The Art of Soulfulness

"Hello Spring" Mixed-media acrylic painting on 16x20 canvas board.

“Hello Spring” Mixed-media acrylic painting on 16×20 canvas board.

You’ve probably heard by now about the online art class that Juliette Crane is giving called Serendipity.  And looking at the artwork that I’ve posted so far it’s kind of hard to see any relation between what I am churning out and the amazing work of Juliette Crane.  I understand exactly what you are saying.  Kinda strange, huh?

Yeah, I get that.  But then when you really think about it , when you understand what’s really going on in this online art class, it may not seem so strange anymore.

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After watching Juliette painting in video after video, at first imitation seemed the way to go.  So paint was slapped onto canvas after canvas in an attempt to mimmick what was going on in those fabulous videos.   

But the mystery behind Juliett’s  paintings was not what she was painting, it was something else.  It was kind of like magic and I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

So I watched, and I watched.  And I watched those darned videos.  And the more I tried to do what Juliett did, the more my painting looked like garbage.  You know what I mean, a hideous combination of colors and lines and globs of  mud with an alien looking creature kinda just stuck there in the middle.

And then I scraped all the paint off  my canvas in a frenzy, took what was left of the canvas board and threw it violently in the garbage can.  And I was proud of that and hastily stomped out of the kitchen.  I was finished.

Five minutes later, I went back in the kitchen and pulled the canvas back out.  I spent a few days thinking about it all.  I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t create something beautiful.

And then it hit me:  The magic of Juliette’s work wasn’t the kind of paint she was using, or how she drew her characters. It wasn’t the lines, or the squiggles or the circles.  It was her soulfulness.  

I finally got it.  I had not been tapping in to that deepest most inner part of my soul, I had been trying to copy what Juliette was doing instead of how she was doing it.  Instead of using Juliette’s favorite colors, I needed to find colors that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Instead of  using the exact same lines and symbols that were true to Juliette’s heart, I needed to let my own heart flow through to my work.

I have a long way to go until I am working as completely from my soul as Juliette works, but I am finally on that path.  I have lots to learn about colors and composition, but I now understand that more than anything else, I need to learn how to really just let go, dig down to the deepest parts of my soul and let it flow out into my work.  

I need to get down and dirty. . .   get funky and loose. . . .   I need to get soulful.        xoxoTana

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