by turning off my inner-critic, i allow myself to truly express my feelings and play. from there, everything else falls into place.
inevitably, whenever i paint, i find myself feeling like i’ll never be able to create anything new. but i’ve learned, if i just stop trying and connect with what i’m feeling, i’ll push through and uncover the beauty.
for this painting, my intention was to express the joy and ease i felt playing in my backyard between the ash trees as a child. i wanted my owl to resemble the carved wood statue i had growing up. and i had this vision of endless blue-green with cadmium red tulips.
so that’s what i started to paint. but i wasn’t happy with the way those red tulips floated in midair.
i tried painting white stems on them, but that turned into me spreading the white out all across the canvas. and here i was trying to give the owl dark, round eyes like the carved wood statue, but that all resulted in this weird spiked owl.
i knew it was weird as i painted it, but i operate with the philosophy that you have to express and let go of whatever is inside of you.
so, i kept on painting what i felt.
i knew i didn’t like what i was seeing in that face. so i covered it up. and this was the part where i felt like i had no idea what i was doing.
so i painted over all the parts i really disliked, leaving what i did like and filling back in the blue-green and cadmium red i so desired to see on canvas.
i didn’t know what to do next.
whenever i get this feeling, i ask myself, “am i still having fun?” and i realized i was totally set on the end result of having a beautiful painting rather than enjoying my process.
so i took a break.
and when i came back, i got out my stencils and played.
i don’t know if you can see the difference here, but to me, there’s such a different energy.
i gave up my attachment to making something perfect and beautiful and i just started playing with paint.
whenever that happens, something beautiful seems to arise.
and that’s when i began to find my owl.
i got out my pastels and started drawing. i went ahead and just put this big bold red stroke down for no reason. and i found that lovely scalloped blue edge along the top-and i went with it.
i was so busy painting and being totally into it all that i stopped documenting my process and critiquing it all.
and from that, this owl got it’s title and story… WITH YOU, I AM WARM.
the feeling of warmth and compassion radiates from this owl’s heart and reflects it all out into the world through the light in the sky, knowing that in sharing what most inspires us, we inspire others.