I started painting feathers a couple years ago. On a technical level, feathers are challenging, primarily because I use a color palette that is devoid of black. The color black is essential to contrast, clarifying the difference between the lightest and darkest areas of my compositions. But if I’m trying to capture the lightness and fragility of a feather, I have to soften the definition and sharpness of the edges. That’s not always easy. It requires a lot of patience. It’s a continual cycle of lightening the dark into more natural tones in combination with neutralizing the vividness of the brighter colors, making them quieter. By softening the dark I enhance the light. And through that evolves the fragility and vulnerability of an object that symbolizes strength and majesty. A feather.
This is the first painting I’ve ever done without using black.
Acrylic Painting – 36”x48”
There is symbolism in the color of a feather. A blue feather has a calming, peaceful energy that encourages you to have faith in yourself and express your deepest truths.
Acrylic Painting – 36”x48”
White feathers represent peace, love and hope. Also, they help us to understand that everything is okay.Acrylic Painting – 3 canvases @ 24”x18”
I’ve learned that it takes a dose of self-awareness to discover true authenticity. How do we know what feels in alignment to us if we haven’t explored our depths? We need to question and challenge the beliefs that no longer feel good to us, those that have been programmed deep within us, not only by our ancestral DNA, but by those of the societal ‘norms’ enveloping us. Finding authenticity is taking the deep dive into ourselves, facing our shadows and flaws to uncover our empowerment and strength. We can discover the core beauty and truth that combine to form our uniqueness as kind and loving human beings. It is the graceful and elegant essence of our unique individuality that combines with others to turn the smoldering embers back into a healthy passion for change. We will start to understand what it means to find a solution instead of contributing to the problem.
This journey into self-awareness, unbeknownst to me at the time, was unfolding on a subconscious level through my creative process as a painter. The inspiration for my paintings morphed and changed over the course of 25 years. It is a fascinating realization to now understand how the compositional elements in my paintings were a subconscious manifestation of my self-awareness journey.
I started with doors. While they were textured and colorful, usually with some kind of structural element, they were always closed.
Then the doors started opening.
After the door phase, I started climbing. Staircases became one of my favorite compositions. They always ascended.
I then entered my chair phase. I was going full throttle at that point in my life and knew that I really needed a rest.
I began the deep-dive when my chairs started to include pillows and blankets.
We’ve all heard of the body-mind-spirit connection. I believe that human beings have the potential to function like well-oiled machines. If we can build and strengthen the body-mind-spirit interplay, we can evolve into fully operational, high efficiency, livers-and-lovers-of-life.
BODY Just like vehicles need gasoline to operate, we, as humans, need to eat healthy and nutritious food to fuel our bodies. While it’s important to move our bodies to get the blood flowing and the heart pumping, it’s as equally important to know when our bodies need to rest, relax, and sleep.
MIND It’s not always easy to pay attention to our thoughts, but we need to. Our thoughts can be the villain, or the hero. They can be the culprit, or the saint. It’s fascinating when you truly understand that you’re in the driver’s seat. Thoughts can be whatever you want them to be.
SPIRIT When we can connect to something bigger than ourselves, we are imbued with a sense of empowerment, safety, and most importantly, what it means to love……ourselves, as well as others. There is no singular way in which seekers of a spiritual connection find their path. The unfolding of that path can be excruciating, but ultimate freedom is what lies in wait.
The paintings below are part of a body of work that I began over 10 years ago. At that time, I had no conscious concept or understanding of the body-mind-spirit connection. It’s obvious to me now that my creativity process at the time was assisting these elements to percolate to the surface of my consciousness.
Acrylic on Canvas.
“Lost in a Book”
Acrylic on Canvas
“Having an Off-Balance Day”
Acrylic on Canvas