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New Beginnings

Friday, 14 May 2010

A while ago a friend asked me to produce some canvasses for her... she would be moving soon and they were to be for her new home, even though she didn't yet know where that would be. My brief? "New Beginnings"... whatever that means to me, however it inspires me to create something for her to hang in her living room....Any clues? size? style? cost? colours?.... No, just whatever you come up up with (oh, the sofa's red)

It would be quite easy to look up a few "new beginnings" quotations & slap some colours together that would match her room.... but that's not how I work.... before she even left I was already seeing a line of red amongst green... an idea of light spreading out... of a seed beginning to grow.... And that was it. For weeks the idea got no further. Just a brief glimpse of a picture, a hazy idea... of red & green & a seed.
Then a few words started to form...'who knew how this seed would grow... planted in a heart...' the idea of her heart opening... I was thinking about Karen's personal growth, her journey with Yoga, Reiki... & Love. That night she emailed with a new address & moving date... oh, how the energies move! I wasn't ready to start painting yet, & words floated around tantalizingly for a good while longer.

When I did start to paint it was with the idea of an earthly/physical heart, grounded in the earth & the physical plane, but also the feeling of higher energies & spiritual connection. I still had the picture in my mind of a red line amongst green, but didn't really know what I was actually going to do... so I took a deep breath & opened myself up to the energies that flow... walking around, letting my fingers run over various paints... thinking of Karen, asking for guidance... translucency.... aha, acrylic inks- pink & green... grounded, earthly- wood dyes, light & medium oak, ooh & some pale green acrylic... physical heart- red acrylic...
The bands of colour over-lap & blend...I used a small sponge roller & a brush randomly creating texture & blending on the canvas, moving quite quickly... another deep breath when I finished this stage, actually feeling nervous about whether she would like what I was creating (it is different from other work of mine that she has seen), but knowing that this is exactly what it should be.... It was only after this that I could start jotting down phrases & ideas for words, nothing concrete, just random thoughts...

And this is my work in progress... the canvasses are 24 inches tall, 18, 30 & 18 inches wide respectively, so take up the full drawing board... I need to work on them together as the lettering runs across them all.
The strip of paper acts as an anchor point as i write, helping to keep the lettering straight without the hardness of a fixed line... also I can test colour on it, mixing as I go... or ghost write a word to help judge spacing... and acts as a guard sheet for my hand. I pick out phrases from my notebook, turn them round in my mind & write as they come together. Sounds simple, but it took ages! Acrylic dries fast, but can be lifted out with a wet cloth if I spot a mistake within a few letters!

The lettering is done with a small pointed brush; on it's side for the thick strokes, lifted back to its point for the thins... i used white acrylic ink, randomly mixed with the pink & red (with green ink & wood dye for the lower lines) ... varying from almost translucent to nearly solid... dancing ethereally across the canvas (I hope!)... a mixture of lower & upper case... higher & lower dimensions... physical & spiritual co-existing, merging happily side by side... unified... just as we seek to unify the aspects of Self, both within & without...

And here is the full set... just click on any of the pictures to see them in more detail.

Who knew how this seed would grow, 
planted in a heart well hidden?
Heart unfolding- seed unfurling- transformed by inner magic 
& silent healing whispers calling to this soul.

Who knew where this dream would flow, rooted in this 
earthly plane & flowering in the heavens?
Mists part- veils lift- revealing this vision.
Gaze & wonder at this sight- the joy of new beginnings.


La Dolce Vita 14 May 2010 at 15:27  

this is just magnifico!

Rinkly Report 17 May 2010 at 13:18  

How interesting! To see how a project evolves! And one with so much thought behind it.

Heather! 19 May 2010 at 16:51  

I LOVE this!! So beautiful. And I agree with another is really interesting to see something go from an idea to a finished piece of work. Thanks for's great!

Suzi Smith 20 May 2010 at 16:15  

Thanks....I know I like reading about how other people approach their work too!

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