Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Sacredness of Brushstroke...and Chicken

"If we devote ourselves to sacredness in our vocations, the world will rise to meet us." ~Joel Salatin

Here's some "chicken soup" for the artist's soul:
Joel Salatin speaks on his success raising chickens and how he had no Wall Street plan or PR model...except to express sacredness in every action. It made me reflect on how this could apply to my life and to my art. Does sacredness permeate each brushstroke even though it may get covered up? Do I inject as much nobility into a thumbnail as I do into a painting? Or, do I put nearly as much sacredness and nobility into my artwork as I do in caring for others...or even cleaning the house? Good food for thought!

"...my success is tied to the cumulative effect of everyday stories and faithfulness to injecting sacredness and nobility into every little action of my day. When we put that kind of ministry...sacredness and nobility...to permeate every one of our actions, the world will be ennobled...and we will have raised a great legacy for our children and our families." ~Joel Salatin

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Artist's Prayer

by S'zanne Reynolds, inspired by the 23rd Psalm

Soul is my Master Artist,

I shall not fail.

You make me to lay down my fears and trust in prosperity,

You lead me to a still and satisfying reflection,
you restore my portrait to its Original soulful likeness.

You show me the art of living in your very Nature.

Even though I sometimes lose my way in darkness,

I find your Way again in the light;

I will fear no shame, broken heartedness, separation, aloneness, failure, despair, grief or sorrow for you are my heart’s constant companion;

your love and your truth complete me better than any comfort-food, shopping extravaganza or exotic vacation.

You prepare an artist’s taboret for me complete with all the art supplies I need, organizing my studio, making provisions for me in the face of my worst critics and those who would not want me to succeed.

Declaring my fulfillment sacred, you sooth and heal my apprehension and restore my receptivity and my reins. You dedicate my talent and abilities to your purpose, hallowing them with charity, gentleness, prayer and heavenly inspiration. My creativity overflows, abundant and blessing.

I dance—goodness, love, forgiveness, tenderness, compassion and heavenly reward pursue me relentlessly, courting me like hot lovers, all the ages of my life, throughout each journey and story, in every part of my routine and in the entire extent of my career—with sparkle and exhilaration!

And, with these angel guides as my muse, I will make my permanent artist-in-residency at the home and business of my Master Artist, keeping company with your Self-Expression and communing among your Color Harmonies forever. My way of life and my Art Being will flow, spring up and result in activity and effectiveness…endlessly, everlastingly, in all ways…for good and all.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Show Time

"Ring 'Round the Rosey", 12x12" pastel by S'zanne Reynolds

AVAA's 34th Annual Members' Show

May 6 - June 4, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Austin Art Space
7739 Northcross Drive
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 771-2868

My art is included in this exhibit featuring selected works of 50 local artists and members of the Austin Visual Arts Association.

The evening will offer refreshments and music by Justif. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Getting Self Out of the Way

"Painted Desert in Reds", 6x6" pastel study, under-painting in reds

"It does not matter how badly you paint, just so long as you don't paint badly like other people."
~George Edward Moore

The above quotation made me snort with laughter! I often tell myself that it's OK to paint badly before I go into the studio. That way I establish that I'm there just to play and express, and whatever needs to be manifested will. I can judge it later...there's always plenty of time for that. But if I can enjoy the process without the terrifying pressures of perfection, giving myself the freedom to explore problem-solving decisions with childlike enthusiasm as I go, the painting seems to progress a great deal more in the right direction.

Some paintings may turn out well, others not so well...but all are a part of the process of getting "self" or the "inner-critic" out of the way to let a larger Being or Vision emerge. The process of painting involves letting go and trusting as much as it does reacting with small critiques of the progress. It's often a difficult balance to maintain, but the rewards are usually always worth it!

To clarify, this does not mean I expect to paint poorly...but rather, I give myself permission to paint in new ways that I may not think of as "good" or up to par with how I currently paint. In this way, I can free myself of weighty expectations that would impede my explorations and discoveries of new paths to painterly expression.

As for not painting like anyone else...well, most of us artists are non-conformists, thinking and living on the edge of society. Most of us aren't attempting to copy anyone else; we all have the capacity to paint as fiercely individual as we are. However, I have noticed that the less experienced artist often struggles with his or her preconceived notion of the expected outcome of a given painting. (And, even some of us more experienced artists do, from time to time!) When the expected results are not achieved, art students in particular are often gravely disappointed and think the painting, or themselves, a failure.

"Painted Desert Purples", 6x6" pastel study, under-painting in violet

However, this self-defeating attitude is attempting to paint like another...or at least another idea of painting that's inside your inner-critic and what the expected "norm" is to your self. And, that is simply not how YOU really paint...which is often why the disparity begins. We must nurture the creative essence that is our Being and free it to be, without judgement or self-criticism, or we must always battle between painting as we think we should and painting our own vision of the universe. The challenge is to let go regularly enough so as to discover how it is you do really paint...and love it! This takes time and patience with our materials, and practice, practice, practice! Artists constantly evolve and we have to love where we are today. We won't paint that way again, tomorrow.

Some days I do this better than others. But, giving myself permission to paint badly leads me towards new painting adventures of big skies of individual expression and open roads of creative discovery. See you there!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dreams That Move Mountains

Digital Image by S'zanne Reynolds

I heard this song by Kutless on the radio and loved the message about having faith and restoring lost hope...and finding faith in your dreams again. Hope you enjoy it, too.

What Faith Can Do
by Kutless

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you're stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You don't have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Painting as Tribute

A tribute: a thing said, done or given as a mark of respect. ~Oxford Dictionary.

Robert Genn's video above points out that painting can be a tribute to many worthy subjects such as nature, beauty, mankind, history, etc.

Enjoy this inspiring video by Robert Genn, The Painter's Keys