These days I've been doing a lot of reading about art & spirituality - 'Praying in Color', 'Art & Soul', 'The Artful Journal', 'Saying Yes: Accepting God's Amazing Invitation to Artists and the Church'. My current read is the best one yet, 'The Art of Soul'. The author, Regina Coupar, discusses the disconnect artists often feel in traditional religion and the importance of finding your spiritual community. She focuses on the merging of art & theology & spirituality. Though this book is mostly meant to focus on a series of art lessons, it is her reflection in between each chapter that meant the most to me. I've studied and practiced light, colour, perspective and balance. My work initially began as a way to honour my faith, featuring the student Bible that I read over a three year span to try to understand my place in this world. And when I worked in a church for a number of years, I thought that I was fulfilling that spiritual part of me, but the work was in management and finance which almost crushed me. Now I understand that I have been created as a creative and that there is a definite connection between my art and my soul. I still struggle to find my 'community' but I feel that it is getting closer, that the more I commit myself authentically to the work, the more connected I feel and I experience greater peace.
Years ago, in art school, the first painting I completed on a large canvas was an abstract. Since then I have completed a few more abstracts as commissions but, as you know, my focus has been on a recognizable subject matter. Last year I hung an exhibit at the library titled 'Direction' in which the artist, Aaron Hagan, created a body of abstract work which I thought was stunning. I loved the fact that each piece was wired to hang either vertically or horizontally allowing the patron of the work to be involved in the process of the art. These days I've been dreaming about abstracts again, though in bright, feminine colours and have decided to create one. This photo is its beginning - a canvas which was flooded with colour has been given a 'skim coat' of plaster to add texture. To me this feels like an emotional response to my thoughts on spirituality - my art & soul. I'm excited to see where this one takes me.