Creative Synchronicity (Part 1)

JOSEPH RAFFAEL’s HELLEBORES

In her book about creativity and retirees, Julia Cameron warns (or perhaps promises) that ‘aha!’ moments – ephiphanies about creative synchronicity – occur when we nurture our innate creativity and pay attention to the world around us.  Recently, I’ve begun to  experience such instances and I am seeing more connections between my long ago artist self, what I am doing now and others’ creativity.

Perhaps these examples of creative syncronicity have swirled around me, invisible as air currents, for years, when I was just too terribly busy to see them. Now I am making time to study my art influencers anew and taking steps to make art again. With the luxury of time to savor these efforts, I begin to feel lightbulbs illuminating above my head.

For example, a few days after I posted about my hellebore sketches, which were prompted by Susan Rushton’s luscious photos of these early spring bloomers, I received a new edition of artist Joseph Raffael’s newsletter, announcing his own new stunning hellebore painting.

I’ve long respected Raffael’s work and it was a joy to see his painting on the same subject I’d been working on. His hellebore painting felt like a gift, showing me how much more I could possibly achieve with watercolor in the future.  He even focused on a side view of one blossom and it’s complex interior that I’d found interesting, too.  (My side view is posted above, but go to Joseph’s site to see his elegant interpretation.)

The first Raffael painting I encountered was one of his “Water Paintings” at the Chicago Art Institute.  Forty years ago, that massive riverscape dazzled me with shimmering surfaces, jewel-like reflections and mysterious watery depths,  He inspired me to try to capture light in my own work in various translucent and transparent media, including glass enamels, watercolors and stained glass.

Raffael’s art currently explores the complex worlds contained within a few flowers or a single blossom. He continues to amaze and inspire. You can sign up for his newsletters at his site and follow his new work as he completes each painting.

Enjoy!

Thank you, Susan Rushton

Several weeks ago, I was itching to try some new art tools. I’d treated myself to a starter set of Inktense pencils and dozens of new Tombow markers. But I was stumped for subject matter.

Fortunately, I follow Susan Rushton’s blog. Her early February post and photos of seemingly ‘demure’ hellebores revealed stunningly complex and fascinating flower interiors normally hidden from view.  Wow!

The hellebore’s downward-facing flowers had seemed, until then, uninteresting in the early spring garden.  But Susan’s images and comments changed my mind and inspired me to visit my local nursery, where I found several varieties, capturing some reference photos for my test sketches.

Just yesterday, Susan posted again about hellebores, so the time seems right to thank her for her for giving me a new appreciation for these garden charmers.

Here’s how I’m seeing them in a few sketches using Inktense dye pencils, overlaid in some cases with watercolor, and with Tombow pens, which blend beautifully.

helibores inktense sketch March 2017

two helibores March 2017

helibore side show B March 2017

lighter side show helibores

helibore upclose March 2017