raw canvas

Breath and Beyond

“Breath and Beyond” 12" x 12" acrylic, cloth, threads, and paper on canvas.

“Breath and Beyond” 12" x 12" acrylic, cloth, threads, and paper on canvas.

“Breath and Beyond” was the first painting I worked on and completed after returning from packing up my parent’s home. (We were getting it ready for sale.) Although I returned with several new projects in mind, I decided to get busy with the raw canvas I had prepared before leaving. My first goal was to create a thread filled environment in which to paint.

“Breath and Beyond” in process.

“Breath and Beyond” in process.

I began by sewing lines of stitches in something of a checkerboard pattern, leaving loose threads at the ends of each line. I had already cut five squares into the cloth before the trip.

“Breath and Beyond” didn’t develop as I had originally envisioned. So, I let go, allowing the process to lead me, and I was able to enjoy every step along the way.

I kept adding color, then some text, and then more color. The background canvas became a deep brownish mauve to peek through the openings in the cloth.

The text in the painting is the mantra, So Hum, meaning: "I Am That." It is used in meditation as one focuses on their breath.

“Breath and Beyond” in process.

“Breath and Beyond” in process.

I always have a title in mind by the time a painting is complete… but not this time. The painting had journeyed so far from the original idea and I felt like I was just along for the ride, not knowing where we were going. I had to brainstorm ideas for a name.

When the title, “Breath and Beyond” came to mind, I knew it was right. I could see how the painted cloth had become a tapestry OR a tapestry of life. I had chosen a mantra that represents the breath OR breath of life. And the cutouts had become windows to the beyond.

“Breath and Beyond” in process. Sewing the painted cloth to the back canvas.

“Breath and Beyond” in process. Sewing the painted cloth to the back canvas.

Above and Below

“Above and Below” 12” x 12” Acrylic and canvas cloth on canvas.

“Above and Below” 12” x 12” Acrylic and canvas cloth on canvas.

After a couple of months away from the studio, it was so good to hold a paintbrush in my hands again. To get back into the flow, I chose to play with a work in progress I had begun awhile ago. It had been waiting for months for me to return to complete it. Back then, I had cut a piece of raw canvas cloth and gessoed it onto a 12" x 12" canvas. The cutouts were inspired by Georgia O'Keefe's clouds.

This was the perfect project for my return and I so enjoyed the process. I didn’t care how it turned out. All that mattered was the delight of being busy in the studio.

“Above and Below” in progress.

“Above and Below” in progress.

Originally, I had a whole different color palette in mind when I first attached the cut cloth to the canvas, months ago. But now is a different time and place. So, the process of painting this one took me on an unexpected path. I like watching as paintings unfold before me. And I'm delighted to be back in process.

Inspired by: Georgia O'Keefe's, "Sky Above the Clouds"