08 May 2015

I Am The Silence

I Am The Silence - 14x18" - Acrylic
I Am The Silence is from my Vision Quest series of paintings. These paintings are meant to represent the spirit and stories of the Native American people. They started (and the series got its titled) because I kept having these dreams and profound thoughts about the people, their history, and how important their knowledge, culture, and traditional values are; and how quickly that is disappearing. 

The problem for me is, these paintings can't be forced. While I may have an abundance of ideas and qualities I want to explore through these paintings, getting them down on canvas isn't always so simple. Having the 'vision' is just one part of the equation. The other is that I have to have my muse show up in the studio to help guide me in the painting process. 

Even if I've found a reference image to help me convey my idea, or I've done a series of successful preliminary sketches, without the muse, the paintings fail. Always. So I must wait for the muse to come act as my spirit guide; and I've found out they really like to travel and take a lot of vacations! So I am especially grateful when the vision and guide coincide and show up at the same time; and a painting that matches my vision results. 

The funny thing is, when I start a painting, I don't always know if the muse is with me or not. But by the time I'm finished I know. I often hear artists say something along the lines of "someone else was in control of the paintbrush", or " this painting just appeared out of nowhere"...... That is the force I call my muse. There are strong emotions that become involved with the painting process when the muse shows up, and at the end I am drained. Thankful, but emotionally exhausted. 

I often wonder if the viewer could tell which paintings involved the muse, and which didn't.