Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the places that need no names

Sky beneath sea.  22" x 30" watercolor.  675$

My work is not inspiring words as easily these days.  I think in part because it's a little scary exploring the mystery of my heart or spirit through my artistic practice, letting the boundaries between these previously very distinct aspects blur and even fade entirely.  My process is changing; truth and intimacy is finding its home in these images.  I would go so far as to say my art has come, until recently, from a mental or intellectual perspective of this world and my life in it, and now it is coming from emotion, impulse, and a captivation with the undefined and mysterious.  My brain is entering my art last, in a state of reflection, sniffing out the threads and patterns and motives that grow throughout these paintings and drawings.

Watercolor has provided an exciting new route of experimentation and discovery; I'm delighted with the history it reveals (of mark and texture and color) through transparency.  And the way it continues to surprise me as it reacts uniquely to different paper, amounts of water or pigment, accidents of my hand.  As a metaphor for an exploration of the Mystery it is just right.  It responds well to total presence, immersion in a moment.  Constant letting go, constant awareness.  It touches ideas of vastness and intimacy, newness and timelessness, this world and all the moments in this world that seem to belong in another.

With these three paintings I am delving into a place that is neither entirely conscious nor entirely spontaneous/subconscious.  Rather, I see the imagery as a fusion of the two, drawing heavily from dreams and visions that occur to me in meditation or physical ritual.  I can offer some perspective by mentioning that, while creating these works, I have been exploring the tradition of animal medicine and spirit guides from a variety of American tribal cultures, spending time with and observing animals,  reading and reflecting on ideas presented in the iChing (such as passive and active creativity, presentness, and a spiral path) and also regularly recording my dreams in writing when I wake each morning.  A major impetus for all of these areas of study and reflection is a strong belief in our responsibility to rejuvenate and contribute to our oral tradition.  The wisdom that will allow a culture or community to become in harmony with each other and our planet is found in its collective memory.  So, today, I think it is crucial to value our stories, whether they come from our waking experience with each other and the earth, or from the realm of dream or shadow.  It is all valuable, all with the potential to teach.

Spinner.  22" x 30"  watercolor and archival ink.  NFS

Heron mother (slight detail) 22" x 30" watercolor and archival ink.   SOLD

1 comment:

  1. I can see your Shadow Self boiling forward, roiling towards the top of your conscious mind in these paintings. Fall is the perfect time for this exploration. Keep going, Jackie-love, keep going.