"And that's how it all began. The encounter with Light."
-A Severe Mercy
Step one: Michelangelo said it perfectly, "I saw the angel in the marble, and carved until I set him free." // Except, in this case, I see the lion in the canvas and paint until I set him free.
Step two: constantly look at things in a different way, from different perspectives, or fall victim to mundane, ignorance and monotonous, routine.
Step three: blend and balance. Repeat.
Step four: make sure your painting is a reflection of your own style, no one else. Only with a heart of appreciation for ourselves and our work can we make changes from an intimate and loving place, not a desperate attempt to conform to a false ideal. // When I paint, my brain is in a “critical thinking mode”. I have to stop myself from tearing my work into pieces for not meeting some “ideal standard” placed there by culture, social media, voices from outside of myself...Slowing down and letting my eye navigate my painting, without a paintbrush in hand, allows me to enjoy the composition for what it is, and appreciate the unique, authenticity, before making a few last minute touches.
Step five: having grace to leave room for the real beauty found in "imperfection", gently approach your painting and fill in small touches until the painting feels balanced and complete, not over doing it. **Side note: It's really quite humorous and wonderful my studio just happens to be called, "G.R.A.Ce." (Globeville Riverfront Arts Center).
Step six: stand back, and take in the beautiful masterpiece your hand created; an overflow of your heart, a gift glimpse of where all Beauty comes from. In light of this, let yourself soak in a little humility, and live in gratitude of the One who gave us art.
Huge thank you to Rachel Nichols and EB Combs for sharing with me in the process and using their beautiful photography skills.