When a mountain of c%__p weighed down on me in 1995, life became so dark that I gave all my paintings away and stopped painting.
I became invisible. At a party no one noticed me come and go. At work no one heard my ideas.
Yet the Creative flame could not be extinguished.
I felt it as a yearning, an inexplicable urge for color, to paint, to sing out loud.
BUT WHEN I PICKED UP THE BRUSH I COULD NO LONGER PAINT!
My strokes were awkward, colors muddy. No longer at my fingertips were the paintings that had brought me acceptance into The Pastel Society of America, American Artist’s Professional League, Salmagundi Club, the Pastel Society of Canada and all the others.
I had to start again.
Cascading Dreams (aka Lavender Sunset)
A Vision Transformed My Mountain
The end of my journey commenced in France. in 2013, awe-struck with this vision the first day in Provence, I shifted into overdrive at the sight of ancient stone and terra cotta buildings, sprawling down into the landscape, from the town of Gordes. Romanced by a mountain encrusted with layers of civilization, I forgot about the mountain.
I began painting the juxtaposition of structures sprawling into fertile fields. For five years, I tweaked colors in a series of “Cascading Dreams” paintings, never quite satisfied. READ MORE and see the cascading dreams>
When I started this painting, it was not a sunset. I don’t even remember what it was, now that it is finished.
The title was already penciled on the back of the canvas and this got me wondering. What was it that got me started on this painting?
It was rolled up with some other paintings in the studio. When I returned from my retreat in Tuscany, I found myself thinking about it. I’d done some small cloud paintings in Italy and wished to explore the idea on a larger canvas.
“Painting dreams feels like layering thin veils of color ~ all sparkly inside.”
Unrolling it and another along with it, I clipped them both on boards and set them on easels, side by side. Like a dream, I don’t really remember the middle part. I only remember painting very thin veils of color, one after another, until the painting looked like this.
That’s the way dreams seem to me ~ very thin, translucent veils, wavering in my being. Only the present one is clear. Then it is replaced by the next, and so on.
Until finally, I can see them all like a prism ~ and I feel amazed and sparkly all inside.
It’s not that I wish to be a ‘watercolorist,’ it’s more that I LOVE the creative freedom of doing something out of my ‘normal’ mode!
CreativSOUP Recipe #1
Break a Routine
Breaking the routine way of thinking about things, watercolor is transparent! Not opaque as all other painting mediums I have used for decades.
This is a great analogy for life! So much of life is opaque. Just look around and you will see it everywhere, people and companies doing one thing, but meaning entirely something else. Hiding behind some opaque ideas.
Painting with watercolors helps me see! I can see the veils of color on my painting. Layer upon layer, I love the way they mingle.
And I think perhaps I am getting pretty good at seeing right through those masks that others wear. I can see through my own as well! Taking it off is what makes my palette shine.
Every time I let loose ~ stop trying to make the painting perfect ~ The Creator takes my arm and palette and creates magic on my paper. This painting was one of those ~ my happy dance one afternoon during my retreat.