Answers in my Art

4 years ago

I hope you've had a good week so far. This post is a follow up to my Painting Slideshow last week. 

In Answers I will go through a bit of my process and thoughts had during and after my painting. This is actually my favourite painting to date.

I haven't spent much time in the past on colour theory or colour mixing.  I didn't bring every paint tube I own to the workshop (yes, that was hard!) so I would spend a bit more time actually mixing my own colours. Painting with hands = fun and I didn't find colour mixing boring!

I began this painting with sweeping strokes of my hands, palms loaded with acrylic and applied to the watercolour paper until my hands were dry. I used more colour and multiple patterns using my fingers and palms in a dance on the watercolour paper. I saw the emergence of a vibrant red figure with an elongated neck and antlers. Such a thrill to see this image appear! I stopped many times during the layers to put the paper on the floor, standing above it with narrowed eyes to see what wanted to be brought to the foreground. And taking photos for you all to see : )

Most of what I write next is after contemplating the piece and trying to figure out the meaning and the message. My husband took a video of me talking about this painting, but I don't know if I want to share that with you. Seeing yourself on camera is a bit weird and kind of embarrassing as I can get quite animated!

 The crosses are from the first paint layer. I wanted to retain these because I felt at the time they held greater significance but I didn’t know what. I sense that if I'm going to paint anything, I have to feel it otherwise there is no story to share.

I have been working on opening up my solar plexus chakra upwards through to my throat chakra during healing sessions and reiki practice since January.  I can see that my subconscious was clearly engaged in the process of this painting. A-ha! The placement of the cross on the throat and crosses on the chest nearest the heart chakra. 
 
The bull skull and human skull represent her spirit totem animal and I think, a soul fragment returning. I developed these further by adding more colours.  You can see the same colours appearing in all 3 images. I say 'her', because I don't actually know who the figure is at this stage. I added hair in black pencil, purple, black and grey oil pastels and she became the wild woman or crone figure. 

A bull skull has appeared in another painting of mine - it was one I painted during Pixie Campbell's Visual Quest last year. I have yet to complete that one though. Jesse mentioned that to him, the bull skull represents stamina. On further investigation, the bull is symbolic for many cultures and belief systems. The Celtic bull symbol represents strong will, in astrology the bull is Taurus, in Chinese culture it stands for determination and perseverance, in ancient Sumeria it symbolises protection and guardianship, and the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet based on a pictograph and symbolises man's ability to work with Mother Nature and her creatures and symbolises harmony.

The skull is a soul fragment - I believe this emerged due to a recent soul retrieval healing I had. It's like I'm moving towards putting all the pieces of my puzzle back together and leaving behind what no longer serves me. 

The bright green leaves represent new growth and blossoming possibility. The branch antlers and leaves were originally painted by hand up until the last layer where I used a brush to define them more. I know why the antlers became branches, it is because I feel most at peace and deeply connected when I am out in nature. Walking in a national park is bliss to me.

I think the wild woman/crone is a message to look within for answers, to trust my intuition rather than being overly influenced by others and their opinions. Silence the external noise so the answers within become audible enough to hear.

I now feel that this painting has evolved into a self portrait of sorts. She is all the messages, healing and storytelling I have within me, now on paper. The intention is now to trust that the answers will come and that they will emerge from myself rather than elsewhere. 

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post. I will be making this a regular feature with 2 more artworks to come in the next week or 2. What do you think? Is this something that interests you? I would also love to read any posts you have on your art or artwork that you like, please feel free to link in the comments.

http://www.gutsygirl.com.au/1/post/2014/04/answers-in-my-art-her-soul-f…

Sharyn Holmes

www.gutsygirl.com.au

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