I observe subtle laws of creation play out in art making. While there are several phases to be described in my process, I seem to surf a pretty constant wave between surrender and intent inspired movement. I look for the balance between active passivity and passive activity.

There are several unfinished pieces in my studio. Among these are simple explorations of watercolor washes in which I’ll juxtapose colors and allow them to run into one another, creating textures that I will exploit with subsequent layering. These provide a basis for “envisioning” which to me means relaxing the vision and seeing in a new way, with a new kind of dimensional quality. Forms emerge that weave in and out of abstraction. Each piece is a puzzle to be solved, and the solution is found in mystery.

It is delightful when I suddenly fall sideways into a perceptual shift that reconciles the irreconcilable, makes possible what is impossible, simplifies the complex. When this happens there is a release of limits, a willingness to see something different and new has emerged. When I translate this experience into the greater circle of my life it exposes the flimsy nature of the constructs that prop up the box I’m in. Flimsy constructs – veils — one cannot detect until removed. The sheer power of their sheerness is noteworthy.

Art making has helped me confront fear based beliefs about what is possible or impossible. I have seen that it is my expanse I fear the most. Beliefs keep the playing field of possibility small and manageable. To experience a state of limitless expansion means letting go of identity and the self/other identification established within a limited world. To die before we die.

Death is a guarantee, regardless of degree of preparation for it. Becoming aware of self limiting acts is a part of my preparation work. One unconscious act of limitation is the blind acceptance of or adherence to notions of what is possible or true. Art making allows me to stretch my vision and witness the process of dissolution and emergence involved in this expansion. Seeing this process unfold repeatedly connects me to a place of permanence through the cycle of change. The grace of this experience of falling sideways, of arriving at a place of simple, clear solution from where it all seemed impossibly complex offers good leverage against the habit to self define. I’m learning to hang out with less self definition. Grateful to have art making as a way in which to learn.


About gracekellyrivera

I am a perfumer and an artist of multiple disciplines located in California.
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