Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Love Called My Name" ~ a painting process

Creativity called and I answered. Artist Shiloh Sophia generously offered a free online painting class/journey entitled Love Called my Name, inspired by Mary Magdalene. I was crazy intimated to paint faces in any of my works, but since I value the process of creating over the finished canvas I figured I had nothing to lose. 
I encourage my daughters to take risks and pursue their interests in the name of their education and I am more and more calling on the same courage for myself.
This painting transformed countless times over the course of a month and I am sharing here some of the stages that she went through.
At one point she sat untended for a week until Ayla felt the desire to ask for a canvas for herself. Inspiration ensued.

The further along the journey of this painting the more subtle the changes.
When I applied a layer of orange-ish glaze over her face, I felt somewhat panicky that I had 'ruined the whole thing!' This feeling came over me a few times as I came closer to completion of the painting and I would come back hours later to see that I actually really enjoyed the transformation. The layers that felt the riskiest often brought some really wonderful changes. 
The small script around her mantle reads,
"When love calls my name, I am covered in blossoms.
Living in gratitude, celebration, and wild compassion.
Peace for the journey...
I awaken to love, grace, strength, beauty, wisdom, inspiration, and mindfulness,
Nikole Verde" 
She became embellished with vines . . .

And highlighted and adorned with red threads and beads . . .

And re-glazed and declared complete.

 The next day while wandering in the woods . . . trilliums!

"Art isn't just for artists. It is for all of us."
~Shiloh Sophia

"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. It's so wonderful to see the progression of your painting! The finished product (and many of its incarnations) are absolutely beautiful! But I think my favorite is the first incarnation - it is raw and a little plain and a wonderful reminder that all great works of art start out as just a few lines and we must persevere and have patience to make something great. <3

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Angelle! That is an inspiring way to look at it. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing , just beautiful

  3. That is just breathtaking. The process is so foreign to me - I tend to let inspiration hit, spend a few minutes with whatever it is, and declare it done, not venturing very far into the risk-taking and vulnerability. It is really wild to see the steps you took and the time you took to let the painting evolve, and the result is deeply beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing! (and as an aside, in preparation for my trip to the middle east a few years ago, I read "Mary, Called Magdalene" by Margaret George and really enjoyed it)

    1. Thanks,slim. :) It's definitely out of my comfort zone, but so exciting to learn new modes of creative expression. I think I'll check that book out. Always happy to dig into a new story!


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