Called to Paint
The beauty of the seen world is the inspiration for my paintings. The fascinating elements of wind, water, light and fire can be seen and felt in the powerful energy of the ocean and forest, the weather, and the changing seasons. I feel happiest when I am outside studying and absorbing this energy and then returning to the studio to create. The paintings are also an expression of an interior world as they strive to manifest an unfolding consciousness of internal experience , thereby documenting a lifelong journey of inner transformation. Hopefully they become pieces of energy in themselves which may inspire and transform.
Painting is a dialogue between the canvas and the painter. It is a back and forth between the two mainly through the use of markmaking. The first mark happens and a responding impulse to make another mark is created. It is a continual process of walking up to the canvas, making a mark and then stepping back and asking ‘what next? ’ Painting is asking and listening. The painter asks and the painting answers, the painter listens and delivers.
I see the canvas as an energy field with line, color and form as the expressive language. I never know what a finished painting will look like. The work itself is a process of discovery as one mark leads to the next. The best painting does not come from my mind through thinking but when my hand makes the marks and chooses the colors spontaneously in a process transcending thought. There is another language happening here, not the linear language. It is an intuitive knowing or glimpse of something beyond what is readily seen and known .That is why good abstract painting is so difficult. Each venture is into unknown territory. What feels uncomfortable, raw or strange may be valuable new ground.
The painting develops a life of its own which increases in intensity as it evolves. As it nears wholeness and completion the surface tension becomes more sensitized. Each mark has more of an effect and stakes become higher. Mistakes are more apparent and harder to correct . When it is ‘done’ or has arrived at a place of peaceful although not static equilibrium, the energy of the painting circulates within itself no longer asking for another mark or color to be added. The light within and radiating from the canvas has reached what I feel to be its highest expression.
I create in series so that I explore one theme in depth over many paintings until I feel I am done. I then stop for awhile, sometimes for months until the inspiration for the next series comes again. I have always been aware of the mysterious ‘something’ that exists just beyond or through that which we can see and experience. It is this unseen presence felt at certain times and places which ultimately intrigues and excites me, leading me to create a new painting as a doorway to even more penetrating vision.
- Mia Scheffey