It’s funny where life takes you in the creative field. I’ve been looking back at the art I’ve posted onto artist sales outlets and can see a clear stages in what I’ve created.
When I lived in Boonah, in Queensland, from 1994-2002, I focused on mandalas and working with art pencils on black cardboard. I created quite a few bespoke mandalas, including this one on the right, Crystal Butterfly, then got fed up because it was like working on a treadmill and my work looked less than inspired and wooden.
I didn’t do any art when we lived in the UK from 2002-4. Then, when we returned to Australia in 2004, from then on in the various places we lived, I worked mainly with acrylics, pastels and crystals, and natural pieces of nature such as bark, rocks and crystals.
I went through a soul retrieval process at Pingelly in the wheatbelt of Western Australia and that seemed to spark off what I called shamanic visionary art, for want of a better description, because I’m not a shaman by any means. These two pieces, Spider Woman and my drum with spider totem, were created in Pingelly.
To be a shaman is a calling. It demands huge sacrifices and re-shaping and rebirth of an individual (although after some of my experiences I feel I’ve walked through fire and emerged a completely different person!). I also happen to think that many in western societies have an idealised version of shamanic work and expropriate what they feel is relevant without realising the real power of shamans. I particularly felt this after reading, firstly, a book by Patrice Malidoma Some, Ritual: Power, Healing & Community, which gives an account of shamanic practices in his African community; and secondly, after reading an account of the disappearance of an Aboriginal lawman and Elder in Bidyadanga, Australia, which involved the mystery of the spirit world and, really, unseen energies which most of us Westerners can only guess at. Here’s a link to the article on this subject, well worth reading:
Returning to art after that detour into shamanism, in Woodenbong, which is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, and also on the caldera of an ancient, huge, extinct (thankfully!) volcano, I painted goddess images, including the following:
And then in Traralgon, Victoria, and Bowraville, New South Wales, I seemed to focus on vision boards and full moon art:
When I moved to Cyprus in February last year, nothing much happened art-wise until our shipment was cleared from Istanbul after a long delay in customs. I fiddled with various bits and pieces of art, but really didn’t feel enthused about anything. Then one day, when I was working on photos with Photoshop, I came across a nifty little gadget called “liquefy” where you can drag colours around on a photo and rework it completely. And suddenly I was off and running with digital art. I work only with the photos I’ve taken of my art, scenery here and in Australia, and rocks, stones and crystals in my collection.
Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve not really had much time for art created on a computer and digitally. It didn’t seem like real art. Until I started working with digital art myself. And I love it. It was boosted by taking heaps of photos of exploding fireworks when the Merit Hotel, on the coast very near to us, held two fireworks displays right in front of our apartment. We had a box seat for free, the displays were brilliant and I had a great time snapping away and then working with the images of fireworks and light in the dark sky afterwards.
I feel like I’m getting out in something visual all the colours and patterns floating around in my head, and it suits me at this time in my life. Although my fibromyalgia has alleviated somewhat due to homeopathy, I can’t work so easily with canvas and paint now due to various health challenges. But working with digital art opens up new vistas in creativity and I feel a lot better because I don’t feel as limited as I did previously. I posted some examples of digital art a few blogs ago, but here are some of my favourites that I’ve created over the past few months.
And as that old British saying goes: “Onwards and upwards, teacups”. I’m slowly finding my way through Photoshop and Corel but I feel pretty good, now that my creativity is off and running in new directions.