My creative space is my haven. I’ve taken over the upstairs game room and turned it into an art studio.
Before I begin painting, I sit down at one of my worktables that I have dedicated for the purpose of writing, reflecting and setting intentions for the session. I start by lighting sage and some incense. I feel it cleanses the air and myself.
It’s grounding for me. After that, I will pull a card from one or two my oracles decks. I feel that too sets an intention for me not just for painting but for my day in general. I will sometimes sit and work in my art journal or write in my writing journal. I use that to either work out something I want to try on canvas or dump out my thoughts to have a clear head to paint.
After that, I’m ready to begin painting. I select music to match my mood and get going. Music definitely informs my painting. I will listen to African drumming music, meditation type music, to top 40 hits or R & B/hip hop. I have a varied range.
In the left corner of the room I have a little altar with some talismans that are personal to me. I have a creative crystal grid laid out as well as some other crystals and stones that have special meaning to me.
I paint small pieces on the floor. I like to spread out with my paints all around me and just go for it. For several years that’s how I painted all my paintings regardless of size. My knees started to get sore from hours of either sitting cross-legged or on my knees. A few years ago as a birthday gift from my husband, I received a windmill easel. It has been a great asset to me now that I paint large most of the time. No more sore knees!
The other side of my studio is filled with blank canvas ready for paintings to be born. My walls are filled with finished paintings and other paintings stacked against the wall. I’m quickly running out of room! At the bottom center you can see a painting started by one of my children. I have an open door policy with them to be able to create whenever the mood strikes them. I have all my supplies ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Painting for me is a way for me to process my feelings and thoughts in the present moment.
My paintings are an expression of whatever is going on for me. At some point in the process, I get into a flow state where time seems to stand still. I become completely open with no active thoughts and become deeply immersed into the painting. I paint from my intuition with no real forethought about the outcome.
Paint is my language of communication. By using bright and bold colors I try provoke emotional responses from my viewer. My hope is that they will be uplifted. Painting has become a very important part of my life. If I don’t get a chance to paint for several days, I feel myself becoming uptight and anxious. Making art is good medicine for me. Art definitely heals!
About the Author: Stephanie Estrin
Stephanie Estrin is a self-taught artist living in Austin, TX. Over the last several years she has been exhibiting in and around Austin, TX in juried exhibitions and group shows. In 2014, she had a painting published in the book Inspirational Quotes Illustrated, Art and Words to Motivate by Lesley Riley. She has 2 paintings to be published in the upcoming September 2016 issue of Incite 4: Rest, Restore, Renew – The Best of Mixed Media. She’s currently represented by Off the Walls Gallery in Shelton, Washington and Adams Galleries of Austin, Austin, TX.