July 12th, 2020
Hello dear Artists! I hope you are giving your art-making at least 20 minutes daily to get strength for this time in human history. Here’s mine from today.
Today as I was working on this I realized that my relationship with nature, being outside and animals was injured as a young child of maybe 6 or 7 when I witnessed a dog attack. The dog attacking a woman was mine, my own dog, and I couldn’t stop him, even though I tried and he was not big but a medium size dog. He went crazy like I had never seen before. Luckily my grandfather heard the screams and was able to stop the attack and take the dog away. I use to love my dog and had lots of cute memories of him as a tiny puppy, drinking from a tiny plate and sliding backwards on the polished floors. After the attack the woman had injuries in her hands and arms and I saw my grandma helping, cleaning tending to the bites. I felt that I didn’t really know my dog. I felt that dogs and all animals could not be really know by me. I became afraid of dogs and suspicious of all animals. Also because the attack happened outside in an area of trees, I became afraid of nature areas where dogs could be running off leash.
I’m 50 years old today and I have been working on these fears on and off with some success. Now I’m able to be in nature areas like parks and even feel relaxed and happy. I also am able to pet and like small dogs and cats. I’m still afraid of big dogs, even clearly Sweet ones because at some level I feel that they could get triggered like my dog did all those years ago. I am working on that. But only now I’m realizing that the reason why I paint women in nature might be because I am trying to heal an injury in that most sacred relationship of myself and Mother Nature in all her representations.... earlier I had written that woman in nature meant Radical Self Acceptance and Harmony with the present moment regardless of its complexity. Given that I am a part of nature, trusting nature means trusting me and my capacity. Being a Trustworthy Organisms as Carl Rogers would describe it.
Thanks for reading this insight about my art impulses. 🙏❤️
June 17th, 2020
In 2019 I was asked by the organizers of the five rhythms group in Amsterdam, among them Jup Jansonius, to create an art installation for a five-day dance workshop in Amsterdam, in this beautiful church. So first I went to see the space to see, you know, what size of paintings I should create, that would look good in the space. Then I went home and I made a sketch of the painting for each day.
The first day would be something about being a baby infancy mother earth having a body, feeling fear, you know, the fear that we experience to have a body and for the first time feel pain. But also the nurturing that we receive from our mother or from Mother Earth or from our caretakers. That was the purpose of the first painting. They install the painting in the beautiful church it was quite moving, the first day, to see it displayed and to see the people interacting with the painting.
For the second day it was about childhood and father and anger heart so I put together with the sketch and the painting evolved as I was making it and I wanted to represent the heart as the connection and the fire, you know, the power of strong emotions and standing up for you, your emotions in a full hearted way. That was for day two at the church – the church is not used as a church, it's used as a building where people can do any kind of spiritual practices or meetings.
For the third day it was about adolescence, puberty. I thought this is about the brain, the mind, and trying to find your balance, and life trying things as best as you can, and water was the element and of the crying that happens. Sadness and trying to figure out how to balance your mind and your heart. It was beautifully installed, as well.
For e fourth day it was about maturity, a time when you start to figure out who is your tribe, that you care about and I was lucky to run into a cave painting the sorcerer in a very ancient cave in France there was this painting and putting the sorcerer in the circle of the tribe really made me feel connected with humanity at large at this time of maturity, you know, which is the time of creativity and of service, service to others. I really enjoyed to see the painting in the space.
The last day was about old age and death. It was about returning to the universe. Being part of the universe, from dust to stardust. I had a hard time painting this artwork because my father-in-law was in this transition time. I cried a lot making this painting and I really cherish the opportunity to see it on the space.
The people were excellent. They danced a lot and they went very deep into their processes that included dance and writing and art work that they created at the end. A collage with their own pictures. It was truly transformative experience, for me too and I think it was that for many others. They said that themselves. and I could certainly feel it and see it.
May 26th, 2020
I began this painting spontaneously without anything really in mind. I just wanted different colors than what I have been using lately. And then this figure started to come through and she had some kind of earphones on. Then I realized that she was a Cyborg! A hybrid between human and machine, or computer, or phone, any kind of the screens that we use every day and that we rely on so heavily. Specially now in this time when we are urged to stay home and to reduce movement and human contact and travelling. So it's the new way of being with a much heavier reliance on machines and the internet. This new way of being human. But there is still the 'human side' that likes and needs nature and relaxation and delights on the simple things that nature offers. So it's a real hybrid between the technical, technological world and the natural world coming together in this new human that we are.
“The cyborg is a kind of disassembled and reassembled, postmodern collective and personal self...“To be in love is to be worldly, to be in connection with significant otherness and signifying ohers, on many scales, in layers of locals and globals, in ramifying webs...machines have made thoroughly ambiguous the difference between natural and artificial, mind and body, self-developing and externally designed, and many other distinctions that used to apply to organisms and machines. Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.” Donna J. Haraway
May 26th, 2020
I didn't know it at the moment, when I was making this painting, but the character that would come to visit me through this painting I ended up calling "Savoring the Good Life." She reminds me to stop and pay attention, to have a grateful heart, to practice gratitude.
Often we over focus on what is not working. Which is usually a small area compare to the whole picture. And we take for granted all the things that are working. It's like we live in a bubble of modernity and comfort, and we don't notice it. We only notice the small things that are not working in that bubble. So this character is coming to tell me to Notice all the good things in my life: access to the internet, to be grateful for electricity and water. So many things! All the people and animals that nurture you, us. That nurture me! So, this lady reminds me to be awake to all the details that form The Good Life. And to savor them, taste them, appreciate them, and be grateful for them. To look at them with wide open eyes.
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” Socrates
With care and respect,
Lorena Fernandez, Ph.D.
May 26th, 2020
If you are someone who is a creative. If you are a writer, a painter, composer and any type of creative, then you should have a practice. That means that every day you go into your area where you make your art, or your desk if you are are a writer, and you write, for, I don't know, three hours, one hour or 20 minutes. Whatever you decide your practice is.
This is SUPER important! Not only because *Inspiration* (that IS mysterious) will come every once in a while and visit you in your practice, in your writing, in your painting. And something special or magical will come through your. But because you develop a muscle or a flexibility about it, a fluency. It's like speaking a new language, if you don't use it, it's rusty.
So, if you want to have a creative output, a body of work, that you've done in your life. And you want to become better at whatever skill it is that you use in your creativity, you have to practice every day. Do it every day. And one obstacle to that is the constant judging of your Inner Critic against what you create. But you just have to do it anyway. I think it's Julia Cameron who says: "Universe, I leave to you the quality but I will focus on the quantity." So that is a great point, you know. It's a fantasy to think that the people who have created something that has been meaningful for humanity for many years did it, like, were inspired and sat down and did it in one time. No. They had a practice, and they were fluent in that because they practice every day. And then one of those things that they created resonated with the rest of humanity, and that is why it has longevity. Ok?
And by the way, this is not only about other people. I realize that no human on Earth knows the experience of not thinking about other people. Because no one has experienced that. If you were a baby and there was nobody else around, you would die. So you've never tried, it doesn't exist in your mind space how to behave or act without knowing that other people exist. And without trying to connect with them or somehow influence that relationship between you and other people. Fine. But in your creative output, it's also, or it is MAINLY about yourself. It's mainly about the things that interest you, it's mainly about your perspective. You are developing your view or your perspective of the world. So, yes, other people will see it and they will have opinions about it. Fine. But that is not the main thing about it, that is the number TWO thing. The number ONE thing is that you are developing your fluency, that you are understanding something about yourself, that you are rejoicing in your life through making these things that you enjoy to do. So, I hope that this helps.
“You don't need to justify your love, you don't need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.” Don Miguel Ruiz
With care and respect,
Lorena Fernandez, PhD