“Creativity is a spiritual experience. A conversation between oneself and one’s soul.” (Sue Monk Kidd)
When I moved from Africa to New Zealand, I felt like I had lost my way artistically. I had gone from being a recognized wildlife artist to being a foreigner, an alien, someone speaking a unknown language.
Art speaks by evoking shared emotion between the artist and the viewer – when you feel “Ah yes, I love that too” or “Oh I have felt that too.” then a conversation is happening. I could tell that what I painted was meaningless to many of the people who saw it. Their eyes moved over it as if it was wallpaper.
I spent many months soul searching, groping in the dark to find my way. Every path I tried was blocked until I felt like I had been pruned down to a bare stump.
When I prayed, the picture that I got about my creativity was that it was like a seed deeply buried in the dark.
Rainer Maria Rilke said:
“…go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create”
When I go to my heart of hearts, I feel compelled to create. If I couldn’t paint, I would write. If I couldn’t paint, or write, if I was unable to move or speak, I would still think in pictures and tell myself stories.
I have loved art, spirituality, animals and psychology most of my life. I studied psychology, theology and counselling for my degree, and painted wildlife art, so my spiritually and psychology merged, and my love of art and animals merged, the two different strands carrying on separately from each other. With the apparent failure of my art career, the two strands merged when I decided to look within and paint from the world of depth psychology, spirituality, archetypes and symbols.
I like to paint things that speak to more than just our intellectual minds, things that touch our emotions and bring hidden thoughts and feelings from our unconscious.
“Who would like some more ice” Series
I started painting the “Who would like some more ice” series after seeing a comment that people spend longer looking at paintings of citrus that other subject matter. As I was wondering why that was, I mused that I associate citrus with lemon, and lemon with ice in a glass. The link with ice got me thinking about polar ice and polar bears, and the series was born. I have so much fun designing and painting this series!