About the Process
Paintings as you know, have their own quirks and personalities, they are characters with their own souls and heartbeats – I make a point of listening to what they have to say and drawing out the story – if anything I use paints to sculpt their being on canvas.
This little one had much to say. It’s been chattering away at me all summer – helping me with a few things I’ve been working on, and giving me lots of great ideas and inspiration for how to pursue my art. It also has very clear ideas about what “finished” means.
I started painting at a resort in Mexico, surrounded by cool oceans, blistering hot weather, and white white sand. But the seeds of this painting were planted several weeks before that in Victoria, BC where I began collecting songs for a playlist that I thought would inspire you. I made a point of following the hero’s journey (Joseph Campbell), as it’s something I’m working on understanding in the context of storytelling and modern filmmaking. And naturally it’s also a bit about my own story too.
This is my second (name of canvas) painting. I’m finding the whole experience of working with a three dimensional painting really intriguing and one of my favourite things about this painting is that it is different on every side.
The size is intentional – something easy to carry/put anywhere and that doesn’t have to be on a wall if you want to place it as a centrepiece on a table or play with its function/form. It does not have a “right side up” unless you see one.
I’m experimenting with paint pens as a way to work while on the road – also although my hands have resumed working again for the most part I find the paint pens do better fine detail/lines. Paint pens rock. I also sealed this canvas when finished with an acrylic gel so it would be more resilient.
Festival has tweaked me into trying my hand at boxes, and a few crafty and functional ideas as well as sparking a whole series of clear ways to direct all of the amazing ideas I have floating around me, to share with others. It’s my summer journey in a nutshell.
I started this painting with a question in my mind about how to resume my life, or perhaps a better way of putting it, was how I was going to start working again as an artist and publicly sharing my work for and selling it. How to get back on the horse so to speak, but also, how to share and sell my work which is a deeply personal experience to paint.
This summer while I was noodling away, I had a whole series of amazing adventures with Mark, and some truly awesome new happenings on the work front. Plus in delving into how to move forward I found a way through something that has been blocking me for a long time.
Its been an amazing teacher for me, and I hope it will carry some of the spirit of that energy and my explorations of being an artist your way.
The power of everything that we are comes from the centre of our planet. She is the life-force, we are all part of her being. I hope the music and the painting mediation help ground you into the amazing force that flows through everything in a new way.
There’s a lot of fear and controlling male energy blowing up right now – in part I think that’s because the world is starting to balance the male/female energy – and as we focus more on healing the planet as a species, and recognize that not only is the planet our home, but that we are all just neutrons in her amazing brain, the male energy that has been in charge for a long time and had it’s own way starts throwing a temper tantrum. But hurrah for woman power, and for connecting to it.
When you are seeking inspiration – looking for a new road or a way through, or when there’s a lot of creative force around you and no specific path I hope this helps you connect with the deepest part of your heart and find direction. It’s the process I engaged in when I dove into this creation and it was a stupendous guide.
Love and blessings,
Painted in Mexico,
with finishing touches in Victoria, BC.
Each song represents a colour in the painting. Songs are in the listening order used while painting.
Colour chart and playlist.
- The Seeker, The Who (dark yellow)
- Instructions for Learning to Ride a Bicycle by Miss Francis Willard, 1895, Evalyn Parry (light yellow)
- Hopeless Wanderer, Mumford & Sons (light blue)
- I Wish We’d All Been Ready, DC Talk (teal)
- Wild Abandon, Hawksley Workman (purple)
- Et Les Mots Croises, Dan Mangan (dark blue)
- Viva la Vida, Coldplay (coral)
- Ordinary World, Green Day (red)
- Om Tara, Alexa Sunshine Rose (rose)
- Jai Ma/Mother of Creation, Alexa Sunshine Rose (light green)
- You Fckn Did It (Live), Jason Mraz (bright green)
- Amelia Bloomer Sings for Fashion Reform, Evalyn Parry (white)
- 93 Million Miles, Jason Mraz
- The Fish and the Stars, Said the Whale
Oracle of Music
I use the music like a mantra and focusing tool – and will listen to the same song until it puts me into an altered state.
So if you’re interested in the process I went through, or would like to use the painting as a jumping off point for your own journeys, I’ve included a playlist for you. (it’s on 8tracks.com). You can listen to the music and look at the painting – or if you’re really interested in exploring feel free to use it as a working soundtrack. I have a couple of techniques I use to get into a meditative state, but you really just need to listen to and be one with the music and work through the process.
For this painting I chose a colour and listened to a song until I finished working with that colour. For example, Hopeless Wanderer by Mumford and Sons is light blue – so I let the music fill me up and picked the colour that fit the music – then painted to that song on repeat until finished.
The last two songs of the set I used as “finishing” music – so I clarified, cleaned up and highlighted/added any needed fine details. These are the only songs I painted to in Victoria – it was clear as I tried to “hurry” the process while we were on the road this past month that the story wanted to be finished here, in the home of my heart.
In particular I wanted to share the music of Evalyn Parry, who has an amazing one woman show called Spin. Spin is about Amelia Bloomer, a woman who rode around the world on a bicycle for a bet, and for whom bloomers were named (it was not a compliment at the time). As a woman I find her entire journey fascinating and encouraging – what she did at the time didn’t make sense to a lot of people, but it changed the world for women for the better. (And so for all people).
“Amelia Bloomer sings for fashion reform” helps me when I feel small, or like my ideas are too out there or no one will listen.
“Instructions for Riding a Bicycle” has such a beautiful Zen flare to it – as I’m sure is the intention. It’s like a genuinely useful version of all those inspirational posters (things I’ve learned from my dog etc) – but that actually has real meaning. And you can sing it 😉
“You Fckn Did It” by Jason Mraz is my favourite song for wishing people a “hurrah” when they’ve done something huge – and also it makes me laugh every time. Live versions are always the best. Also, when I first heard this one it was so perfectly, beautifully Mark that listening to it always gives me a little spark in my heart of happiness.
“Om Tara/Mother of Creation” are both songs from one of my favourite musicians from Maui. Alexa Sunshine Rose is amazing – her music is just goodness to listen to. I had a chance to hear her play once when I was studying Reiki with William Rand – in Hana, and I use her music to meditate/do ceremony to all the time. It invokes great big beautiful female power. Her stuff works as well as any mantra I’ve tried.
The playlist is intended to invoke creative energy – the feminine, the femme, the diva. The divine planet. Creative and spiritual energy are at their heart the same energy – they come from the same place. It took me a long time to integrate that knowing into being. I’m pretty sure Reiki reconnects us with the energy of the planet – and I find that the work of painting channels the same energy just in a different way.
Painted in Mexico
With finishing touches in Victoria, BC.
As always if you want to share the painting on social media – can you tag me @tavrayne or link to the page about it? It helps me share my work with new people every time you do so.