An artist shares her experiences on creatively developing, tending to and nurturing her garden as spiritual sanctuary for herself, her friends and family. Gail Allen contributes her thoughts on creating a sacred space as an oasis for soothing your soul in today's busy world, enticing your senses and and fostering your own personal growth

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gail Allen: A Day Painting Creative Symbolism

For me, a day starts out with a walk in the woods  with my lab "Otto", to clear my head, get some focus on where my thoughts are taking me, and to get some inspiration. It is generally only about 15 minutes to a half hour. Then I sit and review notes, or write new notes on what needs to be reworked, or the order of working up the piece that I am going to follow.
My work has evolved into what is primarily studio work - as it has shifted from plein aire landscapes to more conceptual pieces with many symbolic elements. I am attracted to these because of the expression of more universal concepts which go beyond the simple verbal explanations.  The pieces are much larger, more intricate, with many overlapping elements. This is a reflection again of my own interests in spirituality and the oneness with all things. My studies in psychology, metaphysics, dream images, symbolism, cultures, science and the natural world are all interrelated constant elements of the newest works in progress. The creativity is in the telling of the story through these images. I am looking to develop works that are seen in a different way by each viewer. Many of the symbols are deeply and intricately interwoven, so as not to be immediately seen, some never really seen.
The archetypal personality traits of the viewer affect how they see the painting. Such multi-faceted concepts emerge at many psychic levels. Therefore, this new series is aimed at each individuals experiential viewing level.
Awareness of symbols changes a person's universal perception, even without  interpretation. Symbols always operate on a non-rational and nonverbal level first - emoting a common generalized effect on the observer's very physiology. This is why so many archetypal representational objects have appeared again and again in religions, dreams and visions, myths, legends and works of art throughout history and across all diverse cultures. Form and color play the part of giving these images meaning and making them tangible.  In as much as the viewer's examination is necessary to the interpretation of a particular shape or form,  a person reacts with spontaneity to a color.  All of these elements work together to effect the outcome of mood, mind states, and the body's function directly in various unseen ways. Herein lies my hope for the creativity of these paintings. Healing artwork is an emerging  and exciting field that I am currently exploring through observations on my morning walks with nature and through my ongoing studies.

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