STUDIO and JOURNEY
Fresh eyes. Time in the studio is still. Yet, with that feeling comes difficult decisions that are not always easy to express...like "well, what do i paint?" The world is your oyster kind of thing...its already been a long and intense journey getting to this point, do I want to go further I ask myself? Pause. My love for art, painting, community and exploration echoes from the base of my solar plexus and spine and its unanimous, my intuitive well has spoken, loudly. Yes. I will move forward in search of new experiences, knowledge, insight.
I have already gained a deep understanding into the spiritual nature of my practice, as an artist and a teacher. From working with paint through play to studying it's every molecular reaction...paint still never ceases to amaze my senses, perspective on life and the transcendental quality it adds to my everyday, it is limitless.
TRAVEL. EXCHANGE. LIVE.
Now its time for me to get in touch with my heritage firsthand. Growing up in Toronto, Canada causes many challenges when trying to uncover or access family records. I’ve heard many stories from my parents about Madeira, their native island and have visited twice. It's been the kind of trip that helped me learn more about myself, too, especially since I do not get to see or interact with 90% of my family most of the time. I find out I have more family stretched across this massive planet in Brazil and South Africa...my curiosity widens, my heart skips a beat with excitement to discover more. Although I have visited Brazil already there is still much to see, and South Africa is also on my list, specifically the city of Victoria.
I decide then that the best way to authentically document and express my next artistic journey, aside from the actual physical travel is through cultural exchange right here in Toronto. Valuable cultural exchange is fundamental, mutual and offers the opportunity for deeper and prolonged commitment between artists and encourages responsible global citizenry. Selecting three other artists, all masters in their own right, whom I admire with great appreciation for their originality, humanity and boldness - I ask them if they can mentor me.
Learning first hand from REAL artists is an opportunity of a lifetime, and such an integral extension of any artistic practice; enriching how one develops subject matter and projects their work into the outside world.
The artists are as follows;
Natural Photography and Film with Meaghan Ogilvie
Her concepts focus on our relationship to nature and where we find ourselves within that relationship during a period of rapid ecological change; exploring Indigenous cultures and bodies of water around the world, the intent her work is to heighten public awareness and encourage thoughtful responsibility towards our precious water sources.
Samba with "Samba Jess"
She specializes in Brazilian Carnival Style Samba performances and classes, as well as some of the native dances from the Portuguese Diaspora. With 15 years of Dance experience, including pioneering the Kizomba Dance movement in Toronto, Samba Jess herself, has performed and taught across Ontario, Quebec, Vancouver, Costa Rica and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Afro Brazilian Drumming with Mari Parhilares
Her interest in percussion led her to Maracatu (Afro-Brazilian percussion) at 17 years old. In 2007, Mari moved to Toronto and joined Maracatu Baque de Bamba, founded by Aline Morales (lead singer/director of the drumming troupe). Mari has since become co-leader, teacher and producer of Baque de Bamba, as well as a well known artist within and beyond the Brazilian community in Toronto.
I am looking forward to this next journey and process with great enthusiasm; the possibilities are endless!!! I feel a little nervous, even giddy perhaps, but so thankful because I know new horizons await to be born.
Paint, translation pain~light...everything that is fluid in my being. My canvas, the fabric of existence. The brush, a feather, like the sword and wand of my character, searching. The easel, my shield and armour ~ measuring and mapping this journey.
We say as painters, "Dar um passo atrás" to step back, gain perspective and digest the information from A_Z, from a point of reference to the bigger picture. A common practice in painting.
The artist steps back to observe, to study the nature of things...the movement, his/hers next step. Like chess, the strokes are part of the game but we generally take stepping back and the art itself, even if it is a messy piece, very seriously. Like life. Like love. To know when and how much more or less paint to add is an art, an attitude of "doing and not doing". Days or months can go by sometimes before there is any change.
Do I come back softer, aggressively or do I jump in excited more than ever when I see an image appearing and rush through an impression to make sure it doesn't dissolve as fast as it appeared...ahhh l'amour, beauty, destruction, chaos and resolution...
Sometimes I step back 1 ft and other times casually waltz up to 20ft backwards until eventually I reach the other wall. Walls. We are always surrounded by them and yet never defined by them...at least in painting.
There are no labels, no limits.
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see" Henry David Thoreau once said. Paint breathes new life, hope...teaching us the art of seeing.
As ancient as it is present, to paint is to see.
...had a long deep reflection about being a woman today. I definitely took the time today to analyze my feelings and actions and then I remembered compassion, peace and kindness is our human nature, so I practice being kind to myself.
There has been so much pressure for women to be EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME for SO LONG...I feel like we need women to just be themselves and if anything demand equal RESPECT right from the get-go. It feels like there are so many women right now "trying" to be the macho bravado's in order to match/counteract the patriarchal, tyrannical, dominating and forceful energy that has created our imbalanced world in the first place, can't help but think it's almost like women are being conditioned to act like what they are protesting against. And I have a right to question what form of action to take, always.
I support personal choice all the way and I'm one of the first women to join any march that salutes my fellow ladies in our pursuit of freedom.
Personally though, I feel that it is important to fight for what you believe in but I"m not sure I have to do it in such a war-like manner allllllll the time, or at the very least, i ask then what next?...what do we do after the flames are burning at their max, then what? burnout? RAGE until the next war OR save our strength and attempt to solve the world's issues in a not-so-destructive way from the beginning.
Is there a possibility that kindness, compassion, gentleness IS the flame that burns brighter - longer. IF a strategy of compassion was applied from the beginning we wouldn't always need to FIGHT...and again I say this because I know what it's like to fight, to try and survive the injustices placed on a woman. In all honesty, forgiveness and strength has played a major role in how I deal with it all, it has helped me heal myself and others.
MAYBE we can overcome the monster through genuine love? Maybe. All I know is that I"m grateful today because I have survived and I can honestly say that I have learned more through the act of loving rather than fighting.