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.