A very long time ago I was a kid who liked to doodle. Images and people appeared on paper. Not much of what appeared was under my control but there was delight in the process.
I never considered myself an artist but I was accepted to a good ART school. In my very first drawing class I was told 2 things. 1) I could only use the very tip of a highly sharpened pencil to make marks on the page and 2) drawing from the imagination was not acceptable and was not art. Well, I should have left right there and then. I struggled to fit in, but could not. A steady decline ensued; I got a D in drawing and was told that I really shouldn’t return the following year.
I stopped doodling and doing any sort of art for many years.
A few years ago I was introduced to “process painting” at a weeklong silent meditation retreat. By focusing on process rather than product, painting became a meditation, a way to be in the moment, trust intuition and let go of preconceived ideas and judgments about what art is or what it should be. It was the antithesis of what I experienced in art school and in retrospect it was the essence of how I approached painting as a child.
This experience was the beginning of reclaiming the part of me that loved the simple act of placing color on paper- and rejecting the confines of academic art, which did an excellent job of squelching my creativity.
I have been fortunate to find a wonderful teacher who teaches her students to trust their process, reclaim the joy of creating, and defy the inner critic. Through working with her, I have grown to accept what I create, good and bad, and quiet the negative voices.
A lot of my paintings seem to be my psyche’s attempt to reconcile conflicting ideas, images and parts of myself – light and dark, life and death. Cracked heads and hearts- at one time disturbing images now hold a different meaning. As a friend pointed out “it’s the only way to let the light in”. The flying red horses just appeared one day in a painting and have intermittently flown in and out. They are hope, light and possibility in the face of the unknown.
This is what I do. Thank you for looking.