Saturday, July 26, 2014

To Love Even One Giveaway

There are times in an artist's life where giving back means more than any monetary price a painting could garner. I am not talking about a donation, although those can be impactful, I am talking about a choice to gift a piece of original artwork simply for the sake of having a love fest for the day....which is exactly what happened. 

My world has been spinning in such great directions lately and that makes me deeply thankful. I was taught, and choose to life my life putting that thanks into action. As I woke the other day, I felt a nudge to show my gratitude in some way and as I did, I began to paint...and ponder...and pray. While the brushstrokes danced across the page I realized I wasn't trying to find the perfect idea, it was being created as part of the process...right in front of me, and I knew I was meant to gift it. 

The lines swirled, the paint was fluid, and I clearly saw the image of two figures, one large, one small. Now, if you know me, you know I have this thing about love. It is the force of why I paint, what I paint, and who I paint for. When I tap into this, I tap into the belief that it will change us, one person at a time, one act at a time. This painting resonated that...To Love Even One....

As the painting came close to fruition, I gave a lot of thought to how to gift it. What I landed on, and am beyond grateful I did, was to ask in my FB stream for folks to simply comment on my post how they would creatively love at least one person in their path in a 24 hour time frame. The words began to flow from folks sharing their heart, their hopes, their choices to send light into the world. I could not have asked for a more powerful response. 

Here are a few: 

whisper kind words - Lanie

I do believe so. So often in this world, there is a sense that we are just taking up space and taking up too much of it, at that. We try to make ourselves small - we slump, we hold our magnificence in and when someone positively acknowledges our existence, it can be life-changing. Just that one "little" act of kindness. - Paulissa

I always hug like I mean it....a big solid squeeze:) - Felicia

I'm a oncology nurse. Finding the courage and taking a moment to ask a patient in pain if they would like me to pray is my way of loving those in my path even if it's only for a 12 hour shift. I've only been turned down once. - Jane

The time came to pick a winner so I used the random number generator and chose #43. Lisa Tynes won! 

When I looked over the list of almost 50 friends who shared their hearts with me I decided that I wouldn't leave them empty handed. I have been painting like mad the past few months working toward a goal to land a few galleries out of my geographical area. After 11 years, it is time, I have grown artistically and I am excited about the doors opening in my art career. Because of this, there are many pieces I have that I painted several years ago, prints I have held onto, sketches etc. They are markers of my journey, practices, baby steps filled with hope and love.

I am going to be gifting some of these over the next few months...and those who posted with me, they will be gifted first, as my way of saying thank you, keep up the loving. 
(If you were in on the original post, message me your address please at 

Artists are powerful forces in this world. We can choose to use our gifts for many different reasons. I choose love, not only to be my anchor, but to let all other traits such as creativity, hope, courage etc. come from that. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Take A Walk Along the Coast by Ardith Goodwin

Paper and I have this thing. There is something visceral and palliative that I feel in my bones when I manipulate and work with paper, especially when the marks flow and dance across it. Over the past 11 years I have come to adore, love, hold sacred the use of paper in the art process. It is my one substrate that I would choose above all else. 

Because of this, I have wanted to take my process and embrace that love on a much larger scale. When using watercolors or fluid acrylics, this is a challenge because the idea will I display it stays in the head. Regardless of that, my heart longed to create a body of work on paper with a few pieces up to 4 feet by 4 I did. 

Here is one of them: 


I began by working with marks and then flooding in colors I loved, that reminded me of living along the coast. I let the paint flow like the salt and fresh water flows through our veins here...with reckless abandon. 

I kept adding to that, thinking about our beautiful waters, the plant life we adore, the endless summers. 

I sat back and took in all in, giving it time to percolate. 

I enjoyed my favorite soda...and its packaging.

I quickly realized I wear this palette all the time which is why I feel so connected to it. 

Working this large was a challenge. I stood up, I sat, I laid it flat and sideways and upside down. 

I listened to my love of the place I call home, found its spirit within my marks...

and saw my love come to fruition. There is no other place like the coast, especially the southern Gulf Coast. 

"Take A Walk Along the Coast" 4 feet by 4 feet water media on paper

Detail Image: Can you relate to these colors and marks? 

Detail Image: the flowers...the foliage...the love of color

This painting turned out to be one of those pieces that came straight from the heart and gave me buckets of joy. The larger scale offered me the freedom to let my marks flow in a much more loose, fluid way and I realized that was reflective of how the coast makes me feel as well...calm, relaxed, joyful, full of life. I still have yet to figure out how these works will be displayed, but that issue doesn't cause me stress, it will come. I stayed true to my calling, painted what I love on what I love, and am quite in love with the outcome. An artist can hope for no more than that. 

After I posted this painting on Google+ a super awesome gentleman had a few questions for me about this piece. The one that I have never been asked before:   WHAT DOES IT FEEL TO PAINT LIKE THIS? Here is what I said to him after thanking him for the nudge: 

"Well, I immediately plug into a great deal freedom. There are marks on the paper that I begin with...Asemic marks which are a type of language without semantic meaning. I am basically having a conversation with the paper and my creative spirit..and that is portrayed by lines, dashes, swirls...etc. From there I get a sense of play, almost childlike, as I dance across the page with a bit of balance and a little of intent. With every layer, with every mark I paint with joy. I connect with the nature around me, I listen, I slow down, totally at peace. I also paint realism, you might have seen that on my website, but these, they grab my heart strings and say "Let's Play and Let's Express What Matters."   You are the first person to ask me how it feels, it was nice to be able to share that." it when I get to engage with art lovers in the world.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Journal Speaks About Beauty

(The Journal Speaks Series is a new body of work that I am incredibly proud to be working on. My love of art journaling came full circle as I took the page elements and converted them to large scale paintings on canvases, showcasing my love of message, marks, and passion for color. This piece is #4 in that series and you can view the other pieces HERE)

I have written of beauty a great deal over the past few years as it fascinates me. The concept seems simple, yet I believe it is one of the most complex and powerful forces that we experience. Conceptually, we, as a human race, love to be pretty. We have come to believe, either through conditioning, experience, or ideology, that we must look a certain way to be accepted, to be valued, to be loved. No matter where one looks, the struggle to understand and contain beauty fuels just about everything we do. As these thoughts stewed in my soup of little grey cells over the past month I realized there would be no way to capture my entire struggle with beauty. So, I let it rest. 

This piece is the center painting as I began to layer collage elements over the surface.

What happened next was one of those moments in an artist's life that came straight from being plugged in and willing to listen...not to myself, but the canvas. Many times the page holds a message. The preliminary marks of a piece hold its truth if only the artist slows down long enough to hear it. As I let it rest, the message I was to learn became clear...that of transparency. 

More collage piece, more marked pieces and the beginnings of background color.

You can see in the background, behind dear turtle here, that the piece is becoming more complex. 

I make marks to create. Many of those marks are Asemic, meaning that they lack semantics, but are nonetheless a powerful form of how I communicate through my artwork. The collage pieces I started with were full of that type of marking, random, energetic, and a bit disconnected. As I began to add color, and line, and more marks, my heart felt the tug of needing to leave many of the marks visible. I struggled with that because I didn't want to box myself in marrying the first layers of a painting. Still, I listened and the lesson of transparency kept resonating, so I actually boxed the layers in to contain certain ones....happy compromise.  

Beauty can at first seem opaque in many circumstances but in reality, it is the reflection of our heart that creates authentic beauty. This is why a child can view a rainbow...or a flower....or an insect and fall in love with it. They are too young to understand why, but that force comes from the heart. It connects the eyes with objects that make the heart sing....which is where beauty is created, and we know this at an instinctive level. The layers of my painting where beginning to show me that they were the point. 

Complexity of spirit, of courage, of kindness, of love, of believing in all things and striving to take that inner power and share it outwardly was what my page was needing me to grasp. As soon as I got that, I knew exactly what I would paint. The female figure here is transparent. She isn't bound by layers of makeup, or creams, or false pretenses. She is quintessentially standing in her own essence. At first glance the DNA in our own brains my look and register...weird, odd, unattractive, etc. Only when we look past the opaque into the transparent and see who the figure is do we understand that inwardly she is beautiful. She is a metaphor for what we must strive for, she is an example of beauty in its most honest form.

Up Close detail  with light shining through the canvas.

Detail image showing scale, it is 3 feet by 4 feet

Final Image
"If We Peeled The Layers" 3 feet by 4 feet mixed media on canvas

Outdoor studio where I painted this piece. 

As this series evolves I am beginning to understand that the journey is one filled with lessons for my own heart. Things I need to embrace and dance with a while, and if they resonate with you, then we are on a similar path. This piece is a marker for me, to be kinder and gentler with my own constructs of what it means to be beautiful, and to share those with a world that needs more transparency....more seeing within and less looking at the package.