"Her Joy is Unlimited" - mixed media on gallery-wrapped canvas, 30" x 40" x 1.5"
Painting an abstract is always an internal struggle for me. It is the creative equivalent of marathon which spans an area with both freezing rain, blistering heat and a finish line. All I can do is prepare to see it through to the end, because crossing the line at the end makes it all worthwhile. This piece was no different.
There are more than ten layers and multiple concept iterations on this canvas. What I wanted it to be versus what it decided to be; a tug-of-war between the art and me. For awhile, I thought this one had me beat. Seriously! At the third layer, I covered the canvas with words scrawled in charcoal - intention setting that I would be able to "see" what this piece wanted to become, to set aside my preconceptions and relax into it.
In frustration, I walked away from it for three days. And that was the turning point. It came together easily, joyfully and without struggle when I returned. Because I had surrendered my will over to the art. It painted itself, so to speak, as I became merely the hands wielding the scraper, the paint, the brayer. And then it was done. The finished line was crossed, and I was overcome with joy.
This piece had a message for me. Letting go, surrendering, relaxing into the flow of things outside of my control. It isn't the first time life has brought the message to me (and I am pretty sure it won't be the last). But there was so much joy in the flow of this one - it lingers. Each time I pass by it hanging on the wall, I smile.
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