My journey into painting has been a magical one. I was in my mid 40’s and had always secretly felt there was an artist in me. A corporate layoff gave me the courage to jump in and find out. I threw myself into oil painting and started creating paintings at an astonishing rate and discovered that a new life purpose had begun to unfold.
From the start I only wanted to paint people. They were frequently dressed in costume and had a bit of “other-worldliness” about them, which surprised and intrigued me.
I soon started to feel that if people came and sat for me that I would get ‘intuitive information’ about them. For example, I might see them as a Native American in full headdress. And wouldn’t it be interesting if they had a particular resonance with the Native American culture. The idea would not go away, and in fact grew stronger until I knew I had to try it. After a couple of successful practice runs, Soul Portraits were born and I was off and running.
The Current Process: Clients come to my studio for a photo shoot (or I work from a provided photo). One significant distinction in my work is that I do not interview my clients and prefer to know little about them. I let the work speak for itself.
After their sitting, I go through a meditative process to “call in” imagery for their highest good. I receive intuitive images that are often surreal. I trust completely that what is revealed is meant specifically for each client. I tell people that “I am just delivering the mail”.
So far, all of my 90+ clients have had a very personal and potentially profound response to their portraits. I’ve witnessed tears, laughter and hours of remarkable in-depth interpretations and I am deeply moved by their personals stories. I have found the common thread to these portraits is that they capture a person’s essence and help people remember who they are.
When I began painting these portraits, I was truly amazed; not only by the meaningful imagery, but also that I could paint like this. I consider myself self-taught other than a few art classes when I was young. For me, it just adds to the miraculous nature of this work. I am in awe of this process and am honored to be the means by which these healing and emotionally significant images often materialize.
Six years into the Soul Portraits I began doing the same process with animals. No interviewing and using a meditative process to receive the imagery. Happily, my clients have not only resonated with the imagery but have also said that I absolutely captured their pet. This has been particularly comforting for those that have had me paint their deceased companions.
After 9 years of painting in oil, I spontaneously switched to acrylic. I love working in acrylic for the speed and options for mixed media. And most importantly, it is less toxic to work with.
Many people had an intense response to the Soul Portraits. I often heard that they reminded them of Tarot cards. This lead me to create a “Personal Inquiry Card Deck”. There is a soul portrait on one side and a probing inquiry question on the back. A great tool for the introspective types. Many have told me they use the deck as a conversation starter. (see the nav bar for more)
All was going swimmingly until the Soul Portrait work slowed down. I’ve learned that when that happens its time to ask “What is it that wants to happen now? What new idea is trying to have its voice?” Then POW! I became obsessed with making these quirky dolls that I called “JuJu PeePs. Each was unique and none were pretty. I think that’s why people loved them. They each had a healing message. I made them like crazy for about 2 years and then moved on. There are few remaining in my studio.
I created an online greeting card site called “Make it Real” e-cards. That segued into a popular, physical Greeting Card line. Cards are available for purchase from this site under “Greeting Cards” in the nav bar. They are also for sale in my studio, the MarinMOCA museum store, Riley Street Art Supply store in San Rafael, CA and at Eurasian Interiors in Sonoma, CA.
The collage cards were begging to be put into a book so I created “Soul Stirrings”. It’s 86 pages of quirky art with quotes and my “nuggets o’ truth” about each subject. May they invite inspiration and introspection, as well as acceptance and appreciation of our humanness. See nav bar for preview and purchase option.
These paperweights are a visual delight! They have glitter that reflects the light and really makes them pop! Each domed glass piece is 3″ in diameter and they are currently available in my studio. There are many different designs and are $27.65 each.