How to Paint Rhino’s and Evoke Protective Spells

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A Harsh Reality

The plight of the rhino becoming an endangered species is a fierce and emotive topic.

I was disgusted when one night, as my husband and I were enjoying the peaceful tranquility of the Lalibela Game Reserve in East London, we were told that our guide was called out on an emergency rhino reconnaissance as a helicopter was flying over the reserve scouting for these beautiful creatures.

The hard reality really hit me in that moment.

We had just seen these magnificent beasts in the wild, gracefully grazing while the sun was setting – their majesty was overwhelming. Who would want to do harm to such divine creatures? Well, we all know the answer to that and just how uneducated their killers are.


Casting ‘Spells’ in the Painting

Texture 2So I wanted to evoke feelings of love and protection for these animals in this artwork.  

I infused it with the immense sense of calm and tranquility I got from them when I first witnessed them in the wild.  Hopefully, this will be mirrored back to the species — a peaceful life.

The gold spiral backgrounds are my better known trademark and they represent the verve of the sacred geometry of life — the divine blueprint.  So I thought it apt to ‘preserve’ them in this energy.

How I Painted These Beautiful Beasties

In order of application:

  • I plotted out the subject matter with a permanent marker.
  • the background was painted black (2 coats),
  • I applied the gold spiral technique,
  • I used thick textured acrylic (the ‘Dala’ brand) to build up the tough raw hide look,
  • then I used bits of stick and bark to get that wrinkled texture,
  • Lastly came the final layers of definitive detail.

The painting is very tactile which may not be apparent in the photographic representation, thanks to the textured acrylic.  Below are some close-up photo’s of the textured paint:

Texture 3

Texture 1

And, finally, here is the finished product:

Rhino's - The Spiral of Life by Cherie Roe Dirksen

“Rhino’s – The Spiral of Life” by Cherie Roe Dirksen. Original Acrylic on Boxed Canvas. 42cm x 59cm x 4cm. $300. SAATCHI ONLINE.

The original is for sale through SAATCHI ONLINE or SOUTHAFRICANARTISTS.COM.  Alternatively, you can also buy canvas prints for as little as $95.00 through Saatchi Online (click here).

Saatchi

 

Interested in seeing more wildlife art prints from Cherie Roe Dirksen?

Click on the picture below:

Wildlife Collection Icon

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10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

Painting a Zebra From Scratch

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Valentines Day Digital Art — See How It’s Done in Under 3 Minutes! You Won’t Believe How Easy It Is…

Creating an ‘African’ Statement for the City that Never Sleeps!

Earth Day Sparks Off ‘Green’ Boutique

The Tree of Life — Can You Relate?

At the beginning of 2014 I blogged about an experience I had in a guided meditation.  I saw a picture that I felt I needed to paint.

Well, finally, I have got it out onto canvas.  If you want to read about the deeper message behind this art — please take 2 minutes to read the blog HERE (What Popped Up in a Guided Meditation About 2014…and How it Coincided With Plato).

Here is the painting — please let me know (in the comment box below) what thoughts/emotions/feedback comes up for you:

Affordable prints and greeting cards available – click on picture

Original For Sale

I have decided to make some of my originals available for sale on this blog.  Something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time now.  Thanks to Paypal, I am now able to do this easily — so for anyone who wants to be the owner of this painting, just click on the button below the specs to purchase (please note that this is strictly first come first serve).

The painting specs are as follows:

Medium: Acrylic and Mixed Media (glass paint, liner, ink and oil pastel) on Canvas Board (unframed)

Size: 10″ x 10″ (255mm x 255mm)

Price:  $75

Worldwide Shipping:  Absolutely FREE!

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Interconnected Humanity Quote

I decided to make it into a quote as well — just a little message to try to encapsulate the bigger picture — CLICK HERE to download this as a wallpaper or mini poster print-out (100% free):

Tree of Life Quote by Cherie Roe Dirksen Lo res

If you would prefer to get this as a ready-made poster — available in many different sizes to suit just about any pocket — click on the picture above

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What on Earth is a ‘Chaoskampf Demiurge’? You Seriously Need to Know This!

Why Synchronicity Can Change Your Life

5 Ways to Tune into a HD Quality Life

The 44 Second Example to Feeling Better

2014 — The Year to Sculpt Your Life!

8 Motivating Tips on Writing and Self-Publishing Your Own Book

How to See Divinity in Living Colour

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Books by this author that you may enjoy:

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Rock Art Painting no. 6 — Templeton: The Photographic Process and Grand Reveal!

Last week I gave a sneak peek of this painting (you can read it HERE) — I’m now going to take you through the pictorial stages that led up to the finished piece.

So, enough chit-chat — let’s dive into it! :)

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5 Photo 6 Photo 7 Photo 8 Photo 9

Photo 10

Well, there you have it!

Afloat in a Torrent Without a Paddle

The title that came through at first was ‘primordial residue‘.  However, that led me down the rabbit hole of synchronous events, prods and ticklings to another rather obscure name.

What emerged was a plethora of ancient myth;  something about a serpent called Apophis and weighing your soul against a phoenix feather — intrigued?  I hope so!

Next week I will break down the emotions that flooded in whilst painting this and just exactly what lead me to uncover the title of this painting, ‘Chaoskampf Demiurge’.  

UPDATE:  Read “What on Earth is a ‘Chaoskampf Demiurge’? You Seriously Need to Know This!” right now!

For now, the artwork is available as prints in a variety of different sizes and finishes below:

Chaoskampf Demiurge by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Chaoskampf Demiurge by Cherie Roe Dirksen
28″ x 36″ x 1.5″
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas

Let me know what comes through for you when you look at this painting (probably best to do it before I uncover the emotions behind it next week — leave your comments in the box below).

Here are some of Templeton’s videos to whet your appetite for next weeks blog:

Here are the Rock Art blogs in order of release:

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

The Grand Band Reveal is Today!

Radiohead — A Teaser Pictorial ‘Rock Art’ Peek

What Radiohead Looks Like Through The End of My Brush

Song Playlist — Radiohead Albums That Made The Art

Rock Art Series — The Beatles

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

How I Got ‘Raw’ With Jeff Buckley

‘Dancing in the Void’ — Pink Floyd Rock Art Painting No.4 Photographs

Painting Pink Floyd — Soldiering Through the Minefield of Emotion

‘Dangerous Love’ — Skunk Anansie Rock Art Painting No. 5

Can Music Jump-Start Humanity’s Awakening?

A Sneak Pictorial Peek at Painting no. 6 in the Rock Art Series

Valentines Day Digital Art — See How It’s Done in Under 3 Minutes! You Won’t Believe How Easy It Is…

Happy Valentines Day! 

In keeping with the theme of love, hearts and beautiful friendships — I wanted to share this video with you.

Come take a peak at the start-to-finish process of some of my digital doodles in this short clip — go grab yourself a cup of tea and park yourself in a comfy place:

Why not send someone you love one of my free Valentine e-cards today?.  CLICK HERE.

Other videos and articles you may enjoy:

Creative Expression Brought to Life on Youtube (Watch for Free)

The 44 Second Example to Feeling Bettersubscribe button

What a Thug Can Teach You About Love and Courage

The Bald-Faced Truth About Self-Portraits — Photographs and All!

How J.K.Rowling Helped Inspire My Books

How Trust Can Bring You Abundance

 

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The Bald-Faced Truth About Self-Portraits — Photographs and All!

“What deflates your self-image gets inflated with the brush.”

Cherie Roe DirksenI had an idea for a painting — something that combined my love of painting swirly whirly gold backgrounds and the cosmos.  I wanted to show the macrocosm being reflected in the microcosm. I needed to paint a person because I wanted that famous nebulae, ‘The Eye of God’, to be reflected in a human eye.

After thinking long and hard, I decided to fling myself into the fateful venture of doing a self-portrait…yikes!

The photo you see on the right is the ‘pose’ I wanted to portray — that ‘devil-may-care’/’caught-up-in-the-moment’ type look.  It was actually quite a hoot, in itself, to get the photo right but that’s another story.

The Self-Perception Abyss

For any artist out there who has ever embarked on a self portrait you’ll know all about the conflicts of the inner image that emerges like a festering pustule onto that innocent blank canvas.

“I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.” — Salvador Dali 

For those of you who don’t know what the hell I’m banging on about, it’s like this:  When you paint/draw yourself, you tend to subliminally extract or expound on your less desirable traits.  What deflates your self-image gets inflated with the brush.

Noses and Penises (I’ve always wanted to write that subheading!)

NosesEarly on in the game, Mike walked into my studio whilst I was busy — he stopped and looked long and hard at my work of art.  I thought it was getting on nicely.  He then turned to me and said, ‘You look like a man.’

Was it true?  Was my penis envy that transparent?

He went on, ‘For a start, your nose is way too big.’  I thought my nose was perfectly in order!  I have quite a big noggin and that is how I saw myself.  Mike assured me that I had a slightly distorted perception of my honker and I went back to the drawing board.

The Good, The Bad and the Darn Right Ugly!

You’re going to have a good laugh as I unveil the painting progress photographs and how many times I had to repaint my face as my husband constantly pointed out my somewhat warped sense of self.

MouthHowever, after the painting was finished I realized I had, by the end of the process, accepted who I was — imperfections and all!  I came to grips with all those idiosyncrasies that I thought were flaws and turned them into unique attributes.

My small mouth (of course, I’ve always lusted after those luscious lips of Angelina Jolie) didn’t seem so undesirable after all.  My ‘Roman’ nose (as was pointed out and made fun of constantly as a child) was full of character instead of an ugly blob on the landscape of my face.

“A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth.” — John Singer Sargent

This painting turned out to be my self-image therapy.

The Painting Process Photograph Diary

Well, enough of me banging on about the painting…let me rather show you what transpired:

1

The beginning stage is set and the canvas is painted black…2

In chalk, I outline the ‘Eye of God’ nebula and my frame…

3

The ‘Eye of God’ get’s its colour…now it’s time to fill in that gold pattern:4

5

With the pattern all done, it’s time to work on my least favourite part — skin tone!

6

I love this photo, it’s SO creepy!  Tip:  Never walk in on an artist who is doing their first layer of skin tone…it’s the stuff nightmares are made of…lol.

7

A long way to go!

8

This is the part where Mike steps in to have a peek and goes all ‘quiet’ ;)

9As you can see, I’ve made a slight boo-boo with my hair (should’ve given myself more volume, damn it!).  Not a big problem but it just means that all that pattern will be covered.

10

Enter the Blonde hair colouring but yikes, that doesn’t look quite right, does it?!

11

This is where I began to notice that the painting is taking a bit of a ‘David Bowie’ turn (subliminal programming?  I’ve always LURVED his look!)…he he.  In fact, from profile, we share a very similar nose.

After much shuffling and retouching of eyes, nose and mouth, I decided to call it quits.

Finally, the end closed in and I put the paintbrushes down.  It may not be perfect but I achieved the result I was after.  I wanted the ‘Eye of God’ to be reflected in the eye of the model.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” — Genesis 1:27

Please see below this picture for a detailed description of the inspiration behind this piece.

Prints available – click on picture

Title: ‘As Within So Without’

Artist:  Cherie Roe Dirksen

Medium:  Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Size: 610mm x 930mm (24″ x 36″)

Painting Description:

I wanted this piece to entice one to look deeper into the meaning of being at one with the universe as that famous Vedic/Hermetic saying goes, ‘as above so below, as within so without’.

The background of sacred geometrical shapes denotes the energy in the ether that we work with subconsciously all of the time— even dark matter contains cosmic energy.

The rent in the energetic field that exudes the ‘Eye of God’ (which is a famous nebula in space that resembles an eye) that matches the eyes of the human — an indication that we are made of stars, we are holding fragments of the divine inside ourselves and we are inextricably woven with the universe.

Eyes are always referred poetically as the windows to the soul but the truth is that when we compare various nebulae to our irises, the striking resemblance is remarkable.

Every macrocosm reflects the microcosm.  Every principle in our universe works with a circular centrifugal theory/force — we have planets orbiting suns, we are made up of cells that contain protons and neutrons orbiting a nucleus, etc.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are all one with each other and everything else.  This is my message for this painting.

The original is available through SAATCHI ONLINE HERE

Other articles you may enjoy:

Never-Before-Seen Photographs of How I Paint my Patterned Poppies

A Look Behind the Scenes — Painting an Abstract Landscape

Art In The Making — A Step-by-Step Guide on Painting Landscapes

How To Branch Out — Painting Scenes With Trees

Painting a Zebra From Scratch

The 12 Hour Saatchi Art Competition Challenge — Start to Finish

‘Dancing in the Void’ — Pink Floyd Rock Art Painting No.4 Photographs

How to Artfully Get into Your Element

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

Can Using Yellow in Art Enhance Your Mood?

Art Commissions — The Soulworks Project (Part 3)…Painting the Picture

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Books you may enjoy by this author:

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‘Dangerous Love’ — Skunk Anansie Rock Art Painting No. 5

You can recap on the whole Rock Art Series HERE — a page dedicated to the process of bringing this musical art collection to life.

Bloody Hell!

Whoa.  This painting was a difficult one to physically manifest.  Just when I thought that the Pink Floyd Rock Art painting had done my nerves in, this one came to slam dunk me in a vat of excrement!

Not only did this piece take me close onto 3 months to complete but I felt like I was resisting finishing it right up until the last moment.  In hindsight, I think I know why…

First Things First

Before I get into the personal details of my past-life drama karma (yes, you read right, this painting started ripping into my own akashic records — how riveting!), I want to go through the emotions that came up for me whilst painting this and, of course, reveal the painting itself.

*Drum Roll* — here is the painting and below you’ll find the list of emotions.

Dangerous Love - Skunk Anansie lo res

You can click on the picture above to enlarge.  Click here to buy the print.

List of Emotions:

  • Anger
  • Hurt
  • Resentment
  • Female Pain-Body
  • Discordant
  • Regret
  • Sorrow
  • Broken
  • Blood, Shit and Umska

Phew! Now you might start to get a clearer picture of why I struggled through this process.

Feeling the Music

Firstly, I have to say that I absolutely love and admire the sexy and sassy Skin (lead singer of Skunk Anansie) and the entire band — bloody (no pun intended) brilliant music!

I’m going to scatter a few YouTube videos in this blog.  So — if you aren’t familiar with this Brit band — you can get with the programme.

Skin has an awesome voice and an enormous stage presence.  I was lucky enough to see them when they were in Cape Town — well over a decade ago now.

However, this Rock Art Series is diving deeper than audio enjoyment, humming a happy tune or head-banging.  This series is pushing past aesthetics and striking at the core — the emotions/energy behind the music (as interpreted by me).

Self-Love or Bust

close upSo, the strong emotions/feelings that I was picking up on was a dangerous kind of love, or should I say, a conditional love.  A love that is incomplete and destructive because it’s missing one fundamental principle — self-love and respect.

Possessive relationships are doomed.  You enter into them incomplete and want the other person to fill the void inside you that can only be filled by, you guessed it, YOU.

Instead of looking within to find the answers, we look without and turn on the one we love with a deepening resentment, sorrow and a pain that can’t be quenched.

Long and short is:  You can’t truly love anyone else unconditionally if you can’t totally and fully accept and love your self (self love is not to be mistaken for ego-based love or narcissism).

My Part in This Epic Blood-Stained Musical Dramatization

The anger and frustrations that came up for me were almost unbearable.

I have a current marriage made in heaven (yeah, I know — lucky me.  You can read all about it HERE) but with the deep retrospection I had to undergo, I realized that I had to face a past relationship.

Such a far flung past coupling that it comes from a different lifetime altogether.

It was difficult to go through this in the ‘dark’ (i.e. not quite knowing the in’s and out’s and just going on gut instinct) but I had dreams that helped me along and let me pick through the metaphors of literally having shit dumped on my head by this phantom past partner.

In another dream I also displayed signs of stigmata and bleeding from every orifice while he looked at me and said, ‘Go clean yourself up!’.  The most bizarre thing is that he was being cut and I was bleeding which I found to be quite a remarkable analogy.


Above — ‘Brazen (weep)’, Skunk Anansie 

Ripley’s Believe It or Not

When I was compiling the video’s for this blog, I realized that it was the first time I had ever seen a Skunk Anansie music video.  I have only seen them live and on live performance DVD’s. So, it goes without saying, that I was quite shocked to see that the above and below video were very in sync with the painting style, theme and colours.  See for yourself…

  Above — ‘Charlie Big Potato’, Skunk Anansie

The Phantom Menace Was Me

close up 2Who was this past-life persona?

It doesn’t really matter.  The details are mere semantics, what was more important was my understanding of what was being brought up in myself.  The ‘people-pleaser’/’don’t rock the boat‘/‘take it up the ass‘ person in me just had to go.

What I got from my ‘past life’ scenario was a sense of being out of control in the relationship but not being strong enough to leave.

I felt oppressed, spoken down to, controlled, literally ‘shut up’ (emotionally and verbally — which is why I think there are bolts in the painting — keeping ‘her’ in place; tape over her mouth and eyes — keeping her gagged in silent pain) and made to feel deep guilt whenever I did pluck up the courage to have my say.

Although, all she/I had to do was step into her/my power and say, ‘No more’ and walk away.  She/I displayed signs of being weak (and, yes, Skunk Anansie do have a song called ‘Weak’...LISTEN/VIEW HERE) and not loving and respecting herself enough to walk away.

This all boils down to self-inflicted trauma.  The inability to stand in ones power and to have enough self-love to pick up and leave a rotten situation.  This is a dangerous love — fear disguised in the wrappings of ‘love’.

The Mysterious Identity of the Unknowable Known

Other things I noticed at the end of this process was that the ‘face’ had smeared lipstick, undeterminable eyes, skin colour or race — she could be anyone from anywhere.  She could even be a man (well, maybe one in drag or from a pantomime?).

Another interesting fact is that I picked up the colour purple right at the end and dabbed some of it onto the eyelids, face and a few streaks at the bottom.  Could this be a form of mitigation?

Purple is usually connotated with good judgment and spiritual fulfillment.

I Open at the End

Well, Skunk Ananse, thanks for opening a wound that needed to be scraped clean.

Even though I’m still in the process of releasing and realigning to this new found truth, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to actually live through one of my paintings and seek out a deeper personal truth to this collection.

Below are photographs of the painting process:

SK 1 SK 2 SK 3 SK 4 SK 5

SK 06

‘A Dangerous Love’ by Cherie Roe Dirksen
28″ x 22″ x 1.5″
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas
Click on the picture to take you to the print store.

Other articles you may find interesting:

How I Got ‘Raw’ With Jeff Buckley

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

Radiohead — A Teaser Pictorial ‘Rock Art’ Peek

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

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The 12 Hour Saatchi Art Competition Challenge — Start to Finish

Your Untypical Typical Artist 

Print 2I’m usually quite organized, not like the stereotypical ‘last-minute’ kind of artiste.

However, on the 16th April 2013, I had a hunch to go and ‘check’ the due date for a competition I wanted to enter.  I thought it was due on the 30th April but to my surprise, it was due the very next day — on the 17th April.

Aaaaah!

What To Do!

I had already bought the canvas, got the prelim sketch idea.  Heck, I’d even thought out the description and had the perfect title!

I had but one choice.  Do or die!

I locked myself up in the studio that afternoon and didn’t emerge until way after 9:00pm.

Here’s the photographic process:

1 2 3

4And then I put the final ‘blue wash’ on…

The Monotone Rainbow City

Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas
15″ x 30″ x 1.5″
Prints available (click on picture)

Never Say Never!

I had done it!  The next day I submitted all the info and gave myself a pat on the back.

It just shows you, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!  As long as you have the will, the drive and the hootspa.

The Story Behind the Painting

Print 1This scene is taken in Loop Street, Cape Town, looking towards Table Mountain (a little bit of the mountain can be seen in the background).

The painting tells a story about the grey area of our (South Africa’s) rainbow nation.

Here we have a simple street scene but hidden within the paint is a history of greed, opportunity and division.

I have used gold and silver spray paint as the base coat of the buildings (the connotation behind the colour gold is that of wealth and prosperity) this depicts South Africa’s mineral wealth — the foundation that built the nation.  However, the buildings are now covered in the grime and dirt of time.

I have two main characters in the scene.  One is a street person, sitting on top of a wooden crate.  His clothes are baggy and don’t fit him properly.  He is staring at the young black student on his iPhone.

This young man, the second character, represents the opportunity that the black youth have today as opposed to what might have been under the Apartheid regime.  He is wearing the latest fashion and seems to want for little.  He is not even conscious of the man sitting on the crate.  He is too wrapped up in social networking.

The man on the crate has not had the same chance in life.  He is the same age but his story is one of poverty and misfortune.  He is not yet experiencing the new rainbow nation of opportunity.

He is one of the many South African’s who do not benefit from the new system.  Both these men are the same age yet their lives tell two completely different stories.

South Africa is a growing third world nation but it still has to iron out a lot of socio-economic problems.  This painting depicts the divide in the culture that exists today.

Yet there is hope and to denote this I have given the painting a blue wash.  The esoteric meaning behind the colour blue is that of youth, spirituality, truth and peace.  Which is what I wish for this nation.  To truly become the rainbow.

TO VIEW THE PAINTING AT SAATCHI ONLINE PLEASE CLICK HERE (ORIGINAL AND PRINTS AVAILABLE)

Other articles you may enjoy:

3 Visually Stimulating 2014 Calendars

‘The Sound of Art’ Video Series Debut — Interviews, Live Music and a Special Guest from Paris (7 mins)

‘Dancing in the Void’ — Pink Floyd Rock Art Painting No.4 Photographs

How to Artfully Get into Your Element

Healing Through Art — The Gates to Wonderland Just Got Flung Wide Open

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

Painting a Zebra From Scratch

Never-Before-Seen Photographs of How I Paint my Patterned Poppies

The Bald-Faced Truth About Self-Portraits — Photographs and All!

 

‘The Sound of Art’ Video Series Debut — Interviews, Live Music and a Special Guest from Paris (7 mins)

Mission Impossible

Or should I say, mission I’m possible (as the daughter of my friend just discovered!).  I see you reading the title and asking yourself, ‘all this in under 7 minutes?’.

You’d better believe it!

The Sound of Art Poster 3

After much blood, sweat and tears over the past 2 weeks — the final cut is ready!  And all in the same week as my second book get’s sent off to the publishers — just call me the Duracell bunny.  Did I mention I’m also working on a 5 panel commissioned painting?

Another Coffee, Please!

Maria Von Trapp, Succulent Musical Performances and Some Dubious Animation

This is episode 1 and I’m being interviewed about the first painting, ‘Escapism’ in my Rock Art Series (painted to Radiohead).  I have made a special menu button for the Rock Art blogs that can be seen under my banner for quick reference or if you just want to catch-up on the series again.

Without further ado…here is the video (please remember to adjust the quality on Youtube otherwise it can automatically pick the fastest and lowest quality setting).

Don’t Be Shy to Voice Your Opinion (as Long as it’s Dripping with Honey!)

Your comments are more than welcome, either here or on Youtube.

I would also like to ask that, if you like the video (of course), can you please share it with your friends, Twitter buddies or Facebook pals.  I could sure use your help to get this series out into the big wide world.

Actually, you can even share it if you think is sucks.  I don’t mind.  Any publicity is good publicity, right?  I’m probably going to regret saying that some day. :)

A Big Thank You to My Contributors

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank all you special people out there in cyberspace for your support and for those generous souls who agree to keep me afloat by buying me copious amounts of ‘coffee/tea’ through the site — your donations keep me going in ways you can’t imagine, so a big Thank You.

Painting Pink Floyd — Soldiering Through the Minefield of Emotion

pf banner 2

Avoidance and Pain

“Sometimes our garbage makes the best fertilizer.”

I just want to express from the get go that this has been one of the most difficult paintings for me to bring into manifestation.  I started off this journey with hopeful optimism which soon turned into pain, anguish and avoidance.  I literally avoided my painting for weeks before returning to finish it.

I even manifested back pain (like there was something I needed to ‘get off my back’) which was a real poke in the ribs to complete this.

Let’s begin…

Firstly, the emotions that I wrote down (on the side of the boxed canvas) during the painting process were as follows:

  • Discord, revolt, rebel
  • Suppressed emotion
  • Metal, cold, steel, cutting, taking lives
  • Centers around the Void
  • Paternal painbody
  • Lost
  • Relief to be voicing/heard
  • Yin & Yang balance

Our Hopes and Expectations

It began with me spray painting the black hole in the center which represented a void.  Emotions getting sucked into a black hole.

Then I painted little white orbs emerging which I think was indicative that there is and always was hope and a presence that was watching over us (or perhaps it was the light in us) through the whole distortion of life, morality and ethics of the war.

The War Effect

Roy Chegwyn


My maternal grandfather, Roy Chegwyn

The male painbody came out big time after that and I was aware that I was entering the murky dark waters of the emotional minefield of all our soul brothers (and sisters) who were forced to go to war.

They were both involved in WW2.  My maternal Grandfather was a RAF pilot and was shot and killed in German territory — he was in his early 20’s.  His body was never recovered and I don’t think his wife ever recovered either.  This obviously impacted my mother and her sisters greatly.

Harry Roe


My paternal grandfather, Harry Roe

My paternal grandfather was stationed in Egypt and, thankfully, made it back home in 1945 although he never spoke of his traumas.  I never got to meet him as he died before I was born.

I think a lot of men shut down and never spoke of their ordeal when they got home.  Can you imagine the pain and suffering this has caused?  The ripple effect is felt in Pink Floyd’s music.

Bullets with Butterfly Wings

After the void showed up in the painting, I went ballistic with silver foil.  After I had finished pasting this onto the picture I picked up my red spray can and viciously started gunning the canvas with bullet holes.  I felt like I was being sucked into the overwhelming emotions of limitless killings — voluntary and involuntary.

It was a very dark place.

pf cup 2The muddy paint (which was done using a kind of clay/sand textured acrylic) represented being in the trenches.  I even stuck ‘notes’ on the painting reciting the Ho’oponopono (a Hawaiin prayer for forgiveness and an amazing releasing affirmation for letting go of the past so you can move into the present).  I even spontaneously wrote out one of these notes on toilet paper.

The Ho’oponopono goes something like this:

I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.

I stepped back from the painting and even though it wasn’t physically there, I saw a massive yin and yang sign in that void.  It was energetically present.  This confused me.  I thought this painting was going to be about the male painbody.

It was, however, morphing into something else…

The Pinnacle Rent of the Sexes

PF cup 1I began to go into another state, I could feel the feminine energies coming in through me.  I picked up a pink oil pastel and started smudging it over the bullet wounds and blood.  It was as if I was tempering the pain.  The colour pink represents passivity, calming and softening.

It then struck me.

This is not only about the male painbody but it also involves the female painbody.  The war was like the symbolic peak of the separation of divine masculine and feminine.

Men come back from war shut tight as a clam and the females make them a cup of tea and offer a biscuit.

Containers and Comforters United

pf cup 5Masculine energy is like a container.  This energy offers physical support, service, protection, strength and a ‘safe’ place.  Feminine energy is that feeling of home.  This energy is giving, nurturing, caring and spiritually supportive.

Can you see how this was split apart during the war?

Men came back having had their minds, limbs, spirit and morals blown apart. It was not appropriate in that time for men to show weakness or, God forbid, emotion.  So they contained themselves.

“Button your lip and don’t let the shield slip.                                                                      Take a fresh grip on your bullet proof mask and if they try, to break down your disguise with their questions.                                                                                                            You can hide, hide, hide behind paranoid eyes”

~ Paranoid Eyes, Pink Floyd

Women were in complete avoidance.  They probably didn’t know how to handle the enormous magnitude of the war effects and the atrocities their men had witnessed and been a part of, so they swept in under the carpet.  Women became the Stepford Wives, fudging the emotions and avoiding the topic at all costs.

Neither sexes were in their integrity.  They were doing a dance in the void — the ultimate tango of avoidance.

“Hey you, out there on your own sitting naked by the phone would you touch me?            Hey you, with your ear against the wall waiting for someone to call out would you touch me?                                                                                                                                       Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone? Open your heart, I’m coming home.”

~ Hey You!, Pink Floyd

I felt a distinct animosity for women in Pink Floyd’s music.  The feelings were that of women being superficial takers, opportunists and cold fish.

In the Classroom

There was also a part at the bottom of the painting that seemed to portray the education system.  How we are moulded into little nuts and bolts to keep the cogs turning.

I was even compelled at one stage to leave my studio (almost in a trance like state) and go down the staircase.  I thought I was going to get some newspaper but it turned out that I was collecting a sketch I had done about 2 years ago to demonstrate Platonic Solids to a friend.

The book I had drawn it in was lying on my dining room table.  I opened it straight at this picture (the book is also the kind of hardcover we used at school with the red margins and blue lines) and ripped it out, marched back upstairs and pasted it to this section of the painting.

pf cup 3

I also noticed that I had written one of my articles at the back of this piece of paper and it had relevant wording that I also ripped out and glued to the canvas.  I even automatically made a tiny paper aeroplane and stuck it to the picture.

Could this be indicative of childhood fancies — making planes at school, fantasizing about being a pilot?  Then stepping out into the real world and being disillusioned by being a traumatized ‘fighter-pilot’ slipping into the void.

Then the Seeds Started to Grow

pf cup 4The theme of this painting is very sad indeed.  The tearing apart of the sexes, the war wounds, the fudging over of emotional debris by our parents and their parents but there is a distinct message of hope.

I stood back and looked at the painting.  It needed green.

I couldn’t quite think of where and what to add that was green but the Universe knew.  I ended up painting vines and leaves growing up out of the chaos.  A symbol of hope and growth from bad experience.

Don’t Let Your Privates Deceive You

It was like all this war, disruption and chaos was leading us to heal the rift in ourselves.  As you know, we are both yin and yang, masculine and feminine — no matter what your genitals tell you.

We are coming to a point in time where we are realizing this and balancing our energies.  Embracing both in order to lead lives of fulfillment and acceptance of ourselves and each other — unity consciousness.

“We would meet again, some sunny day”~ Vera, Pink Floyd

Sometimes our garbage makes the best fertilizer.

Thank you, Pink Floyd, for the opportunity to unravel this important historical and emotional piece of art.

The Can of Worms is Closed!

This painting showed me the rift in the feminine and masculine energies — the breakdown of balance between yin and yang.

Then it moved to rectify the tear by bringing back the balance of both polarities.  This artwork showed me that there is hope for us, that we can mend our broken hearts and bring divine balance back into the world through love, compassion and forgiveness.

“All alone or in two’s, the ones who really love you walk up and down outside the wall.
Some hand in hand and some gathered together in bands, the bleeding hearts and the artists make their stand.

~ The Other Side of the Wall, Pink Floyd

Dancing in the Void FINAL lo rs


‘Dancing in the Void’ Rock Art Painting no. 4 (Pink Floyd)
by Cherie Roe Dirksen
30″ x 30″ x 1.5″ — Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas

You can recap on ALL the articles in the Rock Art Series here:

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

The Grand Band Reveal is Today!

Radiohead — A Teaser Pictorial ‘Rock Art’ Peek

What Radiohead Looks Like Through The End of My Brush

Song Playlist — Radiohead Albums That Made The Art

Rock Art Series — The Beatles

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

How I Got ‘Raw’ With Jeff Buckley

‘Dancing in the Void’ — Pink Floyd Rock Art Painting No.4 Photographs

Other articles you may find interesting:

The Secret to Excellent Living

The Fine Balancing Art of Yin and Yang

The Shocking Truth About Gender Equality

‘Dancing in the Void’ — Pink Floyd Rock Art Painting No.4 Photographs

I feel like so much time has lapsed since the last painting was revealed (Jeff Buckley — ‘Raw’).

The reason being is that this one has had me flying down the rabbit hole with no parachute.  What a frightfully corrosive yet beautifully healing journey this one turned out to be!

“If you drink much from a bottle marked ‘poison’ it is certain to disagree with you sooner or later.”  — Alice in Wonderland

I am going to divulge all the juicy details of the emotional journey in next weeks blog.  What took me from going to war with my painting — violently spraying ‘bullet’ holes to making paper aeroplanes — and finally moving in to soften and balance the gaping hole of feminine and masculine energies?

You’ll have to wait and see…but for now:

Avoidance

This blog is just going to take you, from start to finish, through the pictorial process of the painting in the making.

I called this one ‘Dancing in the Void’ (or a-void-dance — cool little breakdown of that word, eh?).

PF 1 PF 2 PF 3 PF 4 PF 5 PF 6 PF 7 PF 8PF 9And then finally, one late night (as you can see by the darker shades of the photograph)…I finished it!PF 10

Here is the final product:

Dancing in the Void FINAL lo rs‘Dancing in the Void’ (or ‘A-void-dance’) — Pink Floyd Rock Art

by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas

30″ x 30″ x 1.5″

Please come back next week for the inspiration behind the painting involving a lot of blood, sweat and tears and why this painting was my most challenging yet in the series.

Read the next blog…

Painting Pink Floyd — Soldiering Through the Minefield of Emotion

You can recap on ALL the articles in the Rock Art Series here:

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

The Grand Band Reveal is Today!

Radiohead — A Teaser Pictorial ‘Rock Art’ Peek

What Radiohead Looks Like Through The End of My Brush

Song Playlist — Radiohead Albums That Made The Art

Rock Art Series — The Beatles

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

How I Got ‘Raw’ With Jeff Buckley

How I Got ‘Raw’ With Jeff Buckley

Explaining the Painting ‘Raw’ in the Rock Art Series

Please recap on the last blog here, “Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

Close upAs I go further and further down this rabbit hole that I labelled the ‘Rock Art Series‘, I am beginning to uncover a quantum field of bizarre and amazing coincidences and realizations about myself and my role that I find myself stepping into (there will be more about this in next weeks blog, as I go mixing the melting pot of Harmonic Convergence and visual healing therapy).

This painting maxed my abstract potential and what I thought was achievable through a state of ‘mindless’ painting — it brought out something in me that I will call guided art.

Who’s guiding me?

God alone knows!  My soul?  My guides?  The man on the moon?  Jeff Buckley himself (for those of you who don’t know, Jeff died in a drowning accident in 1997)?  Or a mixture of all?  Probably…

Tapping into the Matrix 

For more information about Jeff Buckley, click on this picture.

There is an information highway in the ether — a kind of universal computer hard-drive that stores everything and anything for posterity.  I think this could be a good description for what I’m trying to tap into with this art.

How do you capture the essence of the message from the musician and put it onto canvas?

Music is multi-dimensional and speaks straight to the soul.  When you are able to pull this kind of cosmic sound down into the third dimension, it has a powerful effect on the listener.  See an article about ‘The 8th Chakra and the Universal Heart’ HERE.

Now, the question is:  Can an artist tune into the message in the music and translate it as art?

Well, here it goes:

The Emotions of the Music

These are the emotions that came up for me as I was painting.

  • Pure

    Prints Available Now

  • Heartfelt
  • Raw
  • Desire
  • Earthy
  • Sensuality/Sexuality
  • Basic
  • Simple Beauty
  • Tactile/Touching

I wrote all these words down on the side of the canvas as they were arising in me.  For those of you who know who Jeff Buckley is, you’ll probably be nodding your head and saying ‘yeah, that’s him alright’.

For those who don’t know him…let’s start you off with this song (although it is not his original song, he was reported to have said that it is a song he wished he had written as it encapsulates all that he is — and he performs it admirably):

Lilac Wine (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN)

If your appetite has been whetted, I suggest you move on to this song with the addition of some tasty visuals of the artist:

Last Goodbye

Moving on with the painting process…

Feeling Presence, Photographing Orbs and ‘Ghost’

I was completely ‘in the zone’ with this one — otherwise what I referred to as my ‘mindless state’.  Working purely from the heart and feeling rather than linearizing and thinking it through.

  1. Heart close upThe first thing I did was spray paint a big red heart onto the canvas…I stood back and thought, ‘a bit kitsch, isn’t it?’.  Then I decided to trust the process and see where it led me to.  At that point, I thought that even if I painted over the heart, I suppose it will still be imbued with that heart presence — the heart would remain the core of the painting.  As it turned out, the heart became the focal point.
  2. I started mucking about with clay paint (a kind of textured acrylic and a lot of fun to get your hands in!  Really squishy and messy).  I used a palette knife to apply it to the canvas.
  3. I felt as if I wasn’t alone, it didn’t freak me out or anything, I just went with it.  I then dropped the palette knife and started getting my hands into this squelchy clay-type paint (I think this is the point where I wrote down the ‘earthy’ emotion — being grounded, getting ‘real’).  I felt as if my hands were being guided, moving over the canvas in waves of delicate caresses which led on to vehement scratches (very sensuous, darling).  I have to admit it was a bit like the scene from the movie ‘Ghost’ — you know that part when Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze were sitting down at the potter’s wheel getting all down and dirty in the clay.  To coin one of Jim Carey’s phrases, I was starting to get a bit swampy in my pants.
  4. Orb - Jeff BuckleyThe whole time I was painting, I would stop every now and again to take a photo for the pictorial process blog.  Imagine my surprise, when in one of the pictures I saw an isolated, huge orb (see picture to your right)!  I give you my word that it is not part of the painting even though there are other ‘orb-like’ circles, those are gold spray-paint ‘blob’s and the orb is white.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the orb phenomenon, please click here.  Otherwise, in a very small nutshell:  Some people believe it is the camera’s ability to pick up on what we can’t see with the naked eye — yes a bit like photographing spooks, or rather, balls of energy (UFE — he he…unidentified flying energy).  Others feel it is just light bouncing off dust to create this effect.  What they don’t know is that my studio is a dust bomb and if this was the case, the photographs would be Orb City.  Besides, I rather like the story where Jeff is helping me to create this work of art — nobody wants to be alone at the party, you know what I mean?

    orb

    Close up of the orb – as you can see it is completely circular with a kind of aura that surrounds it, completely different to the gold painted orb below it.

  5. When I re-sprayed the heart and saw it dripping in and mixing with the clay paint, I got a real feeling of being ‘embodied’.  You know, the whole tethering your soul to your body type-thing?
  6. I then went on to add some words that I had torn out of a magazine.  I’ve not really done this before so had no idea how it would turn out.  I like the effect and just happened to synchronously stumble upon the most relevant-to-Jeff descriptive words imaginable.  Like:  ‘Shaken, Stirred';  ‘Stay in touch';  ‘Beautiful';  ‘History and Heroes';  ‘I think I’m on the planet Mars!’ (lol, don’t ask!);  ‘lovers, this one’s for you!'; Made with unrestricted access’…you get the picture (I hope!).
  7. I then added on some finishing swirls and details to embellish and make the painting really ‘pop’ with pleasure.

And that’s it!  You’ve got the low down of the inspiration behind the art.

Here are some more Jeff Buckley performances that you may enjoy:

Hallelujah

So Real

Yard of Blonde Girls

Lover, You Should Have Come Over

Everybody Here Wants You

Where is The Rock Art Series Going?

Close up 2I’ve had a few questions about this series that I want to clear up or probably make more hazy:

Am I selling individual pieces now?  No, I am going to exhibit all 10 paintings when it is finished so I need to keep them as a unit for now.

When do I plan on having this series finished?  I am working my butt off to have it all done by June 2013.

When and where will I be exhibiting?  No clue at the moment but I just know the right place, venue, person will present themselves when it is ready to go on the road.

Can I buy prints?  All the pieces I have done so far are available as prints.

You can view the Print Gallery HERE.  Or click on the pictures below:

         Jeff Buckley --- Raw 24 x 36 LR

Have Your Say and Avoid Being Bitten

  • What does this painting say to you?  You can be honest, I promise I won’t bite or take anything personally (just leave your name and street address where I can find you alongside your comment!  lol).
  • What does Jeff Buckley’s music mean to you?
  • If you didn’t know who he was, did you feel enticed to listen to his songs?
  • If yes, what did you think?
  • Did you feel that there was no need to listen because you ‘got it’ straight away?
  • What emotions arise when you listen to him or look at this painting?
  • Are they congruent?

Spill your beans, please.  After all, I told you I got all swampy in my pants (the ice has been broken and melted all at the same time) — you can’t get more personal than that!

Hitting the Nail on the Head

To get the interpretation ball rolling — I sent the final picture to a musician friend of mine who didn’t know much about the artist or his music.

I found what he came up with remarkable for someone who wasn’t familiar with Jeff Buckley.  It’s as if the information of the music was transported through the painting.  Perhaps, as was proposed earlier in this blog, artists can tune into the message behind the music and translate it through visual arts.  I’ll let you be the judge…

This is what my friend had to say:

One definitely does see the emotional – hmmm… turmoil(?) this guy had during his life. What music do you suggest I listen to to get a deeper understanding of it? 

The silver foil on the left reminds me of those staples they used to use on operations patients… i.e. a broken but patched up heart, one that’s been severely injured and not healed completely but very good physicians.
The green hand is definitely somehow connected with it, perhaps someone slipping away that was responsible for it — losing someone? Trying to hold on or not quite being able to touch the heart
The (hand)print ON the heart is interesting too — someone definitely left their touch on his heart.
The (hand)print on the right is almost like a hand in the background — a shadow,  someone in his life that he never really have his heart to or allowed to get to know his heart.
The silhouette above that (looks like of a person) sort of underlines that message — especially because it looks like he’s looking away from the heart, the heart dripping very obviously also indicates an injured heart.
All the noise, colour and excitement below the heart, to me, is like the experiences and life he had, on which his heart is based yet nothing that grounds him or supports his heart. It’s up there in the air, surrounded by chaos — although beautiful chaos at times.
I wonder if the damaged heart has something to do with the experience below in the words “stay in touch”? 
“lovers, this one’s for you” is very interesting as it’s on the “non-accessible” or shadowy side of the heart.
I love the reddish brown eye on the bottom left — something that’s weaved its way into his life that’s severely affected it (negatively)…tearing away at his foundation?”
~ Steven Rafferty
Musician

You may also enjoy:

Healing Through Art — The Gates to Wonderland Just Got Flung Wide Open

How to Artfully Get into Your Element

Zebra Fever — Affordable Art Posters for Your Wall

 5 Easy Steps to Get Your Life Back on Track

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

To recap on Painting 1 — Radiohead, please CLICK HERE

To recap on Painting no. 2 — The Beatles, please CLICK HERE

To recap right from the conception of the Rock Art Series, please CLICK HERE

Hoorah!  I’m back in the saddle with my Rock Art Series.  It’s been a while since I’ve been back in the studio, what with the festive season and Armageddon ‘n all…it was a truly exhausting experience but it’s real good to be in the creative zone once again.

Rocking the New Year!

2013 has kicked off with the sweet and tantalizing sounds of that angelic crooner, Jeff Buckley.

Boy, did this one take me by surprise but I’m not going to reveal all the juicy details in this blog.  No, I’m going to make you wait until next Tuesday’s Art Blog before I reveal all the in’s and out’s of this painting — what made me tick, why it’s dripping with emotion, why I felt the urge to passionately attack the canvas at one point and a visitation by something out of this world?!

Whoa, the excitement!  But on with the show.  Here is the pictorial painting process (alliteration at it’s best):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

And, finally, voila…here is the end interpretation of Jeff Buckley’s music:

Jeff Buckley --- Raw 24 x 36 LR“Raw” by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Acrylic and Mixed Media on Boxed Canvas — 24″ x 36″ x 1.5″

Prints are now available in all shapes and sizes, click on the picture to take you to the print store or ENTER HERE.  Art that is accessible to everyone — there is something to fit any pocket, from postcards @ $2.23 to prints starting from $12.60.

Click here to see the next installment:  How I Got Raw With Jeff Buckley

 Here’s a visual update of all 3 paintings in the series so far…

         Jeff Buckley --- Raw 24 x 36 LR

Painting a Zebra From Scratch

Come Be a Fly on my Studio Wall

Here’s a pictorial blog following me creating one of my ‘close up’ zebra paintings. This has been done with acrylics.

1)  It starts off with a permanent black marker pen on canvas:

Z001

2)  Then I add the lighter colour first in between the stripes:Z002

3)  Then comes the black stripes:Z003

4)  The stripes are finished but the eyes still need to be done:Z004

5)  Now the eyes are done and the finer details are taken care of:Z005

6)  I felt there was still something missing from this painting so I experimented with a blue wash.  I liked the blue tone so much that I did about 2-3 watered down blue washes — I think it gives the painting an air of mystery and intrigue.  It really pops now:Z006

The original was sold at the beginning of 2013 but I have prints available (click on the picture below to take you to the store):

Blue Zebra — Cherie Roe Dirksen

You may also enjoy:

Zebra Fever — Affordable Art Posters for Your Wall

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

Never-Before-Seen Photographs of How I Paint my Patterned Poppies

Secrets of the Trade

In the fabulous world of art, I am probably best known for my gold patterned motif  ball-breaking backgrounds that are usually laced with flowers in the foreground — which, in more cases than not, happen to be poppies (just because I am so very fond of them).

Here is the finished result (the original is for sale at SAATCHI — click on picture to take you to the gallery):

I managed to photograph the process.

This is the first time I have ever done this and am now going to show you my best kept secret — drum-roll please…

I hope you enjoy seeing the project unfold:

1.  It starts off rather dull and messy, laying a black foundation…

2.  When the foundation layer of black has dried, I chalk out the poppy layout…

3.  Then I start adding the gold motif with an acrylic liner (a squeeze tube with gold acrylic paint inside).  As you can see below, I have to sign the painting before it is actually finished so I can work around the signature with the pattern…

Because this one is so large, I have to lay it on its side to get to the various different parts otherwise my arm will drop off with the effort…

4.  With the background finished, I can now start to add the colour to my poppies…

5.  I keep on adding layers of colour until I get that rich lustre I am after…

6.  Last, but not least, I add the gold stamen work to finish off the painting…

The painting is finished (and so is the artist…lol)!

You can purchase prints of the above by CLICKING HERE or on the picture below:

Red Poppies by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Other articles you may enjoy:

Rock Art Series Painting no. 3 — Jeff Buckley ‘Raw’

How To Branch Out — Painting Scenes With Trees

A Look Behind the Scenes — Painting an Abstract Landscape

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

If you want to recap on my last article about beginning this Beatles project, please CLICK HERE.

If you want to recap on the whole ROCK ART series BEGIN HERE

Let’s get on with the big reveal…

Whimsical, Colourful, Bright and Vibrant

The title just encapsulates the outcome of this project.  It is just dripping with juicy hues, abstract sensations and psychedelic fantasy.  But what would you expect from a painting inspired purely by listening to the Beatles — non-stop?

I really felt quite taken back to my youth with this one (no, not quite to the swinging ’60’s — I’m a 70’s baby).  There was just so much reminiscence going on with this painting that a bit of child-like play surfaced in the making of this bold artwork.

Compared to the Last

When I put the Radiohead painting up next to this one, I really get a sense of what I’m trying to achieve with this Rock Art project.  They couldn’t be more different!

I am going to have a pictorial comparison at the end of this blog for all you curious types.  Please feel free to share your views.

Without Much Ado…

Here is the final product:

Here is that comparison between the Radiohead painting and The Beatles one:

    

As you can well see, the difference is quite apparent.  So there really is something in this whole experiment with painting to different types of music.  My curiosity is peaked and I am now really looking forward to doing the rest of this series.

Because Muse has just released their 6th album (2nd law), they are going to be next in line — can’t wait to see what cosmic waves are going to come out of my paint pots this time.

The Title — Help!

Before I sign off, I haven’t come up with a title for this yet.  I was wondering if perhaps you could contribute any suggestions you may have that would befit this painting — the title needs to sum it all up.

Please leave your suggestions in the comment section below.  Any feedback, critique or just general banter are welcome!

UPDATE:  The title is ‘Metamorphic Dilatation’ (the process of changing and expanding)

Albums that I listened to in the Making of This:

Rubber Soul

Magical Mystery Tour

Abbey Road

Sgt. Pepper

Help!

Revolver

My husband told me that it’s John’s birthday soon (9 October)…so,

‘Happy Birthday, John’ — missed but never forgotten, your music lives on in all of us! 

Related Articles:

What Radiohead Looks Like Through The End of My Brush

Rock Art Series — The Beatles

Rock Art Series — The Beatles

Yes, I know I have kept you waiting for the second piece of this series but wait no longer!

For those of you who have not been following the ‘Rock Art’ journey, you can check out what’s been going on (within you and) without you here: 10 Bands, 10 Paintings — Let the Rock Art Begin!

I’m Such a Tease!

Well, this is just another teaser pictorial blog because the painting isn’t quite finished yet. However, the groundwork has been laid and we are good to go in the colorizing department.  This painting is done a bit arse about face (an idiom for arranging the opposite way to the way it should be) but that is typical of someone who has their head stuck in alternate realities.

I have inked out the content and now I’m going to be adding the delectable and bright colors that are just waiting to burst forth onto the canvas.  It’s going to be a bit like a coloring-in book, I guess.  How exciting and unprecedented this Rock Art series is turning out to be — such toe-tingling excitement!

Painting No. 2 — Let Me Present….

I have decided it is the turn of The Beatles to rock ‘n roll their way onto my second canvas in this series.  As I’m sure you’ll notice, the effect is rather different from the Radiohead painting.  Well, it should be!

They’re both great bands but worlds apart.  I really got a feeling of animated abstract fun and foolishness when I went into ‘Beatles’ mode.  It brought back a lot of childhood memories and whimsical, magical (mystery tours?), experimental modes.

A Girl with a Plan!

This time I was savvy and started writing out all the emotions that were coming up as I was setting out the drawing (I squiggled them down on the side of the canvas — pure genius even if it does look a bit untidy).

Here are a few keywords I wrote down.  Yes, some are rather strange, I admit — but this is what came up for me:

  • Fun
  • Candid
  • Innovative
  • Serious
  • Rigid (?)
  • Abstract
  • Exciting
  • Mentally Delicious

I like the last one, I think that sums up The Beatles quite well…maybe not mental, but certainly aurally delicious.

I am not revealing the picture as a whole but have cut it up into segments to add to the intrigue.  Here are some sneak peeks of the painting :

    

You can see it in its entirety when it is finished.  If you think it looks busy now, wait until the hue shows its face!

I hope to have the full color version for you within the next 2 weeks, so do tune in to the Tuesday Art/Creativity blog here by hitting that ‘follow this blog’ button in the left-hand sidebar of the homepage or at the bottom of the page (yeah, that wafty ‘follow’ button-thingy that should be following your every move).

For All You Shy Little Sausages

Oh, and one last thing…so many people write to me privately and tell me about the creative projects that they have undertaken.  I love to hear about your experiments but please share them with everyone!  It would be great if you could tell us what you are getting up to in the studio or what you have done in the past that’s new and innovative — don’t be shy, we’re all eager to hear about your creations.  Leave a comment… :D

TO VIEW THE FINISHED PAINTING CLICK HERE!

Song Playlist — Radiohead Albums That Made The Art

What I Listened To…

As promised in last weeks blog, I will reveal today the albums I listened to during the creation of ‘Escapism’.  If you have been following this Rock Art Series blog then great, if not you can recap by starting here.

“As we were walking and talking about this I caught a glimpse of my companions face under the hood — yes ladies and gentlemen, it was a very young and blonde Thom Yorke …”

In no particular order, they were:

Some of my favourite songs at the moment are ‘Lotus Flower’ (fan-blooming-tastic video!), ’15 Steps’, ‘Little by Little’ and ‘Bodysnatchers’.  I have also had the great honour of seeing them live in London on their ‘Hail to the Thief’ album tour in 2003 — what an experience!

I unfortunately did not have enough time to listen to ALL their albums (as I would have so loved to have done), so what I listened to in the above track-list must have been relevant in some way to the picture.  I just went with the flow and stopped when I felt it necessary.  I like to think that everything has a quantum reason for taking place, which brings me to my dream…

Bloody Weird or Maybe Not!

I had a dream a few days ago about the painting.

I was walking with a hooded figure who was discussing the painting and linking it to the root chakra (what I like to call the poop chakra ’cause you usually associate that one with letting go of the crap).  For those of you who don’t know, the root chakra is associated with your anus.

‘Escapism’ by Cherie Roe Dirksen (below)

As we were walking and talking about this I caught a glimpse of my companions face under the hood — yes ladies and gentlemen, it was a very young and blonde Thom Yorke (the ‘Pablo Honey’ days look).

We then stopped at the painting and he said that it had a coded message in it, one that I subconsciously painted into the picture and it had to do with letting go.  Particularly for parents of daughters who were finding it hard to ‘let them go’.

Interesting…it’s like one of those ridiculous stories from Ripley’s ‘believe it or not’…lol.  Or maybe not.  I have witnessed and experienced enough hoodoo lately to make this just a drop in my ocean of the weird and inexplicable.

So if the dream is true — great!  If not, well…‘nice dream’...he he.

Emotions While Painting

Okay, I jotted down a few things that were coming up for me or going through my mind as I was painting.  I’m going to list it in point-form so you can better understand the end result of the painting:

  • Other worldly/out of this world
  • Expressing and experiencing emotional pain and anguish
  • Also experiencing pleasure
  • Loss and frustration
  • Chaotic sound that blends into perfect harmony/order
  • Orgasmic sounds in the mix and off-beats
  • Being unconventional/out-of-the-box living
  • Being different and yet fitting in anyway
  • A celebration of being different

I absolutely love their production and orchestration of complete chaos and bizarre beats that amalgamate to produce the tastiest, funkiest songs I have had the pleasure to bathe my ears in.

To end of with:  My husband and I (yes, I sound like the queen) went to see a horror movie over the weekend and the ticket man said ‘Why are you going to see such a creepy movie?’,  to which I solemnly replied, ‘We are creepy people’.

I am proud to be different and, thanks to Radiohead, we can proudly display the creep within.

What Radiohead Looks Like Through The End of My Brush

When I started out with this ‘Rock Art’ project, I had no idea how it would turn out and tried to have no expectations of what to expect from myself.

To recap on this series, please read:

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

The Grand Band Reveal is Today!

Radiohead — A Teaser Pictorial ‘Rock Art’ Peek

I gave myself permission for complete artistic freedom, pleasing nobody but myself in the process.  So, in short,  I just let loose on the canvas and did what I felt compelled to do.

I am happy to show you the first painting of this 10 part series.  I have called it ‘Escapism’.

Available as prints — click on the picture.

Here are some close-ups and segments of the painting:

Thanks to Radiohead for the out-of-this-world inspiration!

I am going to run through my emotions and what inspired me to paint what I did in next Tuesdays blog as well as reveal what albums I was listening to.

For now, I would love to hear your feedback and comments about what you see here.

  • Is it what you expected?
  • Or does this not say ‘Radiohead’ at all for you?

It will be interesting to get your take on it.

Next in this series:

Rock Art Series — The Beatles

What The Beatles Look Like From the End of my Paintbrush

Radiohead — A Teaser Pictorial ‘Rock Art’ Peek

Please read my previous 2 blogs in this series:

10 Bands, 10 Paintings…Let the Rock Art Begin!

The Grand Band Reveal is Today!

Now to continue…

A Work in Progress

Ok, I know, I was supposed to have at least one finished by today — it just didn’t happen.

However, I have made a definite start and to prove it I have decided to give my viewers a sneak peek at the painting.  Here are the first 2 steps I took photo’s of whilst painting (first stage painted whilst listening to ‘We suck your blood’…hmmmmm — can you tell?):

     

I have cut the rest of the painting up into segments, just to add to the enigma…here are some of the ‘parts’ of the painting:

 It’s going to be interesting to see what impression you conjure up in your imagination as opposed to how the whole thing looks at the end (to be unveiled in next Tuesdays blog, God willing).

Let me know what your thoughts are:

  • Are these the colours you expected?
  • Are the textures, subject matter and vibes what you imagined?

My husband said that this is not at all what he gets when he listens to Radiohead but that’s the point!  Everyone will bring their own interpretation to a piece of music — perspective is a grand thing. :)

Now you can go directly to the next blog HERE

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How To Branch Out — Painting Scenes With Trees

Here is a step-by-step visual guide taken whilst painting one of my latest pieces called ‘Mysterious Unknown’.

You will see, further on in this blog, that I decided to try my ‘upside-down drip technique’ on the trees — I was branching out (yup, I had to say that!).

Specs

It is an acrylic on canvas — 30″ x 36″.

Inspiration Behind the Art

I wanted to create a feeling of excited but anxious anticipation with this piece. A feeling of not knowing what lies ahead because you just can’t quite make it out but also being curious and elated about what might be there…the air of mystery that hangs in front of us, just before we step into change.



Mildly interesting note:  Even when I am painting the background layer (as seen above) I am mindlessly doodling circles and spirals.  My hand just can’t stop the motion of the universal ocean (I’m a poet and I don’t know it…yeah, yeah).



Fancy This On Your Wall?

The original has found its home in Australia but, if you click on the photo below, you can purchase greeting cards and prints.

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy these too:

Art In The Making — A Step-by-Step Guide on Painting Landscapes

A Look Behind the Scenes — Painting an Abstract Landscape

5 Tips on Getting Back In The Groove


Don’t forget to claim your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration….’ (along with other bonus free gifts)

My Art Portfolio book is also available as a glossy paperback (click on book to take you to the bookstore)

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for daily inspiration and articles:

    

Art In The Making — A Step-by-Step Guide on Painting Landscapes

I decided to photograph my latest abstract landscape project as I was about to try something new — ‘dripping’ technique…you’ll see later on in this blog.

The Making of The Layered Landscape

But enough chitter chat, let’s get to the pictures…the first one was taken ‘the night before’ the painting was actually going to commence.  This is what is called the ‘first coat’ stage.  It is the application of the first layer of paint in the background and pretty much looks like a dogs breakfast:

Now with a good nights sleep in the bag, it’s time to do the second layer:

Yes, it still looks like a dogs breakfast!

Now you can sort of see where this might be going…

Adding some details to the background…

Adding a bit of palette knife work…

This is the ‘new’ technique of letting the paint drip down the canvas — I rather like the effect of this…

This is the final stage, nearly there…just need to add some final touches…then, voila — the finished product!

The original got sold the very next day but this is available as prints and greeting cards — click on the picture below to take you to the store:

The Layered Landscape by Cherie Roe Dirksen

Thanks for joining me on my painting journey…

And just remember:  The Earth without ‘art’ is just ‘eh’…


Don’t forget to claim your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration….’ (along with other bonus free gifts)

My Art Portfolio book is also available as a glossy paperback (click on book to take you to the bookstore)

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for daily inspiration and articles:

    

New Beginnings…Building up an Art Collection from Scratch

Faith Repaid

A couple of weeks ago I had a buyer who practically cleaned out my stock of paintings.  This was great as I was still trying to source funds for a trip to Egypt I had already booked.  My theory behind booking the holiday before I had the funds was:

  1. I am using the Law of Attraction and you must have faith that what you need is on its way
  2. I will procrastinate about going for the rest of my life if I didn’t make a move NOW
  3. I had finally convinced my husband that we NEEDED to go (lol) after many years of begging and never being able to be on the same page about this particular destination.  He had a bad experience going through Cairo on his way to Israel many years ago.  So, again, I felt the time for action had finally reared its persistent head.

Manifestation Elation

Right, so with all that said, I licensed some of my art to a home goods chain store in the US and sold most of my art collection after I had put my trust in the manifestation of the money process and had gone ahead and booked the holiday.  Fancy that?!

Now What?

Now here I sit.  My site where I sell my work is looking very bleak at the moment and I am pressed for time with mustering up another collection as my trip is literally around the corner and the paperwork is still being processed, which leaves me anxious about wrapping up the details.

A New Perspective

But then my dear partner pointed out that this is a whole new beginning for me — a clean slate to start afresh.

“I know about the law of least effort (thanks to Deepak Chopra) and I am applying it to my life.”

No matter how long it takes to build this up again, I get the chance to truly go further into what I want to paint and how long I take doing it is entirely up to me.  There should be no pressure with the creative process, only enjoyment and true expression of what needs to come out and manifest in this reality.

So with that in mind, I will be starting this new adventure by going out into the big wide world and seeking the beauty and inspiration I need to get this new collection on the go.

The ‘old’ me would be frantically running around like a headless chicken trying to paint and build up some stock but the ‘new’ me knows better.  I know about the law of least effort (thanks to Deepak Chopra) and I am applying it to my life.  I have given myself no time limits and will now let it flow naturally…

I promise to document the process, so look out for this in my Tuesday Art Blog.

Thanks for looking!

Don’t forget to claim your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration….’ (along with other bonus free gifts)

My Art Portfolio book is also available as a glossy paperback (click on book to take you to the bookstore)

 

 

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for daily inspiration and articles:

    

A Look Behind the Scenes — Painting an Abstract Landscape

Photographing the Stages of Painting an Abstract Landscape

I photographed the process of painting one of my big landscapes.  I thought it would make an interesting pictorial blog.

I have done a detailed description at the end of this blog outlining the inspiration and details that went into the piece, along with the title and measurements.

The original is sold but it is available as prints, posters and greeting cards.

 Here it goes:

And then finally, drum-roll please, the finished product:

Cosmic Dance by 

Acrylic and textured acrylic on Canvas — 40″ × 30″

INSPIRATION BEHIND THE ART:

It probably goes without saying that I love the work of Van Gogh. I had a dream the night before I embarked on this painting.

I was in a field and was looking up at the night sky and the stars. I’m not sure if the spirit of Van Gogh was with me or if he was standing by my side, but I was being shown how he saw the night sky. How the stars looked like wormholes and were dancing and twinkling. When I woke up I knew exactly how I wanted to paint this picture and this is the product.

This painting was also done to the sounds of Tchaikovsky. I was also burning lavender and vanilla essence which is very calming and soothing, and vanilla is said to be an aphrodisiac — so this painting is one for the bedroom!

(PS.  No, I don’t paint in my Sunday best — this was taken the day after I finished)

Thanks for looking!

Don’t forget to subscribe and receive your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration….’

My Art Portfolio book is also available (click on book to take you to the bookstore)

You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for daily inspiration and articles:

    

5 Tips on Getting Back In The Groove

Lost your Mojo?

This can apply to any creative endeavour.  When you feel like you have done all there is to do or that you just don’t know where to turn next, you have lost your groove!

“I was selling out and painting what the public wanted.”

I was feeling really stifled a while ago (actually, it was only about a month ago) with my art. I felt like I was selling out and painting what the public wanted.  I really wanted to get into my own style and flavour of art.  But I was holding myself back.

I wrote quite a few blogs on the process that you can read here:

The Space Within Series — Inner Art

Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Got It! Inner Art Expression Expressed

Digging even deeper…Inner Art Expression

I just want to outline a few steps that you can take to find your creative space.

5 Tips for Getting Your Groove On:

  • Quiet Time — Meditate on the problem and the solution.  Give yourself some time-out to reflect and to plot your new course of action.  You can’t just pile one idea on top of another, this will make you feel scattered and all over the place.  Lay to rest what you have been doing that no longer serves you and make way for the new.
  • Space — Give yourself a proper working space.  Your very own creative space where you can go to when you are feeling inspired or to get inspired.  A place that will trigger your creativity.  If you already have one but it doesn’t work then look around you, does it need a clean up?  Can you make it a working space?  Are you holding yourself back by dumping things in your creative space and cluttering it up so that you won’t have to use it?  Or worse,  you use this as an excuse for why you can’t get anything done.
  • Creative Time — Allocate yourself time for your passion.  It can be an hour a day or a week.  Whatever is realistic to you.  Hold yourself accountable for that time.  Get a whiteboard and plot out a schedule on it, put it somewhere where you will see it everyday.
  • Freedom — Allow yourself to express whatever needs expressing.  Give yourself the freedom to step out of any box you may have built around your unique talents.  Do what you feel like doing.  No matter how bizarre it may seem to you in the moment.  These things have a way of unraveling themselves with divine perfection and timing.
  • Plan — When you are in the zone it feels amazing.  What happens when you are finished with this project though?  This is the process of life, we usually get nicely wrapped up in the journey but when we arrive, there is a sense of disappointment.  Give yourself a game plan to work on for the next creative explosion.  Mark out on your board when you are going to begin, what you need and where you will take yourself to find the necessary inspiration.  Even if the original idea morphs into something completely different — it is a starting point.

Paint on Canvas

Using the techniques above, here are my last 3 projects that have given me so much satisfaction.  I have been using acrylic, textured acrylic and spray paint and it has been a blast!

Let me know what you think.  I have also included some photos of me with the paintings, so you can get a feel for the size of the paintings…

I am happy to say that the originals have found new homes but they are all available as prints (click on photo’s to take you to store).

The 2 above have been purchased by the same client, so they are sharing a home which is kind of nice to know.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and inspired?  Please share your tips and secrets with us.

If you are feeling stuck with inspiration, why not subscribe now and get your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration…’ — no strings attached!  Click on picture below to sign up, you will receive your copy in the welcome e-mail:

Creative Expression

Digging Even Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Please read the past articles relating to this blog HERE (Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression) and HERE (Got It!  Inner Art Expression Expressed).

The Cosmos on a Canvas

A couple of weeks ago my hand, brush, paints and right brain hemisphere took my canvas on a journey into a very colourful cosmos.  Here is the outer manifestation of this inward expression:

‘The Bridge’ — Acrylic on Canvas — 18″ x 24″ 

I hope you like it.

If you are an artist, what are your biggest stumbling blocks?  What do you still wish you could do or want to achieve?

If you are an art lover, then what do you like to see in a piece of art?  What get’s you going?

I would love to hear from you…

Got It — Inner Art Expressed!

Please recap on last weeks article HERE.

I left off with saying that I still felt something was wrong.  An inner imbalance, something was crying out!

What Could Possibly Be Amiss?

I sat on my couch looking at my painting, still feeling that something was out of alignment.  Do I still have to dig even deeper?

“If you don’t try, you’ll never know…”

A voice seemed to be asking me questions in my head.

Higher Guidance from my Higher Self (HS)?

HS:  What are you feeling?

Me:  Constricted.

HS:  Why?

Me:  I want to paint bigger.

HS:  A-ha!  You’ve been wanting to do that for the past 2 years now.  What is stopping you?

Me:  Big canvas is expensive and it means more paint and materials — I also want to experiment with different materials and it is all costly.

HS:  If you don’t try, you’ll never know.  Take the expense risk just for one week and see how it goes.

Me:  OK.

Stepping Out of the Box

It dawned on me how I put myself in a box.  I subconsciously and consciously limit myself by talking myself out of something for whatever reason.  And usually, they are not good reasons.

“You’ve got nothing to lose except living with regret for not trying.”

If you don’t try, you’ll never know.  So try and at least you can say you have taken that step.  If you succeed — great!  If you don’t, well then just see it as feedback.  You’ve got nothing to lose except living with regret for not trying.

So with that in mind, I came up with this:

I have called it ‘The God Code after the revelations that Gregg Braden has discovered that we possess a code in our DNA that literally translates, in Hebrew, to ‘God Eternal, in the body’.

I also had an epiphany to use all 4 senses whilst painting, I mean why not?!?  Before I started I got the distinct message that I was going to paint something that was healing and enlightening to the observer.  So I wanted to incorporate smell, touch, spirit and sound (I left taste out, for obvious reasons — unless you want a tongue full of chemicals!).

So this painting has been infused with:

  1. Rosemary and Lavender (I instinctively chose these two out of my garden.  When I later looked up the properties, you guessed it, lavender is for healing and Rosemary is for remembering — which you could say would be ‘enlightening’).  I made a tea out of it and used it in my brush water.  I also lit myrrh incense which is apparently good for tranquility.
  2. Prayer for the observer to obtain healing and enlightenment through the art/visual resonance (trying to emulate Dr. Masaru Emoto‘s fine work with water and the effects that positive words and emotions has on it).
  3. Bach.  I played my Bach CD on repeat until I was finished with the painting.  So it is infused with sacred, cosmic sound.
  4. Different textures.  I used a great granulated paint that is awesome to touch.  I also used a glass liner to add some raised pattern effects.

Let me know what you think?  What comes up for you when you look at this painting?  Come on, let me have it — the good and the bad.

Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Please read last weeks art blog HERE to recap on this interesting new artistic expression I have discovered in me.

Boring…

This week I started off doing my usual weekly art schedule.  Painting pretty pictures (you know, the ones that ‘sell’) and when I got to the end of the day this one popped out.

It truly took me by surprise as I didn’t know I had it in me.

What Sparked It?

I was listening to a talk on Project Camelot by Compton Rom Bada from ascendedhealth.com (do check it out — quite remarkable!).  In a nutshell, it was about how our body is made out of 90% microbes and while I was listening and painting — what I thought was going to be a cosmos painting — started automatically painting what looks like the ‘inner body’.  The microcosm cosmos.

Let it Flow

I love how my hand was just running over the canvas and splashing and doing all sorts of ‘things’ that I don’t normally do.  I just went with the flow and enjoyed the process.

Quite interestingly, the painting only took me about half an hour to complete.  I usually take about 2-3 hours for this size.  So there we have the law of least effort in place and working.

I sat on the couch after this episode and looked at the painting.  I liked it — it was different and different is good for me now.  Something was still wrong though…

The Missing Link by Cherie Roe Dirksen

I will let you know in next weeks art blog the epiphany I had!  And, hopefully, will have some tangible evidence thereof….

The Space Within Series — Inner Art

Artistic Frustration

I am experimenting with what I like to call ‘inner art’.  I have always been intrigued with abstract art and especially art that explores patterns, sacred geometry, space, shapes and colour.

“This series is going to be a reflection of how I feel inside, what is desperate to come out.”

But, professionally, I paint more traditional art and cater to ‘the market’.  This series is going to be a reflection of how I feel inside, what is desperate to come out.  Don’t get me wrong, I love painting the things I do, it’s just sometimes I want to ‘break free’ of the conformity and do something purely for myself.

“Whether we are looking through a microscope at the inner workings of our bodies or whether we are looking through a telescope at the cosmos — I can see a notable link.” 

The colours and shapes are all a mix of the inner space coming out into the material world.  I love the theory that we are a microcosm for the macrocosm, as within so without.

Our bodies are made up of omni-central atoms, everything is circular and has the sacred geometry formula.  Whether we are looking through a microscope at the inner workings of our bodies or whether we are looking through a telescope at the cosmos — I can see a notable link.

Unity Principle

The Universal Unity Theory — for me — is the certainty that every one and every thing is connected on some level and I hope this comes across in my art

‘A leap of faith’ (painting above) represents the push into the unknown.  This is something I have been battling with recently and decided to express it through painting.

I want to be free to do what I want, paint what I want, say what I want — a leap into integrity, I suppose.  Wouldn’t the world just be a wonderful place if we could all express ourselves freely and without judgement or fear?

What are your thoughts on freedom of expression and the fear of ‘exposing’ yourself?

Left:  A close up of ‘A Leap of Faith’

Art Commissions — The Soulworks Project (Part 4)…The Finished Product!

Please read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to recap.

Let’s Pick Up with a Hiccup!

So I left off last weeks blog with a slight hiccup…

My client came to see the painting and she liked it but I could sense something was bothering her.

“I had misinterpreted her want for silver, black, a hint of green, pink and purple tones to mean that was all the colours she wanted in the piece.”

When we got into it she divulged that she had wanted more of an orange/pink glow in the sunset and that the whole painting was a bit monotone.  I had misinterpreted her want for silver, black, a hint of green, pink and purple tones to mean that was all the colours she wanted in the piece.

This turned out not to be the case.

What to do next?

I listened to her requests and told her that I would first come up with a digital overlay of what she was asking for.

“It is important to listen to the needs of your client…”

I do this to see what the painting will look like with the changes and if it actually suits the painting.  Here is what I came up with:

What I did here was take the photo of the painting and use the ‘airbrush’ feature in my Ulead programme (most photo editing packages have an airbrush feature) to paint in the required adjustments.

I saw that it actually brought the picture to life.

It is important to listen to the needs of your client but it is also important to stick with the integrity of the painting.  What does that mean?

Integrity Check

Well, if I feel that the changes that the client wants do not fall in line with the artwork then I will let them know.  If I feel strongly that it will ‘take away’ from the artwork, then I try to explain the potential hiccups in changing the piece.

However, in this case, the changes my customer wanted actually enhanced the artwork and I had to agree with her in the end, that it was for the betterment of the piece.

Once we had discussed all the little changes she wanted, I went back to the drawing board (or easel, in this case).

The Finished Project

After implementing the final adjustments to the painting, the Soulworks Project was complete!

Here is a picture of the finished artwork.

Available as cards and prints – click here

My client was thrilled it now hangs in her office/consulting room and she now uses it on her business cards and brochures as well as her website.  Check out her site at www.soulworks.co.za.

Don’t forget your FREE copy of my book ‘Creative Expression’GET IT HERE

How to find your inspiration…

Art Commissions — The Soulworks Project (Part 3)…Painting the Picture

Please read Part 1 and Part 2 if you wish to recap.

Let The Painting Begin…

So with the prelim sketch having been accepted, the real work starts.  You will see, in the photographs below,  just why I never show the client the process.

Layering

Art is done in stages and layers and, usually, only the artist can see where they are going with the process.  If someone were to step into your studio, say, whilst you were busy with your first layer, they would — no doubt — think you were an amateur.

“The reward for any artist is seeing the process evolve into your visualization of it.”

Paintings are built up layer upon layer until the desired outcome is realized.  The reward for any artist is seeing the process evolve into your visualization of it.

Here are the beginning stages:

The canvas is good to go…

The first layer begins…

The second layer starts and you begin to see where this is going…

And then, drum roll, the finished product (or is it?)

Just to recap, here is the prelim sketch that I worked from:

I was very clear with my client that the prelim sketch would not show the intensity of the acrylic paint colours.  The sketch is always just an ‘idea’ of the colour scheme.

Next…

The next step in the process is to e-mail a photo of the painting to the client.  In this case, my client came to see it in person.  

The Plot Thickens — Hitting Unforseen Snags

This is where things get interesting.  Next week I will give the final stage in this commission and divulge what to do if your client has a slight change of mind or vision for the project.

Read  Part 4

Art Commissions — The Soulworks Project (Part 2)…the Prelim Sketch

Please read Part 1 HERE

The Sketch

The next step of the commission process is to provide the client with a rough colour sketch of the proposed artwork along with a detailed description of how you got there.

With all the specs my client gave me (please see Part 1), I came up with this sketch and then gave her an explanation of how I got to this stage by providing her with the inspiration behind the piece.

INSPIRATION BEHIND THE PIECE.

The trees represent mankind/womankind with their arms (branches) stretched out to the heavens and the feet firmly rooted in the earth.  However, to the left of the painting are a couple of souls who are still turned to the darkness – the illusion of reality and who they are – not being able to turn to the light (sun) yet.  There is one soul making her way to the river to cross it and join the others (she has her branches stretched out to them) on the other side who have fully awakened to the light of the dawn that is upon them.

I have subtly put various branched protruding from the trees turned to the dark to show the obstacles they still have to clear (branches to be pruned)…the trees on the other side of the river are streamlined and facing upwards.

The sun represents the light and the new dawn in one’s life.  The ‘enlightened’ trees are gravitating more toward the sun/light.

The river will reflect silver tones of the light (reflections of the sun/dawn) reaching every corner of the world through the stream of ever flowing energy that can’t be stopped.  It passes the lavender field, nourishing it and causing the flowers to bloom (carrying the theme of flowers being the manifestation of a plant’s enlightenment).

The lavender to the left are swaying in the direction of the right – where the painting is being directed – the blossoming of full consciousness.

The wash of butterflies heading toward the flowers begin as a mixture of hearts and butterflies, putting across the concept of love and loving yourself enough to let yourself be free and fly in the beauty of creation.  The conclusion of the painting is the 2 butterflies alighted on the flower – they have found the piece/peace of beauty in this world.  That will be the focal point of this painting.

I also liked the concept – for you Tracy – of the female trees being on top of mountains to represent a little personal touch that you can relate to with your climbing and reaching new heights.

Please also note that this is a very rough sketch – it is A4 in size.  You can imagine that the canvases will be a lot more detailed as I will have a lot more space to ‘do my thing’.  This is really just an idea of content and colour.  The real thing always is far more impressive.  For instance, the butterflies will be a lot more detailed – I would like to incorporate some silver swirly design in their wings and want them to perhaps be more of a lilac colour (like white with a hint of purple).  So they will be more detailed as will the lavender and the mountains, trees, etc.  I want to subtly incorporate the patterned backgrounds I do (in silver) onto the mountains (I have done a little bit of this in the sketch but it will feature more prominently in the painting).

The next stage (Part 3 — next Wednesdays blog, 25th January 2012) I will show you the process of painting and why I never show the client the painting while it is a work-in-progress. To follow this blog via e-mail and get instant updates when a new blog is posted, please click the ‘follow’ button in the sidebar.

Read Part 3 & Part 4


Art Commissions — The Soulworks Project (Part 1)…meeting with the client

A step-by-step guide on how a commission is put together

A lot of artists would like to know how one goes about starting a commission and there are also a lot of people who would like to have something commissioned but are too scared to ask.

What is the procedure and what is involved in the process of a commission?

The Key Steps

  • Meet with the client and get a feel for what they want — show them your portfolio
  • If you accept the job, the next step is to supply the client with a quotation for the job (upon acceptance of the quote, I usually require a deposit of 50%)
  • Draw up a prelim sketch of the artwork and give a detailed synopsis of how you got to this stage with the information and specs the client has given you
  • Start the job and show the client the finished work (I usually refrain from showing the client the process as it could cause confusion, as you will see in the blogs to come)
  • Present the client with the finished painting — I usually send a photograph before they actually see it ‘in the flesh’
  • Voila (oh, and get the rest of your payment!)

In the weeks to follow, I will be taking you through the last commission that I did for a very special client who wanted a triptych for her office.  I will be addressing every step that is taken up until the painting is delivered.

Today’s Art Blog is going to look at the first step:  Q&A

Step 1 — What does your client want?

This is obviously a very important step and one of the deciding factors if you and your client are on the same page.  When you have finished questioning your clients likes and dislikes, you can assess whether or not you resonate with each other and the project.

I never take on a commission that I don’t feel comfortable with.  If it goes against my style, principles or anything else, this step will let me know if I will proceed with the client to the next stage which is quoting for the job.

Here were my clients specs for this commission:

She wanted to incorporate

  • Nature
  • Butterfly (part of her logo)
  • Silver spirals/patterns
  • Peace
  • Connection
  • Mountains
  • Well-being
  • Joy, Beauty and Fulfillment
  • Inspiration
  • Passion
  • Green, purple and silver colours
More specs from the client — you can never know too much, only too little!

When we discussed these ideas, she conveyed to me that she liked the spiral patterns I use in my art (see picture below for example) and she also liked the idea of having a human form in a tree (see my other picture below).

 “It is vital that you show your client a portfolio…”

This was important information and got me on track to visualizing this piece.  It is vital that you show your client a portfolio so they can point out the colours, subjects and styles they like of yours.  It also helps the client get an idea of what you are capable of doing.

As she is having this painting commissioned for her office, we also delved into her practice and what that entails.  She is an NLP practitioner (Neuro-linguistic Programming) who wants something pleasant for her clients to look at whilst in they are in session.  It has to be something that ties in with what she offers.

Next week I will be posting the prelim sketch of the painting along with the detailed synopsis of how I interpreted her needs.

Read Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Painting Dolphins

As promised, in my previous blog about whales (read here), this art blog is going to be about painting dolphins.  As I explained in the ‘Why you have to love whales’ blog – I live in Cape Town and am privileged to see these beautiful mammals expressing their joyous souls on a regular basis.

I have not, sadly, swum with them (yet) – as was the case with the whale – but I have seen pods of dolphins in the False Bay area and what a sight and fuel for inspiration they are!

I have no fantastic tales (or tails) to regale with today so I am simply going to stick to the technical aspects of painting underwater scenes…

The technical side of painting underwater (and no, not physically!)

Dolphins - Cherie Dirksen original paintingPainting underwater scenes are quite involved as they require a lot of layering.  This ‘wash’ of blue that needs to be repeated until the desired effect is achieved, needs time and patience…and I paint in acrylics – for those who paint in oils the process takes even longer as the drying time is slower.

  1. The first layer consists of getting the basic blue background started – then I apply the subject matter.
  2. When that is done the watered-down blue paint wash layering begins until the right monotone colour is produced and ready to go out into the world.
  3. The most rewarding part of this journey is in the varnishing.  As soon as you apply that coat of gloss varnish the painting comes alive and the water looks wet again (like it does when the paint is first set to canvas).

Magnifique!

Perhaps this can give you a better appreciation of how much time and effort (or in some cases, curses and tears) goes into these deceptively tricky aquatic scenes.

Inspiration

With every work of art comes the inspiration behind it.  With this painting, as with the whale painting, I have put it down in the form of a poem.

The Poem 

‘Dolphins – The Spirit of Freedom’

You never let us forget how to love
How to laugh
How to smile
How to be light-hearted

You never let us forget how to be
In the moment
In this space
In this time

You never let us forget about beauty
About simplicity
About friendship
About sincerity

You never let us forget about fun
Being in the heart
Playing with each other
Soaking up the bliss

You never let us forget why we love you so
Why we feel connected
Why you are important
Why you are here

You never let us forget
Who we are
Why we are
When we are

Please never let us forget

If you also have an affinity for dolphins and would like to splash out and have this original painting gracing your wall – click here for details.  I also have a wide variety of products to choose from with this specific dolphin design – for prints, posters and greeting cards click here, for gift ideas click here.

For those of you who still need convincing about how wonderful dolphins are, please do yourself a favour and watch this incredible short video – your heart will melt…go on, you know you want to. :)

Why You’ve Got to Love Whales (and Paint Them!)

Whales - Cherie Dirksen original painting mammals marine life cetacean

Today’s blog is going to be about the mammals of the world beneath the waves and what inspired me to paint this picture (left).

I live in Cape Town, in the False Bay area.  We are privileged to get the annual migration of whales to our seas every year round about July/August.  It is such an inspiration to be able to watch these majestic creatures from the shore as they play and parade their beautiful bodies for us to take snap shots of (I do believe that some of them definitely ‘work it’ for the camera!).

“After much coaxing, my father got me to come down off his shoulders and reach out as this tremendous toddler swam by…”

An Real-Life Encounter with a Human Toddler and a Baby Whale

I was only about 4 years old when I got to touch my first free-range whale.  My father and I where swimming at the notorious Fish Hoek beach (recently been in the news for shark attacks) when a calf – wanting to ‘play’ with another baby (me) – casually made its way towards us.

I was initially terrified, even a baby whale is the size of a small car!

After much coaxing, my father got me to come down off his shoulders and reach out as this tremendous toddler swam by, allowing me to touch it’s back before it swam away back to its mother.

An experience I shall never forget and one that has led me to feel a great bond with them.

“I often get a flipper coming out of the water in recognition (or perhaps telling me to stop)”

My husband often raises an eyebrow when we are out walking along the coastline and I start wailing like Dori from ‘Finding Nemo‘ (you know, the fish character played by Ellen DeGeneres who can ‘talk’ to whales) but I tell you now – it works!  I often get a flipper coming out of the water in recognition (or perhaps telling me to stop).

Inspiring Grace 

But on a more serious note – how can you not be inspired by such creatures?!

My first painting of a whale was a creation of the pure love I have for these amazing mammals.  I am not going to go into too much semantics about them because I put my feelings down in this simple poem…oh go on – have a read then!

Whales – Beloved Cetacean of the Deep

In the depths of the ocean you reside
Anchoring the light for all
Majestic and graceful
You help us from afar
Your song passed down through generations
You never lose sight of your goal
Determined in purpose
Showing the way
Amidst the adversity of lower vibrations
You carry on your star mission

Some of us feel your presence
And we love you and thank you

Like the pod, we are all one
Unity consciousness will prevail
And contracts will be fulfilled 
Our gratitude is yours
As are our hearts

My next blog is going to be about…you guessed it – dolphins.  Well, we can’t leave them out you know.

Related Blogs:

Painting Dolphins