Pivotal Event #11 Gifts from the Future

I’d like to share another example of how my brush sometimes seems to know what it’s doing even when the rest of me might not. Maybe you have had an experience like this while creating? 

Every now and then when I least expect it, something in my work comes together just “so.” In that moment, I realize that I have been painting easily—almost effortlessly—and I get butterflies when the piece is finished. It resonates at a different level and I recognize it is somehow a significant piece of art for me to have made. Sometimes the piece is visually different than what I have been making, and at other times the difference is more subconscious and maybe noticeable only to me, but I can feel it is there.

I call these paintings gifts from the future because it’s almost as though they have come to me from the future, from the maturity of my future self giving me a change in direction or a shift in perception. Having created one of these pieces, I usually find I spend the next while trying to learn how I did that and how to tease apart the components of the new direction (see below).

HWY 22X 01

Sometimes the gift that I receive is a catalyst for a whole new series as it is a significant change in direction, technique, palette, and inspiration. Such a painting was HWY22X 01 – 36″ x 48″ (2014) shown above. I created this piece after an art residency on the prairies, inspired by the foothills of Alberta.

Hawks Series 119

Other times, a gift from the future arrives deep within a series when all the elements that I have been working towards (subtleties, softness, layering, and balance of light and dark hues) come together. This was the case with Hawks Series 119 – 52″ x 52″ (2017), which was inspired by living in the Pacific North West.

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