Breathe in Relaxation....Breathe out Everything Else..... That would be my prayer for the next two months because I am on summer break....or at least for the next 6 weeks. What this also means is that my outdoor studio gets set up which gives me the freedom to paint big, dance like mad, talk to birds, and make yummy messes. For the first time in 11 years, this summer is one I have looked forward to more than any of those, because....I feel really good and am over the moon excited about the artistic path I am on.
Painting outside is not for the fain of heart. I live in lower Alabama...and if you have been to lower Alabama in the summer you know that thanks to the humidity you begin to sweat at sunrise and often long after the sun lays its tired head below the horizon. Mosquitoes are as big as my head, noseeums are beyond a pain in the butt, and rain falls as unpredictably as the random brain fart whizzing between the ears. Still....I love working and painting outside, along with the challenges it brings.
My hubs has set me up in a really sweet spot next to the house, so when I need a break, I take one. When I need a quick exit from the elements, it's about 15 feet away, and my extension cord reaches nicely for a small fan and speaker....that way the tunes and the wind are my fellow studio mates. I also have waterproof storage for my essentials that has wheels so that I can move it in and out of the heat when the temps get too ornery.
Here is a video showcasing my studio and a peek into the Land of Ardithian as I like to call it.
Along with the outdoor studio comes the space to work on my new body of work which brings my art journal pages to a larger format. There is tremendous freedom in an art journal, with no expectations, no rules, just a playground to express ideas, concepts, and heartwork visually and through text. I have always found myself to be most at home in an art journal so when I considered what my next series would be I knew exactly where I wanted to head....into my pages.
"Diversity Should Not Be Feared" 3' by 5'
"Love Shifts The Heart" 24" by 24"
So far, I am 6 pieces in between different stages and what I am learning about the process is that it is incredibly challenging but the most rewarding body of work I have ever created. The message becomes more profound, the composition becomes pivotal to the meaning, and the execution requires an extraordinary amount of patience. At first, it seemed the antithesis of what a journal represents, but as I began to walk through motions, pray through the brush strokes, meditate through the meaning, I began to understand just how important these are to me. They quintessentially combine my love of writing, of painting, of structures and function, and of my passion for the beauty of life within each piece....exactly the platform my journals bring to me on a smaller scale. As this realization come to the surface and my spirit affirmed I am where I am supposed to be, I chose to embrace the challenge and go all in.
"To Capture The Love of Art, Teach The Soul" 18" by 24" acrylic on canvas WIP
These are detail pics below
The words in the forehead read:
"...because fragments of ourselves seek out the common bond, which is always love."
Over the next few months I will be constructing these pieces of artwork, some in my outdoor studio, others at the gallery, but all within the framework of art journaling. Giving myself the freedom to play, to express my emotions, to make a beautiful mess, and to refine my artistic skills will be the mantra of the day and I look forward where this journey takes me. Here are a couple of my finished pieces and another in progress. I will blog about each of them individually as well.
No longer am I captive to painting to sell, creating for a bottom line, or serving an expected perception. Today, as I sling paint all over the place, I am finally embracing the pure freedom of creating from that place most artists long for.....from the heart.