There are two places where my best work happens. I call one “short-circuiting”, the other is from the “peaceful place.”
When there is peace, I can enter that zone where I’m one with my Lord, and my work; the painting painting itself. It springs from a pure, restful pool of awareness and contentment.
A stronger piece I would post in this “coming out of a peaceful place” category, is a portrait of a very good friend. He has character inside and out, but mostly, he is a good man, and I wanted to paint him because I love my friend. I don’t have too many friends. This piece is in his possession. It tells his story well. It is the above image, the featured image for this post.
“Morning Conversation” reflects my love of the ravens that visited the pecan orchard where we lived. Ravens came daily, usually knowing which pecans were perfectly ripe as well as when they could meet their friends. I love this painting, and consider it to be a part of my life experience. I gave it to my son, along with other paintings from my collection.
Food paintings ALWAYS come from a place of peace and happiness. Here are two watercolors and one oil painting that I especially love. They tell the story of home. The painting of light on the bananas is sold, the other two I kept for my own collection. They tell a story of a happy part of our life.
When there is short-circuiting, it is when there are things around me that are too big for me, until the Lord gives grace. Somethings, I just cannot deal with. I don’t often do extreme short-circuiting work anymore, because the work is so hard to look at. In fact, two of my pieces, which are pictured in this article, have been burned in a very freeing bonfire. But there is another coming, the idea being borne from the pain that I cause another… it will be called “The Cross”…. but it doesn’t exist yet, because it is too painful to do so far. (I don’t like when I hurt my husband.)
For example, in a mixed media piece entitled “The Scream”, many of our military men were killed in Iraq after 9-11. It may have been the 2000 mark, I don’t remember, but it was so terrible to me.The piece had regular America people and the men and women borne from them… our children, out of the womb and heart of America, dying for the cause. The serpent was coming out a cauldron of rottenness and corruption, with political figures on the body of the serpent – representing the world system ruled by satan. The serpent slithers past a box, that is closed, but contains the heart’s call to God. The screaming man, holding his head in anguish at the destruction and loss of life in war. Needless to say, this mixed media – with our soldiers going in and out everywhere, was burned.
This next piece, titleless, and also destroyed, was when my daughter was beginning to date. I wasn’t ready for that. The painting looks like a lot more is going on than would have ever been allowed, but they were watching tv, and I was there in full motherliness. I tried to embrace this reality, but it came hard… Later I realized it may not have been so much that she was dating, maybe as much as the realization that I was getting older, and didn’t seem to be going anywhere at the time. Mid life crisis combined with the realization of the coming empty nest and changes that I could no way hinder. This piece is more of a fairy tale bubbles and such, but blitzing color and glaring, broken pieces of gold leaf… fracturing. I have never painted one like this before or after. Praise God, we all grow up some.
A stronger blitzing piece so far in this life, I think, is an oil painting featured some time ago, entitled, “The Empty Nester.” It moved many people, and was bought at a show in Tucson. It is pretty self-explanatory.
Finally, a close up from a painting of the Four Horsemen, titled “Revelation 6”. The painting is featured in another post recently. The upcoming destruction and lack of awareness in the world that the Lord Jesus REALLY IS coming… lost like the people before the flood in Noah’s time… a blitzing piece.
Peaceful work comes from the enjoyment of beauty, light, a characteristic in someone, Life, or something that brings me pleasure in some form. Short-circuiting work is usually from something unbearable or confusing.
In either case, painting is prayer. The deep prayer of reliance on our Life Source – Jesus. A prayer not only to perform my task well, but to “dwell in or deal with” whatever He is giving me.