Georgia Lesley Artist and Illustrator

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Georgia's most recently completed paintings:

 

There's the first brush stroke...and the finished work...what happens in between?

Sometimes I will paint just for the fun of it, just to try some new way of putting the paint on the canvas, or using different colors together (I am really loving lots of color lately) or who knows why…maybe I should say just 'for the love of it', because I really do love to do artwork. And then there are other times I will be reading something, or hear something, that will just light that spark of inspiration and I know I want to somehow paint my interpretation of whatever it is that has absolutely grabbed my attention. That is what happened with this painting. Although choosing the main image wasn't difficult, thanks to the file of photos I have of my friend Alice, getting the 'message' on the canvas took awhile, some of the initial images stayed on there, some I decided to remove, some new ones I added.

Now, even though it looks like I was pretty far along on the painting here, I really didn't feel like I was….I was afterall, going to attempt to give my humble artistic expression of an extraordinary thought. Here is just a part of what I had read:

"…For example, an atom of the soil or dust of earth may traverse the kingdoms from mineral to man by successive incorporations into the bodies of the organisms of those kingdoms. At one time it enters into the formation of the mineral or rock; it is then absorbed by the vegetable kingdom and becomes a constituent of the body and fibre of a tree; again it is appropriated by the animal, and at a still later period is found in the body of man. Throughout these degrees of its traversing the kingdoms from one form of phenomenal being to another, it retains its atomic existence and is never annihilated nor relegated to non-existence."

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í World Faith - p. 263)

What so amazed me about that thought, was that means we have shared atoms in our bodies with countless forms in the world of creation, not only from this time we live in, but for all time. And, they are constantly changing, even in our own bodies throughout our lives. Atoms don't disintegrate, they just become part of something else…far be it from me to actually understand the science of it, but that concept just blew me away! Although 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote about that over 100 years ago, I did some research, and it is now a scientific fact. So what that means to me, is that 'being all connected' on the planet, is not only a spiritual reality, it is also physically true….now how in the world was I going to paint that..?…

"All Part of Each Other"

Well, I knew I wanted all levels of creation to be represented in there: mineral, plant, animal and human. Plus I wanted to put a few images from other parts of the planet, not just what is local and familiar to me, because afterall, this concept includes not only the whole earth, but also the universe. That is why there is an elephant, a giraffe, stars etc. and a man from a different culture, all in the upper blue part of the canvas. The baby is there as new life, as life is forever regenerating itself. While there are many sorts of transparent images in the painting, the butterfly is the only 'real' creature along with the woman and baby, as the butterfly is in many cultures, a symbol of transformation.

So there we are…that's how that one came about. It really does seem like a pretty simple attempt at expressing such an extraordinary and all encompassing realization, but I sure loved thinking about it, and doing it!

Thanks for reading

Archive of 'There's the first brush stroke...'

Journey of Creation - February 2012

 

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