inexpensive and is almost identical to the set I used to create the image above.

I believe that it's all fun and games for anyone who wants to play with watercolor paints - until they decide they that want to make the paint actually look like something. That's when all hell breaks loose - unless you are my friend Andrew Kish, an amazing watercolorist who makes everything look easy.

Seriously though, there is a lot to learn with regards to watercolor paints. To me, the most challenging aspect is knowing how much water to mix with the paint (or load into the brush) to get consistent results. The fact that wet watercolor paint dries significantly lighter is something that drives me bonkers. (The acrylic paints I work with tend to dry the same color as when wet.)

Some paints are permanent, others fugitive. Some are more transparent that others, etc. Artist grade paints cost more and are typically purchased by the tube or in cake form. They contain more pigment than binder and mixing colors are a little less challenging than with student grade paints. I personally like the brands Holbein and Daniel Smith. The website Handprint contains a tremendous amount of information about watercolor paint. If you are new to the medium, I suggest starting there.

Over the years, I've mostly moved away from watercolor and work primarily with acrylic paint. Similar to the studies in the image at the top, the image below depicts one that I did with acrylic paint earlier this year. One of the reasons that I moved towards acrylic was the opacity of the medium - I could work with it over black if I wanted to. (And I wanted to.)

Acrylic tonal study

There was another route that I could have chosen instead of acrylic, and that is gouache. (pronounced "gwash") Gouache is an opaque watercolor which has a matte finish when dry. I've since acquired a few tubes but haven't made a concentrated effort to work with them. I think part of me prefers the permanent nature of acrylic paint.

In the end, if you are looking for an immediately accessible and fairly inexpensive way to create expressive art, by all means, grab yourself a set of watercolor paints. If you'd like to become a realist and get more serious about the medium, it wouldn't be a bad idea to work with a teacher that has a style you would like to emulate.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Metamorphosis in Part 1 of the 2014 Banana Factory Resident Artist Annual Exhibition

"Metamorphosis" in the Banana Factory Resident Artist Annual Exhibition Pt. 1 09/14

Each year, the resident artists at the Banana Factory Arts and Education Center in Bethlehem, PA have the opportunity to display their work as a group for two months in the large main gallery on the first floor, (The Crayola Gallery)

For the first time ever, this year's show was split into two separate exhibitions, with each group having their work up for 1 month. This permitted each of the 30 artists to have a larger space in which to display. (Overall, I thought each exhibit looked, *amazing!*) 

"Metamorphosis" in the Banana Factory Resident Artist Annual Exhibition Pt. 1 09/14

I opted to submit a single piece for this exhibit entitled: Metamorphosis 

This is the piece that I started on First Friday in December of 2013 during an evening of "Live Painting" in my studio. I never had any idea how this piece would look when it was finished, as this was one of my very first geometric mandalas and I was seriously swimming in uncharted waters.

While it's common for me to start something and come back to finish it at a later date, this was the first time I worked on something for so long, (8 months!) a little bit at a time. I'd usually see one new element at a time and how it would fit, and then I'd execute it. Sometimes I'd play around with the image in the Procreate app but mostly I'd just sit and look at it until the next bit was revealed.

A few things I learned during this process?

  • I really enjoyed discovering how I could create a sense of push/pull using color, patterns in combination with the black lines. Staring at the finished painting, certain elements seem to come off of the canvas then fade back as others pop forward and take their place. That's just so cool!
  • I learned to let go. When I initially used a ruler and compass to lay out this piece, I did so really quickly. (because the Live Painting was about to begin and I didn't have anything started) By not taking my time to lay it out, the geometry isn't exact and as a result, the painting isn't perfectly symmetrical. Rather than redraw/rework major sections once I'd started painting, I instead chose to use creative thinking to problem solve design issues when one area inadvertently overlapped into another. While many of my previous paintings were completely spontaneous, with "mistakes" commonly made part of the design, (generally seeing all mistakes as learning opportunities) I'd specifically avoided working geometrically because I'd felt that there needed to be a certain amount of precision and attention to detail for a piece if it was going to "work". Working on Metamorphosis, I can't tell you how frustrated I'd get at the imperfections. One of the ways I think I was able to let go was by seeing some of the "creative decisions" made by the Modern masters at MoMA. Sometimes I can get way too caught up in how I think something should be which is probably both my greatest strength and my biggest flaw.
  • One coat of paint isn't enough. (Or 2, or 3) I love working over a black background and this piece was reading really dark until I realized that I had to keep adding more layers if I wanted to even out the tones yet still make the whole thing pop. 
  • While I didn't set out to use any specific design elements from any culture or time period, it was really interesting in the end to see all of what showed up. 

Overall, this was a monumental learning piece for me

If you'd like to see the piece from start to finish, please see this set on Flickr. Part 1 of the exhibit was on display through the month of September, 2014.

"Metamorphosis" in the Banana Factory Resident Artist Annual Exhibition Pt. 1 09/14

"Metamorphosis" in the Banana Factory Resident Artist Annual Exhibition Pt. 1 09/14

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Orbit" on Display in NYC for the N.A.W.A. 125th Members Exhibition

Visit my art in New York City! From now through October 30th -

October 3rd-30th is the 125th Annual N.A.W.A Members Exhibition held at the Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery, 417 Lafayette St. in New York City. I became a juried member of - N.A.W.A (National Association of Women Artists) earlier this year and my piece "Orbit" is currently be part of this historic exhibition. (Think about what rights women had, or didn't have 125 years ago!)

"Orbit" can be seen in the upper right of this image at the Oct. 9th  opening of the exhibition

This year’s exhibition features the work of over 290 member artists in a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, mixed media and computer/digital-based art.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Answering Your Questions About My Art

Selfie with WIP painting
In preparation for a recent artist talk that I offered at The Banana Factory, I asked my Facebook friends what they would most like to know about my art. Their questions and my answers follow below. Have a question for me ? Please leave it in the comment section of this post.

Q: How do you keep creating on the days when the inner 3-year old is shouting, "I don't wanna!" (Do you even have those kinds of days?)

A: Unless I have a deadline involved, the hardest thing for me to do is trust that if I don't want to be creative today, that it doesn't mean that I'll never be creative again. It's in my blood - I'm always going to be expressing myself in some creative way. If I'm not painting or drawing, I'm researching something to inform my abilities or I'm reading, or I'm talking to other artists, or I'm contemplating new ideas.... If I'm on deadline, I push myself and allow any discomfort to fuel my efforts.

Q: Is there a sort of conversation with the work as you are creating it? What do you listen for, look for, ask, try to intuit, etc....

A: My number one answer is BALANCE. It's like tasting a soup as it's cooking to see what it needs - to enhance the flavor, to balance the flavor, etc. I look for balance with how the paint is applied to the canvas as well as with the chosen colors and the imagery.

Q: When you start a new piece, how clear are you on what it's going to look like in the end?

A: I consider myself to be learning, learning, learning and that means that I"m not often sure how things will turn out because I don't really fully know the potential of a piece or what I'm yet capable of. It's really only been the conceptual figurative pieces that have even had any lead in on what I want them to be. I usually just take an idea to the canvas and allow it to evolve. With the abstract pieces it could mean just grabbing colors that I want to work with or a rough quick outline on a canvas. Many pieces end up surprising me.

Q: How do you stay connected to your creative process?

A: I'm always connected. If my eyes are open, if I can hear, if I can smell - information is always being processed and gathered. If I'm not actually making something, I'm thinking about making something. The harder question for me is how do I disconnect from my creative process. (I'll answer that in a few)

Q: Do you ever suffer from painters block and if so how do you get past it? 

A: I don't really think about creative blocks in that way. If I don't want to paint, I'll draw, or look for inspiration on Pinterest, or read about a favorite artist or take notes for a future workshop or clean my studio or look through my inspiration/color books or, or, or.... see where I'm going with this? When stuck, just shift gears.

Q: What kind of things (music, activities, books, film, etc) inspire you to create? 

A: Funky groovy music - Afrobeat, jazz funk, world percussion, (African and Middle eastern mostly) - especially instrumentals or if there is singing, it has to be in a language I can't understand. I've been listening to a lot of jazz from the same period that the Modern artists were creating...  Sometimes complete silence, in my house at night - I feel like I'm isolated from the world - when it's really quiet so I can HEAR - that's a crazy creative time for me. Books? Oh yes. I've got at least three dozen books going at any one time on a variety of subjects that inspire me - especially right now, all of the books on Modern Art that I've been studying. Film? I don't watch as much as I used to. I like documentaries and cooking shows. I like looking through Pinterest - I've used it extensively to study art history.

Q: Do you worry about how to bring across a message, or theme or saying something with your work?

A: I've come to believe that it doesn't matter. I'd create my conceptual pieces and people would come in my studio and I'd immediately launch into the stories and it took me a while to realize that they need to see the work in the way they need to see it. If there meaning aligns with mine, that's great, If not that's great too. If they want to know more, I'll tell them. If there are messages that I feel compelled to express in my work, it's usually for a higher purpose and I try not to be attached to the outcome.

Q: How do you prioritize time to create?

A: The better question would be how do I prioritize my time to get everything else done. Creativity has been my priority for the last few years, Other areas can often get neglected as a result. I am very aware of this and would like to be better organized over all. I don't think it ultimately serves me to continue living in chaos. (or in a dusty house. lol!)

Q: How to you let go, even momentarily, of problems in your life TO create?

A: This is an easy one. Creativity IS the letting go. Everything around me, (problems, frustrations, etc.) are the fuel for my creativity.

Q: What other things do you do to support yourself, your spirit in your work? What would you recommend that others find to support their longevity?

A: This is a really good question because I consider my art making to be a major part of my spiritual practice, And by spirituality, I mean knowing myself and thus knowing god - so everything I do is serving a much higher purpose than just making something for the sake of making it. (Though that kind of work can serve the soul in other beneficial ways I'm sure.) I don't think I'd be the artist that I am without my constant search for knowledge - of self, etc. It's taken me a long time to find a belief system that suits, serves and supports my growth and what's been working really for me are the Yoga Sutras. (Some might know these as Raja Yoga or Astanga Yoga) Prior to my discovering the sutras, I used reiki as a self-disciplined spiritual practice which I believe the benefits of such also helped to greatly support and sustain my growth. (I am still using reiki in this way) In short, when the going gets tough, it helps to have something like a trusted belief system and a somewhat stable mind to fall back on. (All of which for me, is a constant work in progress.)

Q: How do you keep your inner critic from passing judgment on a piece, creative process, yourself and derailling you from continuing on?

A: Great question. Here's what I got: In the beginning, we've just got to tell the inner critic to f*ck off. Trust me when I say, that THAT voice is offering UNINFORMED and UNHELPFUL feedback. I'm not talking about the voice that tells us to stop buying so many art supplies, or the one that tells me that I should put the paint bush down and clean the bathroom... I'm talking about the one that tells us that we aren't GOOD ENOUGH. That we aren't WORTH the TIME we are spending to do the thing that brings us satisfaction. That's the voice that's crucial that we learn to ignore. Why? Two reasons: 1. EVERYONE is entitled to, and DESERVING of the benefits of creative action and of a creative mind. 2. VERY FEW PEOPLE are born with a creative "edge" in most cases, creativity is a LEARNED skill. Like walking. Would you be harsh to a baby that's just learning to walk? Not likely. Create because it feels good. When YOU (and no one else) decides that you want to increate the quality of whatever it is that you do, you seek out a teacher that can offer INFORMED feedback to get you where you'd like to be. After that, it's just practice, practice, practice. Don't have the time to practice or the discipline to practice to get "better?" Then just be ok with exactly where you are because it's the perfect place for you to be.

Q: Is it you or the work who decides when it is complete, ready to stand on its own? or How do you know when a painting is finished?

A: I'll offer a two-part answer here. 1. It's an intuitive process and most times I feel as though I get it right. Sometimes I feel like I hold back, (See my piece "Resonate" as a good example of "playing it safe") other times I overwork a piece to the point of breaking it. I sense a balance has been achieved and I stop. I don't know if it's me stopping of if its the piece stopping me. 2. Sometimes I find that I stop because there's nothing more that I can add at that time - and I am not always conscious of that decision. I'll stop because I think I'm finished, but then months or years later I find myself making small tweaks to a piece that totally punches it to a whole new level. Other times I stop because I know I need to do more studies to achieve the desired result. The new piece I'm working on, the three females, (Tentatively entitled, "Evolution MMC") is an example of this. I'm just not ready to paint the faces. Maybe I should just do it anyway, so I can learn, but right now, I'm just not ready to do that.

Q: What spirit/soul work did you experience/do to give you the courage to create art?

A: I don't think I've ever needed courage to be creative, the courage I needed was to put myself "out there' as an artist. Aside from the (literally) thousands of mandalas I've drawn since January of 2007 as part of my spiritual practice, I've learned two levels each, of two different reiki lineages (and continued extensive self-studies about reiki in general) and have practiced self-reiki every day for over 3 years. I attended 8 years of transformational retreats and several dozen personal growth type workshops facilitated by my friend Jim Donovan. I worked closely with Jim in a variety of capacities for about three years and I can't begin to express the depth of what I learned & experienced during that time. It wasn't always easy, but I am a better person for all of it.

I've participated in shamanic journeying visualizations, walked over fire, broken an arrow with my throat, driven solo across the state 4 times to participate in additional similar transformational retreats, (camping solo on three of them.) I have also worked with numerous alternative healing practitioners over the years.

Discovering and studying the yoga sutras has been huge for me as well. It has shed a lot of light on the interconnectedness of the collection of universal truths I'd been carrying around for a long time. Reading and listening to books by Alex Grey, and spending a week with visionary artists Alex and Alyson Grey at CoSM really ignited a few fires within me.

More recently, I've come to learn more about myself by discovering that many of the early Modernist painters were also creating art for spiritual purposes. I've been reading lots and lots about that.

As much as I've listed here, I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of the work I still must do to discover my whole self....  Have been practicing a physical yoga practice for the last two years - that's been monumental in helping my mind/body/spirit to grow -practicing mostly on my own since the beginning of this year.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Upcoming events: Featured Artist Exhibition 10/03, Artist Talk 10/08 and Creativity Workshop 10/10

I wanted to share with you several events and exhibitions that I have going on during the month of October: 

On First Friday October 3rd I will be a featured artist at The Banana Factory with an exhibition of my work in the 1st floor lobby. Visit the opening from 6-9pm and be sure to stop up to my studio #250 on the 2nd floor where special guest Kell Morton will be on hand to discuss our upcoming workshop "Tapping the Source" (My lobby and stairwell exhibitions at the BF will be on view until Nov. 3rd.) Facebook event details can be found here. 

On Wednesday October 8th I am offering a free artist talk entitled "Metamorphosis” at The Banana Factory from 7-8:30pm. I will be discussing influences, artistic processes, and my evolution as an artist. This event is free and open to the public. The event will begin with a slideshow and talk in the Banko Gallery at The Banana Factory and end with a visit to my private studio on the 2nd floor where light refreshments will be served. Facebook event details can be found here, 

On Friday October 10th I will presenting an all-new workshop entitled "Tapping the Source" with Dr. Kell Morton - an expert in the field of transformational healing and personal growth. This experiential workshop is designed to help you awaken, access and nurture your full creative self. See the attached flyer for full details or visit the Facebook event page here. 
October 3rd-30th is the 125th Annual N.A.W.A Members Exhibition held at the Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery, 417 Lafayette St in New York City.  I became a juried member of - N.A.W.A  (National Association of Women Artists) earlier this year and my piece "Orbit" will be part of this historic exhibition, 

I currently have openings for private students. Classes can be repeating or set up as individual consultations. While my speciality is creative empowerment, (I work with you to build confidence regardless of abilities.) I am able to support your artistic growth in many different ways. If you think I can be of service to you, send me a message to discuss pricing and availability. Classes will typically be held in my studio, but may also be structured to suit your individual needs.

Please feel free to contact me for more information regarding private lessons, workshops, interviews and motivational speaking opportunities.

Do you know any enthusiastic college students that would be interested in working as an intern/studio assistant with me? Send them my way

The Banana Factory is located at 25 W. 3rd Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Free on-site parking is available, additional metered parking is located on 2nd street and in the Riverport parking garage directly behind The Banana Factory.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Seeing the Modern Masters in Person at MoMA

Robert Delauney

Earlier this year was the first time I'd ever visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and what I experienced there was life changing. No images in any book, or online can do justice to any single piece of what hangs in this museum. For me, seeing this historical art in person not only answered many of my questions (some I didn't even know that I had) they also became fuel for further research and inquiry.

Van Gogh

It enabled me to see how thick one artist applied his paint to the canvas


versus another.


That even a small portion of a much larger work could reveal so much technical detail and beauty. I found myself looking closely and photographing the smallest of details - imagining that multiple visits would reveal more and more within each piece.


I could easily see how an artist chose to finish the edges of a painting,

Piet Mondrain

and how pigments weren't always consistent and that mistakes, err, unconscious choices, were part of the creative process.

Matisse Drips

I think part of me expected these works to all be perfect and pristine to to see a paint drip on a Matisse made me feel like I din't have to try SO HARD all of the time to be perfect. (I drive myself crazy)

Piet Mondrain

That "finished" when used to describe a painting, doesn't really exist until the artist has died.

Persistence of Memory

I learned that some works were much smaller than their perceived size,


and others larger than could have been imagined. (While I'm not typically a fan of impressionism, I cried uncontrollably when I saw this painting of Waterlillies by Monet.)


That things I thought I liked, or understood were utterly incomprehensible to me in the flesh.


That something I'd held no previous respect for could actually leave quite an impression on me. (My response to this was "Well played Warhol, Well played.") 

Starry Night

That I could so easily gain access to the 2nd most valuable piece of art in the entire world. (The Mona Lisa being #1)

Piet Mondrian

My biggest take away for the day was the impact that this small painting had on me. In its ordered neo-plasticic rule-ladened rigidity, I found joy. (This is Piet Mondrian's Composition II in Red and Blue created in 1929.) 

Whether you are an artist or not, I urge you to spend at least a little time on the 5th floor of MoMA. If you can prove you are a working artist, you can become a member for only $50 instead of $75.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Evolution Through Rhythmic Abstraction

Rhythmic Evolution

My art continues to evolve. It is being informed by the world of art around me both past and present.

This piece is a work in progress which was started at the beginning of December 2013. It came into existence quite spontaneously, but has evolved quite mindfully.

Live painting in my studio on First Friday

It is one of the first pieces where I have fully embraced the use of a straight edge and a compass. Almost all earlier works had been created freehand.

I liken this new process to that of solving a puzzle. A piece fits or it doesn't. Things have been sketched, painted, obliterated and painted again. Some ideas have been tested in the ProCreate app on my iPad. You can view more pictures of the evolution of this piece here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

So Hum: I Am That

Decisions Mantra Mandala
On a busy First Friday event in my art studio at The Banana Factory, I was in the middle of selling two pieces of my art to two different people when I noticed two little boys come into my studio, who then ran out, then came running back in. From years of working retail in a past life, I always do my best to give my full attention to the people I am speaking with, yet keep an wide eye on everything else happening around me.
Decisions Mantra Mandala
I notice one of the little boys excitedly pointing at one of my mandalas - one that was covered in mantras. This was quite curious to me because I wasn't expecting them to know what it said. I excused myself for a moment to walk over to them. I bent down and asked the boy that had been pointing if he knew what the mantras said. With GREAT excitement, he looked me in the eye and while pointing up at this piece said, "That's my name!" Not fully understanding what he meant, I asked, "What's your name?" Smiling and proud, he answered "So Hum!"
Decisions Mantra Mandala
It was at that moment that I noticed that the rest of his family were standing off to the side - I didn't initially pick up that the boy was Indian until I saw him with his family. I looked at his father and said, "So Hum - I am that!" as he nodded his head, "Yes, yes!" and smiled.

"Decisions" is the name of this piece which includes several different mantras, including "Om Hum So Hum" to the best of my understanding, chanted to balance male and female energies. "So Hum" (or So Hung/So Houng) specifically means, "I am that" and speaks to the Hindu belief that we are all one in the same - that we are all connected to and part of, God. (An oversimplification, I know. forgive me as I am still learning) 

Om Bhoor Bhovas Suvaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasaya Dhimahi Dhiyoyona Prachodayaat is known as the Gayatri Mantra and is chanted to gain wisdom or illumination.

Hindus believe that as creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as sound "OM".

If you would like to purchase this piece of original art, it can be found in my Etsy shop.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Live Painting on First Friday at The Banana Factory

Live painting in my studio on First Friday
11 times a year, The Banana Factory Arts and Education Center holds a First Friday event in conjunction in with the South Side Business Association. At the BF, it's an opportunity for the community to come out to see new exhibits in the art galleries, watch art demos, and visit with all of the resident artists whose studios can be found on all three floors of the building.

On any given First Friday I show off a clean studio with new work hanging and priced for sale. I make myself available to speak with anyone who comes to visit (sometimes it can be a few hundred  people) by not being preoccupied but for December's event, I decided to try something different.

With my studio assistant Laura on hand, I felt comfortable enough to try painting for the whole night. (Three hours, from 6-9pm) 

At about a quarter to 6, I didn't know what I'd be painting. I wanted it to be large enough so people could see me work and since I didn't have anything currently in progress, I grabbed a 30x30" canvas that I had previously gessoed black along with a yard stick and a borrowed blackboard compass and quickly put a few forms onto the canvas so I could start doing something.
Live painting in my studio on First Friday
Purple is one of my favorite colors and it was no surprise that it made it to my canvas first. I literally have no plan other than to allow this piece to progress organically.
Live painting in my studio on First Friday
The first time I ever painted in front of anyone was for the Lehigh Valley Art Wars - a local live art competition. I found that I enjoyed working in front of people and that I didn't experience any difficulties staying focused while answering questions.
Live painting in my studio on First Friday
One of my favorite moments of the night was when I got lost in the zone and turned around to find a crowd of people standing, sitting - all just watching me paint. Believe it or not, I often experience moments when I doubt who I am as an artist - or that I have any right doing what I do or that it has any value at all. Seeing those people watching me with genuine interest really hit home and touched my heart. I am an artist. What I do is important and has value. I have value and I am grateful for my gifts and the opportunity to express them in an unrestricted manner.
Live painting in my studio on First Friday
There was no rhyme to my reason aside from finding all of the places I could put purple while leaving a certain amount of space for another color. (or colors) It is all done through feeling and intuition.
Live painting in my studio on First Friday
This was as far as I would take the purple for now...
Live painting in my studio on First Friday
I begin to add a light ultramarine blue.
Live painting in my studio on First Friday
My biggest challenge was my vision - looking over my glasses to paint.
Live painting in my studio on First Friday
This is where I'd end for the night. Stay tuned to see how I've continued to add to this piece and be sure to come visit on an upcoming First Friday. You can also feel free to contact me if you'd like me to paint at an upcoming event.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Resonate: From Concept to Creation Part 2

Resonate: From Concept to Completion
I come back from vacation feeling better than I had in a really long time. I'm open, I'm happy, I'm revived. I have 5 days to complete this painting and for the 1st two days... Nothing. I got nothing. I still have no clue on what detail to add to it. I also don't really want to work on it. The piece feels "heavy" and I'm feeling light because I permitted my energy to shift while away on retreat. It's as if I don't want to "go back there" and am struggling to reconnect with the creative mindset I had been in before taking the time off.

It reminded me of my early mandala process - when I would only create them within a single sitting because I wanted them to mark a specific moment in time. If you walk away and come back to something, something always changes within you and in this instance, something big had changed within me.

Knowing that this piece was simply not finished, I had to figure out a way to reconnect to it so I could complete it without having to tap into the stressed and cloudy mindset that I was experiencing before taking the trip.

Thinking again about how it felt heavy, and how I'd come back feeling light... About how my friend Jim talks about transforming heavy energy into energy that is light... LIGHT! That's the key! Make it light!

I'd begin this process by channeling reiki into the piece, then by playing music with a drum then a singing bowl. I chanted mantras and smudged the space with a spritz of sage spray.
Resonate: From Concept to Completion
It is now clear. The piece, and my mind on how to proceed. I return to one of the early ideas I had for the piece - to overlay mandalas of my own design to represent each chakra center. I sketch them onto the drawing and am inspired to add a "mojo kauae"- a chin tattoo that Maori women receive to indicate a high ranking status within a tribe.
Resonate: From Concept to Completion
I begin to paint them with a thinned down white paint to give the appearance of a luminous glow, one of light - a similar technique, as I'd been learning, was used by many contemporary visionary artists such as Alex Grey and Amanda Sage. (I'd be off to study with Alex Grey almost immediately after this piece was completed)

I contemplate and then begin to add additional mandalas over other important areas of this female form: the breasts, the hands, the ovaries.
Resonate: From Concept to Completion
After struggling to add all of the lettering to my previous large work "She is (I AM) Light" with it stapled to the wall, I take this piece down to paint the mantra of light around the perimeter: "Om amogha vairocana maha mudra mani padma jvala pravarttaya hum."
Resonate: From Concept to Completion
The Sanskrit symbols for each chakra are added around the throat mandala.
Resonate: From Concept to Completion
Finishing touches on the day that it is due.
Resonate: From Concept to Completion
Such a feeling of relief to bring this piece to completion.
Resonate: From Concept to Completion
Ensuring that everything is as it is meant to be.
Resonate: From Concept to Completion
My husband holding my cardboard mock up.
Resonate: From Concept to Completion
The completed piece.
"Resonate" as part of the Banana Factory Resident Artist Group Show "Contextualize"
Hanging in the Crayola Gallery at The Banana Factory.
"Resonate" as part of the Banana Factory Resident Artist Group Show "Contextualize"
at CoSM for the Sept. 2013 Visionary Painting Intensive.
I couldn't be at the opening for this show because I was at the fall Visionary Painting Intensive held at the Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors (CoSM) with Alex and Allyson Grey in Wappingers Falls, NY. I did however, have the opportunity to give a presentation about my work to the Grey's and all of my fellow participants.
at CoSM for the Sept. 2013 Visionary Painting Intensive.
(Alex Grey waiting for me to start my presentation.)
Resonate is currently on display in my studio at The Banana Factory. It is also currently available for purchase - please message me for details.

Resonate: From Concept to Creation Part 1

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