Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Update: Just saw that the New York Times linked to my blog from this article. Look to the right of the article, I'm up there with The Huffington Post and Gothamist! Thank you to the NY Times editor who chose my blog as a source for your blogrunner!

On a previous post, I'd mentioned that I'd been taking yoga again at the same place where I'd had an unexpected creative breakthrough in writing ten years ago. I'd been talked into yoga by a friend and thought I was just going to get a good stretch out of it. I sure did, and my brain got one too. I also talked about my mindset in going into it this time.

"I haven't had that awesome creative breakthrough yet, but I'm not discouraged nor forcing it. I have a lot more life under my belt since then and things will take longer to undo. I'm patient and persistent, so I can only see good things coming. Since I've taken it back up, some "synchronicity" has occurred that has literally left me incredulous. I think those events are partly the result of putting myself in a situation to become a welcoming vessel, instead of one that is more guarded, as I've been with my hatches fully battened. I look forward to what it brings my way now that I have sent out the welcoming beacon."

What's wonderful about the wisdom to not force things, is what can bubble up to the surface. And this time it wasn't writing. It was visual. During those quiet times at the end of class, instead of a story breakthrough or motivation to write, I found this:

It happened over several experimental processes. A while back, I mentioned the time I discovered that I had synesthesia. It can come in many different forms, but in my case, I see sounds. All the time, every waking hour, for my entire life. It's been a huge influence in any creative undertaking that I do. As a result, I've always wanted to try to paint what I see. And, it was at those quiet on the back relaxation times during yoga at the end of class, as meditative ambient music played, that they'd particularly be clear and vivid.

So, I went for it. I bought acrylic paints, bristol board (a thick, archival paper) and began painting what I was seeing, whether it was through memory or the music that I was playing at the time. At first, it was a struggle to not only figure out how to represent what I hear/see in painted form, but then know what to do with these painted sounds. Sure, they were artwork by themselves, but there was more that I felt they could communicate. And that's where I honed in on passion, heart and the pieces that make up my "heart." Before I started painting the sounds, I'd been collecting and categorizing colors from magazines to make a collage. How wonderful to discover that my painted sounds, which came uniquely from me, could make up my collage instead. My CollageI cut two-inch square pieces of each "sound" painting and from there arranged, chose and cut the pieces to make up my heart. Then glued them into a heart shape. I titled it, "Pieces of my Heart." It was a wonderful experience, to have a creative vision flowing directly from my head to the paper. When I was doing it, there were many times that I noticed how right everything felt, including me. I got into a wonderful zone because I knew I was using skills that I was put here to use. Without sounding new agey, it really felt like I'd crossed a creative threshold to reach that coveted sweet spot that every writer, musician, artist wants to reach. That finally, I was in the moment, articulating a completely original piece in exactly the way that I wanted to in a visual form. And not only that, but I finished it.

I haven't switched this for my personal writing. On the contrary, I think it will benefit it. I also think it's going to infiltrate my professional writing as well to create visually. Here are some closer pictures of the heart so you can see the details of each painting that makes up the heart. Shannon was kind enough to take these pictures for me.

Detail of Collage Heart
Here's a closer look at the collage, "Pieces of my Heart." You can click on the image to view it larger. Depending on the light and where you are standing, the colors can appear to change hue. You can see even in these photos how the colors can differ. I call this a collage, since I pasted the pieces down, but I also tapped into mosaic principles as well.

Detail of Collage Heart Painted piecesThis angle illustrates the texture of the pieces. I glued them down with archival adhesive on a background that I painted. When I was designing the heart, I wanted to communicate by using colors and textures the emotions and life experiences that imprint on our hearts. I am very happy with the result of this first experiment and have started my next collage. I plan to do a series of heart pieces, but am not sure if that's going to be my next collage subject. But like this first piece, it won't be forced and my expectations are as open as they were when I started this one.

I look forward to seeing what comes next.


John said...

Wow. I've been following your blog for some time, but your painting is the first thing that moved me from lurker to commenter.

That is fantastic work. I hope you continue to be motivated to produce, and share, more.

Anne said...

John, what a great compliment that my art "delurked" you! Thank you so much for taking the time to post your kind comment! Made me smile and thanks for letting me know you're out there. :) And yes, I hope more to come!

Anonymous said...

Wow Anne this is awesome! I've always wanted to meet someone who has synesthesia. I only knew what that was because I had to study it for a class project in high school. Great blog and your art is awesome! See you Tuesday ;)

HunnerWoof said...

This is a fantastic piece. And, I've been a lurker, too, but only because I couldn't figure out how to get into the comment section! I'm not a Blogger power user, clearly.

Can't wait to see your next piece.

Anne said...

Thank you so much Anonymous and Hunnerwoof!

Hunnerwoof, trust me, it isn't you, it's blogger. For some reason, this design or setting doesn't show that you can comment or that there are comments. I mean to change it, but haven't had the time because there are a lot of little tweaks I made. However, I've just about had it with the stealthy comments section.

And Anonymous, see you on Tuesday and can't wait to hear about your class project! Interesting!!