When I look at images of all the art I’ve created over the years I’m surprised by how many pieces there are. I actually made a few I like. So, why then, after 20 years of painting in earnest, do I still struggle and feel like I don’t know what I’m doing sometimes? Perhaps it’s rooted in the fact I don’t have an art degree. Maybe that’s why I’m always taking more classes and workshops and doing more studying and research about great artists, both contemporary and historically.
I don’t share this bit of insecurity with you because my self-esteem suffers. I really believe I have so much more to learn. I just want to connect with people on another level. One that is visual, spiritual, and creative in nature. One that, when someone looks at something I’ve done they feel an emotional response. Sharing a painting with someone because they “have to have it” feels much better than because “it matches my couch.”
Painting brings order to the chaos. It involves making thousands of choices to bring all the individual pieces together to form a piece of art. Since I’ve begun practicing meditation I’ve learned to tap more into the intuitive part of me. Ever hear of monkey mind? Sometimes I can’t get the chatter to stop for more than a whole 30 seconds, but in that 30 seconds it’s bliss. That’s the part of painting artists describe as “the flow.” It may not be felt in the majority of the process, but for the time that I am in the flow, it’s bliss. This “bliss” is the magic that makes the painting speak for itself.
With all the chaos in the world coming to the surface it’s more important to me now, more than ever, to share what I do with you, and that is to reflect the wonders of the earth so they can be appreciated, protected, and preserved now and for future generations. Imagery is inspired by my sense of smell, taste, vision, sound, touch, and intuition. What inspires my senses are simple things, really –the smell of a freshly peeled orange, the sunlight on an orchid, or the rhythmic sound of waves crashing on the beach. It brings me joy to be able to share these things with you.
I know there are many more paintings in me. And almost every day when I start something new I wonder how I’m going to proceed “this time.” The possibilities are endless. What message do I want to convey and what’s my best approach?
One thing you can count on is that you will get my best wherever I am at that moment. “Always do your best” is one of the four agreements. Your best is going to change moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply doing my best I avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret. (If you haven’t read “The Four Agreements” by don Miguel Ruiz, I highly recommend it.)
In order for me to produce my best, I must also think about the quality of what I put into myself. From the food I eat to the content of my reading material — what goes in, comes out (literally and figuratively :-)). Struggle or not, I will continue to strive for excellence. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and my work with you. More importantly, THANK YOU (Mahalo Nui) for being part of my life. Whether we connect through this blog, my artwork, or our personal interactions, I appreciate our connection.