Wow! I just took a trip down Memory Lane to organize all my older artwork. Sharing these old works is a little scary because they stemmed from very raw emotion. I used to work in a much different way than I do now… I’d let the colors and medium seduce me, and sort of succumb to whichever way my hand wanted to push the paint. They’re a lot more primal and shamanic, I think. Lots of bright colors and earthy symbolism.
During this time in my life, I was surrounded by nature, living deep in the Pacific Northwoods. Leaving the Midwest for the West Coast opened me up to a more wild and free existence, and my creativity began to flow non-stop. I poured out so much art as I developed my interests and styles. I experienced highs and lows during these years – the thrill of newfound freedom, the joy of finding like-minded friends and artistic community, the devastation of heartbreak, and the inner peace found in my own strength.
The reason I finally picked out some of these pieces to share? I’ve been missing my more spontaneous work. My current practice is incredibly intricate and time consuming, whereas these pieces were more effortless. Neither is better, just different.
The series, called Shamanka, created mostly in 2001-06, marks a healing period. This work is primal and raw, full of bright colors and earthy symbolism. It reveals the hidden realities of our collective soul through Universal Language; connecting us, in a trance-like way, to inner worlds. In the Shamanic tradition, the drumbeat opens a tunnel, or bridge, to the other dimensions. This artwork is the bridge — to healing, understanding, fullness.
I briefly contemplated going into Art Therapy, and during this phase of my life, a lot of these pieces provided that for me. Art can do wonders to heal the soul. It reminds us to be grateful for beauty, it physically reveals our hidden realities, and it holds up a mirror for us in the Universal Language.
Mercury’s in Retrograde right now, not that I really believe in astrology, but I do follow it sometimes with a grain of salt, for entertainment purposes. I believe it’s a way to create our own mythologies about ourselves. Anyway, during this time we unearth old projects and so I consciously made the decision to mark this off my To Do List while Mercury’s Retro. Why not? And it felt cathartic and amazing.
If you’re interested in Art Therapy on any level, I’d highly recommend Painting from the Source: Awakening the Artist’s Soul in Everyone and Life, Paint and Passion.
Thanks for reading!
♥ ~ Meghan Oona