An Artist's Quest for "Soul" in a Chaotic World—by InnerSpirit

This is my InnerSpirit blog page...a page of reflection...inquiry...
and artistic questions about myself, my life, and the world around me. A place for my own personal contemplation of my emotions, my actions, my art, my spiritual journey and how they all intertwine and influence each other. I hope that you check it out, think a little about your life and the many creative things that you might be engaged do those fit into your life and impact the various aspects of your own life? Let's reflect together!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Standing Resolute And Waiting: Day 24

Breathing Deep And Holding My Ground
I started this art piece from another background that I created in Fluid Painter, working much like I did when I created the blob art on Day 22. The original image can be seen on my blog post from Day 8 (the second image in the post) if anyone is interested. I played with several layer effects on top of each other until finally this image seemed to speak to me and I knew it was complete. I will tell you what I saw in this in a moment. (Click on the image to see a larger more detailed view).

I know everyone sees different things in abstract work, which is probably why I have become so intrigued by it the last few years. I used to only do high realism when I created art. That was what I was taught in art school, and that was what I thought the majority of society thought good art was. Sure, there were abstract works in museums, rich collectors who bought them at high prices, and we studied all the great abstract artists in my art history courses in college, but somehow I still walked away from my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree feeling like good art was very representational and needed to look like the subject you were seeing, either directly before you, or in your minds eye. Most of my immediate family, friends, and other artists I knew at the time also seemed to validate that belief for me. It wasn't until a few years ago when I just started playing with art and trying to have fun all over again that I discovered how wonderful and freeing abstract work can be for the soul.

Moving The Soul To Connect With My True Self
I guess the connection that abstract work made with my soul is what got me hooked. I was not about selling my art at the time as much as about freeing my soul to run and play and feel safe to explore. That is what I found when I let myself go with this new way of creating. I still like to do a realistic drawing now and then just to keep my hand in and to hone my drawing skills, but that is for another purpose entirely. It still feeds my soul, but it feeds the part of it that dwells in regiment, control, safety and wanting to understanding another thing well enough be able to draw it meticulously. This is something that my artist soul also needs at times, but the FREEDOM to PLAY is what lights up my InnerSpirit and connects me with my spiritual realm.

In this image I saw a bold, solid megalith of a man or woman (reminding me of the androgynous megaliths that stand on Easter Island) forming itself out of the rolling waves at the right and becoming larger than life against the blue, vast, swirling sky. It stands resolutely and almost defiantly against the bold landscape with a large mushroom behind him/her on their left. The mushroom was a curious image for me to see and I saw it very distinctly, so I wondered if it had any significance for me. I did a little research into some of the symbolic meanings that have been attributed to mushrooms just for fun. 

In the Chinese culture, Shitake mushrooms have long been a symbol of longevity. I don't know if this mushroom is Shitake, but longevity would blend with the resolute and strong image of the megalith. (This photo was taken by Yamanaka Tamaki) When I searched for other mushroom symbolism, most of the resources for interpreting your dream symbols suggest that mushrooms signify unhealthy pleasures and unwise decisions in your waking life. The dream resources suggest that a mushroom shows up to warn you that things that come too quickly have a tendency to disappear just as quick and that you should learn to appreciate the things you have. Hmm...something to ponder here. 

I am not sure what it all means yet. I usually like to sit with some images for a few days and let them roll around in my mind and heart until the message comes through clearly. Just on the fly, I feel it has something definitely to do with being dedicated and standing by what I believe my case I feel that it might be telling me that I am stronger than I sometimes feel and that I can weather the storms, after all, the statues still stand on Easter Island and the megaliths at Stonehedge have stood the test of time and elements quite well (I have even seen these first hand, which if you ever travel there you must go...they are awesome). This message appears to be more of the message that I got from my conversation with my blind contour drawing on my Day 22 blog post. Hmm...someone is trying to tell me something and they are afraid that I might not be listening so the message appears to be getting louder and stronger. Maybe I better start paying attention or I am going to be having lots of megaliths in my art!

I better get back to my homework and stand resolute to get the last of it done so that I will have one more semester out of the way! Next semester I finish my final thesis/research course and all my actual classes will be done in April. I will then just be an internship away from completion of my Master of Arts in Art Therapy. That will be a celebration for sure! Maybe I will even travel to see a Megalith again just to say thank you in person!  

Do you have symbols that have been coming up for you lately in your artwork. Have you ever taken the time to think about what their meaning might be to you? Do you believe that art can speak metaphorically to you? Please share some of your symbolism and experiences you have had with this with me. I would love to hear about it. 

Blessings and Much Love,



  1. Hi Diane
    That is a strong image you create in Fluid Painter. Seems like a good tool - I will check it out. Thanks for the link. :)

  2. Fabulous that you are exploring abstract art and I agree not everyone gets it and appreciates it... but it's more because they don't understand it... realism is just so accessible, so everyone ooos and ahhhs. I think we have to do what interests ourselves personally though - that's what keeps us going.

  3. There is such a lot here, Diane. I was instantly attracted to the colours and shapes in this painting, but didn't identify any objects in it. Then I clicked to enlarge it and immediately saw the face which I took to be female (before reading your explanation). The mushroom was a mystery to me, though now it is obviouly there. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Evelyn...I hope you enjoy Fluid Painter, it is a lot of fun. I am going to go back and use it to create some other backgrounds since I have liked the images that I have gotten from it this month. The only downsize it has it that you are stuck with a low resolution image since you have to save a screen shot so you are limited on the size of these pieces. I have increased the resolution to 150 dpi and with the manipulation I have done it will probably not be too pixelated, but these are small images. Have fun with the rest of AEDM!

  5. have an interesting take on the realism/abstract idea. I think you are right, people see realism all the time and they "get it". With abstract art, it either speaks to you or it doesn't I think. I have to admit, there are tons of abstract works that I have seen, even those that I have studied and are important contributions to art history, that I think are horribly ugly and that I do not understand. But others move me tremendously. Doing what interests us is definitely the way to go...we have to feed our soul with what moves us. I hope you always do what your heart loves! Thanks for stopping by and your comment. I love to hear what others have to say.

  6. is funny that you saw a woman's face also before even reading what I saw. Glad you finally saw the mushroom, isn't it funny how some people see something right away and it is so obvious to them and others don't see the same thing or they see something else that speaks to them. This just emphasizes my belief that our art talks to us in a language that is intended for us. I am glad that you were drawn to the colors and the shapes of the piece prior to even looking for images. I hope you are having as much fun with Art Every Day Month as I am. Thanks for coming over and commenting.