Sunday, August 16, 2020

August 16--The Heart Knows

We see with our eyes. We know with our hearts. --Jim Henson

    I was invited several years ago to one of those drinking wine and painting events with a group of friends. I went with my committed belief of "I can't paint," but I was willing to get silly and curious with my buds. Holy cow. I learned quickly that I had no idea how paintings were created, and I fell in love with painting. I subsequently took several classes and workshops at Wichita City Arts to learn more. 

    "I can't paint" is a very challenging belief to eliminate, I discovered. Results from the classes and workshops, seen through my eyes, left me certain that I can't paint anything that is supposed to look like real-life objects. My heart, however, continued to want to paint. I have a lot of internal chatter going on about painting. "I'm not trying to be Monet. If it's art to me, it doesn't matter if anyone else likes it. I'm just in this for fun. Why bother? I never paint anything I really like." On and on. 

    Then comes the pandemic, and the need to keep myself sane with activities at home. My heart brought me back around to the idea of barn quilts. I asked a friend for some direction regarding materials, got myself set up, and started painting them. These make my painting heart sing. I'm a person who loves straight lines, and with Green Frog Tape, those are easy. A match made in heaven (the heart)--Leta and Green Frog Tape!

    Here are my creations so far, and a shot of how my husband installed several on our backyard shed to add color to our "hanging space." 

    I've learned a lot about my materials and techniques as I've evolved through the different paintings you see here. I've enjoyed getting into more complex patterns. Side note: I'm a math nerd, and my favorite subject was geometry. These require perfect precision. While I would refer to them as 2-foot squares, they are actually 23 3/4" square, and trust me, that missing 1/4" has a huge impact when drawing the pattern on the board. All this makes my heart sing. 

    Then my heart said, "What about escaping the symmetry and doing something free-form?"  Of course, "I can't paint" reared its ugly head. The nice thing about painting is that if I don't like something, I can just paint over the whole thing and start over. So I went outside the box, and here's the result:

Colors: black, white, gray, dark green, orange

    I knew I wanted an odd number of colors, and for each color to show up an odd number of times. Five colors, 11 patches of each, the title of the piece is "11:11." I began with the black patch in the center and grew it outward from there. It developed with heart-delighting synchronicity. While I can say I love all the barn quilts I've painted, this one, how it developed and turned out--I REALLY love it--my heart led me the whole way. Actually, this is a gift for someone, and I can hardly wait to give it. 

    When I listen to my heart, it makes me happy.

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