February 25th, 2011
Night Waterfall (9" X 12" Acrylic on Canvas)
The latest finished painting, of the three I am currently working on in the studio this week, is of a waterfall into a Koi pond. A full moon lights up the pool and the glittering waterfall above in a serene scene.
October 16th, 2010
Two new and very different pieces have been added to my site. Creative Flow Dreaming is in the healing artwork series. It is a symbolic piece, which represents visions during a meditation technique called Creative Flow Dreaming, that can be listened to on HayHouse radio.com.
The second piece, Crossing Over, is of a lovely young lady standing in contemplation in a secret oceanside garden. Beyond an inlet of water that is in front of her is a rose arbor or trellis, with a woman beckoning to her. This piece again is a piece for serene contemplation and healing. It is a common practice in hospitals to display paintings of nature, that are contemplative, as they have been found through research to help heal the sick, creating a positive impression.
August 28th, 2010
This piece was done for this week's theme on The Artist's Challenge. The theme, "A Belief that Possesses the Mind", had so very many possibilities, from politics, religion, spirituality, to the superstitious. But for me, near and dear to my heart is the subject of teen depression.
Children are so full of possibilities. We as a culture, tend to find ways to squelch so many of those by our current obsessions with wealth, competitiveness - (sports or academic), fashion, skinniness, drugs and violence, to name a few. Be it male or female, we seem to be able to come up with a myriad of opportunities to give them the wrong things to focus on. Character, values, morals and positive role models are in short order these days. By teenage years they are so confused as to what they should care about, many are giving up or giving in. Too many stories of bullying, anorexia, bulimia, overdosing and binge drinking end in a bad way.
The following is an excerpt from the web site Teen depression.org:
Teen suicide is a major cause of death among teens, though many do not recognize suicide as a serious threat to a teenager’s well being.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and teenagers. According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), about 8 out of every 100,000 teenagers committed suicide in 2000. For every teen suicide death, experts estimate there are 10 other teen suicide attempts.
In a survey of high school students, the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center found that almost 1 in 5 teens had thought about suicide, about 1 in 6 teens had made plans for suicide, and more than 1 in 12 teens had attempted suicide in the last year. As many as 8 out of 10 teens who commit suicide try to ask for help in some way before committing suicide, such as by seeing a doctor shortly before the suicide attempt.
Teen girls and boys are both at risk for suicide. Teen girls are more likely to attempt suicide, but teenage boys are four to five times more likely to die by suicide. Over half of teen suicide deaths are inflicted by guns.
This piece was done regarding a story I recently read about a young girl's depression as the result of a bad home situation. She felt going home to alcoholic parents was like being sent to a jail cell every night...afraid to come out. Her eyes told her story. So with this piece, I enlarged the eyes - on purpose. It is representational of the beauty of a child's innocent eyes, that attracts so many people when they see a young child. What a sad statement on our current culture, that we don't stop to wonder or ask, what has taken the sparkle and glow of a child away from our teens when we notice it. How will we ever accomplish the task of being a compassionate, loving culture when we fail to open our eyes to what is in front of them and help to make a difference in a life?
To see more of my originals go to my web site Gail M. Allen Fine Art at http://www.gailallenartist.com
August 1st, 2010
Here is my third painting in the contemporary, symbolic Elemental Series. The painting titled AIR is my submission to this week's "Gone With the Wind" Challenge theme for The Artists Challenge. Again, as with the other two paintings previously shown, (FIRE and WATER), I have researched and woven the symbolic elements together to create this image.
How do you portray air? Space, aura, atmosphere, breathing, feathers of birds, clouds, angels and winged insects like ladybugs all are symbolic of air. Air is indicative of the mental plane; thought, logic, language, communication, the abstract, and the intellect. The keyword associated with air is life. It is principally considered to be masculine, and the angel associated with air is Raphael.
The painting is a complicated composition. With this piece, I needed to create the illusion of space. My intent was to have a mask of sorts, floating in space that you were looking through - at clouds floating by. The mask is blowing air toward the viewer - so is it really a mask? Superimposed over the larger ladybug "mask", in a very textured layer, is an angel with wings outstretched. These wings are also part of the eyes which are made up of peacock feathers.
All of these layers contribute to relate my interpretation of this element. My reasoning behind this approach, as I have stated before, is to engage people in looking at a deeper level at the images before them - creating questions in their mind. Which layer do you look at first? Is there still something else that you may not be seeing? It creates a push pull effect, both visually and intellectually. I want to make people question what they see. What is reality and what is illusion?
July 30th, 2010
"Contentment is Golden"- On Finding Your Artistic Voice
A recent post by Artist Robert Genn, of Painter's Keys Newsletter, "On Finding Your Voice" http://www.painterskeys.com had a comment with a quote by portrait artist Mary Lapos.
There is a simple saying in English, "Contentment is Golden". -Swami Satchidananda
In reading more information on the Swami I found this comment in an interview:
"You don't have to look for a gold rush in the West or East. Be contented, and whatever you touch turns into gold. Contentment means being peaceful. You are happy. You are not greedy. Accept whatever comes. Be contented. So remain, keep the mind in that peaceful state, and whatever you do will find success.
- Swami Satchidananda
My feeling is that "originality of style" comes from what is to be seen by each individual, not necessarily what is seen in front of us. We each have our own personal interpretation of the world, based on our experiences.Trying to "fit in" by strictly following "the rules" or "copying exactly what we see", can be dangerous. This is because it doesn't express our own perceptions, or the passages and processes we are focusing on in our life at the moment. To me, that's what my art is. A higher level of self realization being brought forward. Getting through some of this focused processing can be arduous at times. These are the times I try to be boldly adventurous, dismiss established habitual practices and set aside many of "the rules". Have the confidence to let the subconscious mind have fun and play
Explore with your own selective eye
Paint or create, by letting your own eccentricities evolve
Don't follow a predetermined process
Put away reference early on in the process
Keep a watchful eye and let happenstance develop and transform
Work from a "What If" perspective
Give yourself the gift of time
Don't let criticism limit your creativity (Only you know your path)
"Many of the faults you see in others, dear reader, are your own nature reflected in them." (Rumi)
"This discipline and rough treatment are a furnace to extract the silver from the dross. This testing purifies the gold by boiling the scum away. " (Rumi)
Currently I am working on the painting "Air"- Of Breathing, Openness, Atmosphere, Expression, Aspects, Aura. My elemental series is my most playful work. I usually have six to eight pieces, of different series, going at a time. This enables me to pick and choose what type of work I will work on daily. It also helps to keep the work "fresh" and gives me time away, so I can come back with a discerning eye. Transformation takes time and processing, give yourself the permission and wonderful things will happen.
Be contented with your uniquely authentic process. Explore, have fun, silence the ego critic, let transformation develop within you - the gold will shine through, is my motto.
July 25th, 2010
The first copy of Gail Allen Fine Art's MONTHLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER went out today! If you are not on the list of recipients, but would like to receive a copy, which includes introductions of my latest original paintings and also new prints available - please sign up today at: http://www.gailallenartist.com. on the home page, under EMAIL NEWSLETTER, in the left hand column.
I am offering a free print, or note card set give- a -way, (one per month) to a randomly selected patron or followers on the email list.
Sign up today!
May 21st, 2010
My Rose Trellis painting is in the Saatchi Gallery Showdown. I would appreciate it if you would vote for it at the following web site:
May 9th, 2010
Happy Mother's Day!
My latest painting, The Rose Trellis is a tribute to my mother, and motherhood's lasting impressions on a person's life. As a young child, I was introduced to many cultures by National Geographic and my Mom. We didn't have a lot of money, but there was always a National Geographic on our table in the family room. At my grandmothers, while my parents visited, we played games with a giant floor globe she had, dreaming of where we would go once we grew up and sharing the facts we knew about that country. Travel, museum visits and learning about the various beautiful cultural lives of the inhabitants of our world was paramount in our house. Its lasting effect has influenced my lifelong research on symbols, cultures and my artwork. My Mom loved all Egyptian and especially Asian artwork. I was introduced to Guanyin at an early age by a small statue in our living room, and also by an Asian grass cloth wallpaper with small vignettes of scenes on it. This love of all cultural aspects, as well as learning to be selfless and have compassion for others, was one of the most important lessons I learned from my early life.
"Guanyin" is considered a Bodhisattva, who is believed to be an enlightened being who has put off entering paradise in order to help others attain enlightenment. She is the Mother of Compassion. In the Chinese language it literally means "observing the sounds", which means Guanyin would always observe all the sounds from the world and always listen to requests from her worshipers. It is believed that any living being who recites her name during a disaster would be heard and salvaged by her, which can explain why she is the most worshiped figure in Buddhism in China.
* Guanshiyin changed to Guanyin under the naming taboo of Emperor Gaozong of Tang.
* In Japanese, Guanyin is pronounced Kannon (観音), occasionally Kan'on, or more formally Kanzeon
* In Korean, the Bodhisattva is called Gwan-eum (관음) or Gwanse-eum (관세음).
* In Thai, the name is called Kuan Eim (กวนอิม) or Phra Mae Kuan Eim (พระแม่กวนอิม) due in part to the influence of the Chinese Thai population.
* In Vietnamese, the name is Quan Âm or Quán Thế Âm.
* In Hong Kong and Guangdong Province the name is pronounced Kwun Yum or Kun Yum in the Cantonese language.
* In Indonesian, the name is Kwan Im or Dewi Kwan Im referring the word Dewi as Devi or Goddess.
* In India, the name is Tara.
The painting, The Rose Trellis has the face of Guanyin looking through an arbor, or trellis, covered with roses. The most common interpretation of a rose is that it typically symbolizes immortal love, or undying love, which is why it is one of the most popular flowers sent on Valentine's Day. My memories of my childhood are of running through my Mom's beautiful flower gardens with luscious smelling rose bushes. Years ago, my husband and three sons built me a lovely rose arbor in our garden for my Mother's Day gift. I put a clay version of Guanyin's face hanging inside. This is one of my best loved gifts ever and also my cherished place in our yard. This painting is my interpretation of that spot. To all mother's, and also those who are compassionate spirits, I wish you Love, Life and Light.
March 14th, 2010
My Spirit Rising painting is doing well in the Saatchi Gallery Showdown but could use more votes! Please vote for it at the following link before March 15th
Thanks in advance for your support. Also, you may follow me on Facebook on my Gail Allen Fine Art page. I just posted my latest painting The Sunday Morning Sun Mandala on Facebook and also on my blog called "Easel Tides": http://wwwgailallenartist.blogspot.com/
February 14th, 2010
A Floral for Valentines Day. According to a Chinese legend, poppies symbolize faith and loyalty. In Persian poetry and literature the red poppy is considered the eternal flower of Love. I always think of them as everlasting life - as they are often sold in remembrance of loved ones on Memorial day.
During WWI, Lt. Col. John McCrae, a doctor, wrote the famous poem â€śIn Flandersâ€™ Fieldsâ€ť associating the poppy with those who died in battle, because the red corn poppy was one of the only flowers that grew on the battlefield. Moina Michael, an American woman, began the custom of wearing a red poppy to commemorate the love of a fallen soldier, sacrifices of war and the symbolic representation of keeping faith. After visiting the United States, Madam Guerin, of France, took the custom one step further by making the red poppies by hand and selling them to raise money for the benefit of the orphaned and destitute women and children in war torn areas of France. This tradition spread to Canada, The United States and Australia and is still followed today. The money collected from the sale of poppies goes to fund various veterans programs. (So this Memorial day, please remember to donate, and get a little red Poppy flower to wear in support from the Veteran sitting at the card table outside your local stores!!!) Happy Valentines Day!