Hello today I’d like to share with you a little film clip of some installation art by the very talented Jacob Hashimoto of New York. I am fascinated by installation artists for the concepts they envisage, the thought and preparation involved in their work, and the time and often problem solving that goes into bring their concepts and visions to reality. This is just beautiful and you can also pop over here to see more of his work and have a look around his website.
It all started with a Flora Bowley in March 2011 and her fabulous Bloom True Workshop gifted to me by my husband Michael as an early birthday present. I think back to that weekend and how I felt so nervous heading off to a painting workshop on my own without any painting experience what so ever and no one there to hold my hand. It was a similar experience for me to when I left home at 18 and went off to uni all alone, not knowing anyone or understanding exactly what was ahead of me. I often feel very unsure going into group environments alone where I don’t know anyone yet. It always feels like everyone knows everyone else but me. It’s so weird as once I’ve connected I’m fine and naturally confident in myself. I just knew the only way I was going to move freely through this weekend and actually enjoy myself was if I almost erased my whole mind, so that I didn’t know what it was to fear, to feel nervous, to feel unsure, to feel observed and possibly judged, to have no expectations and no inhibitions. Certainly not a natural way for me to feel! I certainly wanted very much to go to this workshop but there was initially a lot of anxiety when the weekend finally arrived and it was time to front up with 2 blank canvases ready to paint.
I clearly remember the first time I touched paint to that very first canvas and what was going through my mind; “don’t worry about where this is going, what you are doing, or who is watching, just immerse yourself in the moment and enjoy the process for what it is, let go of all expectation and worry”. That was it, I just moved with it and Flora’s words “there are no mistakes”.
I’ll share with you some images of the progression of my 2 canvases and a few more of Flora’s words that I wrote down in my sketch book from that weekend. “It’s your authentic voice, what is true for you”
“let it be true to you, your own language”
“when you draw from life, its giving it life” I’m not quite sure though if I was in fact giving life to canvas number 2 or taking it’s life from it. As you can see from these photos I had absolutely no idea of what I was doing. The whole time I was painting I was just listening to Flora talking to us as she walked around the room. In between her inspiring stories she often remind us to connect our heart, body and spirit, free up, use whole body movements to paint, allow your heart to guide you, and there are no mistakes…
“start with chaos, and emerge, through a process of discovery” This was a very poignant piece of advice from Flora and I highlighted it in my notes. By this stage of progression with canvas #2 I was totally perplexed as to what on earth was going to become of this chaos. I had no idea how this was supposed to transform. It in fact was making me feel nauseated to look at. I remember having to leave it by the afternoon of the 2nd day, as I just couldn’t work with it any more. I think these physical feelings were due to the energy that was before me in this painting. I knew they had come from me and this swirling, dark, intense array of movement was full on in terms of its energy. The fact that a painting, one of my own could make me feel this way, completely took me by surprise. I ditched it for the rest of the workshop as it was too much and moved on with the first canvas instead.
The first one progressed a little more before the workshop ended and by the end of the second and final day I was totally exhausted. I couldn’t believe how drained I felt. I think all of my energy was on the canvases!
When I got home I continued to paint on both of them. My time was fairly limited and I unfortunately didn’t get full days or weekends to work solidly on them which I was a little frustrated about, but knew this would be how it was painting at home. Around this time I remember showing some friends who had come to visit over this month, and I was so proud to be just following my heart blissfully painting away. I’m sure they looked at my progress and were silently thinking OMG she should definitely stick to her day job! LOL
I think as a result some fluidity and movement was lost but I still enjoyed progressing with these two canvases and slowly over time bringing them to a point of completion. This took many many months.
It was a very interesting process for someone who had never painted before. To work through each of these paintings, continually just moving with my heart and following my intuitive thought, to paint with no clear direction was such a relief in a way. It really surprised me.
Painting intuitively I came to realize was perfect for me and just what I needed at this point in my life. It was like a yoga class. I could completely switch off my mind, find my inner rhythm, relax and just go with it.
It was the total opposite process to working as an Architect. There were no restraints and this was so freeing for me. Nothing mattered and I loved this the most!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into the very beginning of my painting journey. It’s certainly been an incredible year for me with an incredible amount of personal growth. During the past year I have worked on many more canvases and also continued to practice my illustrative skills every day. My own individual style is emerging and continues to develop which I love!