A Process of Passion

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“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.”
Anatole France

Being an artist is hard work. All artists know this to be true, and whether or not you’re actively selling your work, the process is at times a lengthy and complex one. But this process is fueled by passion, by the will to create, inspire and share with the world.

Personally for me, my art and writing work are both callings in life. I do it because I love it. I share it because I want to. And, yes, occasionally I do make a dollar or two at it. Though I’d love for this work to be my livelihood, at this point in time it doesn’t quite make the ends meet. But of course I am certainly hopeful and sure that in the near future it will..

In the meantime, I work a rather taxing schedule on a graveyard shift that leaves me little time during the day at all. I’m often tired and lethargic during my work-week and splitting your sleep schedule into 4 to 5 hour increments at a time is no easy task.

So, I have to make time during a tiny window of daylight and spend my days off writing and conjuring up ideas for painting.

This, however, is only one small part of the complex process of passion that I endure week after week. But, I love every minute of it.

The other night I finished a 30×40 acrylic piece which I’ve titled Dreamer’s Door as seen in the main image on this post. This was a process that I began around noon and finally finished close to midnight.

Below is just a part of the process that took around twelve hours to complete.

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The beginning. All things must start with a little color and a big idea. I’d already envisioned a piece with a geometrical center. In this piece I envisioned a rectangle for the impression of a door and left more light within the center of the canvas.

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Adding more light in the form of dark titanium and milk white. It may look patchy, but here we go…

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After adding a ridiculous amount of painter’s tape to frame out the door, the fun begins by playing with colors. In this case, ultramarine blue and light violet.

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And now.. We have a mess.. But it’s SO much fun! And really, as in my last post, there is a method to the madness here. Looking closely you might see the long strip of painter’s tape which is keeping a slightly off center strip of light color preserved for later manipulation.

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Now, after removing the center strip of tape and a little wash with water and a few splashes of Viridi, and a few streaks of orange.. The door is almost finished.

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And now there she is.. Dreamer’s Door. A process of passion that lasted a beautiful (and quite messy) twelve hours.

I enjoy these moments while creating art, as brief as they might be, no matter when or how they happen. It is part of a path that I have never truly known where it would take me, and it doesn’t matter because the journey has always been beautiful.

There is truly something magical and joyous in creating art, and I’m grateful for the ability to do so.

Thank you all for reading!

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Source

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“Because when I dream, I feel no fear,
And when I am fearless, I am my most creative self.” ― Nikki Rowe

I, like many other artists, often find myself staring at a blank canvas wondering where to start, how to begin, where to place the brush or which angle to approach. This can be frustrating. But, it is a part of what we do. When this happens we must look deep within and find what we are missing. Sometimes, we can see it staring right back at us. This is the art of finding the source.

The funny part about being an artist is that when we openly express creatively, we most often go blindly into a piece without visualizing the end result. And, many times, even when we have an idea or a visualized concept, halfway through it we change direction, we change color, we might even turn the canvas upside down and start over, or sideways, or upside down then sideways. The possibilities are endless.

In our work, we move forward only with connection to the source. Sometimes the source hides from us. It is within our creative nature, however, to find where it hides and breathe life into it.

We’ve all had that once piece of canvas that just never seems to come together. No matter how we approach it, it simply does not speak to us in the way we’re searching for. It speaks a foreign language. It sits still and lifeless, staring back at us, mocking our every attempt to push forward and finish our work.

We paint over it, we rewrite it, we add whites, highlights, dark colors and texture. We change the background, we change the foreground, we change the edges, we change everything about it and end up in frustrated limbo, unconscious of what we are really doing.

This is what happens when the source of our creative energy is missing. Though, it’s never really gone. It hides from us, sometimes in the corners of our canvas, in once spec of color that we overlook time and again. The source hides in our lives as well. This creates imbalance.

In our lives, we must connect with the source. We must center ourselves and find where it hides.

All lives are connected with the source, with that point of awareness that begins and ends within us all. It is the sacred place of our hearts, the hidden space within our souls.

In life, we cannot paint over our frustrations. We cannot color over the blackness, or add white to the mopped mess of color that we’ve created. Sometimes, we must step back and look for what we missed from the beginning.

All of the arts and all lives must have a connection with the source. Without this connection, our work does not speak and our lives remain static and droll. It is through mindful awareness where we find this firm ground and let it speak through us.

Stop and let the source breathe through you. Let it guide your brush and your heart. What was once a mess of confusion will soon become a mirror of life that emanates from within. The canvas will then speak to you, the language will become clear and it will look at you as you look on it. With the source, the work will come alive.

Be aware of the source, and begin your great work. Begin your life with this connection and move throughout time with the flame of creation.

Lessons in Darkness

IMG_2285“Light can only be understood with the wisdom of darkness.”
Ka Chinery, Perceptions from the Photon Frequency

What can we learn from darkness? One can learn more than just a simple lesson. We can learn many truths from this absence of light.

In many ways, darkness is a paradox. You cannot truly see it, because it is dark. It is non-light. It is black, but blackness as well emits a fraction of light. Only through the emptiness of mind can it be understood.

Darkness can be used. It is used in the shadows of great art. It is used in elements of suspense in writing. It can be conveyed through the skills of great actors, musicians and dancers. Darkness plays a role in creation, and it is a part of our everyday waking lives.

It is only within darkness can we know the light. It is only through seeking the light can we rid ourselves of the darkness. But, both will always remain.

As night turns to day, we are always reminded of these two great compliments of life. One cannot exist without the other. This is not duality. These are not opposites. The two exist as one.

Use the darkness to remind you of the light. Explore the dark parts of life as well as those bathed in light.

To know the self is to know all parts. To understand life is to understand the dark as well as the light, the calm and the chaos, the hard and the soft.

We must understand and embrace our whole self, in dark times and when well lit. This is the way of the artist, and the way of the creative spirit.

Muse Your Moment

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“She smiled and said with an ecstatic air: “It shines like a little diamond”,
“What does?”
“This moment. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre, The Age of Reason

Inspiration. Where does it emanate from? From what source does the muse originate? How do we find it as we stare at the blank page, or gaze deeply into the white canvas?

It is said that each day we are given a moment, just a solitary point of awareness within a fleeting second where we can choose to capture the flame, where we can choose to see our heart and its desire. This is the moment where we capture our muse.

The muse comes in many forms. It can arise from one line we may read in a book, or through the emotion we witness around us. A person can inspire us with their words, their smile or their gaze. The wind can blow a seed in just the right way, and we are then captured by the muse of nature. It is within our awareness that we find these fruits.

We must be open to these things if we are to create truly and passionately. The moments come and must be captured, but so many go unnoticed. So many are left wasted as we’re often distracted by worldly things.

The screen of the smartphone blinds us at times, though it can also be a conduit for our muse. The busy lines at the store confound and irritate us, but within this line muse can be captured. The traffic jam riles our rage and tries our patience, but within this temporary solitude one can surely be inspired.

Each moment carries with it the ability to transcend our awareness and cultivate our passions. Each second can inspire us to create, to smile and to walk ahead with a strong heart and a clear vision. It is our duty to recognize the subtle gifts waiting all around us.

Whether you are inspired by a painting, a phrase, a dance, song or even by sitting on your couch watching Netflix; capture this moment. Let it speak to you through your heartmind.

Some may be inspired by the patterns in a leaf, while others may feel the emotions of the world as they hear a bell toll. Whatever it is, be aware, be sound and be alive in this time. Be the muse of your own moment.

Life is one continuous beautiful moment. Don’t let it pass you by.

Compose

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“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

What does it mean to compose? To put together, to create, to begin a project? All describe the action well, though some only see the term as relating to writing an email. In the act of composing, we begin our journey into the world of our creations.

To compose is to breathe life into an idea. It is the musicians tool of creation, as it is the same for the artist, the writer and the dancer.

To compose it to begin. It the footprint of creative thought, the first steps of an infant idea. It is in composing that we find the beginning, and in this beginning we see our first impressions of the final result. We see the end of our story, the final brush stroke, the final chord of a melody and the final step of the dance.

In composing, we see the ebb and the flow all at once; the compliments of our creation intertwined. We see the river of our thought begin and empty as if looking through time.

A few miles away from my doorstep there is a river. The river is not small. In fact, it is one of the world’s biggest. This river knows the beginning and it knows the end.

The river is a master of composition. It is the master composer, flowing from its source and emptying into the world. It moves over everything at all times, flowing and finding its way from the source and toward its eternal home. The cycle of creation completes the river and drives it throughout time.

In our work as artists, writers, dancers, musicians and as all creative souls, we must compose like the river. We must be full of heart and clear of mind. If our work is to touch another, its composition must begin in the heart and transcend the mind. It must bare the soul.

Compose every day, even for five minutes, free of inhibition, without force and without holding back. This is the way of the artist. This is the way of life.

Form

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“You are time, and time cannot be created or destroyed. Time just changes form.”
Khalid Masood

What is form? Is it something that can be measured by something else? Where does it come from?

This is the paradox. Because at its very essence, even form has no form. It is all but formless, though it remains. This is art, this is the art of form.

In Taoist thought, the Tao is said to have form but to also be formless. It is all things, pervading and permeating everything. This is art, this is art on all levels. It is writing, it is dance, it is painting and it is anything which takes the creative energy out of the soul and places it onto the stage of the world.

Some people have a specific form of style. Style indicates thought. Style indicates a plan, a comfort or showcase of skill. Form should never be confused with style, though without form, style cannot be. The goal of all art is to have form, to have style, to illicit emotion, inspire thought and to be seen. It is through the formless form that we deliver this to the world.

As Bruce Lee once said. Water is formless. It takes the shape of whatever vessel it’s placed in. If placed in a cup, water becomes the cup. This is the formless form. It is the goal of all art.

To become.