Walking the Labyrinth
It all started innocently enough with a class on painting from your soul. (shout out to Drums in the Swamp) I began with a line circling around and around itself. Soon, it was spiraling out of control.
Walking the labyrinth has become an acknowledged technique for wrestling with an issue. If you don't even know where to start with a problem, place your feet at the beginning of the labyrinth and start walking. Clear your mind, set your intentions, and move forward. It can be a freeing exercise, a means of meditation, a way to clear the fog and find a solution.
As I started doodling and then painting in simple and complex geometric shapes, I found a similar sort of solace. I began to spend hours upon hours in the undemanding, meditative act of letting the color and the brush guide me where it needed to go.
I was painting the labyrinth of my own mind. Every blank paper was a fresh meditation. Every finished artwork was an exercise in thought and gratitude.
I was in love with my new pastime. Gradually, I realized that the negative space, the untouched white of the thick watercolor paper, was every bit as important and significant as the colored spaces of the geometric forms.
Shadow and light. Saturation and starkness. Ultimately, it's all about balance and acceptance of who and what you are and what you want.
The pile of papers began to grow.
I've built up a certain layer of success as a digital artist, manipulation files and images; everything contained within my well loved computer. Every expert in the art field tells artists that we need a cohesive and coherent body of work.
I watched my pile of physical artwork growing with a little bit of shame and guilt. I loved the bright colors. I loved the feeling of the movement. I loved the sense of peace and ease that came over me when I was working my visual labyrinth. Was this something I really needed to hide from the world?
I thought about it. I researched how best to preserve watercolor. I figured out how to safely mount and display them. I started slowly turning the pile of paper into something substantial, even as I wrestled with the idea that it just wouldn't work with the artist I'd spent years becoming.
I set up a separate social media for the watercolor; it's own Instagram, it's own Facebook business pages. I even set up an Etsy store for the watercolors. Gave the work a brand name: "Geometric Voodoo": Geometric because so much of it is based on form and then voodoo because well, Louisiana, and because to me each artwork was a contemplative journey into the spiritual wilderness of my own thoughts, a sort of magical voodoo experience.
Even as the pile of finished and mounted work grew, Etsy pulled a huge change in platform and policy. I didn't want to spend hundreds of extra dollars to be able to promote my own work on social media. I decided to try to make my peace with my split identity and upload my Geometric Voodoo watercolors on my own established website.
Without further ado, that's what I've done. The first few have been photographed and listed in my webstore. I hope that they might bring the same contemplative peace to you as they've done for me.