Up until recently, I painted whatever I wanted to paint, whenever I wanted to paint it. Inspiration for me has never been an issue. All I have to do is look outside my window at all the glory of nature and I am off and running.
I love the process of putting paint to canvas, and I feel a strong connection to each and every one of my paintings. I always sense that I have left a piece of my soul in every work, and that this is the essence of art’s ability to connect with viewers. These paintings are, in some sense, alive. They carry my emotions to you and to your experience with the work.
As I stood in my studio not long ago, I noticed that several of my paintings seemed to interact with each other. They shared a common color theme or subject. I began re-organizing the studio in order to group certain works. They just seemed to belong together. It was almost as if they were old friends, anxious to link arms and share some subtle secret, some shared history.
I had never thought about painting series of works, but now I am exploring the energy of the relationships between my paintings. It’s an extra level of aliveness, the connection between me and the canvas, between the canvas and the viewer, and between the paintings themselves. Certain works must have sprung from a common thought, a central feeling, and sometimes I did not know until later that there were undeniable bonds between some of the paintings.
This discovery has led me to a new space of experimentation; of relating to my work and allowing myself to more fully explore certain inspirations over a series of paintings. I have so much to put into my art, it made sense not to limit certain ideas to one canvas.
Please look at some of the series on my website and let me know what you think. Let me know where you see partnerships of color, texture and light. Just as humans desire connectedness with other humans, I think art creates its own relationships of spirit and energy, eager to be part of a great inspiration.
Fusionart is the merging of opposites. We take our internal extremes and coax them into a single artistic purpose.
As an artist, one is charged with the responsibility of creating. The process is one of letting the power flow through you and not blocking the creativity. As we paint, the brush, the canvas and the spirit lead the way.
When your mind is in charge, you try to make something happen. Therein lies the difficulty; you are trying to force an outcome. When you are truly in the creative “zone”, the “you” disappears. It is almost as if you are nothing more than the facilitator of the process. You have no idea what is going to happen. You are in motion, allowing the paint to mark the canvas. You could even be painting with your eyes shut. Listen to music, work the brush, and let the canvas tell you when it is done.
Working with Rassouli has taught Fusionartists to let go of our requirements. To let go of expectations. We work with the spirit and the spirit knows what needs to be done. How do you create a great painting? You allow it to happen. The more you allow it to happen the better it is. The more you try to control it, the worse it is.
All too often we focus on our technical skills, and remain unsatisfied with the quality or appearance of our work. As Fusionartists, we learn to create from the center of our creative space. Each and every one of us has artistry that needs merely to be expressed. Our process of letting it flow and letting it go gives us access to unexpected creativity and beauty. Explore the Fusionart website to experience what happens when opposing forces emerge as extraordinary art.
The Universe is a Fusionartist. From the beginning of time, the Universe imbued the Earth with color. Every tree, every flower, every animal and rock has hue and shade to distinguish it. Can you imagine if the world had been created without color? It is as though the Universe realized that mankind would respond creatively to all the colors in nature.
When I look at a tree and see the movement of the leaves, I am always impressed with how many different colors of green appear. I envy Nature in her ability to blend color and create with intense magnificence such beautiful contrasts and subtle tones. I wonder how I can mimic that variety of shades on my palette. When I see what is possible with color, I experience joy! The colors in a painting are as vital to the viewer's experience as the painting's subject matter. The happiness color can bring to the eyes and heart of the viewer it touches my soul.
When one looks at a painting, the colors guide the eye through the work. The artist has laid the path and set the stage. For centuries artists have experimented and played with color in a never-ending partnership with Nature. Nature teaches us, and as artists, we endeavor to capture her power, purity and innocence on canvas. Everything that we as Fusionartists strive to accomplish is modeled for us by the Universe.
Nature orchestrates the temperature, contrast, brightness and hue to produce effortless displays of color that inspire and enlighten us. Nowhere can one see a more magnificent display than in the fall colors that are around us. I invite you to observe and spend time outside and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to witness the quintessential Fusionartist, the Universe at play.
When Rassouli paints, he gets into such a connection with the canvas it is as if nothing else exists but him and the paint, rag, and canvas. Rassouli, Mehrdad and I all have totally different styles, and yet we share a connection to the process. It is not in our minds, it is more our souls connecting with the canvas and the creative process. We are allowing the painting to express itself through us rather than be created by us. We don't do it the same way, but I sense the same essence in what we are doing.
I believe that everyone has an inner connection with the creative process, whether we realize it or not. Like the wide variety of brushes one sees in the paint store, each one of us makes a different mark on the canvas of life. It is almost like we all possess the same power to create, and yet we all do it differently. Creative expression is part of what makes us unique individuals. The Universe created us all to be part of the painting of life on the canvas of the earth. It is our responsibility to make our mark in such a way that the world is a better place for us having been here. That is my wish and my dream and the purpose for my art.
Maybe Bonnie should call the class "Anyone Can Teach!" I wasn't sure how to prepare for the class, and this got me to thinking about how I approach painting and how I have developed my process over time. Here's what I figured out about myself:
Early in my career, I had a lot to learn. I studied with Rassouli and Fusionart and learned the things I needed to know. Now I am at the point in my art where the important thing is for me to forget those basics, and paint without constraints. Painting through forgetting gives me power and unlimited access to my talent.
Discipline, media, form and function; these comprise the ground rules of art. True talent is the ability to simultaneously know and break the rules. Painting from knowing the rules and breaking through them is power. Painting from not knowing the rules is merely accidental. There is a world of distinction between the two.
Think about some familiar paintings. It's obvious when the artist has learned the rules, and then found an expressive path that bypasses convention. Obvious examples include Picasso, Van Gogh and Modigliani. Each took something recognizable and transformed it into something that surpassed its reality. Each artist was a major rule-breaker!
Now when I paint, I ignore the rules. They are there, but at arms length. I have no expectation for my work to look like anything or be compared to anyone else's. I don't think; I DO. And when I'm done, I am amazed at what I've created.
Realizing this, I put away the worry of how to prepare for Bonnie's class. Other than knowing I had canvas and paint, I had no expectation of how to teach people to create. I invented the class as I went along, and we were all very much in the moment. We used our hands, brushes, sticks, anything we liked to put the paint on the canvas. We didn't worry about going over someone else's work or about "getting it right". We played, secure in our basic knowledge of creativity. The result was astounding; a rich, textural painting that is alive with all our energy. Thanks to Bonnie Landau, Claudine Manning, Christina Maria, Orma Hammond, Hope Goss, Sonia Madixx and Shain Requicha. We were able to forget the rules and create without limits!
I have lived my life as a non artist. I am an engineer. An analytical business consultant who helps people design their businesses for profit. I help people design the systems and structures that make a business run and make money. I have been doing this for the past 18 years. I have been an entrepreneur for over 50 years. No one in my life, including myself, and certainly not Mehrdad, ever expected me to make the transformation into being a painter and artist.
Through the teaching of the Master Rassouli, I have bridged the gap and made that transition. In the process I have found a new friend in my old acquaintance Mehrdad. I found him to be a talented artist who paints with passion and emotion. This painting began with the two of us playing in class one day. We just started sharing the canvas. We each worked on one side, and then we turned the canvas and we worked on top of each other's work. There was no plan. There was no drawing. There was no blueprint. (Mehrdad also happens to be an architect.) We just kept playing and having fun. As the music changed the beating of our brushes on the canvas got faster and faster. The energy was jumping as we raced to place more paint on the canvas.
I consider this to be an example of the meeting of two worlds. Two people from different countries with different backgrounds. Even though for years they thought they knew each other, they did not. Their souls met through a mutual experience on canvas with brush and paint. I have placed the value of this painting at $10,000 - the highest price in my collection. It is the painting that took the longest time and most distance traveled to create. This is an example of the meaning of our Fusionart Movement. When we all surrender to the creative process; that is when the journey begins. This painting is a celebration of that transformation and the connection we can all share through art.
This week my life has been a case study in letting go of the past. I had a garage sale and sold off numerous old, unwanted items. Why I had felt the need to keep them, I don't know. The sale made me feel complete with parts of the past. I cleaned my studio and shredded papers. Fixed my computer and deleted old files that were cluttering my hard drive. I cleaned my closet and even washed my car.
Creation starts with letting go. You have to surrender a little bit to the realization that in order to create art, something has to be released from your spirit. My mentor, Rassouli, says that art is about creating and destroying. Paint something and then destroy it by painting over it. Keep making it new; be in the space of getting rid of old habits, ideas, and obstacles. This keeps you prepared for the new and the next.
It doesn't always have to result in a painting. We are changing the Fusionart International website, creating and destroying, to better showcase the awe inspiring talent of our artists. Change is the only thing constant in life, and art is the perfect medium to reflect change. As artists we are trusted with the responsibility of capturing the moment and creating the future on the same canvas. We channel creativity through our soul and into our work as a demonstration of the Universe's infinite possibilities. This opportunity is both a gift and a heavy responsibility. As we go about our creative process, we must stay true to the authentic inspiration and not let too much "thinking" take over the project.
This week I invite you to let go and create your most spectacular example of you. Have fun and joy in the process. Remember, if you are not having fun, you are thinking about it too much. Let go, create, destroy, and transform your art into a true expression of your soul.
My mind starts to wonder if I have lost the desire or the talent to paint. My mentor, Rassouli, says that I am building up bewilderment. It feels like a teakettle. You don't sense much happening as it simmers along on the stove. Then all of a sudden things burst forth with a trumpet blare and a release of imaginative action.
As an artist, you are merely the vehicle for the creative process. What I love about my art is that I never know what it is going to be. Even after it is done, I resist the temptation to categorize or judge it. I paint until the painting tells me we are done. Then I stand back and discover what it is I have created. Sometimes when I paint, I even take my glasses off so I cannot see the canvas very clearly. I have done entire works with my eyes closed. These techniques liberate me. When I free myself from my thinking mind and let go of the expectations, I see that I have created my best works.
The Universe is the ultimate creator, and we are all expressions of that creation. We are each and every one of us a unique creation with the ability to use the creative process to express our own individual voices. This way of thinking allows me to let the work flow and not live in the expectation that I am in charge of making something happen.
Without expectation, and with no blueprint, I have access to truly amazing results. Give your soul a chance to express itself. Paint without judgment, without concept of time. Be open to what occurs, and let your spirit be the artist.