Some days I have a theme in mind when I begin my meditative art, or a particular issue has arisen, and when I began my meditation for this piece I was focusing on the Heart chakra, so I chose the relevant colour green.
From there my spinning thoughts stitch words and feelings together, before I’ve even begun to meditate. From 'green' I get nature, land, love, centredness, connection, and behind it is movement and the desire to move towards (or away from) something I can’t quite pinpoint. Not yet.
I never title my work until finished, which is always in one session. I leave it to dry, leave the room and come back to it, hours later, or possibly the next day.
It’s at that point when I might change my mind as to which way up the piece should be altogether. Although I ‘read’ something in every work I produce when I make the last mark, I often read something more powerful from a different angle.
This isn't an aspect I can control in my painting, since I try to view it as little as possible in process, usually wearing a scarf over my eyes to limit vision and expectation. I find I get excited by the surprise element when this happens – it's like my artwork speaking back to me.
Ceramics courses I took a couple of years ago honed me for this. You have little control over wheelwork (as a beginner) and less control over the outcome when a piece goes into the kiln. Unforeseen accidents happen all the time, such as the glaze of another piece dripping to spoil it in firing; glaze sticking to the base of the kiln and chipping; at worst it can just crack.
Whilst I strived for the perfect mug, and had about 15 attempts that never quite got there to show for it, I also recognised what the whole course taught me, above learning a new skill: it taught me to let go of control and letting the process flow, of letting the process happen.
So, when I do title my artwork – and get to pinpoint what they are truly about – I decide in this case on Let the Heart Lead.
I sense this one is about following my truth, of not what I think should be, or what should happen. It’s about action that is driven from the right space, from truth, from soul, from the heart, which is wholly what my art is about.
It is allowing emotion, feeling, and channelling what can be unhelpful in a heated or sensitive moment into creating something more positive, or heartfelt.
Let the Heart Lead is about being brave, of opening up to new directions, to new experiences, to new beginnings, to being open-hearted and seeing where that leads. It is my anti-anxiety piece.