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I love how similar Water-Colors are to the ancient art of Sumi-Painting. The fluid dance of water and pigment is ever changing and beckons us to stay present in the moment, and to 'go with the flow'. We become guides, allowing the colors to mix and merge, and for the unplanned to become beautiful.
The goal is not to render the appearance of the subject, but rather to capture its spirit. I have found the painted spirit is not only a reflection of the subject, but also of the artist’s spirit in the moment. This is why I love to create joyful environments for others to express their creativity. The same principals of painting with Water-Colors can be carried to all areas of our lives. Observing, allowing, and 'going with the flow', helps us to appreciate the unseen and deepens our relationships, thus leading to living happier and healthier lives.
I used to believe that being an artist required many hours of being alone. Certainly there are times that I stay up late painting into the wee hours of the night inspired by the peace and quiet.. Now there are just as many times I create beautiful work while painting with friends.
Talking , laughing and encouraging each other is a great way to quiet any tendencies of self judgement. When we try something new in a group we feel connected, even if we are quietly immersed in our own creativity. The close proximity is condusive to exploration, often like little babies we experience 'parallel play'.
Joy is present in every group I've led through a creative process. Even in stressful situations - like a shy child at a party who is afraid to paint - or a professional designer facing a short deadline, as soon as they immerse into the creative process, all feelings of fear and stress dissolve. The creative process always leads people to feel free and fulfilled. I believe this because when we make art we open our heart. Making art is an act of love, and fear is not able to exist in love. Even when the creative endeavor is an expression of sad, angry or fearful emotions, the process of creativity over rides and is cathartic. When we express ourselves with open hearts, negative emotions clear bringing about feelings of