Monday, December 19, 2016

Opinions. Everyone has one.


Recently, I had a fellow artist comment on a piece of work that I created.  I welcome comments.  I’m always surprised when people take the time to comment on my work, so positive or negative, comments are always welcome.  In this instance, the artist did not like the piece. This is fine. Art is subjective and abstract art in particular is very subjective.  Most people either like it or hate it. There is rarely an in between feeling toward abstract art. At least, this is what I have found.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

My Skin (c) 2016 Trisha Leigh Shufelt


To be honest, I’m not actually fond of this piece. I’ve rather crudely nicknamed it, The Golden Turd. 

However, it was not the opinion of the piece that bothered me, it was the interpretation this fellow artist had of the process by which I create, and their projection of how I should create. 

For those who are unaware of how I create art, let me give you a brief breakdown.  When I create abstract art, I often choose a piece of music and tune into the energy it evokes though the music and lyrics.  Sometimes, I have a particular piece of music in mind, but often it is random. While on rotation, the piece will produce colors and visuals in my mind, which I interpret and put onto canvas.  This process actually has a name and is called, Synesthesia.  There are several forms. I won’t bore you with them. You can look it up for yourself.  Many creative types possess this ability.  I’ll be honest; I didn’t know what it was that I was doing actually had a name until recently.  For this particular piece, I had chosen a song called, My Skin, by Natalie Merchant, I had heard on Pandora for the first time that very day.  I thought the melody was stirring, emotional, beautiful, and the lyrics were evocative. My crude interpretation of my own art has nothing to do with Ms. Merchants lyrics, which I feel are brilliant.

These are the lyrics by Natalie Merchant~
Take a look at my body, look at my hands
There's so much here that I don't understand
Your face saving promises, whisper like prayers
And I don't need them
'Cause I've been treated so wrong, I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable
Well, contempt loves the silence, it thrives in the dark
The fine winding tendrils that strangle the heart
They say that promises sweeten the blow
But I don't need them, no I don't need them
I've been treated so wrong, I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable
I'm a slow dying flower in the frost killing hour
Sweet turning sour and untouchable
Oh, I need
The darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this
Need a lullaby
A kiss goodnight
Angel, sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this
I'm a slow dying flower, frost killing hour
The sweet turning sour and untouchable
Do you remember the way that you touched me before
All the trembling sweetness, I loved and adored
Your face saving promises, whispered like prayers
I don't need them
I need the darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this
I need a lullaby
A kiss goodnight
Angel, sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this
Well, is it dark enough
Can you see me?
Do you want me?
Can you reach me?
Or I'm leaving
Then you shut your mouth
And hold your breath
You kiss me now
You catch your death
Oh, I mean this
Oh, I mean this


As, I listened to the song on the first go around, I immediately was struck by the color red. Love, pain, fear, anger, and the root of survival.  Yes, black and darkness came to mind. I then could see a cocoon and then gold.  Healing scars with gold~a Japanese pottery technique. After, several more rotations, the piece was born. Can I relate to the lyrics? Yes.  I think many of us can or have related to this experience at one time or another. 

While the other artist expressed a general overall dislike for the piece, it was more than the dislike that struck me.  What they truly did not like were the lyrics I had chosen, and that by listening to this song on rotation, I was allowing myself to become stuck in the darkness.  While I appreciate their concern for my well-being, and assured them that the process by which I paint did not spiral me into the abyss, I found this advice rather unsettling.  Normally, I would just dismiss this, but something inside of me felt this was not a moment where I should remain silent.  First, art is about creation. It is about interpretation of emotions. It is sometimes therapy.   Sometimes, it is just about releasing energy and making a magical mess in the process.  Just as life is a balance of dark and light, so is art.  Sometimes, I create very soft and ethereal pieces. Other times, I create hard and dark pieces.  I explained to the artist, not everything I do is sunshine and rainbows.  While it may be a reflection of my mood, it may also be a reflection of what I am tuning into, i.e., the music.  I never become trapped within my creations. Instead, I create, I release. I let go.  I create some more. I create many things. So, that is the process. 

Now, for me, the nerve that was struck by this fellow artist’s comments went very deep. This wasn’t about whether or not the person liked my art. No, this was a critique about how I create and perhaps. what I should create. The fact that it came from a fellow artist was even more bothersome.  It is a fascinating and yet, disturbing trend that I am seeing more and more. Actors, musicians and artists seem to be taking the brunt of it.  Don’t talk politics; just entertain us.  While this was clearly not about politics, it was about the way in which I communicated my sense of self though my art. When you try to silence my process, you are trying to silence me. Art is self expression. Art should shake you up and get you thinking.  In the process, it may get you thinking about the very things that you need to work on within yourself.  It may make you uncomfortable. If it strikes a nerve, it is because something needs healing and integrating within the self.  And yes, this struck a nerve. Therefore, I am working on the healing of that within myself.   WE seem to be living in a time where the lack of control in the world around us, forces us to want to control how others think, feel and behave.  It is often masked by concern, fear, or for the so called greater good.  My suggestion is to self-check before you express your opinion. Where is it truly coming from? To quote my Reiki teacher, “Checky. Checky.”


And for the creative types, don’t let your voice be silenced by the key stroke or opinions of others. Keep creating thought provoking material. Keep using your voice. Never let anyone’s opinion silence you, or dictate what, or how you create art.

Blessings!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Bold Brush

Hi there,

I hope everyone is doing well. I have been busy between art shows and haven't had much creative energy. I almost thought my muse had taken a permanent vacation. Much to my surprise, she came back in full force this past week and I have been painting like a mad woman. The above image, entitled Remember Me is one of my latest mixed media works. I've entered it into FASO's Bold Brush Art Contest for the month of October. Only a couple days left to vote on it. Your vote won't necessarily get me into the winner's circle, as the final judgement belongs to an artist judge, but it does help get my work noticed, and for that, I am truly grateful. So, if you have time before the 31st, consider voting for this piece. It is simple and easy. Just click the link and then verify your vote though your email. http://faso.com/boldbrush/painting/115050

I've always wanted to do a piece featuring a cross. I'm not religious, but I am a highly spiritual individual, and I love symbolism of any kind. I wanted something that sharply contrasted and stood out. I chose deep reds and oranges (sort of a Southwestern mix) as the backdrop. For me, this comes from the root chakra, and our sense of security. The cross itself is a deep shade of turquoise (one of my favorite colors) and very symbolic of the throat chakra, which is our need to be heard. I wanted it to be off center, because I felt that this was more profound of hidden meanings and messages. It almost looks like water.

Recently, I sat down with a friend and we spoke in length about my artwork, use of color and positon of images on canvas. It was truly enlightening. If you drew a cross through the center of the page, the left half would be the past and the right half would be the future. The top half is our conscious mind and the bottom half is our subconscious mind (what we are working on below the surface. Hmmmm. I've got a lot going on here in this one.

I'm excited about the direction of my abstract pieces and recently had another friend share my art page with the comment, if you like soulful abstracts. This meant so much to me. I love abstract art, but often hear people say, "I don't get it" or "It just looks like paint pushed around the canvas. Anyone can do that." This is not necessarily said about my work, thank goodness, but I have heard it on many occasions about the genre of art.

Again, if you have a moment, consider voting for my art. It is likely a vote you will feel good about, which is sometimes hard to imagine during this election year. And, if you have a moment, stop by my website http://artinsoul.org/ to view some of my new abstract pieces.

Lots of love!!!
Trish

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Crazy Train

I feel like I've been on a crazy train.  I can't believe I haven't blogged anything since April.  From April to now, I've been wrapped up in several projects, shows and frankly, too much distraction.  I have a show tomorrow and one at the end of the month. After that, it is some much needed down time. I've even deactivated my personal page on FB.  Too much political garbage in my feed and I just need to take a break from it all.  I feel that unplugging will do me a great deal of good and hopefully open up the flood gates of creativity that seemed to have bogged up lately.  I am keeping my art page open, and do plan to re-open the personal page, but I'm not sure when.

Since April, I revamped my website and joined FASO.  It is a much more professional platform for artists. I've also been diving more into mixed media, abstract art and find this process very satisfying. I've been crafty, making various pieces, which explore a more spiritual side of myself and incorporate natural elements, such as shells and crystals (see pics below).  I repainted my studio and took care of some personal issues. Life is clipping along at a fast pace.  I'm also catching up on some Netflix shows that I've been wanting to see. I began exploring Soul Collage as a way to open up some inner dialogue. If you have any facilitators in your area, I highly recommend it. I also recently turned 47 and until that day was convinced I was only turning 46.  Somewhere between cancer and 47, I lost a year. People say that happens.  I now know what they mean. Despite the lost year, I'm feeling a renewed sense of health and strength. I don't know what direction I will be heading in 2017, but I'm trusting in the Universe. I know it won't let me down.





Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kaleidoscope

Hi everyone.  I just finished up a new mixed media piece that I wanted to share with you.  This one is called Kaleidoscope (for obvious reasons).  I love the vibrancy of color in this one.  Below the pictures is a link to a short video about the piece.  The other link is to my etsy store where it is available for purchase.






https://www.facebook.com/trisha.shufelt/videos/10206273299537439/

https://www.etsy.com/listing/275295032/mixed-media-art-assemblage-textile-art?ref=shop_home_feat_4

Monday, April 4, 2016

More Art You Can Touch

Sorry, I haven't been on here more, but I have been so busy creating art.  Guess that is a good thing. I've created two new mixed media pieces from the Art You Can Touch Series.  One is a 7x14 size and the other is a whopping 12 x36!!! Both were a great deal of fun to make.  I've also attached a link to a video if you wish to see a little more about the pieces.  Hope you like them.






https://www.facebook.com/trisha.shufelt/videos/10206217202135039/

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Art You Can Touch

I love mixed media art and since I originally began as a sculptor, it seems only fitting that I would eventually merge my love of sculpture with painting.  I have created a number of pieces lately and just finished up an abstract called, The Golden  Trees.  It is a 12x12 piece utilizing acrylic paint, sculpting medium and fabric.  It is available in my etsy store.  Below are a few pictures and a link to a short video about the piece.  






https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205961673026971&set=a.2459622015957.2116383.1414364808&type=3&theater

Available at-https://www.etsy.com/listing/270638200/golden-trees-mixed-media-assemblage-art?ref=shop_home_feat_4

Monday, February 29, 2016

SPECIAL SALE

I've decided that once a month, I am going to post a piece (an original work of art/limited edition or something special) at a ridiculously low price. I will keep it on etsy for one month. At the end of the month, I will post another piece in its place (sold or not sold). This will be marked as Special Sale. This will be an excellent chance to grab something really unique at a price you wouldn't normally see. If it takes off, I will keep doing it.

The first item up for grabs is an original painting of a bat used in my Mystic's Dream Oracle Card Deck. The image was for the Major Arcana card, the Hanged Man.  If you are a fan of bats, this is a must have.  It is an 11x14 original acrylic painting for only 20.00 plus shipping.  

The SPECIAL SALE LASTS FROM 2/29 UNTIL 3/29.  If this painting does not sell within 30 days, something else will take its place.  If it sells before 30 days, then something else will go in its place and the 30 day SPECIAL SALE begins all over again!!


Click link to got to listing~

https://www.etsy.com/listing/254567315/special-sale-30-day-post-acrylic?ref=shop_home_feat_4