Metro Stop, Acrylic painting on canvas, 2011, Juried into 2012 Abstract Show at the Brickton Art Center, Park Ridge, Illinois
a series of images and ideas
This series metaphorically represents thoughts, feelings, emotions and gratitude regarding my lifeâ€™s journey. Beyond, it expresses fundamental ideas about all journeys. â€śFlow and religion have been intimately connected from earliest times. Many of the optimal experiences of mankind have taken place in the context of religious rituals. Not only art but drama, music, and dance had their origins in what we now would call â€śreligiousâ€ť settings; that is, activities aimed at connecting people with supernatural powers and entitiesâ€ť. Life greets us in our interactions with God, family, friends, colleagues, nature and all we meet along the way. Lessons are encountered and we are challenged to navigate through them. Our relationships command us to be connected to ourselves, those we meet along the way and the world we inhabit.
Flow, like Water: The Essence of Life is part of us. How we carry ourselves in, around and through our daily endeavors matters. Like water our human â€śFlowâ€ť swirls through and around barriers (cracks, crevices, canyons) we meet in our everyday existence. Some are broken, bursting, deep, explosive, jagged, rocky, sharp, smooth, split, strained, unmovable and vulnerable. They impact, knock, snap and make us wince. They force us to decipher, interpret, and find successful solutions in achieving cathartic ways in moving forward. Our challenge with each commingling is about HOW we FLOW. LOVE, a FLOW state of being and Godâ€™s answer to our quest for happiness is the way. Like water rushing through caverns and canyons our lives surge and flow through life. The result is a wearing down of defenses, attitudes, biases and ignorance. The bounty we have been given by Godâ€™s love for us develops a grateful attitude and awareness of our insignificance as we flow forward.
Cultivating love and a positive attitude in all areas of our lives is the answer. Realizing the world is part of me. I am connected with all life. I am all ages, races, genders, classes, creeds and abilities. This intimacy and acknowledgement requires accountability to others. One must â€śshow upâ€ť in body, mind, spirit and soul.
It is love that allows us to navigate the difficult obstacles of life. This realization allows us to act with gratitude and in appreciative thanksgiving to acknowledge and share the gifts God has given us physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
In his book titled, Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi gives us another quote about the psychology of optimal experience, happiness being one indicator. He likens happiness to an artist/painter in these words. â€śIt is what a painter feels when the colors on the canvas begin to set up a magnetic tension with each other, and a new thing, a living form takes shape in front of the astonished creatorâ€ť.
Artists create this magnetic tension via their entire being and life experiences. Viewers are drawn to this magnetism via their life experiences. This encounter between artist, creation and viewer has significant ramifications and continues the action of FLOW in our world as Water: The Essence of Life gives us our ability to live.
FLOW is a series of paintings consisting of 7 acrylic paintings on paper (11â€ť W X 15â€ť H) plus 2 individual acrylic paintings on canvas (20â€ť X 20â€ť) and a triptych of three canvases (20â€ť + 20â€ť + 20â€ť W X 20â€ť H). FLOW I, II, III, IV, V and VI are only featured in Water: The Essence of Life.