Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Soul Retrieval


Title: Soul Retrieval
16x20 acrylic (and other 'stuff') on canvas

Summer is over and I'm hopefull that Fall will bring happier times.
The past three months have been the most challenging time of my life. I have a lot of changes on the horizon. Because of everything I'm dealing with at the moment, I haven't created any real art since the end of June.  Finally, yesterday, I created 'Soul Retrieval'.This painting represents to me the culmination of "all that".

It is actually a piece that I began last summer.  It was an abstract using foil as collage. Then last Fall I decided I didn't like it so I scraped black acrylic all over the surface.  This past weekend, I white washed a lot of it and then scraped it back in spots. Yesterday, I decided to squeeze some aqua blue directly onto the canvas and that's when things really started to happen ... the surface is quite textured due to the crumpled foil I originally used.  Once I had the aqua blue spread out I decided to take the sanding block and sand the surface back in spots. When I did this, some of the foil started to peel back in places. I helped this along by pulling/peeling back the layers. In some instances it peeled back to a smooth, shiny foil layer and in other instances right down to the bare canvas. I really enjoyed this process ...
it felt like I was revealing something that was precious and determined to be revealed.

It was all very abstract at first and then I painted a band of horizontal black and white stripes near the bottom of the painting. This is where the trouble began ... I was trying to just go with the flow and let the painting develop the way it wanted to, but I struggled quite a while with this now fairly prominent checkerboard pattern I had created that now was threatening to mess everything up!  First, I extended the checkered 'line' downwards (which is now the left arm of the figure).  That just seemed to make things worse!  I kept telling myself to breathe and 'trust the process and don't get discouraged'.  This was HARD. Next, I decided to extend the lines downward to the bottom of the painting, forming what is now the torso of the figure. At first, I thought this shape should become a house.  It felt like a house to me.  But oh wait ... there was the problem of this awkward appendage protruding from the square!  I decided to go with it ... it wanted to be a figure ... I painted the other arm extending upwards. Then I went to my sketchbook to try and work out what the figure would look like.  Here's that sketch ...


I went back to the canvas and painted the figure. I struggled with the decision to give her hair or not.  In the end, as you can see ... bald is beautiful.  In deciding wether or not to give her hair, I thought about my 'Rebirth' painting which also features a bald figure. I asked myself if I was not giving this figure hair because I was scared to paint the hair in fear of messing everything up ... a form of avoidance of course!  I sat with this thought for awhile and then I went and got the 'Rebirth' painting (which coincidentally is the same size canvas) and I placed the two paintings side by side.  That confirmed it.  No hair!  I think the two paintings relate beautifully together.  What do you think?



Suffice it to say that 'Soul Retrieval' is a powerful metaphor for what is happening in my life right now.  Even reading back over what I've written is very revealing to me.  I can recognize levels of meaning as I 'read between the lines'. This is why I LOVE ART!!!!!

5 comments:

  1. Rachelle, this speaks so much to me... Partly because I know some of the struggles behind it and how well you're coping with them, but mainly because it's so artfully done! I really love it. Great work!

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  2. Rachelle,I just wanted to first tell you I love you very much....Secondly I just want you to know you have AMAZING talent and you need to keep beleiving in your self.Please keep in touch.

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  3. Raunda, thank you so much for your comment ... it means a lot to me.

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  4. Soul Retrieval is very easy for the client. They lie relaxed and comfortable and I journey to the Lower World, using the sound of my rattle to help change my level of consciousness so I can journey and search for the missing soul part. Very often I am given a gift to bring back to the client along with a power animal, an ally, which assists and supports the client on their own journey through life.
    Soul Retrieval

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  5. Your blog is very informative i think this very useful

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