In my late forties, I came back to drawing when I found colored pencils made of dyes and ink color blocks. Drawing was the art form that I did back when I was twelve years old alone in my room for hours and hours on end. So, drawing has always been an old friend. It soothes me, captivates me and always acts as a gateway into my deepest emotions and psyche. While I drew in a “loosely realistic” way, I never really connected my drawings to my emotions.
So in 2015, I decided to connect my drawing and journaling practice with this ink product, embarking upon my Painting by Intuition series. Even though I draw on fabric in this series, I often use paintbrushes and end up with work that looks more like a painting than a drawing.
In this series, I worked intuitively when making the art. The art flowed out of me so fast that I just produce non-stop. I found this process extremely therapeutic in a way in that the past few years have plagued me with lots of stress, health problems, family obligations, job changes, etc. The usual life stuff, I guess. The most unnerving for me was not being able to depend on my health like I did in my twenties.
The paragraph below was written in 2015 while creating the art –
“I’ve never asked this of my art before but now I’ve come to really need it. The Painting by Intuition series has been extremely eye opening for me in that I’ve learned that I possess a brilliancy in my creativity that seems to stay bright each day and doesn’t wane. I believe it is a Higher Power that comes through me. Although most days, I am in considerable discomfort and pain, when I paint, I don’t seem to feel it anymore. It is the painting that takes my mind far, far away. I love it.”
Upon completing the paintings in this series, I noticed three main themes.
The first theme is what I call “In the City”. These paintings express my feelings about growing up in the “concrete jungle”. Although, I’ve always considered myself a city girl at heart, but I have had great reservations about being stacked on top of other people and never having a yard or a pet to grow up with (except for my grandma’s dog, Star – a German shepherd that I raised from a puppy). I was ashamed of where I was “in the city” and yearned from a child to get out. Even when I was in my twenties and the only real job prospects were “in the city”, I hated that I had to succumb to an even bigger city. This caused feelings of despair, depression, fear and great fight in my spirit.
“Escape from the City” is the second theme which explains paintings that center around wide open spaces and some of my favorites things on this Earth – nature, sky, and land. I’ve come to realize that these paintings represent my escape from city living and are closer to where I am now – mentally and emotionally and even physically as my hubbie and I moved to North Carolina a few years after the tragedy of 911.
The third theme that I’ve noticed from this series is the feeling of being “Connected”. One way of being connected as expressed in the paintings is through love. From parental love, romantic love to spiritual love, I grew up seeing and experiencing this kind of connectedness. For instance, I grew up in a two-parent household with a mom and dad who were really connected to one another. They seemed to create a cocoon around their bond and didn’t really let anyone else in there. I have been around this sort of connectedness all of my life. It has always sheltered, comforted me and grounded me.