Renewal : Winter Solstice Recovery Gals Art Exchange

I wanted to share my process for the Winter Solstice Recovery Gals Art Exchange.

The theme was “renewal”. I thought of the word I picked for 2018, which was “shed”, and how to renew ourselves, we first need to shed things from our lives, things that no longer serve us. Also, this shedding can be very chaotic – to our lives, to our loved ones, it’s like a spark has lit within us, and it can’t be quenched. It is an explosion of sorts.

I created three pieces for my partner, Kristin, who I actually sat at a table with during the She Recovers LA banquet but was too nervous to say anything; I follow her on Instagram (@kristintothemax) and she just seemed so cool and put together, and my self-esteem at times is not what it should be. (I’m working on that). Also, I blame anxiety. But – the Universe and God knows when two people should meet, and she has inspired me so much during this exchange; I read more of her blog and got to know her and her story, and the first idea that came to me was of a spark, a flame, that grows outward by recovering out loud and igniting little fires along the way, the good kind of fire that lights up your soul and along her journey, she has inspired others in ways I’m sure she can’t even imagine. I also thought of the color yellow, she posts beautiful self-portraits on her Instragram page, and there is one of her in a gorgeous yellow dress, and that color inspired my first piece. I also created a card

for Kristin, using techniques I learned in Amanda Grace’s RAW online course. The baby picture is Kristin, too. I wanted to show her older self looking at her younger self, and there is a progression there, a renewal.

For the main piece, I used the poured acrylic technique that is new to me still. I knew I wanted yellow as a central color, so I got a few different yellows, chrome yellow, soft yellow, and also a vibrant orange.

I wanted to create a burst, sort of like
an atom exploding. This time, instead of doing a dirty pour, I premixed the paint, the Floetrol and a few drops of silicone along with water to create the consistency I wanted. Then I created circles around a central circle, sort of like a bullseye.

Once I had the paint down, I swiped once, in an outward motion, using a credit card.

Then I added a white circle in the middle, surrounded by two yellow circles, and swiped again to the four corners, and to the sides to create the starburst

Then once it was dry, which took a couple of days, I sprayed it with a UV protector and finish.

I created two of them, one with a yellow background (on the corners), and the other black to symbolize the yin and yang, and the two sides that we have. Also I thought one alone looked a bit lonely.

I am happy with the overall effect. I wanted to show visually that renewal can be a chaotic explosion where something happens, a catalyst, to create change. It’s like a starburst, and once this change happens, the light is so bright that you can’t unsee it. And there are vibrant colors mixed in. Sometimes we see that catalyst as a negative charge, but without it, the colors wouldn’t be so bright and mixed up – the world wouldn’t be so bright. Our lives would be black and white, and we might
remain stuck. Instead, we free ourselves.

The second project was to paint Matryoshka dolls, the Russian stacking dolls. I love these dolls, and also in Kristin’s blog, she referred to recovering out loud as a gift – her words were: “This gift…is like a Matryoshka doll…there’s
multiple presents housed within the gift.”

I knew I needed to try to paint these dolls, and I was inspired to create them in Kristin’s likeness. She has a great style, and there’s a particular photo of her in a grey hat with sparkles on her eyes, and a pink
sweater and that’s what I drew from.

I started with wooden blank dolls and painted them with acrylic and then coated them with a protective spray.

I also feel that Matryoshka dolls represent renewal in that when we renew ourselves, we shed our skin, we become a different version of ourselves. Maybe that means more confident or knowing who we are. The largest doll is the most sparkly,
we are always evolving, and everything shapes us. Even the smallest one has a tiny heart painted on it. They all have hearts on them.

I also visited my local crystal shop, Moon Dragon and shopped for stones that symbolize renewal: rainbow fluorite, green quartz and cats eye.

I included a card from Natalie Fairbrook’s oil collection, using it to write the meanings of the stones on the back. To purchase the oils, which I highly recommend (I purchased as gifts for my sisters, but smelled them all, they are amazing), they are available at:

Kristin, best wishes to you this season, I know you are going to do amazing things, and I can’t wait to watch you do them. You are inspiration, girl. Pure inspiration. I wish it could be bottled.

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