"Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." -Rumi
As in life, the most beautiful and delightful surprises are created in my art work when I first invite Spirit to flow through me, then trust enough to let go, stay open, and allow the rest to happen organically.
The discovery of alcohol inks,several years ago, a relatively new medium, has been a delightful surprise. In addition to the rich, vibrant colors and relative ease of use, they are a medium that works best when allowed to flow naturally. Although I usually begin with an idea of what I'd like to paint, the piece may or may not evolve into something remotely resembling my original vision! The best results are achieved when I can relax and allow the paints to move with just a bit of fine-tuning on my part. It has been a wonderful (and at times challenging!) growth process to give myself permission to "play" with the inks and go with the flow instead of trying to force an outcome. This requires a balance between guiding the inks and being willing to let go. As the inks move and blend organically, they often create new colors, effects, and shapes more wonderful than anything I might have originally conceived. When I am able to surrender to the process , my favorite pieces often emerge in an almost mystical way.
I have recently begun incorporating encaustics, paper, acrylics, and other mixed media into my work with the inks, which is bringing new challenge and delight to my creative process.
As a very young child, I was fascinated by color, beauty, and intricate hidden places and details, especially in the world of nature. With a vivid imagination, the story goes that from the time I could walk, I might wander off in pursuit of a butterfly, intriguing pathway, or music coming from the house across the street, mesmerized by what might be around the next corner. Since we lived close to a lake, my mother was frequently panicked to look up and realize I was nowhere to be seen. She eventually hung a tiny bell around my neck so that when I disappeared she was better able to find me. I have that bell to this day. It sits upon my meditation altar as a reminder to honor that curious, open, and adventurous little girl who still lives inside.
During those early years, I loved to draw and paint. Later, I developed a fascination with the spiritual world along with the workings of the human psyche. As someone who had often felt "different" and at times struggled with feelings of depression or anxiety, I eventually felt a very powerful calling to work with others who were hurting. In college and graduate school, I put my artistic leanings on the back burner to pursue what I found to be fascinating studies in psychology and clinical social work. This led to a deeply fulfilling career as a psychotherapist. I have been fortunate and honored to work with hundreds of courageous souls on their healing journeys over the years, and continue to be engaged in private practice to this day This, along with life with an amazing husband, three children, (and now grandchildren!) keeps me fully engaged on a daily basis.
A major part of my calling as a therapist for over 35 years has been to create nurturing spaces where clients can feel safe to work through past wounds, in order to explore and more fully discover their true and highest selves. It is a strong value that the work I do provides not only a place for people to understand and work through past traumas, but that through this healing work, they also find the freedom to embrace the beauty and authentic callings of their spirits.
I believe that the persistent tug I have felt over the past decade to create sacred and meaningful art is the resurfacing of my deeper spirit to bridge the worlds between psychology, spirituality, and art. The themes that come up repeatedly when I paint are of spiritual beings and sacred spaces....the faces and figures of people on a journey, and their spirit guides, along with trees, mountains, flowers, sky, and water. I feel most alive and inspired as I paint both the beauty and the brokenness that have been such important aspects of my own healing journey.
As a self-taught artist, this new adventure challenges me to "practice what I preach" so often in my work with clients: to be willing to risk failure in the pursuit of my dreams. When I am willing to explore from a place of "beginner mind,"and take the risks entailed in learning outside my comfort zone, I am both challenged and excited to have come full circle in reclaiming the creative spirit of that little girl who still lives inside.