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she become what she had always been.
the other caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her strange becoming.
they wanted her to return to the shell,
that had once surrounded her.
but she had wings.
she had tasted the perfect harmony of becoming & surrender.
This is a quote I adapted by Dean Jackson and that I used as inspiration for the piece featured above. The piece is titled, “Harmony.” It was created using acrylic paint, paper & wax on canvas, and is featured on my LAR Art Photography website today.
I was reminded in the silence this morning, that flowers don’t compete or compare themselves to what’s around them… they just bloom.
flowers lean into the light & bloom to their fullest potential.
joy is found in surrendering fully to your own blooming… the process… and remembering we each have our own unique way of becoming. allow the journey to awaken & strengthen the soul.
“If you are persistent in a dream God has called you to, even failure will work for good.” –Melissa Douglas, Artist
I love being in the studio.
over the past two weeks, I have been waking with a burning desire to be in the studio and pick up right where I left the day before. each morning, I find myself anxious to see how the paint from yesterday dried & add more layers to the canvases filling my studio loft.
I love it.
these days I am reworking & in most cases totally transforming paintings I did when I first started painting. it’s a stewardship & necessity thing, but it is also a need for that early work to bear the markings of this new season of life & growth for me.
one nice surprise has been seeing the markings I considered mistakes or total bombs the first go round, be the very things that help to create just the right textures & foundations for what is being created now.
here is a glimpse…
click to view and purchase art by Lanecia HERE
my heart is full after the past few weeks. so much goodness. to marry my best friend in a place my heart loves was one of the best experiences of my life.
settling back into routine and figuring out next steps without being totally overcome by fear has been a bit challenging for me at times. there is such a thin line between being paralyzed or being motivated by my fears. now that I am living life as a professional creative/artist solely, I find myself walking that line for a period of time each day.
yesterday was my first full day back in the studio. decided to get to work on some large abstract canvas paintings I have been adding layers to for a couple of months. it was good. it was exactly where I needed to be.
earlier last week I attended a panel conversation at the Menil, “The Influence of Gandhi & Dr. King on Hip Hop,” and a number of the ideas spoken stirred me to think more deeply about the work I do, as well as the life in which I live. the work I am creating now is my continuation of that conversation and the truths revealed regarding the complexity and beauty of the human experience. last night I finished one of the pieces.
each stroke on the canvas was a sentence about vulnerability, fear, need for communion & hope, each layer a chapter on the goodness & messiness of the soul fully alive.
today, I sabbath.
I remain still so I can know and listen for direction. I trust that no matter what is done today or left undone today, I am enough.
as for tomorrow though… I look forward to time with paint & canvas and returning to the grind necessary to turn my dreams into plans.
tomorrow I will…
I am delighted & honored to share that Volume 2 of Trouvé Magazine, featuring a story about The Art Project, Houston and my journey of becoming LAR Art over the past few years, releases today! It is a publication filled with encouraging stories of creativity & beauty from the world.
Click here to learn more, be inspired and order your copy.
She turned her can’ts into cans, and her dreams into plans. -Unknown
Abbie Preston and I have been friends for about 3 1/2 years. We met while working for The Art Project, Houston, a project of the Bread of Life that empowers mostly men and women living on the streets of Houston to tap into their creativity, heal and re-imagine life. It was there that our friendship began to bloom and dreams of future collaborations were soon born. I remember a number of times we would sit after work and dream over coffee of what could be.
Earlier this year I was forced to stop. The stopping creating space to be still, heal, discover new artists for daily inspiration, be exposed to a whole new world on pinterest, listen to life, be revived by grace, and begin re-imagine life without fear being louder than love. It was beautiful. Once I started to trust and surrender to the unfolding, things started to take shape in ways I had not believed were possible.
In June of this year my creativity found a home at Hardy & Nance Studios, where I share a studio with Abbie and Carole Sconfitto. Amazing! This step towards our dreams in this particular space created the opportunity for one of our dreams to become a reality… Stamps & Stencils!
Last weekend we hosted our first Stamps and Stencils, a mixed media workshop experience where each participant is provided the supplies and the instructions necessary to allow their creativity to flow. Each person was able to create stamps and two stencils that they used to make square or rectangle masterpieces by the end of the 2-hour experience. Abbie and I use these techniques in the art we create, and found so much delight in sharing them with others and seeing what flowed from their creativity.
It was fabulous… a dream come true!
Special thanks to Abbie for sharing the journey with me, Cleve for being my partner & cheerleader in all of this, Andrea Sawyer-Gray (photographer & creative), Chap Edmonson (filmed & produced our Stamps & Stencils video), all of the friends who helped us set-up & breakdown, all the participants, my family for encouraging me to be the artist I am, the artists of TAPH for teaching me to be brave and all those who invested in this event.
So thankful I do not have to go through this life alone.
Our next workshop experience is scheduled for Saturday, November 1 (7-9pm).
Stay tuned for details and reserve your space early, it is going to be a fun one!
You can view the Stamps & Stencils video on the Workshop page of http://www.larartphotography.com.
stamps & stencils photography by Andrea Sawyer-Gray
“And suddenly you just know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
When it is time for a new season, you can just feel it to your core. No matter how hard you try to ignore it or put it on pause, there comes a time when you have to say “yes.” It is the time when the choice of not walking towards the new is more frightening than the choice to take the steps of faith towards your dreams.
That moment happened for me about 2 months ago. It was a moment when I decided it was time to turn my “cant’s into cans, dreams into plans.” The awakening has been happening for a while now, the journey towards “becoming” has be one I am grateful for. There were a few losses and pains I could have definitely done without, but the journey has truly awaken my soul. For that, I am thankful.
Excited, happy, anxious, alive, uncertain and grateful- I step towards this new season in life where I live fully into my life as a creative. As I go, I must say I am thankful I do not have to go it alone. One important part of this transition is partnering with local artists to cultivate spaces for creativity and beauty. Community is a gift.
One of my first collaborations is with my studio mate and friend, Abbie Preston of Boxsparrow Studio. On Saturday, September 27, we are hosting a mixed media workshops, where we will guide participants in creating art using stamps and stencils they create. Both of us utilize stencils and stamps in our creating, and we are looking forward to helping others figure out ways to express themselves using some of the techniques we have learned along the way.
If you are going to be in the area September 27, definitely register to join us.
If you know people in Houston who would find life in this experience, do share. The space is limited, so the sooner you register the better. To register click HERE. A good time should be had by all.
Also, keep me in prayer. First time in my life when I was choosing to step into a season of so many unknowns. I am trusting the One who has been nudging me to start living fully from my core, and I do believe all matters of things shall be well.
Pinterest is a daily companion of mine these days, a well-spring of inspiration and creativity. I didn’t’ start spending much time with it until I found out I was pregnant, and I wanted ideas for fun, colorful art, clothing, nursery and announcements for the love growing inside me. In the process, pinterest became one of those sites I would check when I woke up in the morning, and I would make sure I checked again before I turned in for the night….sometimes, it made for some sweet dreams and late night bursts of creativity.
Friday morning the book The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus popped up in my pinterest feed. The cover of the book totally got me– yes I am one of those–and as I proceeded to investigate what was behind that colorful eye-catching cover I realized it was a book I needed to pick up as soon as the bookstore doors were unlocked. So I did.
Perfect timing… I had just finished the remarkable and wrenching memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCraken, so I needed a new book to feast on. Reading specifically non-fiction literature, for my own gratification and edification, has become a daily companion of mine again. Though The Artisan Soul’s cover was what captured my attention, by the time I reached page 3 I knew my eyes had not failed me. This book was indeed right on time.
I read slowly through it most of friday and yesterday. Yum…so much goodness lines each page. I was thankful… extremely grateful to converse with another voice through this book, one that inspires freedom, authenticity and bravery. I have often been bound by fear of failure or fear of not being enough, all of which he brilliantly hits on within the first few pages. But not just his thoughts on fear, the pages were also filled with other other thoughts that have been stirring within my heart for months, so much so that when reading this book it felt like McManus and I had shared a number of conversations over coffee and he decided to put some of our mutual ponderings in a book .
His thoughts about the creative potential for the good and beautiful within each of us resonates so much with my soul, and is more days than not, the motivation that keeps me going. I do believe that everyone, no matter the particularities of one’s story, is an artist and holds within herself creative capabilities. Over the past three years, I have been working with others to create spaces where people are encouraged to tap into their artistic capabilities in an affirming and empowering community. I have seen the good, beauty and life that comes when our creative muscles are recognized first and then exercised. McManus is right when he writes, “If we want to create a better world, we had better start to unleash the creative potential inside each person to create all that is good and beautiful and true.”
Just as the body longs for food and thirsts for water, so does our soul long to create and thirsts for authentic encounters with beauty– a good that is not meant to be a figment of our imaginations, but a tangible, taste-and-see, feel-and-hear reality. To meet those longings and thirsts requires imagination and the courage to sometimes color outside of the lines.
We’re often socialized to conform. Yet over the past couple of months i have been paying attention to those counter-movements, lives of people and art that goes against the grain, that refuses to let tradition stifle its originality. I’ve begun to see through this reading that true artisans are those that add a certain zest to life by risking themselves through love and a commitment to change the world through their work. I’ve discovered that within each of us is a well-spring of creativity and imagination that begs us sometimes to do something different, to do the crazy thing you fear others may laugh at, to do that thing that you know that only YOU can do, given your experiences, circumstances and peculiar shaping and then watch as they call it a thing of wonder.
I want to color outside of the lines more. In the words of a poet I know, I want to do those hard to imagine but some how i did things.
In all of life, I want to be able to see the beauty that can come when I don’t allow lines or fear to hinder me from painting with Love. I do believe, so much life is to be found there.
“What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who only has eyes, if he is a painter, or ears if he is a musician, or a lyre in every chamber of his heart if he is a poet, or even, if he is a boxer, just his muscles? Far from it: at the same time he is also a political being, constantly aware of the heartbreaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. How could it be possible to feel no interest in other people, and with a cool indifference to detach yourself from the very life which they bring to you so abundantly? No, painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.”