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This artwork was for a private collector, Amber Buric, who is a writer and freelance paralegal working out of her home office. As an independent business owner, she wears many hats and is known to work long hours, often sacrificing her much needed relaxation and rejuvenation time. Her goals are to achieve a better work/life balance and bring more mindfulness + sacredness to her work day. She wants to create a more nourishing work space that boosts her mood and well-being while improving her concentration, productivity and creativity. She ultimately desires to find peace and calm in her busy lifestyle.
Amber requested a work of art for her home office space that would ground her while at the same time uplift and inspire her. Her long working hours can take a toll on her physically, mentally and spiritually, and she wanted a piece of artwork that would bring her back to herself, and encourage her to take a moment to breathe, nurture herself, and regain clarity and focus. She is drawn to warm, bright and uplifting hues of yellows and golds.
After our initial design consultation to discuss visions and ideas for the piece including color, design, materials, and significant meanings for the work, I began by sketching some initial designs that represented her requests. I focused on inner strength images to use as the central theme. Each of us has everything we need within ourselves, including unlimited peace, power, wisdom and clarity, but in the hustle and bustle of a busy lifestyle, it is easy to lose sight of this. I wanted to provide Amber with a source of daily inspiration to find stillness and centering, so that she could easily anchor to the peace + power within herself, and find the balance that she desired.
I dug a little deeper into this concept to see what design ideas would emerge. The concept of ‘prana’, the sanskrit word for life-force energy, kept popping into my mind, and onto the pages of my sketchbook. In the holistic ayurvedic health system of India, prana is the vital life energy of all things of the universe. It is the energetic spiral of life. This became the main inspiration for this piece, and soon ‘Prana’ began to take on a life of its own.
I developed a design of a flowing + radiating spiral to symbolize the life force energy of prana. It is this flow of prana through the body that nourishes all the organs and systems, and maintains physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wholeness.
The spiral flows inwards to the inner self, and at the same time it expands outwards into the vastness of the universe. It is infinitely large and infinitely small, reminding us that the inner journey and outer journey are the same, and encouraging a balance between these two worlds. This design will support Amber’s desire to find a balance in her life and to develop more mindfulness + sacredness in her days.
I chose a warm and bright palette of yellows and golds at Amber’s request, since these are the colors that inspire her. Yellow is the color associated with the third chakra, which is responsible for our sense of self, will power, determination and personal power. Yellow is stimulating and purifying, and promotes increased focus, confidence and success which will be supportive to have in her work space.
Some alternative designs that I developed are also focused on the power of the inner self, and the idea of going within to find peace and strength. These designs offer multiple selections to choose from. I sketched these designs with ink pen on paper and then painted them with watercolor paints to create a rough draft design for each selection. The spiral design was ultimately chosen for its powerful symbolism and soothing concentric circle patterns.
Once the final design was determined, I was able to begin work on the canvas. I first sketched the basic spiral design onto the surface of the canvas. This provides me with a rough outline to follow as I add layer upon layer of paint and natural materials to the surface.
Next, I added layers of color to create the background of the piece, using eco-conscious water soluble oil paints. Color selection is an important aspect of the artwork because it can deeply affect the way we feel, and evoke specific moods, emotions and memories.
In this piece, warm and uplifting shades of yellow and gold were used. Not only are these the colors that inspire Amber, but they also are the color of sunshine, which is nourishing and uplifting and brings feelings of happiness, positivity and optimism. It encourages us to shine our own bright light freely out into the world. By doing so, we become a powerful force to ourselves and to the world around us.
Yellow is the color associated with the third chakra, which is responsible for our sense of self, will power, determination and personal power. Yellow promotes increased focus and success. It lifts confidence levels and supports creativity, intellect, self-discipline and goal achievement. It is an excellent color for producing great work which will be supportive for Amber in her work space.
I alternated layers of color with layers of gold metallic paint to create a luminescent sheen in the final artwork. This results in a dynamic finish that transforms with the viewing angle and with the changing of the light, which will invigorate Amber’s office space as well as her spirit.
After each layer of paint was completely dry, I began adding natural materials to the surface. This is done by first properly cleaning the materials and then adhering them to the surface with a heavy duty non-toxic water based glue. Incorporating nature into living and work spaces offers nourishment on mental, physical, emotional + spiritual levels. The inclusion of nature’s elements into Amber’s office space will help connect her to the power of nature, and to the power within herself.
Each place in nature has its own energy living in the natural elements found there, and they each offer different properties + strengths. I chose to use sand, shells and stones collected from the landscapes of India to incorporate the calm and soothing energies of the ocean and the powerful life-force prana energy of India + its culture.
I also included small decorative bindis into the design, which are traditionally worn on the foreheads of Indian women to protect their spiritual ‘third eye’, where it is believed that they are connected to the gods and their inner wisdom. I also included rhinestones which are used in India for decorating shrines and clothing for sacred rituals. These items bring a sense of spirituality + a sacred shimmer into the artwork which, along with the nourishing elements of nature, will create an environment of soul-soothing beauty.
‘Prana’ is a powerful expression of the inner light, energy + strength that Amber desires to connect to while in her work space. This artwork creates a sacred sanctuary in her home office that nourishes her mind, body + spirit. It fulfills her wishes for a vibrant work of art that is grounding while also uplifting. The spiral design is soothing and relaxing, and will help her to recenter and connect to the peace and power within herself. The colors not only energize and uplift her mood, but they also support her in improving concentration, productivity and creativity. The inclusion of nature’s elements help reconnect Amber to the nourishing powers of nature and support her in experiencing wholeness, health, harmony + well being in her workspace.
After receiving her custom designed artwork, Amber had these words to share:
“Prana hangs in my office, where I see it every day. I absolutely fell in love with this beautiful artwork. It was the very first time I felt moved and “connected” through art. The spiral pattern of the piece spoke to the concentric circles of the person I was, am and would become. They represented the many aspects of my ever-evolving self, allowing me to find grounding and stability in the moment, and gather the strength, clarity and inspiration to expand even further beyond these limits.
The bright color scheme of warm yellows, golds, and oranges radiate positivity, happiness and life. The shimmering sands and shells glint in my sun-soaked office, connecting me to the powers of nature, and reminding me to reconnect to my inner power and focus on being part of, and within, light.
This artwork exudes positive energy, and radiates strength and light and love. I am all the better for it. Jill has an immense talent for painting a very personal journey for her clients, for which I am forever grateful to have experienced.”