11×16, acrylic on canvas
“The idea is not to be perfect…it is to grasp the nature of the materials being used, and that can only be understood with practice. But practice need not be a waste when it seems to “fail”, it can be a vehicle for something that needs to be expressed…simply, imperfectly perfect.”-HButler @HButlerart.com
*My art journal quest for the nature of watercolor
Every time you select “post”, you are going to have an effect on all who receive it. You are going to elicit a reaction/a response….it will be almost automatic, because humans are wired that way (To respond to what our senses let in). You get to decide, before posting, if that reaction is going to be: happy, sad, angry, or fearful. These states of responsiveness (our four basic emotions) carry an energy signature that radiate out into the world.
Consciously or unconsciously,there is always an intention behind what we put out there in the world which creates one of those powerful emotional energies, magnified by others who respond. This is how every day, you change the world for yourself and others. I am reminded, because of these thoughts, to choose more carefully what I create and project into the world.
Yes, we become angry or fearful about things we see or hear that are happening in the world today. Do we want others to be fearful and angry, too—just so that we don’t have to feel alone with it? Or do we put it out there in a “reaching” way…this is making me angry, this is making me afraid…what can I do about it, what would you do about it or what can we do about it? ( A call to action) Sometimes, it is in fact a request for comfort during a time when we cannot bear a tragedy all alone…this made me sad, this is what broke my heart, this is a loss I have experienced. This is another type of call to action, usually a personal request for solace. But not always…animal cruelty makes me sad…it goes back to being more of an offshoot of anger underlying that sadness, Unless we can transform our negative responses into positive actions, all we can do is perpetuate that negativity out into the world…ours and others. Choose carefully.
Eventually, we find that sustaining anger and resisting what “is” drains us of our vital energy. We exhaust ourselves trying to navigate the mental turbulence that is being stirred up like a tsunami everywhere we look. What to do? Yes, move away and sustain your fight by seeking positive avenues that leave you feeling strong and accomplished, rather than exhausted and frustrated. Leave behind the soul sucking banter that attacks, belittles, demonizes and promotes hatred in the world.
What are those positive avenues, outside of citizen duty calls, petitions, staying in touch with those you have found solidarity with? Art in all forms, meditation, prayer, random acts of kindness, doing anything and everything that serves others, connects you with others, and that brings you joy. This is where hope becomes the change that makes a difference in the world. This is where you can lose that sense of helplessness and futility.
There is a lot of work to do during this seemingly insane time…so gather your energy, sustain your faith, protect your health and your mental clarity, and show up as the strong, powerful, intelligent, being you were designed to be. Refuse to be small, take that high road, and trust that your efforts are not in vain. All that appears to divide us is but an illusion, you can reach across the aisle, find common ground, ask the important questions, resist that which seeks to harm the collective spirit of humanity. Find the voice in yourself that speaks for what is right so as to uplift others to join you.
“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”
My thoughts: We step into the future moment by moment, each moment becoming the “now” we exist in. Which future you are stepping into depends on what you have imagined, intended, desired, consciously thought about moment by moment. Time itself does not actually exist, but has become a useful construct for man. Hb
Energetically, honesty (with ourselves) is a much higher vibration than ‘pretending’ to feel how we don’t feel just so we don’t manifest more painful feelings. We are meant to embrace our humanity, be ok with ‘what is’ of our present moment, and show compassion to ourselves.—Fractal Enlightenment
Finding a compassionate perspective can be difficult in the face of man’s inhumanity to humankind, the animal kingdom and the planet. With the far reach of the internet, we are more aware than ever of how prolific the problems are beyond our own physical space. As a human who is evolving into more kind and loving ways to exist on this planet, you also become more sensitive to cruelty and violence. You also feel more responsible to do something about unacceptable conditions in the world. It can be very overwhelming.
One of the first steps to take in forming compassionate perspective is to tend to your own well being. Your well being is essential to being effective in the world. Unresolved anger and sadness can lead to frustration, depression, apathy and hopelessness. A vicious and paralyzing cycle that can be hard to get out of without professional help if left unattended to.
I would like to offer the suggestion that you not let this happen. At the first sign of a negative reaction overcoming your need to do a positive action, reach out. Understand that you are not alone. Having the perspective of knowing that if you care, there are others that do, too, can change your entire state of mind and will guide you toward hope and change. Find like-minded individuals and groups that you can team up with or contribute to. Feeling that you have done something to help a situation can empower you to do more in the future. It is a positive path to proactive health.
This is soul-tending, this is heart-mending. This is how we can use our compassionate perspective for our selves in the face of the endless stream of “what is wrong in the world”.
Excerpt from Soul Tending Heart Mending
Expected Publication date: Fall -Winter2019
Intuitive painting invites conversations. While it is a direct reflection of an artist’s innermost self in a very present moment, it is also a mirror that invites others to relate to something within their own self. It is a journey that others view and are able to say, I remember—I was there, too or, I am there right now. It may remind others of a dream, or a feeling, or a sense of something words cannot describe. Beyond it’s visual existence, intuitive art dives a little deeper into an emotional or spiritual undertone that speaks to being human beyond what is external.
Many artists paint what they see with their eyes….what is external. And while that may be challenging and wonderful for improving skills, intuitive art is a completely different kind of skill. It involves becoming still, connecting with your intuition and communicating between the mind and the heart. It also, at times requires courage to look deeply within and paint or write what is most present in the moment. it can involve healing an issue that brings up a strong emotion, a particular mindset, or even addressing the healing of a physical issue.
I encourage you to begin an intuitive art journal or project and experience for yourself te benefits of intuitive art.
It has been an interesting journey, that of being an artist. I became an artist, not by a traditional route (education/degree), but by calling. One day, I was called to create, and so I did. Yes, just like that. And it is a journey that has been my saving grace, my desire, my unknown yet anticipated future, ever since. With years behind me, now, I can see how my creative practice has transformed, not only what I am putting down on canvas, but myself as well. I have written earlier of art being every artists own self portrait. I see how the art I create is also a story, an autobiography, created one transformative chapter at a time.
At this time, reading the chapters has led to an awareness of the purpose behind it all. I have often sighed, in a bookstore, thinking “…and who needs to write another book, when all this already exists?” And I have often signed in beautiful galleries, thinking “…and who needs to paint another painting, when all this already exists?” And the answer, barely heard at first, is now loud and clear: me. For the same reason every writer, artist, creator continues on; especially, when they see it is a journey with an ever changing landscape: because nobody will ever write, paint, create what you can. So, if we stopped or only did the same thing over and over, there truly would be nothing new under the sun. As it is, we carry on, and create the new and ever changing landscape of the world and of our lives.
A new year. A place in our calendar of time in which we look at the potential of a clean slate. New beginnings, perhaps also endings. As an ever-curious-artist I look at what has been, but more so at what will be. Hitting block for a period of time, my first BIG block, caused me to panic. Finding that others hit these blocks was comforting, in that we all want to know we are not alone during challenging times. Now, as the creative juices of curiosity begin to flow, once again, images appearing at my apparent inspirational hour of 3AM….I venture once again into that space of timelessness and unselfconsciousness. The place where I disappear and something begins to appear, take on a life, and make itself known. I am as curious as you are, to see what that might be.
“Always thank those who support your succes, for they are the reason you are successful.”
New works in the making…!
When I visit a gallery, I love to find the artist(s) available to speak with. There is nothing more interesting than to discover who the person is behind the creation(s). In asking questions such as “what inspired you to paint this?”, “what do you love about this piece”, and “where do you see yourself, as an artist, five years from now?”, I learn so much. First of all, I have learned that we, artists, are more the same than different in terms of our inspirations and aspirations and, secondly, I learn to view the art from the perspective of the artist.
What we see is how we choose to see it. The more we know about what we are looking at, the more options we have (beyond our own perspective) to appreciate what is there. When I view my art from the perspective of my worst (imagined) critic, I want to quit altogether. When I view my art from the perspective of best supporter, the one who knows I have done my best, I want to keep creating, keep discovering what lies within.
In fact, I am my own best and worst critic and how I choose to see determines the future I create. I am inclined to believe that only by leaving the narrow confines of our limited personal perspective, can we observe the bigger picture. We leave that narrow confine by asking the questions, by hearing the stories.
It occurred to me that all of the art that I do is a “self portrait” of sorts, in that it is a visual expression of some part of my own mind, heart, and soul. It is an activation of inspiration and a reflection of a moment in time, a glimpse of my life as I am experiencing it in that moment. When I view my art from this perspective, it is a revelation to me of who I am, how I am feeling, what I am thinking, what I dream of, or what I desire.
My art seldom includes a human form, but when it does, it is usually as viewed from the back and in a meditation position. I find that meditation is the quiet time I need to discover the peace that resides in my heart when all else around me is in turmoil. The human form is naked, because it is the most vulnerable, yet honest way to commune with nature or to face the world without an ego or a mask.
I have always had an affinity for the Asian aesthetic, and have been inspired time after time by the sheer artistry of the simple kimono. It is an item of clothing that embraces the body with the beauty of nature, or tells a story of a season or boasts a combination of colors that aim to please the eye. On it’s very own, it is an object to admire due to the shape that contains the images or colors, not just something to be worn but also displayed.
When abstracts happen, nothing or everything is happening in my life. It is at these times that I find an anchor to that moment of nothing or everything by painting in an abstract style. The viewer may see some image within the abstract, or may see nothing at all. For me, the abstract painting is the very best way to express a love of color and shape. It may be tightly contained within lines or boxes, or it may flow freely in all directions. Either way, the abstract is a vehicle for a pure desire to express outside of ordinary boundaries.
I am not a painter of animals. Yet, I have been drawn again and again to the horse and finally had the desire to paint the images that best represent why I have this attraction to this particular animal. What I discovered are the quietly powerful, strong and graceful qualities that epitomize the “horse” image in my mind. Whether in motion or not, the horse represents a sense of freedom that exists in the wild mustang as well as the most well-trained equestrian type. If I were to be asked what is most important to me in my life, the answer would be: freedom.
I have tried again and again to rein in my painting/works of art to a particular style, subject or genre, to no avail. My imagination simply refuses to allow itself to be limited and promises to die from sheer boredom should I ever entertain this idea again. I have to listen to my heart, not the world. So, I am resigned (happily) to the fact that my bodies of work will embrace multi-faceted types of paintings, assemblages, and interior designs. Within these works, there is a similarity of style that becomes recognizable with a familiarity to my work. And if desired, I can only show the abstracts or the kimonos, or the assemblages, etc. But, it won’t be a reflection of my total self as an artist, just a part. And that’s okay, too.
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