Isn’t that Fascinating? I sure think so.

India Ink and Acrylics on Mixed Media Paper 11 x 14″ Louise Gallagher

In the quiet of the morning…

Leaves rustle
Traffic hums as it crosses the bridge
Birds sing in tree branches
Piano music plays gently in the background
Quietly, softly, I come home to my heart.

Outside my window, the river flows calmly. The BuaffloBerry bush that just a few short weeks ago was only as tall as the fence, now rises up above the railing on our second story deck.

Life flows. I flow with it.

In my heart, joy flows quietly filling in the cracks where life’s hurts have broken it open to experience the pain and wonder of being human.

My heart is stronger for the pain and healing that inevitably follows with the grace of autumn leaves falling and growing back again in spring.

A broken heart is an open heart. An open heart is a loving heart.

I let the joy flow freely, stirring my heart to beat wildly in Love with this life of mine, this world I inhabit, this place I sit in the quiet of the morning.

Yesterday, I played in the studio. I mean played. Really played.

I had no destination. No plan for what I would do. I simply wanted to play and experience the process of colours and ideas flowing. Plus, I had some new India Inks I wanted to try out. In the process, I learned something about myself that is amusing me, and exciting me.

Alcohol Ink on Yupo Paper
11 x 14″
Louise Gallagher

If you’ve been following along on my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I love playing with alcohol inks. I love the vibrancy of the colours, the free-flowingness of the process. The unpredictability of the outcome.

But, here’s the thing. There are only so many pretty paintings of flowers I can create before becoming bored, or at least somewhat tired, of the lack of challenge in the art-making.  (a little self-confession – I was challenged by the flower in the middle when I created this painting. It wasn’t working so I really had to work at creating something out of the big blob it first appeared to be — which I admit, was fun and challenging, but it still became… just another pretty flower painting…)

Because that’s the thing my playdate in the studio taught me yesterday.

I like art-making where I’m challenging myself to create something with more ‘depth’ than what alcohol inks require of me. And yes, I could create ‘real’ paintings of scenes and things with alcohol inks — it’s not the techniques that inspire my imagination. It’s the process of discernment I experience when exploring colour, shape, texture, mood, ideas… that inspires my imagination to leap and my heart to run wild.

India Ink and Acrylic on Mixed Media paper
11 x 14″
Louise Gallagher

The art may not be as ‘appealing’, but the process is definitely more heart-enriching for me.

And so, yesterday I played and deepened my understanding of what makes me tick, not just in the studio, but in life.

I like feeling challenged. I like to feel like I am growing, shifting, experimenting with what I know to expand it into the cracks where I don’t know how strong or resilient I am to discover the more of who I am when I let my heart run wild and my imagination flow free.

I’ve always known I’m an experiential learner. I’ve just never realized, the experience of art-making ignites my soul.

Isn’t that fascinating?

I sure think so.



6 thoughts on “Isn’t that Fascinating? I sure think so.

  1. two observations for you

    the top one … with the remnant of the dandelion shows bits floating away on the breeze – that is so analogous of the ‘Elgie’ I’ve come to know, spreading seeds of your ideas

    the second, is your “In my heart, joy flows quietly filling in the cracks where life’s hurts have broken it open to experience the pain and wonder of being human” statement – which reminded me of wise words and song from Leonard Cohen, Anthem [ ]

    thanks for a great start to my day …

    I’m off to a three day writers’ event – Where Words Collide –

    Have a great weekend …


    • Thank you Mark for your lovely words! — and ooohhh…. your writer’s event sounds fascinating. I can’t wait to hear more about it!

      PS — I love your interpretation of the first painting. It is truly what it represents for me too! ❤


  2. Experiential learner … sounds like a nice, safe, self-description that I can claim. In art, it has become evident as I seem to be incapable of thinking: I want to do a painting about (whatever). The only thing that seems to work is that I find a photo that calls to me and then I start messing with it. Gradually, when I’m lucky, or in the flow, or whatever, it starts to speak to me, whispering, “this way.” And, if I’m really lucky, I wind up somewhere that makes me say, “Wow!” as a new insight emerges.

    However, it also means that most of my lessons came on the field of life. I have to try something before I can figure out whether or not it’s right for me. My dad once said that I never made the same mistake twice … but that I was awfully good at finding new ones to make. I guess that’s what an experiential learner is … at least my take on it.

    Your art is lovely … on the surface, it may look simply like pretty flowers but the dance of light and color draws me in and makes me feel that the world is saying … it’s okay … carry on … play!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The best lessons come on the field of life. At least for me. When I am truly engaged with, immersed in, consumed by life, I feel more than ‘in the field’, I am the field.

      I love your take of your dad’s quote — ‘awful good’ is an interesting contradiction — mistakes are learning opportunities. Nothing ‘awful’ about that! 🙂

      And thank you re my art. You words bring a calming balm to my heart. ❤


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