Putting it Together
From the first moments I began to truly dedicate my self to my visual art (in 2008) I began to “see” the painted metaphors that parallel the “Art of Living”. Through the creation process, I have learned internally what has shaped my worldview and guided my external path. Though I had always considered myself an “impatient person,” through painting I have learned the Art of Devotion, the inner joy experienced through the process and the pride of a vision starring back at me.
The metaphors that have co created my life have become a strong conducting force and its obvious to me that its time to step into a larger frame, and as many have said for years “see the Bigger Picture.” These thoughts and feelings are sprouting right now because I have recently finished my BIGGEST project yet, a mural! At the same time, one of my pieces called “Think Globally” has been selected to be on a billboard in San Francisco and I was recently gifted a couple of huge canvases out of the blue. Guess it IS time to GO Big, Think Globally and Act locally!
The mural, located at corner of Sunset Cliffs and Adair surrounds the first house where Ob turns into Sunset Cliffs. It’s my first PUPLIC project that happens to be a new pART of a place dear to my heART. I have had my home studio in OB since 2007, making it the most consistent anchor in my life. Through years of world travels and various affiliations, weaving through communities including Acro-Yoga, dance jam, circus arts, puppet play, Hip hop, Film/production, visual artists, musiians, and so on, I have all remained rooted in good old OB. While painting the iconic OB peace sign I felt a new sensation, a sense of camaraderie, like I was becoming some sort of artistic cheerleader. Not solely expression a BIG “hooray” for our team but saying (through imagery) lets elevate or minds in our local community by sharing beauty and color that we AND visitors can enjoy and benefit from.
Expanding- the breezy, the easy and the unpleasing
I have Scott Stephens, manager of Liquid Blue band to thank for this opportunity to not only paint Bigger and become a bigger part of my local community, but to learn about myself in a bigger way. To grow and become “bigger” one must expand, and to expand, metaphorically speaking, one must morph and shift in form. This can be a challenge for when we change we enter the unknown. I wont pretend for a minute that this project was a breeze. Well… the breeze DID come in the form of a rainstorm that blew my ‘easy’ up over the cliffs, making things not so easy. Working with the elements was new experience for me as a painter working under a specific deadline. The night owl became a morning bird, working 11 hours deliriously for 14 days, where sunsets somehow appeared only minutes away from sunrise. Despite the gorgeous ocean sunset gift to end my workday, I only peaked while scrambling to get my last strokes finished before my ‘studio’ was shut down. There is no negotiating with the sun! Surrender! No negotiating with the rain…. surrender. Lesson 1J
Though naively underestimating the scope of the project while accepting, it did not take me long to realize that I was going to need to call for backup, yet another new realm of expansion for me. I never collaborated on a personal art creation before and it took be a little while to even figure out how to ask for and receive help. I talked myself out of being a control freak while looking at the ‘big picture’ (and logical one at that). I selected “jobs” that others could contribute to while still making sure the image as a whole held together and had my touch. I have always been a visionary painter, one who paints symbolic art, but this was beyond the act of painting it was being a Visionary person (period). One who holds the vision and sees how it can be developed without needing to get caught up in every shape so to speak. Though this took some trust, It was necessary and a smart decision! So much gratitude to all who helped… Seriously!
The lesson of Trust did not just come with trusting others but more so with trusting myself! If I wanted to work big and keep moving, I had to trust my hand. There was no time for second-guessing. Each stroke became and immediate visual representation of my vulnerability and confidence, as I told myself, “I am an artist to the core and what comes out of me WILL be art”as I bravely laid down layers. Choosing to not worry about the lines being ‘perfect’ or straight, I allowed the shakes in my hand to become a part of the movement in the ocean and the eMOTION which gives my art its “signature”. In order to do this I couldn’t get caught up in every little detail, when I did I would loose perspective on the mural as a whole and my priorities in how in how to success-FULLy execute the project. So in a strange way it was almost like not focusing on each image allowed space for me to make the full picture emerge. Then when seeing it fully I could zoom back in to the areas that seemed out of place or needed more work. Now take what I just said and apply it to life. See what I mean about this metaphor thing? Pretty BIG teachings! And plentyFULL!
Working on site, also for first time created the challenge of having immediate feedback from client, making me more flexible in my creativity yet also and more direct with my vision and words if need be. ThankFULLY the band is pleased as I brought in all the ELEMENTS they requested (Literally and figuratively). The creation itself is full of symbolism and brings in the elements of air, water and earth. Unfortunately, on my LAST day finishing up the BIG baby I got word that some sour seeds in the Point Loma neighborhood community were unpleased by the obvious outward-ness of this expression. They claimed to the counsel that is was violating code, which after speaking to the city it turns out we are not. Phew. Although this brought upon a sad feeling inside me, it also reminded my how Big this work is. Big enough to even threaten others who may not be as open to this expansion. This is what makes me and others “Peace Warriors.” To be willing to not only BE out of the out of the ordinary “box,” but to stand in the front of marching line and MOVE forward. I grounded the piece with a tree to ground myself and a peace dove to remind myself of what it and I stand for, as well as root and elevate those living in the home and all who pass by. It can forever be a root and a staple of peace in our minds worldwide.
“Peace worldwide starts from inside” this is a line in one of my rap songs titled Think Globally, which coincides with my painting Think Globally that will be on a billboard in SF jan 6th-feb 6th (on Columbus Ave- in between the Kearny St. & Jackson St. intersections) I plan to take a trip up there and film some of the music video under the blown UP art. I lost all my footage in India that was dedicated to this song but all of a sudden I feel a new burst of inspiration! Think Globally art piece depicts a being with the mind as the earth, promoting thinking about our planet, or home. I hope that these metaphors of life can also encourage others to see and feel what guides them higher in expansion. Go Big AND go home, where the heART is.
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