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:
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?).
And then finally, one late night (as you can see by the darker shades of the photograph)…I finished it!
Here is the final product:
‘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.
“Trees are amazing life forms as they are grounded and rooted to the earth yet their branches are always caressing the sky — the ultimate metaphor for balance (as above so below, as within so without).”
At the beginning of last week, I found myself in a bit of a funk.
Not only did I have a bout of the despair demons but I also found myself lost in doubt — I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
What am I doing?
Why am I doing it?
Is any of this actually helping me or anyone else?
How am I going to make my rent this month?
Yup, the usual stuff that throws you a curve ball when you least expect it.
That night, I went to bed feeling rather low. I woke up the next morning feeling the same. I sat on my sofa staring at the wall, unwillingly thinking I should just pack it all in and go get a ‘proper’ job. Oh, woe is me!
How can I carry on offering ‘self help’ and creative advice when I am in a quagmire? My mind was tripping out on this dichotomous conundrum.
Of course, this just made me feel worse and less worthy to carry on with the site.
Who’s Only a 100% Organic Human Then?
Life isn’t all about the ups (although they’re great), it’s how to hoist yourself up by the bootstraps when you stumble into a deep hole too.
We’re all human at the end of the day (note to self and any others out there who think they need the ‘stiff upper lip’ approach allthe time!).
Swallowing My Own Pills
Looking back on some of my articles, I decided to take my own advice and go be in nature. After all, I had to prove to myself that I wasn’t talking out of my own ass with the advice I dish out.
So off I went to take a walk on the beach.
Sea Breeze and Water Underfoot
“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.” — William Wordsworth
Holy Carumba! Within 30 minutes I had not only got some decent walking in and some good time to think but I had also done breathing exercises and a bit of gratitude meditation too — I was feeling a lot better.
After all of this, I sat on the sand looking out at the ocean and the beautiful blue sky. What a paradise! I started to chuckle to myself. This was definitely working.
I could feel that depression had completely left me and I was sitting in appreciation.
Get Your Kit Out!
I rushed back to my studio to begin work on some paintings that I saw in a vision whilst I was meditating.
I stuck to Pthalo blues and Emerald greens which are very holistically calming and balancing colours.
I was listening to classical music whilst painting this which I think comes through in the sweeping motion of the cosmic sky.
I beg you to listen to ‘The Aquarium’ by Saint-Saens (below) to truly get the gist of this picture (I have compiled an audio-visual video so you can listen and view the picture at the same time).
This song cropped up on my playlist when I was busy at work and it just fitted so much with the overall feel of this piece.
Branch Codes and Cosmic Undertones
With all that in mind, ‘The Forest Time Forgot’ has a feel of whimsical calmness and universal wonder to it. The trees seem to have taken on a life of their own with ‘facial expressions’ that were not intentional.
Trees are amazing life forms as they are grounded and rooted to the earth yet their branches are always caressing the sky — the ultimate metaphor for balance (as above so below, as within so without).
What do you get/feel/see when you look at this picture?
I was feeling really ‘child-like’ when I painted it. Very adventurous, playful and serene. Does that come across?
Naturally Tried and Tested
So, seriously now, when you find yourself in a funk/void/chasm of doom — get yourself out into nature. I did such a quick turnaround when I decided to take some time out at the seaside — the transformation was just so quick!
The creative surges came through thick, fast and furious. So much so that I managed to pop out 3 paintings this week in 2 days. All the pictures in this blog are the after effects of the beach outing.
Proof that a bit of Gaia therapy works.
Try a bit of the great outdoors next time you feel the demons of despair pounding away at your door.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” — John Muir
To download as your facebook timeline, click on picture then right-click and ‘save image as’ to your computer. You can upload it onto your facebook timeline from your computer.
I’m going to start bringing out some art blogs with colour themes. I know I’ve done this in the past but this time I’m going to have a twist.
The catch with this is looking at art from a zesty new perspective with regard to colour and emotion.
A Spiritually Colourful Palette
As most of you probably know, different colours have different significant meanings. Not only are they used as metaphors — i.e. I’m feeling blue or he was green with envy — but we can also glean meaning from colours with respect to our auric system.
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:
2) Then I add the lighter colour first in between the stripes:
3) Then comes the black stripes:
4) The stripes are finished but the eyes still need to be done:
5) Now the eyes are done and the finer details are taken care of:
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:
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):
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:
Magical Mystery Tour
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!
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. 🙂
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!).
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A few weeks before the end of last year I sat down at my easel in deep thought. I wanted to attempt to paint a picture of how I would like to see the New Earth. What is my ultimate Utopia? What does it look like? What colours are there?
After some quiet time and inner reflection, this is what I came up with…