Creating space for my painting time becomes a sacred act.
Today, as I deepen into making my environment special for painting time I notice the little things I give attention to. My organization includes cleaning favourite brushes, choosing selections of music. Little amulets, photos, crystals, sacred symbols I place about with care. Each are as meaningful to me as the fire in my wood stove that keeps me warm.
A few years ago while building my current physical space I gave attention to the four directions by placing crystals at each point to balance the energies. I know painting is an expression of my energy. The act of creation is imbedded with not only the energy of my thoughts but the energy my surroundings as space resonates. I meditate, chant, sing with uplifting music. I speak aloud words that self empower, aline my intentions to my highest calling. Then I relax letting go of thoughts, allowing the flow of pigment to paper.
My painting places throughout my career as a professional artist have included a studio cantilevered over the harbour, seals and fish boats in touching distance. A boat house overlooking a bay with grand vistas of distant islands and village of Ganges. A tiny garret it’s gabled roofed room in a century old farmhouse, its open window gave views to
sheep grazing. My present studio with high skylit ceiling has wide windows facing north and east to my deer proof garden, a giant white lilac, a twisted old plum. Hedgerow that borders include a huge hawthorn, today it is filled with red berries enough winter food for the varied bird population that feast about my garden. I have views across my neighbours farm who for 8 months of the year sheep graze. My surround makes me feel grounded in love for my world.
Each of my studio spaces while travelling have very special flavours. I feel and see a difference in those paintings I complete on a hundred year old kitchen table in South West France.
My views through a two foot thick casement window to vines, a befriended neighbour cat peering back, cattle and chickens that sometimes amble past on the roadway below.
My makeshift studio in Provence was an ironing board set on a precarious balcony overlooking the Var Valley it’s views to Nice and The Mediterranean Sea beyond.
Another studio space was a stone table that decades ago it had been intentionally placed under an ancient olive, it’s tiny fruit plops down onto my working stretch. In Italy our home for two months in remote south Tuscany, my favourite painting spot was under a grape trellis, views to goats in kitchen gardens below and distant vineyards. There I am surrounded in giant figs, fruit bursting, sweet fragrance surrounds my painting experience while millions of bees humming their music.
Each of these painting places I set my space with intention laying my paints and paper with care, anticipating hours of no time immersed in joy. My travel paintings from these temporary studios are particularly meaningful because of the energy of place and the immediacy to the experience I am having.
It’s a blessing living this way. Seeing my world for its beauty, answering to my inner urging to express my appreciation I have for each of the subjects I am called to paint.