The Why Behind the Dye

So after Struggles of Joy (You can find the first entry to this series here and if you search for "struggles of joy" you will find the rest of the entires), I thought I would take a little break from that particular way of expressing my artistic feelings. At least for a few entries, I will share some of my paintings and why I painted them, and the story behind them. Kind of like your own art gallery, but on your computer! :)

About a year ago, I looked into getting some of my paintings out - as in seeing if any art shops would let me hang something up. The problem was that may of them wanted to sell my work, but I wasn't ready to sell anything yet. I feel like my art is a part of me. When I paint, I pour myself into it. It's even been difficult giving my paintings away, but I enjoy doing that better than the thought of selling it. At least if I give it away, then I know the person I am giving it to will appreciate what I am giving them and it will mean something to them. If someone buys it, then I have no idea who it is or if they actually like the work.

Anyways - here's what I would attach to my request.

I grew up in Papua New Guinea , a small island above Australia, and have only recently returned to the United States and seen the opportunities for the artist. I grew up painting, working from a fiery passion in myself to share with the world the feelings that were longing to escape inside of me. My more serious pursuit of art began around 5th grade when I picked up watercolors and began painting. I bought myself a few books and learned techniques but mainly painted what I saw and what I felt. Around 9th or 10th grade, I began using acrylics, and just in this past year I have started to use oils. My work ranges from very impressionistic and modern to somewhat realistic, but regardless of how clear the art's realistic qualities are, my best paintings are dripping with emotion. It is my passion and desire for my paintings to reach into the heart's of their viewers and hit a chord, causing a flow of emotion to follow.

So there you have it. Now, enter into my studio...

Now, this may look kind of messy and disorganized to you, but believe me, this is SUPER organized for me! A couple weeks ago, Michael went in and organized and cleaned it all up! I have some of my paintings up. On the left side are my paintings that involve people and on the left are my paintings that are landscapes or nature. Then there's my easel (with an empty canvas on it...) and my table with all my stuff sitting out so I can see it!

By the way - one of the MOST important things for me is to have natural light. You totally can't tell in this picture, but this window gives the room SO much light! In the picture of the room, this window is giving all the light into the room.

Then the back side of the room (kitty corner to the easel and canvas) I have a few more paintings. Those ones you see are in my "Sex Trafficked" category and behind the door (which I know you can't see) are my more impressionistic paintings. To the right of the paintings (by the chest and under the window) we have a music recording set up. We haven't used this too much, but its nice to know that we have it there to use if we want to record something we've written.

Then I have this last pile of paintings that are either still in progress or need to be framed or whatever. This pile kind of just stays there, unless I get a big idea for one of the unfinished paintings. It's kind of my working pile.

Ok, so that's my studio! So now for just a glimpse into a couple "Behind the Scenes" with some of my stuff..

Acrylic on Canvas
July 2009
So, first off, this is kind of my "Who am I" painting. To get the poster look, I taped three pieces of canvas together and then hung it on my door as I painted it. I painted this right before I left PNG for the US, never to come back to stay again. I think this was kind of my way of processing it all. In the end, I decided that "Home is where the heart is."

"Lovers on the Beach"
Acrylic on Mixed Media Paper

I did a lot of paintings of a man and a woman together. I think it was just my girl dreams of finding a soul mate in life. I never attached certain people to the couple in the painting - they were just painted to look like two people. The first time I painted the "lovers" after a couple I actually knew was the following picture.

"Bop and Mu"
Acrylic on Canvas
June 2011 
I painted this for Mr. Barefoot's birthday in 2011. I specifically thought about me and him as I was painting this. At the time, I knew we were going to get married, so I knew that I could paint the two of us and actually put people and names to the "lover's on the beach."

"Still Life"
Acrylic on Canvas
Going to a bit of a different time in my life...
I painted this quite a while ago and was following a picture I found in a book. I actually didn't copy the picture exactly but I followed the general idea. I ended up really liking this painting because of the contrasting colors, so I kept it. I actually threw away a lot of my paintings that I didn't like. My mom was the one who (when she found out I was throwing them out) encouraged me to just give them to her and she would put them away. I have a few of those, but mostly I only have paintings I liked.

"Ballet Shoes"
Oil Pastel on Canvas
Still going back in time... 
I used to LOVE ballet dancing. In fact I took classes for quite a few years, and when I wasn't dancing in a class, I was just dancing around to any music I heard. These were just another image I found in a book and copied. 

This is a bit down another path again. This image is out of my sketch book. I was working on textures at the time, and I thought that if I could sketch the rabbit fur, that that would help me with textures. I just found a picture of a rabbit and sketched away. 
Acrylic on Canvas
Now we jumped ahead in time again. I painted this my senior year. Basically, my idea was that in every relationship, God needed to be the center and focus of everything that went on. So once again, I used two nameless people and had them walking towards the cross, but as they walked, they were surrounded by the different names of God. This is my goal now too - in everything Mr. Barefoot and I do, I want the Lord to be the center and focus of our marriage.
Acrylic on Canvas
Here is one other genre of paintings I've done. Obviously this is SUPER impressionistic and probably one of those that you would see and think "Oh, I could do that. That's not art. How stupid!" Which, I totally agree with, BUT, with this one it really was the thought behind it that was pushing me to paint this. Basically, I was at a time in my life when things were just so chaotic and nothing made sense. So, in my brain, nothing made sense either, which equaled this painting.  So basically, it's a bunch of colors, a bunch of patterns, a bunch of movement, but with no point - chaotic like my brain.
So, there you have it.  First trip into Island Girl's Studio. Stay tuned for more....