Kathy Crabbe. 2012. Migra. acrylic, pastel and charcoal on canvas, 48 x 48 inches. Migra belongs to the Journey into Intimacy Series; an expressionistic, gestural exploration of intimacy expressed through a personal, symbolic language often synaesthetically inspired. This piece takes it name from Santana's song "Migra" (Supernatural Album). Migra also refers to the Mexican border patrol. That's interesting because I recently (twice in the last month) have walked over the border to Tiajuana. To me, this painting straddles several worlds, just as I do, having spent the first 26 years of my life in Canada and the last 20 in the United States.

Friends on Facebook shared these comments and title suggestions:

Summer Winds Looking Within It's almost musical! Ego Ray of Life Emerging Peace Interrupted The stomach noticed the stomach Resembles a heart with the aortic artery where the esophagus would be if it was indeed a stomach

Are we under the sea again?

Kathryn V. Crabbe. 2012. Presence. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 inches. Presence is unusual in that it's strictly acrylic on canvas, no pastel or charcoal was used. Presence is part of the Journey Into Intimacy Series; an abstract, expressionistic series of mixed media paintings exploring intimacy using symbolic forms found in nature. I posted this painting on Facebook and received these comments:

Love this, like a dream catcher with a pool of tears, vulnerable, pouring out. Are we under the sea again? Oyster. Pearl.

Recently, a painter friend asked me, "What were you thinking as you painted?" and I found myself waxing eloquent, which surprised me because it was the act itself of speaking aloud which helped me understand the 'why'.

To me, Presence depicts a mystical, other-worldly landscape with an ethereal glowing 'presence' or circular object which could represent the moon or the sun. Forcing myself to keep it simple and uncluttered I filled the negative space with a misty blend of creamy whites, smokey greys and aqua.

More paintings from this series can be viewed here.

Journey into Intimacy: Celebrating 1 Year of Process Painting

My Studio It's the one year anniversary of my Process Painting experiment - yahoooo! One year ago today I began a series of paintings to save my life...no joke! Getting started, I literally ran full tilt in search of painting supplies so that I could begin that instant. I HAD TO PAINT. There was no choice. It was either paint or explode and so I chose to express my inner passions through the medium of acrylic painting. This time I wasn't painting small, but instead put my whole body into lifting, painting, making marks and covering paper, then silk, and then masonite sheets that were 4 foot by 4 foot (48" x 48") .

I obviously had a lot to say but words just weren't cutting it. As an artist I had to get it all out there through color and movement expressed in big, broad, splashy, sensual strokes, gouges and scratches painted to loud music: Celtic, Industrial, Acoustic, African, French...a mix, depending on my mood.

As the months went by I continued to paint, explore and express my feelings through art and writing that accompanied the paintings. That combination was new for me; one fed off the other. I combined the two in part because I wanted my blog readers to see what I was going through as I painted.

My friend Ian asked me if these paintings came from a metaphysical, meditative place within my soul and I had to answer 'no,

this series is pure emotion.

For those of you wondering what in the heck Process Painting is, I'll explain. Process Painting is painting without concern for anything but the process itself. This allows one to really focus on being present and in the moment without concern for where the painting will go afterward or if it will ever be sold. It's not easy for many of us to let go of control over outcome, so it felt risky and strange at first, but I grew to love it and crave it as time went on.

Studio PaintsWhat I learned

By experimenting with Process Painting I gave  myself permission to express my emotions out loud and in paint and how to be fully present.

I granted myself time, space and freedom for emotional outbursts and for believing in myself. I spent time just being and I spent time writing, painting, pondering, dancing and absorbing music. I could feel myself coming alive in every pore and I expressed that being-ness, that alive-ness through my creations; my paintings, my photographs of the paintings and my writing that accompanied each painting and finally through my blog posts which brought it all together.

Process Painting has put me back in touch with my emotions; joy and faith and strength and yes, pain.

I painted as if nothing else mattered but this being-ness, this process of painting. It was a reminder of what's really important for my spirit and my soul.

Painting abstractly encouraged me to translate my feelings very directly onto the canvas without worrying about depicting anything recognizable.

My StudioAs for the future, I'm going to continue what I started one year ago today because frankly,

I am in love with process painting.

I created two slides shows (see below) documenting all the paintings I created between October 30th, 2009 and October 30th, 2010. You can check out the accompanying blog posts at Creative Soul Blog or read my original Art Mystic blog that was eventually abandoned half way through the year so that I could focus on my Creative Soul Blog instead (all posts are now on my Creative Soul Blog).

Let's not forget that this is also a 1 year BLOG PARTY so I encourage you to leave your comments below expressing how this post has inspired your creative soul. I plan to pick one lucky winner at the upcoming Full Moon in Taurus on Nov. 15th, 2010 and gift them with a card or two from this collection.


Mating in Captivity

Desert Soul- acrylic & pastel on masonite - 48" x 48"

Leo full moon last night. The most important thing is heart - I can feel mine beating.

I'm reading a book by Esther Perel called "Mating in Captivity" - here are some interesting bits:

" One aspect of the erotic blueprint that illustrates the irrationality of our desire is that what excites us most often arises from our childhood hurts and frustrations".

"The central agent of eroticism is the human imagination, but for many people the project of sexual self-discovery is hampered by parental messages that induce fear, guilt, and mistrust".

"The body is the purest, most primal tool we have for communicating. As Roland Barthes wrote, "What language conceals is said through my body.""

"Erotic intimacy is an act of generosity and self-centeredness, of giving and taking.".

"The first place we learn about love and relationships is in our original family".

"Love and desire are not the same. Cozy is not the same as sexy".

"Intimacy does nurture desire, but sexual pleasure also demands separateness. Erotic excitement requires that we be able to step out of the intimate bond for a moment, turn toward ourselves, and focus on our own mounting sensations. We need to be able to be momentarily selfish in order to be erotically connected."

Taxi Ride

Taxi Ride. Acrylic and pastel on silk, 42 x 42 inches. © 2010 by Kathy Crabbe I am in love with silence and feel blessed beyond measure to live surrounded by the sounds of nature: the dove, multiple bird sounds; chirp, cheep, aw aw, hoohoooohoo, week week and long drawn out warbles.

I sit and stare at my silk canvas trusting in the process. The idea is to paint this series (Journey Into Intimacy) over one year's time and just let the process carry me where it will. My only expectation is that I'll have a body of work with some strong pieces at the end of the year.

Taxi Ride. Acrylic and pastel on silk, 42 x 42 inches. © 2010 by Kathy Crabbe

I paint nearly every day and I write as well. The writing spurs the painting and the music I choose provides extra juice. I never know what the painting will be, I just wait for the emotion to take over and I follow where it leads.

Why is it that some people cannot acknowledge other's talents? Is it a fear of denigrating their own talent? It's as if some people feel as though they only have a limited supply of love to give out and that they must hold on to it tightly to prop themselves up, leaving very little room for anyone else. Thoughts, anyone?

Taxi Ride. Acrylic and pastel on silk, 42 x 42 inches. © 2010 by Kathy Crabbe

It's easier to paint by charging forward, not quite sure if I like the painting or not! Sometimes, fuck it...I just want to leave it be, accept that it's perfect as it is although I know it's not over yet! (oww! paper cut!)

"We've all been pushed too far I guess on days like this" - from the song "Taxi Ride" by Tori Amos.

Musical Ambience: Tori Amos ~ Scarlet's Walk