The inspiration behind my art: Movement moves me!

These have become my uniforms for most weekdays… my painting clothes and shoes…

 

and my walking/ running clothes and shoes…

 

Paint needs to dry and I need to get outdoors and move (so does our pup, Toby!), so I alternate these outfits multiple times throughout the day…

paint, walk, paint, run, paint some more…

And by then it’s about time for helping with homework and all the family things.

I used to find the forced paint-drying breaks a bit annoying but now I love how getting outside feels like a kind of palette cleanser that clears my mind, re-energises me, and gets me back in my body and in a better mindset for picking up my brushes again.

My love for movement

As I’ve been reviewing the art I’ve been making and reflecting on the art I want to be making, I’m recognising how important movement is to me. The art I make comes out of the life experiences I’m fascinated or delighted with; the life experiences that capture or move me.

Movement moves me! Both literally and figuratively, and in so many different ways…

Moving my body

In the literal sense, I feel so good when I move my body, and I love that moving my body changes me. It makes me stronger, fitter, healthier, and happier, and I feel kore alive when I move regularly.

My experiences of kidney failure and transplant, and of living with the vulnerability of immunosuppression, a mast cell disorder, and my vision and hearing disabilities has all given me a deep appreciation for the value of good health and the importance of looking after my body.

I only get to experience life through this body, so the way my body feels and what it’s capable of affects everything about how I experience life. Looking after my body through regular movement feels like both a practice of gratitude for the gift of life, and a wonderful way of loving and supporting my current and future selves.

Movement in nature

I love to watch movement in nature. I find it so entrancing… all of the little transformations in colour and texture evident with the changes and repetitive rhythms of the seasons, the flow or splash of water (and the way that water moves and changes everything it flows through), little creatures constantly on the move, weather changes and the movement of clouds, light, and colours in the sky, and all the wonderful ways that invisible winds create movement.

love seeing all of that vitality, I love to feel it on my body, and I love to try to capture the sensory experience of all of that movement in my art.

Movement in our inner worlds and relationships

In a more emotional and spiritual sense, witnessing movement in my own inner world, or someone else’s emotional and psychological world, and in relationships between people, is the thing I loved most about my first career as a therapist.

find these big and small transformations so beautiful and sacred. I know how hard-won they are, and also how deeply impactful and rewarding they can be for everyone involved, including those who are simply witnessing that movement.

All of my favourite books and movies have storylines where people are moved and changed by life experiences and by each other. And I think there’s no bigger demonstration of love than to be willing to have the courage to make a new move in a relationship that needs change.

Movement through art

Of course, I love that art-making and appreciating art are both  wonderful ways that we can experience this kind of movement in our thoughts, feelings, and relationships!

For me, all of these kinds of movement are what makes life beautiful and meaningful, and perhaps this is why I love to create art that has a sense of movement in the process of the art-making, with physical gestures and fluid paint that runs and drips.

And I love it when I manage to successfully express movement in the painting that results from that process, whether it’s the feeling of water flowing around your ankles, the crash of waves, the sense of a powerful expansion or a burst of joy, the rich and complex rhythms of a Jazz song, the playful leaps of a pop song, the powerful and emboldening thrust of a classical piece, moody weather and busy skies, the change of colours and textures with the changing seasons at my local park, the flow of water, the buzz of all of the barely-visible movement of wind and sand and tiny creature lives in Namibian landscape or South African beaches, or the movement of shadow and light as it filters through trees and blossoms.

I love trying to capture all of those kinds of movement and, when someone looks at one of my paintings and feels that sense of movement, and is moved by that… that’s a connecting feeling that moves me in the most wonderful ways!