See the one I’m working on today

Can you see the woman in the landscape?

Perhaps not yet. I discovered her in another painting several weeks ago. Since then I’ve noticed she’s in a LOT of my paintings!

Dorothy Fagan Studio
Blocking in a new painting

See the one I’m working on today

Inspired by the idea of an abstract woman in my landscapes, a new way of looking at the blank canvas engages me in the studio. More questions than answers, I am intrigued to discover who she really is!

The small painting on the left easel is my inspiration for the large canvas. I have already painted a Gold Ochre underpainting with oil paint. This gives the canvas some tooth to resist my brush strokes.

close up view
A close up view shows how I am marking out the main forms and shapes of my composition.

Sketching Her Out

Using full strength pigment oil paint, without any medium to thin it, I block in the forms and shapes to fill my canvas. This is where I put my body into the painting. Just the size of the canvas itself is approximately the same as my body. This canvas is 30″ wide and 40″ tall, about the size of an adult woman.

sketching her out
Can you see in the thumbnail sketches in my journal, how these simple shapes translate onto the large canvas?

In the journal she is 2″ tall. On the color study she grows to 14″ Then on the large painting she mushrooms to 40″ ~ a full grown woman.

There is a lot you can’t see about her in the sketchbook that blooms in vibrant color on the 14″ study. And there is a LOT more yet to be articulated in the full size painting.

This painting is part of my Awakening Hearts Series. She doesn’t have a name yet. Perhaps I’ll take suggestions as we go along painting her. Post your suggestions in the comments below.

 

30 Paintings to Bring the Goddess Out of Your Mountain

30 Paintings to Inspire, coax, encourage, embolden, console, energize & applaud your goddess . . .

The first painting I ever sold was a pastel landscape I painted in college. The abstract mountain stretched across 3 square pieces of paper. In it was a reclining woman.

Really! I’d painted her from a figure drawing class where we had a live model. In the painting, she was hidden under the mountain, you could hardly see her.

I’d forgotten all about this early painting until last week. Sketching a few dream scribbles in my journal, I saw a woman rise up out of the mountain landscape. OMG!

It’s her! On the pages of my journal, at first I saw her just peeking over the mountain. Then her heart came together in the center, and she raised her wings like an angel taking flight.

dream journal sketches
Thumbnail sketches from my dream journal

I recognized her awkward moves, like a stick drawing in a flip book. Animated stop actions, step by step she finds her heart center. She puts her hands together to pray. Then suddenly I notice she is standing.

Arms overhead, she’s no longer bound by the mountain! How could this be? Her heart open and sparkly stars raining down from the Cobalt Blue heavens. She is energized, courageous, resolved.

dream journal sketches
Sketches from my dream journal

In a flash, I knew I’d found my artistic voice ~ at last I could see the colors ~ brilliant Aquamarine, Deep Turquoise, juxtaposed with heart to heart Vermilion, Deep Cadmium Red, Quinacridone Rose, and Cobalt Violet.

Finally standing in a field of Meadow Green and Jade, my fertile dream is suddenly real, no longer a figment of my imagination.

I’d lost her decades ago, or so I thought. As life dished up its challenges, my mountain grew. (raising 3 sons, surviving an attack, losing my mother to cancer, life challenges particular to me ~ but hey, eveyone has them. How else would the Creator direct us to our creative voice?)

#1 Goddess in the Mountain

Goddess in the Mountain
Goddess in the Mountain, Purchase Info

But, what I want to know is how could it happen so fast, after all this time? How could my mountain vanish? And suddenly in its place is a colorful tapestry of goddess vestments?

How could my paint brush leap to hand, and in a flash my paintings transform from reality to abstract? Overnight, what I thought was reality (the landscape and mountain) is suddenly goddess with vividly colored vestments!

Her head rising like the sun above a gem-encrusted ridge. Footprints in the landscape, the only sign she’d passed.

3 Dream Symbols You Should Know

If the world around you were a dream, what symbols would stand out?

Here are 3 dream symbols to get you started interpreting landscapes of the heart.

Marigold oil painting
Marigold, I Love You Buckets, oil, 6″ x 6″

Marigold, I Love You Buckets

The title of this small painting contains all three. Marigolds, buckets, wildflowers ~ so what do they mean?

Wildflowers

Let’s start with the last one first. The first thing I do is break the word into syllables. Wild flowers, or wild flow-ers ~ The first thing that pops to my mind is, “oh, I AM a wild flower!” A new way of seeing myself, I never thought of myself as a flower.

Then I catch myself re-reading the syllables, wild flow-ers, and the question of flowing comes to mind. Do I flow wildly? Am I a flow-er? Are we in the flow together? You get the idea.

Marigold

I had a pre-conceived idea of marigolds from long ago when they were the only flowers I could grow in my garden. So strong in my mind, I hesitated even to paint these at all. Yet I painted them anyway. So what do they mean? Could it mean that I am giving them a second chance? What else am I giving a second chance in life?

Mari -gold. Could Mari be a woman’s name? Could it mean marry? Be wed to an idea? or a way of doing things? What am I married to? Or is it an instruction for my second chance in life?

Gold? What does the color represent to you? Riches? Precious? Sacred? Write your thoughts in the comments below, or join me in a free online class Exploring the Meaning of Wildflowers & Dreams.

Buckets

So what about buckets? Why buckets and not flowerpots? Buck – it? Buck what? What do I really want to buck? Or is it a container??? If it holds love, what are we doing with it? Who is the bucket?

As you can see, interpreting just these three symbols raises more questions than answers. However, it is living with questions like these that moves the flow of inspiration. If one sticks in mind, write it down in a journal. Giving it physical form on the page magnifies the flow of ideas. Write anything else that flows with it.

Wildflowers at the Light House

Explore the Meaning of Wildflowers & Dreams

Wildflowers at the Light House is an interactive Healing Arts Project created to raise awareness and end violence. Join me in sharing wildflowers and sowing seeds of healing. Share this post and spread the seeds. Thank you for your support! ~ Dorothy Fagan


Did you know??…… 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner. Statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.