| Reborn | Metanoia |
I have had a lot of comments about this new piece entitled | Reborn | that I completed at the end of September 2019. The response was really amazing and overwhelming. I was even astonished at how the end result felt so powerful to me.
How I chose the subject matter...
As iI have said many times my process always starts with the intention of being authentic to myself and by doing so I must follow my intuition. I approached this painting no differently. I knew however I wanted to continue my streak of realism and abstraction combined. I needed a reference so I began with choosing a body part or body position that resonated with me. I started with taking pictures of just my hand, my legs, my profile. It then got interesting, I began taking pictures of myself in tense or contorted positions. For some reason that is what came to me and what felt significant to me. It was resonating deeply. I settled on the one I chose for this piece. That is right people, believe it, I was actually in that position at one point. I proceeded to paint the body as close to the picture as possible. While painting it, I realized I had laid down harsh lines to represent the creases in the body, on the skin. I originally had the idea of making the skin smooth and almost have the effect of sfumato by adding the harsh lines but then blending it in with the lighter colors. But when i laid the harsh dark lines I felt how much it was needed and how much it added to the drama of the piece. It added even more pain that was already conveyed by the body in the first place, or maybe a discomfort.
I still had not painted a background or added any other elements but i approached it the same way as I normally would. I started without a plan and began with a few strokes of blue and black and did so until the background revealed itself to me. Of course I love squares and rectangles so I started making rectangular motions until I thought why not add my signature motif over the figure as though the figure is somewhat a part of this background. In an instant, the background turned into the foreground by making squares and rectangles over the figure. I then focused on the lines I had already made on the body and emphasized the fact that the body is still somewhat visible through this dissolving matrix foreground.
What does it mean to paint intuitively...?
When I say I use my intuition I mean it in every sense of the word. Just deciding where to place the figure on the canvas, I ask myself what feels right, not necessarily what is logical and that is the spot that was calling out to me, the bottom left. If i went with what my brain wanted I would have probably put it in the middle of the canvas. The process of taking a picture that resonates with me for my piece is also intuitive. I keep on taking pictures until I feel a big yes in my gut. As I practice this way of painting I am getting so much better at it and at trusting whatever I feel. I also use this method in my life a lot from big decisions to the little ones like which ice cream flavour is calling to me.
For those who are new to my work, I came about the square motif early on when I first started painting intuitively. It just really felt good to make squares with a palette knife, try it you will see what I mean. For that reason I stuck with it throughout all this time. I also really enjoy the look of the geometric square shapes along side an organic or fluid shape. It really gives the sense of depth I want to feel with a piece. It can be used as a way to bring something forward or backward as well. I feel in a lot of my pieces it ends up being the thing that ties the painting all together. It also gives an interesting quality to the work, texture and also somewhat of an otherworldly vibe.
For this specific piece the squares represent destruction, matrix, realities crumbling and overall dissolving. The meaning of this piece was probably there the whole time in my subconscious and by using my intuition I brought it out but when I was done and stepped back it all came to me. This is my interpretation of the final piece.
The figure represents the idea of fear, discomfort or pain. It is falling through this hole or this portal into something unknown. The hands seem to be grasping onto this thing that is no longer stable or maybe even real. Or it was once real and now it is separating or disappearing and this figure is having difficulty falling into a new reality or a new way of being. For me, it is the discomfort one feels in transitions in life. When one realizes a reality that served them in the past no longer is serving them and they have to readjust somehow. It is uncomfortable but it is necessary. We try to hang on to old ways of being but they no longer exist in our reality or we are being called to show up in a new way but we try to hold on. I think this painting could also represent death and the transition between dimensions. For me this painting is an expression but it is also about expression. I use blue a lot because it is the color or expression and fluidity and flow and blue to me has a calming effect but can also represent darkness and depth and the unknown. That is the exact feelings i get from the background. For this piece the blue helps balance out the energy. You have the figure that gives a feeling of uncertainty, pain, discomfort, unease and maybe even fear. The blue then comes in as if to say everything is or will be alright, at least in my interpretation. We focus on this figure having a difficult time while overall there is a feeling of calm that comes over the piece as a whole.
I named the series that this painting is a part of "Metanoia". Metanoia means, change in one's way of life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion but this kind of repentance is not about regret or guilt or shame; it implies making a decision to turn around, to face a new direction. I will write more about this in my next blog but just to give you an idea of where my energy is at for this series and this painting, I think, encompasses the word Metanoia beautifully.
I could write much more about this piece and I feel so blessed that people took the time to share their interpretations of the piece. Please feel free to comment and let me know your version or your feelings towards this piece!