Years of living with chronic fatigue, pain and stress forced me into finding a new way to live. It’s taken practice, lots of practice to unplug from the hectic, push push push lifestyle North American society has become noted for – it used to be seen in a positive light, but I think too many people have suffered and burned out from the exhaustive pace it requires.
Even as an artist I tended to put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to succeed, but my body continued to complain. In 2015 I did a lot of unplugging and spent three weeks in France, with time to reflect and contemplate what I wanted and how I wanted to live.
Mostly I wanted to learn how to do what I loved in a pace where I could thrive and with lots of time to breathe.
As I began 2016 with a fresh perspective, I immersed myself in painting to get ready to secure gallery representation. There were lots of things to do but I armed myself with a plan, thought out achievable goals and a scheduler to keep me focused and in check.
Having this disciplined studio practice became a fascinating experience and what became apparent was how tuned in it had allowed me to become to the changes of the season. The style and colours of my painting shifted along with the seasons and I’ve loved it immensely. It’s made me tune more into the energy of each season and live it in my life too. My inner landscape shifts and changes along with the paintings.
As a result, I’ve fallen even more in love with painting than I was before. With my consistent and disciplined time at the easel, my tools of the trade are becoming extensions of my emotions, how my body is feeling, and how I’m tuned in to my environment – i.e. the cycles of our planet.
My Resurgent Spring series was fiery and alive and I was enthralled in their painting, now the season is shifting again and I feel the energy of Magical Summer weaving in. You might think that with longer days and a fiery sun, it might be even more passionate, but I’m finding the energy softer and with a playful loving grace influence.
In my first two pieces of this series, Tender Embrace and I Believe in You, I was inspired to do some childhood healing. I wanted to reflect upon my tender years and fill them, me, and my family with love. I found that it came naturally and I painted these feelings and this energy into the paintings as I glanced periodically at some photos of my childhood.
Top left is me on my dad’s lap. Top right I’m front and center. Bottom left is a photo that I have remembered all these decades. Bottom right is me and my mum on a family vacation in Prince Edward Island.
I feel like this process of feeling, remembering and choosing to love has changed me. I loved seeing which colours wanted to reflect what I was feeling in these two paintings and I loved how it just flowed with ease. I was reminded always of sweetness and innocence.
When I finished Tender Embrace I felt so much gratitude and peaceful. The following day I went out with my sweetie, dropped him off while he got a hair cut and went to a park to enjoy the summery weather. I saw a swing and smiled. I just had to.
I swung and didn’t have a care in the world. I thought once again of my childhood and simply enjoyed the experience of feeling like a kid again.
My darling friends, when I got home I read this email I had received from a top-rated gallery in Florida, and my heart was exploding with joy!! Here is a little bit about what they said:
“I would first like to tell you what a dynamic and talented artist you are. We are extremely impressed with your diversity and range.
Your paintings are incredible. Every single one of them!!!
Typically I like to point out a few paintings that truly stand out, but I can honestly tell you Kiernan that your entire Mystical Winter and Resurgent Spring Collections are brilliant, truly brilliant!!!
Each and every single one of them would look phenomenal in our gallery and be perfect for our art market.”
Ah… listen to the soft whisperings of your heart, stand tall and do the work. Dreams do come true.