Monday, September 22, 2014
Blank Canvas Blog Hop or How I Took a Dream and Turned It into a Painting so It Could Speak to Me & $100 Dick Blick Gift Card GIVEAWAY
Or maybe it is a feeling that drifts around you like a vapor and slips away whenever you try to look directly at it or confine it in words. Yet, it feels significant. This is your inner world calling to you with a message, with a revelation about what is going on inside, deep beneath the surface.
Sometimes, this same feeling can arise when we are alone and there are less distractions – less external voices to overpower the soft mysterious callings of the inner voice.
On a late summer afternoon many years ago, there was a storm brewing. No one else was home but me. I was inside doing something ordinary that I have long forgotten when I heard the wind whipping up and all the trees beginning to shimmer and shake. Curious, I jumped up and ran outside. As my bare feet hit the grass, my breath drew in, and time ceased to be. The sun was low in the sky, poised for sunset and hidden. Dark thunder clouds blotted out the light from above but the forest... the forest was glowing gold as if lit from within. Each tree was like a lamp, a candle, a flame under a sea of inky, tumultuous sky.
I stood suspended and unthinking. Then, lightening struck and the cold raindrops set the earth spinning again and I laughed.
In moments like this, the veil between our inner world and our outer world dissolves. My imagination flooded outward and the forest and the storm flooded inward like a tide. The trees called out and I answered. Whether it is a sleeping dream or a waking dream, this is a form of visioning. Visioning is simply opening up the pathways between the world around us and the world within us.
So what does this have to do with the Blank Canvas and how we begin to make something out of seemingly nothing?
Well, I have many different ways that I start to paint or draw but for now, I will just focus on this one: Visioning.
I begin with meditation as it helps me let go of all of the minutiae, the anxiety, and the random inner chatter that are like brambles blocking the gateway. I travel deeper and deeper into the center of myself and ask for a vision. I do not question its content. I simply observe every detail. I look around. I notice the places that are opaque like maybe I can't see the color of the light or the expression on the owl's face. I wait for those details to emerge. I am curious and I ask questions. How does this make me feel? What is over there hiding behind that tree?
Since this is a very internal process, I have recorded a guided meditation that is similar to what I do before I start a painting. Try it out and see how it works for you.
The meditation bolsters my intuition which will be my trusty guide as I coax this vision from the inside out.
First, I sketch a messy, silly thumbnail drawing without judgment. This is a half-scribbled note to myself. For this piece, I saw an owl flying into the forest and a girl peeking out behind a tree with a white-light lantern. Everything was cool, damp, and blue like the earliest twilight. There was a feeling of anticipation, magic, a hint of fear, and wave of curiosity.
Next, I find inspiration to create a mood board. This helps to fill in the details and gives me a wider visual vocabulary from which to draw. It also gives me something to weigh my vision against. For instance, this owl looks very realistic but my owl is strange and other-worldly. The differences help me clarify my vision just as much as the similarities.
Then, I draw a pencil sketch on watercolor paper to figure out the scale, proportion, and composition.
Last, I dive into my paints. This is the scary part because every painting looks a bit crazy in the beginning and middle. It takes so much faith and courage to keep going. There is a point in the process where I can get discouraged and critical. Sometimes, I step away, return to my vision, take solace in it, and trust that the essence will shine through despite my perceived mistakes.
|In case you wondering, the color difference between the last 2 images is|
the difference between taking a cell phone pic and scanning the painting.
The magic at the end...
I made this painting specifically for this Blank Canvas Blog Hop and knew I wanted to talk about visioning. When it was finished, I could finally see the synchronistic and clever message it held for me. The owl is the voice beckoning; it is our spirit. The forest is our inner world and the girl is all of us shining a light and getting ready to follow the magic into the deep. I called it "I'm going in."
I am so excited to have the opportunity to giveaway a $100 Gift card to Dick Blick for Art Supplies. This is so exciting because it represents so much potential. Whoever wins will have to create some marvelous visions and share them with us all. I can't wait!!!!
There is also a 2nd prize!
An Archival Art Print of "I'm Going In" 8.5x11" printed with pigment inks on fine art paper. That is the painting I made for this Blog Hop. I hope it will inspire the lucky winner to spend some time exploring their inner world.
Want more tips for how to overcome the Blank Canvas?
Wow! This blog hop has been such a wealth of inspiration. I have so many new creative tools to try. Plus, everyone is giving away some amazing stuff. So, have a meander and be dazzled with all the creativity, uniqueness and honesty.
Karen Friedland Giveaway: 16" Fine Art Print of any piece from her shop
Sept 9 Lezette Markham Giveaway: Simply Inspired Gift Bundle incld. Creative Workbook
Sept 10 Cynthia Patton Giveaway: Anthology of Short Stories / Essays
Sept 11 Jennyann Carthern Giveaway: 1 year membership to Society of Children's Books Writers & Illustrators
Sept 12 FRIDAY FRENZY featuring:
Kiala Givehand Giveaway: $25 Visa Gift Card Tori Deaux, Karen Friedland
Sept 13 Jan Blount Giveaway: Hand-Painted Tote with a Hand-Bound Art Journal + Goodies
Sept 14 Effy Wild Giveaway: Book of Days Bootcamp E-Course
Sept 15 Virginia Simpson-Magruder Giveaway Wild Spirit Jaguar Pendant
Sept 16 Dariana Cruz Giveaway: 4 Dari Design Notebooks and aThrow Pillow
Sept 17 Susan Miller Giveaway: Customized Intuitive Soul Intention Painting | Freebie: Soul Intention Flag Workshop
Sept 18 Grace Howes Giveaway: Hand-made Photo Journal and Notebooks
Sept 19 Tori Deaux Giveaway: Find your Quick Factor Session + 2 art prints
Sept 20 Kiala Givehand Giveaway: Conquering the Blank Page E-Course
Sept 21 Martin Arkenstone Giveaway: Small Hand-painted Sandstone Sculpture
Sept 22 Nicole Piar Giveaway: $100 Gift Card to Dick Blick Art Supplies & 1 Fine Art Print