My first painting in a year!

Dear friends and fellow colour enthusiasts!

If you read my last journal entry, you will know that 2017 was a busy year for me. If not, you can read it here. Last year, I didn't have the inspiration or desire to paint a painting. As I was so busy with other projects, I didn't find the time, space or need to paint big. Painting Mandala Stones and smaller Mandala paintings was the perfect bite-sized creative outlet for me. In fact, during this time, I created some of my favorite Mandala pieces to date...

 
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I never planned to take a year off of painting an actual painting (by this I mean one of my more visual/storytelling art- like my landscapes/seascapes). As the months of 2017 rolled on, I felt increasingly guilty about not creating anything "new". I had to keep reminding myself that I was accomplishing a lot in other ways. I wondered if I was having a creative block. But it didn't feel like that- I didn't feel stuck, just that I needed a rest.

A few weeks ago, I was the ferry, back to our island home, and the beautiful moon seemed to be lighting the way. I loved the way it lit up the night sky- silhouetting the mountains. I marveled at the glittering diamonds its luminous light spread across the ocean. I felt a stirring in my heart, a flash of inspiration, a calling for creation.

The whole experience reminded me of a painting I created in 2006. Looking at this painting, it felt like I foretold this moment a decade earlier- the moon lighting the way home from across the ocean.

 
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I love looking back at my old work and seeing how it has evolved. See how in the early days I used dots for just small detail to enhance certain aspects of the painting?

The experience on the ferry and the remembering of this painting inspired me to create a new painting. I was so excited that I had to go and prepare a canvas right away. As I begun painting upon this larger space I felt like I was coming home.

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While I was painting, I was reunited with a friendly and familiar feeling. Its hard to put into words, but as I paint I go on a journey withing the painting. When I paint mountains, I reflect on the mountains I have seen in my own life. Like the first time I saw a mountain range in New Zealand. As I paint the tiny details of a glistening ocean, I feel that serene peace, as if I am actually sitting by the seaside experiencing it.

 
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When I completed the painting, adding that last dot, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. I had so enjoyed creating this painting that last year made sense at last. All good things need a time to rest, space to breathe and just be. As I looked at my finished painting I felt really grateful that I had not forced myself to paint out of guilt or other's expectations last year. I would not have had the most amazing time creating this painting.

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While this painting was a positive experience, I was still challenged by it. This painting took 5 full days to create. Often I would have thoughts like "I should be doing something else" or "I need to be preparing for my next Mandala Stone Sale". I had to keep reminding myself that I was exactly where I needed to be, doing what I needed to be doing. When inspiration calls, it is OK to answer that call. Of course everything else that needed to be done, got done. I actually felt more productive in all areas on my life because I was in the flow.

You may be thinking "what will happen with this painting?" or "when will it be for sale?". I am part of a group exhibition in July, so this painting will be part of that. I plan to create some more new pieces for this show and am so grateful that this creation process unfolded naturally.

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One of my favourite parts of creating this painting- was the mountains- they are so fun to paint as they weave and roll on. So I prepped another canvas and began painting some more! Here is a little peak at my second painting of 2018...

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Warmly,

Elspeth