Hawaiian Art Retreat
I cannot express enough, my gratitude and thrill at being able to travel and make art where I go. Hawaii is one of the places on this earth that inspires me beyond explanation. www.abbierabinowitz.com/tropical-art-nature-retreat/
I learned this trip how much inspiration comes to me as I walk, sit, observe, and absorb the landscape's emotion. But, I don't want to paint there on site, en Plein Air... I want to feel it fully and take the feeling with me back to the studio. There, I let it express in a new way. My first retreat connected me to the grounding energy of Kilauea, which was active and flowing only months before...and still is! See "Creative Destruction" blog posted on 3/9/2020. This retreat awakened sacral energy in me and from there, I could hardly contain my creativity! I extended my trip so I could paint more!
Messages from my inner art critic often scream, "my paintings are too busy." But, quiet walks on the lava field out to meet the ocean to sit and observe, earth, sea, and sky reveal that it is because there is so much to say, to express...and that is why my paintings are so busy. I went with this! I received it as permission to let the art just be what came forth! Back home, I realize I want more of that experience in my life...in all ways, not just in making art...just go with it and let it be what it wants to be! I am grateful for that lesson. That I can learn from what comes forth in everything I do! The experience of authentic flow and expression yields a sense of joy that cannot be explained. That sense of joy connects me to a deep inner peace that resides within me no matter where I am, at home or in travel. And, I love it!
I started this painting the second week of February right as the Covid-19 began to call us all to stay at home. For me, it has been a time of settling into a time of quieting my mind and listening to the deeper truth of who I am, and who we are as human beings. So, deep within me I feel the laying down of a firm foundation, grounded in and directed by love for all. Now, upon this firm foundation, I recognize that I can begin to rebuild a future where I see all people as equal and empowered, where opportunity in co-creating a better world for all abounds, where I care for Mother Earth, and where I practice love for my Creator by loving others as myself. It’s going to take work. I have to knock down some walls of prejudice, habits of judging, and using thoughts and words to make others wrong so I can feel right, if only in my own mind! I am willing and ready to do the work. Here I go!
This past February, I sat on the banks of New Black Sand Beach, land barely 30 years old. The Kilauea volcano's eruption back in 1990 destroyed the towns of Kalapana and Kaimu and also the beloved black sand beach there at Kaimu Beach Park. 11 miles down The Red Road, Isaac Hale Park experienced a bit of creative destruction from the most recent eruption in 2018. Some of the park remains. There, I stood on new land, not even 2 years old. I was on the Big Island of Hawaii for a tropical art retreat www.abbierabinowitz.com/tropical-art-nature-retreat/ I was drawn to stand upon the new black lava rock. It was a mysterious and awesome feeling for me. The event of a volcanic eruption, lava flowing downward toward the ocean destroying all in its path, and then creating new land now ready for exploration was felt in the core of me. Whenever the group on the retreat went out to plein air paint, I found I wanted/needed to stand upon the lava rock. I am an abstract painter and am guided intuitively to paint what I feel. This retreat was a first time for me to experience plein air as an abstract artist. Above is "Creative Destruction." It is acrylic on 14" x 10" water color paper.
This idea of creative destruction seems to be expressing in many facets of life these days. The original term came about to describe an economic circumstance, but I think it applies to nature and, well, everything. The force of the earth's power destroys and creates. The force of humanity has the potential to do the same thing. The force of my own desire for personal growth experiences this. Some things in my life are being destroyed, less intensely than a volcanic eruption though. However, if I can practice gratitude for its presence in my life, then release and let go, I experience a peace about it and am more aware to the "new" being offered. If I resist, well...I can create so much unnecessary challenge and struggle it's almost silly when I look back after some time passes. So, with this fresh perspective on life, I witness the new and unknown being created in my life. It's a mysterious, and awesome feeling for me!
A Green Giant
This February, I spent a wonderful week painting in Hawaii* while standing on some of the youngest land in the world. The 2018 Kilauea volcano eruption created a brand new black sand beach along the coastline near Isaac Hale Park on the Big Island. When I returned home and began researching Ireland to prompt inspiration for a painting for the "Luck of the Irish" event** at The Grange** in Broomfield, I learned Ireland was also formed by volcanic activity, yet this land is over 60 million years old! The Giant's Causeway*** was created by lava and the rock formations are beautiful and so unique. What might less than 2 year old land and 60 million year old land teach me? What might their inhabitants teach me?
"Luck of the Irish" celebrates a characteristic of Irish people. Although it implies they are a lucky people, my research reveals it is more that they have a quality of remaining positive in times of difficulty. They stand up to discouraging circumstances using their sense of humor. And, they persist as long as needed in order to manifest their unique goals and dreams. When the Irish arrived in America, they worked hard and had a right attitude in mind. These qualities created their success. It only "looked" like luck to others.
While walking along the new black sand beaches formed by the Kilauea volcanic lava flows, I saw coconut, palm, tropical grasses, mango, and even a banyan tree planted in the cracks of the hard, black lava rock. The Hawaiian people know it will take many, many years for the tropical forest to be established and so, they help it along by planting seedlings of native plants. They are connected to their land. They are ONE with it. The Hawaiians understand the lava rock need plants to live, die, and decompose to make soil so that the forest can eventually become prolific in growth and benefit all island life. It is a necessary relationship. They understand they can help the earth heal from a natural tragedy. They also understand it is a process that takes a long time and so they do it for their children, and the generations to come. Their respect and nurturing approach to their land is key to their own healing.
Two cultures inhabiting lands half the world apart in time and space...both living examples for me to follow. Thank you to the Irish! And, thank you to Hawaiians! May I live with as much intention and action as you model!
** https://www.crescentgrange.org/luck-of-the-irish/ and https://www.crescentgrange.org/
Black and White
"Emerging" is the 2nd in my Soul Dance Series. It was painted specifically for entry in the 2018 Broomfield Art Guild's Black and White Show. It was the first time I had ever painted without color and I was surprised how much fun I had creating it. I was becoming more familiar with my process, and more comfortable being informed by my inner guidance. This painting soon revealed to me many ways in which I am emerging, as an artist and human being. If you've read my explanation about my soul dancing on canvas, I hope it is evident how the form I describe shows up in this work.
My daughter sees a nesting bird. I love abstract art. So much can be seen in a painting, and each viewer finds their own unique interpretation. And, viewers can explore the different layers of the abstract, lifting out of it infinite meanings and emotions from the art. It becomes a relationship between the viewer and the viewed. Right and wrong have no part in this relationship. There may be a personal preference, like or dislike...but those are neither right or wrong. So, enjoy abstract art. It is a gift to the world and I am delighted to be a part of bringing abstract expression into the world to enjoy! Thank you for taking the time to read about my paintings. I am blessed by it!
This 2019 year's Black and White Show invited me into another opportunity to express without using the power of color. Translucent Transformation is my expression of how challenging it is to me to see evidence of the transformation I feel. I know it's happening. I'm doing the work. But, I'm not completely sure what the process, or the destination is suppose to look like. Often, I find myself perplexed. Beautifully perplexed! A caterpillar experiences metamorphosis within the privacy of its cocoon. The process we all know leads to the beautiful butterfly. I wonder what it would be like if the caterpillar was aware of the changes occurring within its form or the approaching transformation. Would it feel afraid, or doubt the process? If I were an aware caterpillar, I'd find myself impatient, wanting the transformation to hurry up and be finished. However, I wonder if it is ever really complete. For a butterfly, yes. For humans...for me, maybe? I don't know? To help nurture my trust and faith in this transformation process, I do two things. First, I sit in the quiet space of my heart. This is the place where I feel and know I am complete. I am whole. Second, I try looking at my life from different points of references, like through my relationships, or in my service to others, or in my mental dialogue to see evidence of some kind of progress. Do I find patience, peace, love, and joy? Evidence is there, but it is translucent. Beautifully translucent!
Star request leads to Orion
Gratitude for 2019!!!
The following locations offered me opportunities to show my art...
Broomfield City Hall https://www.broomfield.org/
Broomfield Art Guild https://www.broomfieldartguild.org/ and www.facebook.com/BroomfiedArtGuild/
Orchard Veterinary Clinic https://www.orchardvetmedcenter.com/
The Frame Shop https://www.theframeshopco.com/
Thank you to my clients, show patrons, friends, and relatives who support me by attending my shows as well as taking some of my art home with them to enjoy more personally! I feel truly honored and blessed. I look forward to 2020!
Here are some of my works that found themselves in loving homes this year! Thank you!! Thank you for a fantastic year!
An Experiment in "Play"
My process of making art is to follow some idea, emotion, or principle I am experiencing, and expressing it onto a canvas helps me gain clarity and understanding. This winter, I was encouraged by a mentor of mine to just play...not to think or try to express with an outcome of meaning in mind...but just play. These paintings are the result of that. I found it challenging, not to have any kind of intention as I painted...bringing into form something I had no real relationship with. But, what I learned was the fresh new form that came into expression had plenty for me to feel and think about after they were finished. I've spent many hours in contemplation and study of the paintings eager to hear what they have to say to me. Their messages for me are full of meaning. Although the above photographs are not the best quality, they can be seen in their perfection at an art exhibition this Saturday, August 17, 2019, 12:00-7:00 p.m.; A Return to Peace, Love, and Unity; Woodstock @ 50 Music & Arts Festival at Unity of Columbine Spiritual Center, 8900 Arapahoe Road in Boulder, Co. Come out and join us for a wonderful day and come chat with me about what these paintings might relate to you. I'll be in Foss Hall with some other fabulous artists!
March 14th, 2019
A couple years back, Mendhi Audlin, https://www.mendhiaudlin.com/ came to our spiritual center to do some Spirit Groups training with us. I had a lot of fun. Mendhi said we were going to play out on the thin branches because that's where all the new growth is! This fun way of viewing experience in the world especially in regards to growth opened me up to a new way of thinking. Where there is a little bit of anxiety...if I'm a little bit unsure of what might happen... ....well, that's where I want to be now! It feels a lot like play! Anyway, she inspired me and I painted this cute little painting.
I am making prints and selling these with profits to benefit Sister Carmen this 2019 year. If you're interested in purchasing one, or more...please contact me and we'll make it happen.
Meet me on the bridge?
Last year, one of my spiritual center's talks included the YouTube of Pastor John Gray's talk entitled, The Bridge. You can view it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Rk5WFj5rE It's powerful.
Janis Kelly, the music director at Columbine Spiritual Center in Boulder, Colorado wrote the song, The Tipping Point and sang it on this same Sunday. Pastor Gray's talk and Janis Kelly song inspired the above painting. It's the image that came to my mind as I was being invited to step out of my comfort zone and really get to know those whom I perceive are different than me in one way or another. I was challenged. I painted my bridge and titled it, "Meet me on the bridge?" because I wasn't sure I could trust the bridge, myself, or others. My "little self" felt quite vulnerable. But, I was willing.
Months later, I had my painting in a show and Michael King was inspired. He told me later the bridge had given him a poem. And so, we have collaborated in order to publish the two together for the beautiful and spiritual message they contain. Tomorrow, March 15, 2019 we will participate at the Peace Through Music 2019 concert in honor of the Season for Nonviolence, and to benefit Sister Carmen and Musical Ambassadors of Peace. Michael and I will have a limited number of prints available with all profits being donated to the above charities. We will continue donating any future profits through the year. Also performing at the concert will be a choreographed dance by Kasey Hall, inspired by Janis Kelly's song, "The Tipping Point." From talk and song to painting, from painting to poem, and from song to dance...the message they contain is powerful. I am truly grateful! Thank you God!
Lisa Tousignant is a local artist in Broomfield, Colorado. She considers herself an intuitive and experimental, abstract artist working in acrylic and mixed mediums.