Sometimes it’s a hit, and sometimes it’s a miss…

Sometimes it’s a hit, and sometimes it’s a miss…

“Come out here where the roses have opened.

Let soul and world meet.”

~ Rumi

It’s not all sugar and spice and everything nice. Nope.

Sometimes nothing works. The question hanging in the air… do I scrap it and begin again, or keep at it, hoping for the flash of genius that ties it all together?

The photo in the post is a work-in-progress detail shot – of a second piece I started up, when the first one was going deeper and deeper into the ugly phase, and I had to switch things up.

I kind of like the play on colours in this close-up. Sadly though, not so much in the over all piece.

Why oh why did this song suddenly pop into my head… maybe we all needed a little pick me up… Enjoy!


Going into the uncomfortableness of chaos…

Going into the uncomfortableness of chaos…

“You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now.

No one can advise or help you – no one.

There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet

I’m diving deep into uncomfortable territory today.

Truthfully, my breath is a bit squeezed and shallow. Trying new techniques.

Using a different type of palette that I’m not used to and finding it’s really not conducive to our northern climate.

Into the ugly phase now… the most challenging place to be as an artist, especially when trying something new.

Do I pause? Breathe… contemplate… trust in the process… Keeping going until it becomes something with a glimmer of hope, revealing the way forward?

No fear! That’s what I hear. If it stinks, so what! Begin again. Or be pleasantly surprised with flash of genius to bring it home.

I often put way too much pressure on myself, do you?


“Try to be like the turtle –

at ease in your own shell.”

~ Bill Copeland


Are Female Abstract Expressionists Finally Getting Their Due?

Are Female Abstract Expressionists Finally Getting Their Due?

One of my Resurgent Spring paintings, Bold Faith had been sitting unnoticed on an easel in my studio for a few weeks, then we decided to hang it on a wall in our living room for a while. It was then that I began to really start to appreciate it.

Actually, I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off it and it quickly became one of my favourite pieces. It made me realize that I think I had been not looking favourably on it before, deeming it too bold, too crazy.

But here, I saw it in a different light. It’s depth… it’s power… and it’s impressiveness felt captivating and so alive with its message of living with Bold Faith and just going for it.

Artists are typically a more sensitive breed and prone to judging our muse in a harsh light at times… not always appreciating the voice or energy or expression that insists on being painted.

There are times when I have an idea or impression of what I want to paint, but my body, my soul, and the brush or palette knife have their way – always. They have become the force that moves me and the paint.

It’s an artists job to listen and create from that inner space AND without a worry of who or if anyone will understand or appreciate what comes from that inward journey. An artists job is to believe in oneself.

Recently, a friend (thanks BW!) sent me a link to this article, written by By Alexxa Gotthardt, he thought I would appreciate – it’s linked so you can click on the title to see the full article:

11 Female Abstract Expressionists You Should Know, from Joan Mitchell to Alma Thomas

I have to say that it made quite an impact on me, actually.

Gotthardt writes:

Abstract Expressionism is largely remembered as a movement defined by the paint-slinging, hard-drinking machismo of its poster boys Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

I hadn’t actually thought of this before but it’s true. The article goes on to talk about how the early female abstract expressionist artists were marginalized and to combat this disease some of them resorted to using a male pseudonym to get their art seen.

As I viewed these works I found myself contemplating my experience of believing and accepting in the voice working through me as an abstract expressionist artist.

As you can see these paintings are bold and strong and perhaps not necessarily what would seem to come from a woman, that is, in our conditioned belief of a woman’s energy being soft, beautiful, flowing and feminine.

These artists had the courage to break out of this mold and give voice to their passion and their fury of striking independent feelings.

I salute them. I praise them and I am grateful to them.

While I am (when most healthy and balanced) lived and expressed as a dominant inward, still and reflective person, the works emerging through this energy and essence is strong, potent, powerful, alive, wild and raw.

It’s tapping into something that speaks to life on a microcosmic and macrocosmic scale, and while I began my art career wanting to paint a feminine beauty in the world, this something else took over.

It’s a consuming, healing, and emotional inward journey… to the heart, the soul and the cosmos.

Gotthardt’s article brought to my attention how I sometimes worried whether my art was accepted or judged as too strong.

It is a reminder to not dim our light, be who we are, and #&!* the molds that enslave us to living in fear because we never know we are are liberating in the wake of our courage!


“I’ve always painted out of omnipotence.”

~ Joan Mitchell

Raw and messy has its own beauty

Raw and messy has its own beauty

In many of my abstract pieces I begin by connecting with the panel of wood through my heart. I get quiet and I feel it. I get a sense of what may be the dominant colours it ultimately wants to be and that gives me a starting point. It guides me as to the potential colours to use in the initial layers to get me where it wants to go.

So, in this manner as I begin adding paint, I’m actually thinking and feeling a few steps ahead, because I love the feeling and look of a painting that has depth, weight and thickness – it’s very symbolic of the inner workings of our personality, our emotions, and our soul.

Many of my pieces are also created from a place of surrendering – me and my thoughts stepping aside to allow for something to come through me and speak to the world. I simply love to create. It’s a necessity for me.

None of this was the case in painting Window Cracking Open.

That day, I just needed to paint. I needed to express. I needed to release. I needed the colours, paint and panel to experience how I was feeling. I needed not to do anything but simply approach it and swiftly release what was in my heart and body at that moment.

It was a hugely cathartic release and I felt hugely satisfied.

For me, this piece wasn’t about creating something extraordinary or beautiful, or being an instrument for something to work through me to benefit the world in some way.

It was simply a raw, emotional, and physical outlet.

Whatever its form, purpose or expression, art is transformative. Its effects far reaching into the hearts, minds, and souls of humankind. It opens us. Ah, but that is a topic for another post.


Artwork Statement

Sometimes windows need to crack. And, they need to open just that little bit for messy to come in and break the brittle crusted barriers around the heart. What would happen if we let it? Maybe the body would experience miracles. Maybe our lovers would look into our watery eyes, with watery eyes of their own while whispering the secrets of their own heart… letting you know you’re not alone… that you are loved… that you are important in their world. Maybe then the world will feel a little bit safer, and brighter, and hopeful. Maybe then our dreams will be nourished by the inner fortitude that’s growing in the allowing of our deepest self seeping in through the crack.

Window Cracking Open—represents a true merging of understanding, healing, and love for self and others. When we have the courage to feel, to be still and feel, a light shines revealing perfection in the imperfection of ourselves and our lives. Messy is not very pretty, but it’s often necessary to let us go down the road we seek—because the truth sets us free. If we’re lucky, one day maybe we’ll find where we’re coming from and where we’re going to.

The Shaman’s Journey

The Shaman’s Journey

Shaman’s are powerful medicine doctors trained in the ancient ways of healing and spiritual teachings. They are found in indigenous cultures throughout the world. As wise elders of their tribal communities, these highly respected men and women are intimately familiar with the hidden realms of nature in all her forms. They guide us into the wisdom of the ‘dream body’ where we can seek answers to life’s most important questions. Your inner shaman calls you back to your true essence, your home in nature—where your soul speaks directly to you, delivering messages through your body, your dreams, your secret desires, and whisperings of signs and synchronicities. Your muses are enlivened and beckon you to venture into the mysteries of creative visualization and dream journaling to access important information.

The Shaman’s Journey—reveals a pathway into your deep centre which encompasses both light and dark aspects of life—for both are equally important to learn from in the process of becoming healthy and whole. When fully exposed to the white and shimmering gold light, the deep black centers and veins are revealed and they are able to fall to the earth to transform into beautiful blossoms inviting harmony to your life.

“For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the door sill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”

~ Rumi

The Shaman’s Journey

Acrylic Abstraction on Gallery Wood Panel, 11″ x 14″

Click here to request purchase information

Copyright 2016, Kiernan Antares, All Rights Reserved