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  • Writer's pictureNicole

Breakthrough: Spiritual Freedom Takes Center Stage

Happy Saturday, ya'll! In today's blog post, I thought I would breakdown a recent piece of mine that has signified a breakthrough for me in both creative process and theme.

One of the things I delight in as an artist is painting images that are loud, bold... quirky even. When I delve deeper into the meaning behind my work, it's really about freedom--the freedom to express both as the artist and as the viewer/collector. Upon realizing this, I started to reflect on the many ways that the concept of "freedom" has influenced my life. Now, I'm not talking about patriotic freedom. I'm talking about freedom of expression; emotional freedom; and even spiritual freedom. This is where this piece picks up.

Originally, this art work was going to be part of a mixed media abstract series inspired by Dreamer's City, but upon laying down the acrylic layers, I found the image to be uninspiring and contrived. I just wasn't excited, so I decided to take a picture of it and plug it into Photoshop to play around with images and come up with something that would fit this theme of spiritual freedom.

Original concept

Why spiritual freedom? For me, I've found this to be the basis of my artistic journey. So many obstacles in my life have been overcome through spirituality and while it is more serious in tone, it is still exceedingly important to me and to my art. I can honestly say I'm not sure that I would've ever found art as a path if it weren't for those [many] quiet, still moments of meditation. Thus, I wanted to build a series of work that was a nod and honored that part of me and also would inspire others to see the light of their own spiritual nature.

After doing some plugging and layering, I came up with my photo reference and started to redirect my course. It was so fulfilling bringing this image to life! It was also fulfilling being able to deviate from the source and "listen" to what the canvas was telling me to make the best decisions possible as I painted. This truly felt like a partnership between artist and muse.

Work in progress photo (oil layer)

After several more layers (and some facial reconstructions...), I finally achieved the look I was going for. This piece gave me so much joy to create from reimagining my creative process to challenging me to create something "deeper". I'm truly delighted to be able to show it and transition from creator to viewer.

The name "Elspeth" was suggested to me by another artist on Instagram and after looking it up, it was clear that it is the right fit. It translates directly to "chosen by God".

As the viewer, I feel particularly awestruck by this painting. It feels so soulful and hopeful, almost like a rebirth or awakening is happening before us. I've noticed lately that very naturally my work has messages of hope and light sprinkled through it. Whether it's through my newest affirmation series (soon to be featured in this blog!) or through individual pieces, it's like my spirit is called towards expressing messages of hope. And who doesn't need a little of that these days, amirite?!


Let me know in the comments--what feelings does this piece inspire in you?

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