Facing the Future

Facing the Future- Acrylic on canvasboard

Facing the Future- Acrylic on canvasboard

Standing on the lessons of my past;

Releasing what no longer serves.

Bravery and readiness in measure.

Openness in abundance.

Susan Korsnick 2016

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StarFlight

I’m exploring the integration of my visual art and original poetry.

StarFlight- acrylic on canvas

StarFlight- acrylic on canvas

Wings that carried me far and wide

Return me to the cosmic center of Self.

Greatest journey over shortest distance.

Inward.

Susan Korsnick 2016

 

Do It Anyway

Here’s my little secret for conquering the Inner Critic… Do It Anyway!

When fear threatens to stop you in your tracks, DO IT ANYWAY.

When fear threatens to stop you in your tracks, DO IT ANYWAY.

Each of us contains two small voices– the loud panicky Inner Critic who feeds our fears and insecurities through negative self talk as well as a much quieter, gentler, loving Intuitive voice who is our muse, our biggest supporter, our source of creativity who only speaks through positive self talk.  The Inner Critic is the critical father who never encouraged you, the dismissive teacher who didn’t nurture your talent, the coach who said you couldn’t play sports, and the significant other whose negativity proved he/she wasn’t that significant after all.  The Intuitive voice is your authentic self, your true nature revealed when you pull the debris of the past off of you and let your inner light shine.  Your Intuition is you.

I know this.  I’ve known this for many years as you probably do, too.  Yet, occasionally, that Inner Critic speaks up at times that surprise me.

A little while ago, I ordered a roll of Strathmore Mixed Media paper… 8 yards of it!  It’s beautiful… durable, pure white, and full of possibilities.  I couldn’t wait to unroll it across a long table and play with my watercolors.  What happened next came out of nowhere.  I heard the Inner Critic say, “Are you crazy?  You better not use this paper; it was expensive and you’ll only mess it up.”

Are you kidding me?!  I’ve been an artist my whole life and had a very successful solo exhibit last summer, thank you very much.  Where’s this coming from?  In the past, that negativity might have stifled my creativity.  I might have rolled up that lovely paper and pulled out a sketchpad, working on a smaller space and coming from a smaller place within myself.

I didn’t do that.  I chose to say, “Enough!”  I have jumped out of a plane at over 10,000 feet.  I have moved to an unfamiliar place full of strangers.  I have had the guts to walk away from relationships and jobs that do not support my highest self.  I’m going to let negativity stop me from playing with art supplies?! I don’t think so!

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in her ground-breaking book Women Who Run with the Wolves, states, ” Negative complexes that arise along the way are banished or transformed- your dreams will guide you the last part of the way- by putting your foot down, once and for all, and by saying, ‘I love my creative life more than I love cooperating with my own oppression.'”

So when fear, doubt, and anxiety try to talk you out of being your adventurous, wild, creative, loving, lovable self, take a deep breath and go from being a Survivor to a Thriver by “Doing It Anyway.”

Art Journaling

Art journaling, for me, is sometimes the end and sometimes the beginning.

Heart Art- journaling for fun

Heart Art- journaling for fun

Quite often, I art journal (if that can be a verb) for art journaling’s sake.  I play with a variety of materials, subject matter, and techniques without concern for the outcome.  The key word here is PLAY.  It’s an activity that reminds me of being a child– joyfully exploring without self-criticism, getting my hands covered with paint and glitter, and feeling limitless because I’ve put no limits on myself.  It’s about the process not a product.  It’s liberating to know that this is a piece for my eyes only, unless I choose to share it.  I’m free when I art journal.

Camper- playing with all sorts of materials

Camper- playing with all sorts of materials

Being an artist who also appreciates the sale of my work and the connection my pieces can make with other people, I also use my art journal as a learning tool.  All of the playing and experimenting help me see new color combinations or envision new compositions for larger works.

The Divine in Me

The Divine in Me

On a deeper level, my art journal is a way to connect with my authentic self in a way I cannot with a written journal that so heavily relies on intellect and grammar.  My art journal is soulful.  It is the place where I can explore personal imagery, dream symbolism, and my spirituality.  The mysteries of my inner life are revealed in my journal.  My emotions are vaildated and freely expressed without judgement.

Focus on the Light- what came out when I found out my brother-in-law committed suicide

Focus on the Light- what came out when I found out my brother-in-law committed suicide

An art journal can also be a seat of power.  A place to set intentions for what I want to manifest in my life.  The art I create in my journal can deliberately reflect my desires or unconsciously expose what is hidden inside of me, much like a vision board.

Dream the Moon into Existence

Dream the Moon into Existence

In my art journal,

I am creator, healer, priestess, teacher, student, celebrant, and eternal child.

Dream Weaver

Dream Weaver

Enso Inspires Art

Inspiration comes from unexpected places when I am open to it.

 When I first saw an Enso, a circular image that holds special significance for Zen Buddhists, it resonated deeply with my soul.  I found that, among other things, it “represents the moment when the mind is free to let the body create”.  The traditional Enso is an open circle created with one or two brushstrokes –receptivity and potentiality, the infinite void where experiences and energy are free to flow in and out.  Space.  Not the space one associates with nothingness but the sacred space where all is possible.  Perfect symbol for me as I navigate the waters of a dynamic, change-filled year!

Enso IV

Enso IV: SOLD

Blue Enso

Blue Enso: SOLD

Enso II

Enso I: SOLD

Enso III

Enso II: SOLD

Enso I

Enso III: SOLD

Enso in Pink and Gray

Enso in Pink and Gray

Focus on What to Bring Forward

As I say goodbye to 2015 and welcome 2016, I recognize the need to let go of what no longer serves in order to make sacred space for two things– the cherished and the new.  But, instead of dwelling on what no longer serves, I’ll try to let go with gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned and focus my energy on the wonderful gifts in my life that I want to carry into the new year.

The Cherished are all the experiences, people, and things that I treasure and want to bring forward with me.  I want more time in nature, time with friends, and quiet time at home with Jim and our dogs.  I crave more time for spiritual pursuits and creative expression…. lots and LOTS of time for creative expression!!!

This page of words reflects what I hold dear and want to nurture in 2016.  It’s a quick little piece that I created in permanent marker, pastel, and yes– GLITTER (glitter is fun and keeps me from taking myself too seriously).  I invite you to take the time to do this for yourself.  Get a sheet of white paper and whatever art supplies you have handy (a box of crayons or just a pen will do).  Quickly brainstorm all the wonderful things in your life that you would like to carry into 2016.  Embellish the page with glitter, stickers, ribbon, or anything else that makes you smile.  Then, hang it up as a symbol of what you want to have more of in the new year.

A quick art journal page to illustrate what I love about my life and want more of in 2016.

A quick art journal page to illustrate what I love about my life and want more of in 2016.

I’m also making space for the New- all those wonderful yet unknowns.  Most of us are familiar with the saying that “only change is constant”.  So for 2016, I’m embracing all the new things I’ve yet to learn, the fun adventures I’ve yet to have, the wisdom to gain, and the new friends yet to meet.  This second piece, from my art journal, represents transformation with a brave and confident woman welcoming the opportunities ahead, secure in the knowledge that she is divine and will continue to grow in strength, wisdom, and love no matter what the new year brings.

Transformation- welcoming in the new. A mixed media art journal piece.

Transformation- welcoming in the new. A mixed media art journal piece.

Thanks to Effy Wild, who in her LifeBook 2015 video, spoke of her preference to focus on bringing things forward rather than dwelling on what she needs to let go of.  She reminded me of something I’ve known practically forever…if I focus on the positive with gratitude and appreciation, I will attract more of it to me.

Happy New Year Everyone!  May 2016 be a year of abundance in all things positive.

 

 

Finding Joy

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a goal-setting, list-making perfectionist, who has been able to accomplish whatever I set my mind on accomplishing.  There is a bit of success that comes with this but the cost is in the measure of joy I have along the way.   It’s a tough road to travel when one is constantly striving to be more, be better, be enough.  There is no time to admire the scenery.  There is no stopping to refill my fuel tank.  And there is no stretch of highway that doesn’t have a road block of expectations (usually my own) hampering my progress.

When it comes to joy… you can’t get there from here.Beacon of Light

So, I’m throwing away the map that got me to this point and trusting my inner compass instead.  It’s been trying to lead the way but I’ve been ignoring it on this race to the top.  The top of what?  Some future achievement?  When?  Always later, I  now realize.  There is no destination on this kind of a journey.  It’s a constant push for a future reward that comes at a price, if it comes at all.

Relax and Release

Someone said that depression is a focus on the past and anxiety is a focus on the future.  The only way to be happy is to “Focus on the Present”.   Let me throw in a few more affirmations for good measure- Go with the Flow; Let Go; Take What’s Working and Leave the Rest; Seize the Day.  You get the point and finally, I do, too.

One of the first things I did to nurture myself this year was register for LifeBook 2015, the amazing online art experience… the art extravaganza, actually… created by Tamara Laporte.  She organized a yearlong exploration of art through a variety or techniques and mediums as taught by over 25 artists, including Joanne Sharpe, Flora Bowley, Jane Davenport, Alisa Burke, and herself.  It’s contemplative, it’s creative, and most of all it’s FUN!!

Art Feeds My Soul

It’s time to enjoy life and release what no longer serves.   I don’t know how many of you out there are Type-A perfectionists like me but to say “That’s enough” and most important, “I’m enough” is huge!!!  I have given myself permission to play and have fun along the way.

These are some of the pieces I’ve created through LifeBook so far this year.  This experience is for the joy of creating and that’s all.  And that’s enough.

2015-02-08 08.12.24

 

Girl on a Wire

 

2015-02-14 07.58.22

 

Affirmation Feather


DreamCatcher  

Blessing and Being BLessed Jar

 

 

 

Change- The Painting

Last summer, I had a reading from a very gifted Tarot reader named Marcy at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.  She explained that if one wants positive change in one’s life, one must break the old patterns and do something new.  Anything new.  To paraphrase– If you always eat a ham sandwich for lunch, eat something different.  It doesn’t matter if it’s tuna fish or pastrami on rye.  Just try something different.

I’ve used the analogy before of sledding down a snow-covered mountain.  We are so used to doing things one way, seeing the world one way, and responding in one way.  Like a sled going down the same well-worn path, we go down the same path with friends, co-workers, & our significant others.  Even though this path no longer suits us, it’s hard to break free.  But consider this, by lifting the sled out of the rut, even slightly, a new path will automatically be taken.  All it takes is a slight adjustment.

Change: a mixed media piece on canvas.

I’m making a real effort to do that in all aspects of my life, including my art.  Change, a mixed media piece on canvas, exemplifies that for me.  My previous work is known for bold blocks of color or pattern and solid outlines, usually black. With Change, I’m loosening up and allowing greater energy and movement in the piece.  Who knows, this energy and movement could translate into something wonderful in my life.  It’s worth a try!

Winged Spirit- Soar to New Heights

Winged Spirit emerged from the canvas to remind us that we should release our burdens and soar to new heights.

Winged Spirit emerged from the canvas to remind us that we should release our burdens and soar to new heights.

Winged Spirit speaks to me, gently saying “Release what no longer serves so you can soar to new heights.”  Her wings are strong yet nurturing. “Fear not,” she continues, “when you have the courage to take a leap, Spirit will carry you safely on the wind. You will not fall.”  What wonderful advice as we head into 2015, a new year & an opportunity for a new beginning!

By letting go of my preconceived idea of what this canvas could be, Winged Spirit continued to reveal herself.

By letting go of my preconceived idea of what this canvas could be, Winged Spirit continued to reveal herself.

Winged Spirit emerged from layers of acrylic paint playfully applied with a variety of tools- brushes, a spray bottle, sponges, a fork, stencils, stamps, and my fingertips.  I was able to connect with this piece far more deeply than I had with some of my earlier work because I allowed myself to enjoy the process and let whatever was going to happen happen.  Surrender… a new concept for me.

After freely applying several layers of paint without any thought to the outcome, I saw Winged Spirit peeking through the drips, splashes, and strokes.

After freely applying several layers of paint without any thought to the outcome, I saw Winged Spirit peeking through the drips, splashes, and strokes.

 

Early in the fall, I strolled into my local fabric store and happened upon a display of art-related books.  As soon as I read the title “Brave Intuitive Painting”, I knew I had to have Flora Bowley’s book for that’s exactly what I would love to call my painting process.  But I can’t.  Not yet.  I stayed up late into the night soaking up her advice, techniques, and colorful examples, enthusiastically telling my boyfriend, “If I could write a book, this is exactly what I’d want to say!!”  She encourages artists to release preconceived ideas of a finished product and immerse ourselves in the process of discovery… and self-discovery.  The book led me to her website which led me to her e-course called Bloom True.  I highly recommend it for anyone to wants to break free of expectations and allowing the experience of creating art to be a more intuitive process.

The point of taking Flora Bowley’s workshop is not to copy her style.  Rather, the point is to honor the authentic creator in my Self, silence the critical mind for a while, and just BE.

Visit my shop on Etsy to view the art I currently have for sale.  www.etsy.com/shop/PureSusan

The Twins- A Collage on Canvas

Now that the parents expecting their second set of twins have been given my collage, aptly titled The Twins, I can finally share the images of the piece that I was commissioned to create to honor the babies they’ll soon be having.  I’m very happy with the way the piece turned out, especially the expression’s on the giraffes’ faces.  Here’s the finished piece and a few photos of my process.  Peaking out between layers of paint are some of the words to a blessing I wrote for the babies as well as words such as “Joy, Peace, Love, Serenity, Safety, and Laughter.”  All the things one would wish for little ones just entering the world.

Twins Final

The Twins- my collage on canvas. The finished piece has fabric to highlight the grass and add interest to the spots on the baby giraffes.

Twins 1

I lightly sketch the giraffes with acrylic paint on the canvas to make sure I have the scale right.

 

 

Stencils, stamps, and a turquoise outline add interest.

Stencils, stamps, and a turquoise outline add interest.  This is the layer where I get to play freely and see what wants to happen.

 

Twins 3

I make more deliberate decisions about details such as the grass and leaves on the branches.