Every artwork cradles a story nestled within the layers where it waits to be discovered. Stories come to life differently as each artist carries their own stories and each person who approaches and reads, draws out meaning, that is coloured by their own stories. We often ‘read between the lines’ but what happens when there are no lines…our creative selves find their way through. I wonder if this is the voice of the soul bird guiding us (Deep inside me lives my soul bird’-Hebrew proverb). As creators and viewers we are reading through the layers as we step beyond the barriers and become participants.
The questions are constant:
What do I bring to the story?
What memories, dreams, imaginings are awakened in the time I spend with this artwork and what parts of me does it touch most deeply?
How does this artwork come alive for me? What gifts does this bring bring to open the small hidden passages that I have forgotten, lost or avoided?
What are these parts of me that were dormant that are now stirring within and awakening?
What are the meanings speaking through the the artwork that add the spark of life….is it in the details, the colour the form or is it that small space near the top left hand corner?
Tracy Verdugo in her book ‘Paint Mojo talks about “a place that is made up of your individual stories and connected to a place far greater than yourself”. This steps beyond the painting to were it comes from. I know that for me art will always be intuitive and that listening to the gently nudging to take this path or that will always be where my work is strongest.
“Could you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a great deal on where you want to get to, ” – said the Cat
“I don’t much care where” – said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go” – said the Cat.
“So long as I get somewhere,” -Alice added as an explanation.
” Oh your sure to do that,” said the Cat, if you only walk long enough.”
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, 1865
As Alice questions her own inner guides …her intuition and turns to outside sources to find out where she should go she is reminded of her path, her journey. If only you walk long enough, paint long enough, trust long enough you will get somewhere but it may not be what you expect.
I realise as I write about the stories and layers I have gone the full circle. The stories that emerge through my artwork are layered and ask for you to add to the story, step into it and follow your own intuition. Maybe this is why I don’t like listening to guides in art galleries . Somehow they block out my own intuitive understandings and send me into a historical head space that cuts me off from what I know and from all the myriad connections I can make from the artwork to my soul bird.