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  • Writer's pictureAnn Hemdahl-Owen

Creating a Painting

I want to share the creative process. As the painting progresses I will add thoughts and experiences that create changes. Typically, I begin with a red thread that meanders across the canvas. (This is a gift from and founder/artist Shiloh Sophia and their workshops.) Then, colors and shapes appear. In the past I always planned and sketched ideas until problems were solved and the painting seemed complete Now, I trust inspiration and continue to build on the intuitive process that develops in the painting. This painting of the "Wisdom Keepers" pulls me back to earlier wise Mothers that had great power in the ancient past. I imagine this is a sacred ceremony for healing. I became uncomfortable with the fire sticks. They reminded me of ceremonies I knew of in the deep south during the 1960's. The sticks quickly disappeared.

:The second in the sequence of the Wisdom Keepers included both a sun and moon. The banner with an orange globe became a vibrating symbol of energy. The moon became darkened to balance the three globes: sun, moon and symbol of energy. Pine trees became palms. The entire ceremony moved from Scandinavia, where my grandparents migrated from, to the tropics. Giant hands entered the painting, two on each side. They seemed to guide, protect and support the ceremony with a Higher Spiritual Wisdom.

The giant guiding hands became incorporated in the background and the women gathered in prominence for ceremony. To create space to move around and breathe in, a middle ground developed with mountains, a waterfall, a pond and two creatures... a snake and a wild cat. Stars grew in the sky.

Weeks later, the completion of the Wisdom Keepers. Many times I carried the painting to the bedroom so I could see it in different locations, different lighting, different times of the day. Sometimes I turned the painting upside down or sideways. All of these processes helped me see with fresh eyes.

To balance the water fall on the right, I needed something on the left. Birds flew into the painting, To find the best positions, I cut out birds from white paper and moved them around until they balanced the white linear quality of the waterfall. Finally, I realized the environment is an essential part of the story.

This is an important focus for me! We are faced with serious environmental issues, in addition to the political, national and international events. All of these need immediate attention. Perhaps some ways of the past like cooperation and honoring the wisdom of the elders is important for our times.

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