“An artist never knows- we guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark” – Agnes de Mille
I was recently invited to be in an art show with this title and theme: Window to the Soul. Since Soulmatters was my business name as a psychotherapist, and now Art and Soulmatters is my blog site, of course I wanted to participate in the show. But then I realized I didn’t have any paintings that would fit within this show’s theme!
I knew I needed to paint a few images, but of what? How do you bring an image to such an elusive concept? Portals and doors have always been important symbols for me. They depict the unknown, the future, or the next phase in life. Thresholds, or places between have also captured my attention and still do. I have written about threshold spaces, painted a series of doors and portals, and always like to photograph these “hallways” to the unknown.
However, ‘ Windows to the Soul ‘ stumped me. My imagination began percolating. What would the Soul look like? What symbol would best bring the feeling of soul into a painting? I know how that theme moves me and love the idea of it…but still – how would or could I paint this concept?
I began to look at imagery. Perusing through art online, I found angels and doves, but that didn’t quite fit what I wanted to convey. I wanted the art to convey a feeling of the soul, maybe not so much an iconic image. Perplexed with this conundrum, I waited. I called in my muse and asked for help in depicting this ‘feeling’ I had when thinking about the theme. Still nothing. Maybe, I thought, I wouldn’t be in the show after all…
And anyway… It is impossible to capture, paint and convey what Soul is!
Is it spirit? Does it have wings? Well, maybe…for me though, it moves me in the deepest way. Soul brings me to tears -on my knees – in reverence to the Divine. Paint this? I don’t think so.
Fast forward…still wanting to paint the Soul. Now lots of ideas are swimming around. I go out in the studio and begin by putting paint down in colors that depict the ethereal. On another piece, I begin gluing down words, papers on paper.. And lots of color. I am immersed in this process as I react to what shows up all the while keeping that feeling upfront and foremost.
Done! These pieces are the ones I am entering into the show, but I am far from done with the theme of the Soul. She has me. I am Her captive audience.. I find her in Buddha statuary, clouds, flowers, the sea at sunset. I hear Her voice in waterfalls, ocean waves, and birds songs. Can I paint this? Probably not, but still I must try…
You can view the show at the Satori Salon from June through July: 300 Main St., Roseville. Several artists are participating. Thank you Trisa for triggering this journey!
Until next time,
I just have to show you some of the work my class did in Painting from the Inside Out! These are from many students new to painting (My Ipad camera unfortunately did not capture the breathtaking imagery of these works). I will post more next month. Check them out on my website as well:
Next class begins in Sept. We meet once per month for 3 hours on a Friday. 7 sessions. Only a few remaining openings. Check my website for more information: ConnierodriguezArt.com