Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The Banana Factory resident artist group exhibit takes place each fall. The theme for 2012 was "Contextualize" and we were asked to submit a piece that was in some way inspired by a piece of text in any form. (A quote, line from a movie, title of a book, etc.)
"Resonate" is the piece I would eventually create. It was inspired by the title of a favorite album; "Rhythms of the Chakras" by Glen Velez. My preferred definition of resonate is, "to evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions" and this recording was one that I listened to repeatedly in 2008 while I was contemplating leaving my day job to pursue the life of a full time creative. Despite all of the stress that surrounded me at that time, this music always managed to life me up and help move me forward.
The idea for this piece came to me in a single instant. I responded by grabbing a sketchbook and colored pencils to quickly see how I could express it.
My next step was to determine the size of the finished piece - which I did by doing a quick sketch on a piece of cardboard. I knew it was going to be five and a half feet high because that was the height of the canvas I had on hand. I just needed to figure out the width.
Laying out the canvas to be primed with black gesso, I set my intention and write a reminder of it on the canvas.
With it now hung on the wall, I begin to sketch out my ideas which are nowhere near fully realized.
I again use the ProCreate app on my iPad to try out different ideas.
Once I have a general idea of how to proceed, I fill the piece with affirmations and mantras. The piece is divided into 7 segments - one for each of the 7 chakras or "energy centers" located within the body. I also note the name, Sanskrit symbol and seed syllable mantra for each chakra.
First Chakra: Muladhara/Root (Red)
Second Chakra: Swadhisthana/Sacral (Orange)
Third Chakra: Manipura/Solar Plexus (Yellow)
Fourth Chakra: Anahata/Heart (Green)
Fifth Chakra: Vishuddha/Throat (Blue)
Sixth Chakra: Ajna/Third Eye (Purple)
Seventh Chakra: Sahasrara/Crown (White)
"According to Tantric tradition, everyone has seven energy centers that serve as junction points between the body and consciousness, or between matter and the mind. These spinning vortices, called chakras in Sanskrit, receive, assimilate and express our vital life energy. When the flow of energy in one or more of the chakras becomes blocked, we may develop physical and mental illnesses.
The ancient seers perceived the chakra system as a column of energy centers that extends from the base of the spine to the top of the head. The location of each chakra loosely corresponds to an area of the body’s anatomy and is associated with a specific color." - via chopra.com
I begin to add color
Her form emerges.
I begin to add in the background.
I move back to the iPad to solve a problem with the hands and to incorporate feedback on the form I'd received from a fellow resident artist.
I get this far and I'm stuck on what to do next. I don't know what detail to add.
I have a dream one night where the word "skeleton" comes to me and I do a quick sketch to think about what that might look like.
I decide that this is not the time to try and learn how to draw a skeleton. I have 2 weeks till this piece is due and I have no clue what direction to take it. So what do I do? I leave town for a week unexpectedly and head to Great Rhythm Revival in Sherman, NY. My first real vacation in over two years...
To be continued:
Resonate: From Concept to Creation Part 2