I got my first canvas at the dollar store. At home, I put the canvas aside and decided to start linking the past with the present. Instead of just picking up the old tools (and yes, some of the inks and oils seriously dried up in the last 20 years), I pulled out a few pencil drawings and gave them a new background. I "grounded" them into my new life. Merging the young artistic woman with the healer of today was illuminating and powerful.
Similar to old photos, our creative projects bring us back to the moment in the past, and especially your art will evoke the vision and focus you once experienced. It was challenging putting colour around those drawings and I hoped it would all turn out well. The paper was old and I hadn't prepped it for the use of water.
But, there was an adventurous moment about this, which was similar to daily healing work I do now. People come for healing and yet are unprepared for health and wellbeing. It sounds strange, yet, being healthy and happy is impossible to imagine for most people. My job is to hold a space of adventure and possibilities and I have no idea how their bodies, minds and soul will interact with the healing Grace during the session. Will the light flow smoothly like paint on good paper or is the body dried up and stagnant that the light flows intermittently and disjointed, like an old brush making marks here and there trying to suggest a pain-free existence.
Holding space and seeing the miraculous is what makes healing possible. It didn't surprise me when quickly my next paintings showed up as visions. I would wake up in the morning with a clear image of a painting or several pieces of the painting would unfold in my inner vision over the course of a few days. I painted them as closely as I would see them. Wildcrafting beneath the Tree of Life and Mother of the First Fruit Harvest are the 2 examples that emerged this spring and summer. More details about the individual paintings here.
Soon after the visions, alchemical painting emerged. Another aspect of my healing work, I thought. Again, not a surprise. Transforming illness to health appears very magical. In healing I know that all is perfect AS IS. What appears to be ill is only an appearance. We see it that way and feel it that way in our bodies. Yet, we also know that we are fashioned of light and love. So, we have to transform the one into the other.
I began doing the same on the canvas. The first alchemical painting was the Eye of Wisdom...
to be continued...
I always carried around a sketchbook.
Above work from my teen years
Why? Well, at age 10 I got a little booklet by Leonardo Da Vinci with sketches of hands, birds, draped fabric, feathers, etc.. I learned that a real artist, apparently by observing everything closely, tried to capture objects, people and scenery in many ways and at times from different angles. One had to draw regularly, master shading, composition, colour and of course perspective! So, I drew everything that was around me as best as I could. I taught myself perspective at that age, because every art book I got from the library insisted on it. It also made sense. I wanted to draw what I saw realistically. If someone looking at my work would recognize it as "just like real life", then I figured I had been successful!
That same year, I began copying faces of movie stars that I found in magazines. Always by myself in the morning, making my breakfast and eating it with a 2B pencil nearby before going off to school. While chewing on my dry bread, I created black and white realistic faces with shading and all. Seeking to make the person most recognizable was my cue that I had real talent and.... maybe, yes, maybe...I would one day paint like the Italian masters.
During museum field trips in elementary school, I marvelled at the most realistic oil paintings of royals with mother-of-pearl necklaces, lace and shiny fabric. How to make it look that way? I thought... if I'd copy some masters like I copied faces from magazines, I would learn how to make my art look really good.
Vincent van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci were on top of my list at age 11 to 17. I kept drawing on and off and decided to start more serious drawing studies in 1986. Shortly after Georgia O'Keeffe's desert paintings unexpectedly transported me into a new world. I moved to Canada after my visit in New Mexico and thought I would continue to paint. But alas, the universe had a different plan! First I had to learn the language of colour as light itself!! Well, I didn't understand that back then.
My last and biggest painting inspired by O'Keeffe's flowers and the expecting birth of my son took place in February 1995. Two large pink flowers. Alongside, I was practicing healing myself and others, but couldn't quite see what was really going on.
I became a mother and my hands, instead of moving brushes, charcoal, pastels and pencils on paper, began to first change diapers, stir pots, and hang laundry in the wind. Instead of painting, I realized that I was weaving colours of light into the fabric of the universe, first rather invisible to me and than more and more clearly. I began to create with colours of light emanating from my hands. My canvas was the aura of my clients. I became a healer. Art as I knew it, rested in my past.
Then 2013 came...
I felt a stirring. I pulled out some old drawings and paintings from the 80ties and organized and lined up my coloured pencils in pretty-coloured porcelain cups on the window sill that I had bought one sunny day at Value Village just for that purpose. I dared to add a tiny sketchbook, small enough to carry in my purse as I made a little sketch here and there, going about my day.
I set up more paints and papers, and then got canvas. Never painted on canvas before! Why did I buy canvas, I don't know. I always found it too soft and bouncy. I loved to paint on panels of wood. But, I did get the canvas.
To be continued...
I am a healer, spiritual teacher and artist.