Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Lotus Dance

In the philosophy of Buddhism, the lotus represents you and your mind of thoughts and emotions while living on this earth plane.  The lotus rises from murky muddiness and grows to the surface of the water where there is light.  There are many different meanings as to the openness as well as the color of the lotus flower, but basically the meaning of an open lotus flower is the attainment of enlightenment.   So many of us are born in utter confusion and many of us must deal with so much personal hurt while growing towards being a better person.  We all have that "monkey mind" and let our thoughts get the best of our emotions and health.  
Although I am not Buddhist, I appreciate the philosophy very much and view the symbol of the lotus flower as a growing and often struggling human being. My painting "Lotus Dance" represents that very growing phase between birth in the mud to enlightenment of the blossoming lotus flower. We all skirt and skate through life, bending this way and that to adjust to our own personal healthy growth.  We often have had to deal with tremendous personal tragedies and a life time of personal hurt and regret throughout our lives.  However, with much hope of still attaining light and happiness in our short lives, we conquer our emotions, our self-criticizing thoughts, and we make peace with the things that have hurt us.  True enlightenment is when we let it all go and then our lives culminate in the opening of a lotus blossom.   
"Lotus Dance" did not make the cut in the CPSA International Show this year.  I need to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out why.  Is it me and my point of view, the use of the medium of colored pencils, am I not clever enough when I title my painting or what.....?  So, here I am doing a sort of Lotus Dance with my developing art growth.  I'll try to enter it again for the next CPSA International Show when there is a different juror. Meanwhile, it did get accepted into the San Diego Museum of Art Artist Guild Centennial Exhibition.  It'll be in Gallery 21 at Spanish Village late May and through the middle of June.  Balboa Park was created for the World's Fair and it's now 100 years old and is an inspiration for a lot of my art work including "Lotus Dance". 

"Lotus Dance" ( 22.75" x 30.37") Colored Pencil on 300 lb Hot Press Arches 

I've also had fun with masterpiece studies with the small scale of an ATC card for a PAT swap on IATC.  I always enjoy studying and interpreting the master artists and their paintings.  I'm drawn to color play with high contrasts and complimentary colors and chose these paintings to do.
Top Row: Interpretations of J.W. Turner, David Galchutt, Alice Neel, Audrey Kawasaki
Bottom Row: Interpretations of Tamara de Lempicka, Degas, E.R. Kirchner, Umberto Boccioni
All done on 3.5 x 2.5 inch ATC cards in acrylic on watercolor paper with the exception of the Degas which is done with colored pencils on cardboard. 

I am currently finishing up on a fun thing we do on IATCs which is Secret Solstice.  It's much like Secret Santa, but it's a spring/summer time of having secret partners to do art by their interests and likes.  I accidentally posted a piece thinking I could show the painting stages of one of the gifts on FB.  Sometimes, you get clumsy and forget who is your friend... but, hopefully, my recipient doesn't know it's for her and besides, she hasn't seen the final painting.