Letting Go and Making Art

August 5th, 2007

One of the things I try hard to do when making art, is to find the place where I let go. It doesn't always lead to great art, but it's still important because it's how I get in touch with that quiet inner well within me. When I can let go, I feel like I'm on a path with an unknown ending point. And me, the planner, the one with trouble letting go of all the ifs and buts, I finally feel at ease with not knowing. When I allow art to come through me without forcing, I'm often surprised, but that's half the fun, really. It's an adventure, an unplanned road trip, the only way to fly.

Carla at Zena Musings quoted Jennifer Louden in her blog saying, "Our job is simply to show up and let go." I totally agree. Seems funny how hard it can be yet how lovely it can feel to truly let go.

Today, I wanted to let myself be playful. I wanted to let go and release after a stressful evening. I gathered art materials around me, including little cups and straws (yes, straws!) and paint and paper. I used a method I learned last year of putting a little dish soap, water and paint in a cup and then using a straw to blow bubbles which I then dip the paper into or push the bubbles onto the paper to create cool patterns. I let my intuition guide me and saw shapes or figures in the way the paint landed, so I started to draw them in with pencil and then with ink and this is what resulted. I resisted it at first. A centaur? But that's what came, so here it is. It felt like the centaur was making some kind of offering or sending some kind of wordless message through the bubbles that floated up through the sky and blew the young woman's hair into a frenzy. "The Centaur's Message" is 9"x12" with acrylic and pen and ink on watercolor paper.

And then there's the moon piece that I mentioned awhile back. This was also a playful piece. This time I was playful with a new material, some Pearl Mica from Golden. So sparkly! It's a little hard to see the sparkle in a picture, but I think it comes across pretty well. I laid it on thick in the moon and then lightly around it for the stars. Little did I know as I painted it that I was painting a full moon on the night of the full moon. Funny how things happen like that. My cancer sensibilities must have been picking up on my favorite planet. "Full Moon" is 6"x6" on gallery wrapped canvas.

And lastly, a piece I posted earlier over at the Blue Tree Blog, "Fly Away", which is up at the store, here. Another improvisation that I'm loving; she's 6"x6" on cradled wood board with cut paper collage, acrylic and ink.

Ok, that's all the art I've got for you today. I hope the rest of your weekend is a creative one!

As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don't try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go. Those trees and those branches that try too hard to stand up strong and straight are the ones that break. Now is not the time for you to be strong, Julia, or you, too, will break. - Julia Butterfly Hill

11 Responses

Leah! Such really beautiful work you’ve been doing! Allowing yourself to just paint without fear is not always easy to do… but the results are glorious:> I love the background you got with the bubbles… I wonder how that would work on canvas or wood? The full moon looks cool, too! Perfect synchronicity.

I like how you shared this process with us, Leah. It is beautiful, encouraging, and challenging at the same time. I’d like to try it :) Beautiful work, as well!

Oooh, I like! I love that you’re ALWAYS finding NEW ways to explore your creativity!

These are lovely. Letting go is what makes it all happen. I love just allowing it to happen. That’s when the best work comes out! :)

A belated happy birthday!
It’s been a while since I’ve swung by! Glad to see things are going well. I certainly don’t need to say how much I love all the moon-inspired artwork.. but I will say how much your work has grown. And beautifully!

Oooohh… that thing about creepy ppl trying to see you in person is a bit scary. It’s good that you are very aware, though.
Our 13 year old niece is not allowed to have a MySpace account yet and thinks it’s unfair, but we explained why to her the other day, and reminded her that people who may not be “quite right” can sometimes track others down -even adults- without their knowledge, so it’s better to be on the safe side and wait till she’s older and can make more informed decisions.

Leah – these are so lovely – Luna lovely – swoonin’ lovely

xox – eb.

wow, beautiful! i really like The Centaur’s Message :) it must have been a beautiful process

So Beautiful! I really love all three. the middle is my favorite!

i’m so glad that you’re able to fully devote yourself to art! I’m very happy for you. You’re turning out some WONDERFUL work. I’m currently doing the 101 Things in 1,001 Days Project. In it, one of my 101, is to buy something from Blue Tree!

I think your more playful, “let-go” pieces are my favorite ones. I especially love the textures I see in Full Moon.

These are all uniquely beautiful paintings. I especially love the last painting you posted, Fly Away. The lady in that painting has such beautifully sad eyes. I can relate to her.

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