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A Story of Artistic & Personal Growth — via 4 Paintings

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Top Left: Upwards Through the Brambles. Top Right: Leap of Faith. Bottom Left: Light Warrior. Bottom Right: The Existential Journey of Self-Transformation. All by Tiffany Davis-Rustam.
Top Left: Upwards Through the Brambles. Top Right: Leap of Faith. Bottom Left: Light Warrior. Bottom Right: The Existential Journey of Self-Transformation. All by Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

I want to tell the story of a process of my personal and artistic evolution via these 4 original paintings of mine here!

These were all created over the span of the last 7 years since I started painting seriously, and you can easily see how the subjects and expressions of these artworks of mine have grown over the years, while telling a story of my growth in life! 💫🌈🎨

🌟 1— TOP LEFT:
The first painting is called Upwards through the Brambles, one of my earlier paintings when I started out with a much more abstract style, very inspired by early Abstract Expressionists Wassily Kandinsky & Franz Marc, with their joyful color use and intuitive understanding of how abstractions mirror the emotions in a dynamically expressive way. Obviously, Cubism was a big inspo too!

Also personally in my life at that time I had recently moved across the country (several times), and with continued spiritual development, was shifting my lifestyle and graphic design career big time, experiencing a lot of confusion and anger along the way. This piece is my closest expression of feeling so many challenging struggles arising repeatedly.

Yet even with this distress, I always envisioned a way out of it, and in this case it’s the idea of that you have to keep striving UP-wards towards the light, because that’s the only worthwhile goal.

🌟 2— TOP RIGHT:
Next is Leap of Faith” — a painting that was created as part of a creative exercise to express something I’m not ‘supposed to do,’ according to society’s beliefs at large. This process was inspired by The Artist’s Way book by Julia Cameron. I did 4 other sketches, 1 other which became “Causing a Scene“, but this was the most powerful to me in several ways.

At that time was the scary idea to quit my job as a graphic designer and become a fine artist full-time, a goal which I’d then only just recently dared to dream of, and which would take years to fully achieve.

Artistically by this time I had a big shift, after I realized how I could convey my specific ideas more effectively if there were figures added in my artworks, and all the sudden more people were relating their own lives to them! That’s always been my goal, to inspire people deeply through my art.

🌟3— BOTTOM LEFT:
Light Warrior visually represents me developing my own personal style further, drawing heavily on influences from futurists like Umberto Boccioni, but infusing it with a more visionary art quality.

This painting embodies the strong passion and determination to develop in the path of a spiritual warrior and transform one’s life with purpose. Here the figure gathers up strength and power to kick his way out of the metaphorical darkness into the light!

Also during this time I was learning better how to let go of my negative emotions and take in more positive inspiration, while spiritually asking for enhanced awareness and evolution by doing a lot of meditation, inner work and affirmations.

🌟4— BOTTOM RIGHT:
Now this last painting, one of my latest ones, The Existential Journey of Self-Transformation, may figuratively echo the scene from the earlier painting above, but as you can see it marks a jump in style that’s more conducive to telling a detailed story.

The entire process of this painting was guided by a short-term mentorship by the amazing visionary artist Michael Divine. Through his teaching, I was guided to explore ways that I could combine my abstract expressions with more figurative details and perspectives, which became a better vehicle to convey the representational ideas of transforming from my deepest pain to my highest joy.

When I started this piece I quit my full-time design job, after I began to experience extreme digestive illness, which continued and increased sharply for 3+ years. This special piece was created to tell the story of my healing, and before it had even begun, I knew the trajectory it must take — for me to heal myself through my own higher self, with an angel or two as an aide.

And you know what? Eventually it happened just that way! About 3 years later, after unturning every stone, I experienced a miraculous BELIEF healing miracle which took me 90% of the way to reclaimed health! I’m still working on the last little physical bit, but that faith healing took me such a long way, and it was such a dramatic shift for me.

Everything I’d studied about spiritual self-empowerment over the years proved itself to be true in just 1 day! We really can heal anything, even our body through the power of our beliefs and thoughts.

So, thanks for following my journey through art here! I aim to elevate the human condition by artistic expression, and hopefully relate to others undergoing similar experiences.

— Follow above text links to learn more about each artwork.
2 of 4 paintings available and prints for all artworks found in my Shop page, leading to Etsy shop.

Painting Creation Video: The Groundswell of Spring

The process of watching a painting being created live can be so fascinating! It begins with a brush making its first mark onto a bare white canvas, and gradually with each new stroke, you watch it magically take form bit by bit, before your very eyes.

This is a time lapse video of me creating my original abstract oil painting “Groundswell of Spring.” Many hours on the canvas are condensed down into 1 short film for you to enjoy this organic live painting process of mine.

I started painting this without a plan or sketch, and as I painted I was constantly listening to a lot of Enya’s music, which inspires thoughts of angelic love and fairies in nature. As the painting emerged into flowing feminine forms, I felt it illustrated the magic of nature as it renews the birth of springtime in nature, hence the name “Groundswell of Spring.”

Abstract paintings are less about thinking and more about FEELING, which connects us to our humanity. My hope for this abstract expressionist painting of mine is that it bring joyful feelings of peace and love into one’s living space, and inspire one to gracefully flow into the new beginnings of each day.

To purchase the original painting or prints, visit my Etsy shop.

Memories of Stardust

Memories of Stardust. Original oil painting on canvas, 18” x 36”, © 2015 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.
Memories of Stardust. Original oil painting on canvas, 18” x 36”, © 2015 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

For stargazers, dreamers and cosmonauts, this painting is like interstellar exploration!

When the human eye looks up to space, I believe it’s looking for connections to a more expansive concept of reality. I personally can’t look up to the stars without wondering, and looking for shapes.

So while creating this painting, I decided to invoke one’s imagination more, and turn the nebulous mists of the Orion galaxy into ethereal visions of the invisible realm.

There are a bevvy of mysterious shapes hidden in the stardust, like angels and mystical animals, and I invite you to explore this interstellar space and see what forms you can identify. It’s like imagining shapes for clouds on a bright sunny day, only these are nebulas in deep space.

Original painting and standard-sized print available on my Etsy shop.

Holding a Vision of Unity

Holding a Vision of Unity. Original acrylic painting on canvas, 18” x 18”, © 2015 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.
Holding a Vision of Unity. Original acrylic painting on canvas, 18” x 18”, © 2015 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

 

I created this painting originally for my favorite non-profit art organization, The Peace Project, and their 2015 call for “Visions of Peace.”

My concept behind this painting of that peace is possible when we can hold a common vision of unity for all.

Conflict essentially arises from the notion that we are all separate beings, disconnected from each other. Compassionate spiritual teachings show us that we are all connected as one on the grand scale of life. If we could all lay down our fears and egoic strongholds, then perhaps we could see past our differences between one another, and come to embrace all of our fellow human race.

Once we see the value in each and every human, then ultimately the people controlling all the power, money and warfare would want everyone to have enough, so that we all can prosper together.

Putting aside ignorance and hate for one other, my vision here is that when we all join hands together, we can project enough light and wisdom to unify ourselves in a common vision of peace and prosperity for all.

Original painting and 11″ x 11″ prints on paper are available here on my Etsy page.

The Peace Project, started by The Whole 9 Gallery, raises funds by selling art, which is used for philanthropic acts in some of the most desperate places in the world, including giving crutches to amputees in Sierra Leone, and rebuilding houses after typhoon devastation on Bantayan Island in the Philippines.

I’m proud to donate the usage of this image to help others rebuild their lives. Wood prints of this painting and 120 other “Visions of Peace” are available from The Peace Project online shop, and will be on display at the upcoming “Love Wins, Peace Rises” show in Los Angeles this Saturday, November 21st. Their newest initiative is building a Peace Center in Sierra Leone.

When Freedom Comes: Painting & Poem

When Freedom Comes. Original oil painting on canvas, 27“ x 30“, © 2012 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

When Freedom Comes.
Painting and Poem by Tiffany 

I know not how a light appears
in such a deeply velvet blackness,
but it did, and always will.

It starts as tiny as a fairy’s wing,
whispering memories of truth
and grows into a lightbulb ring
humming into ears during elusive sleeps of youth
indignity stirs within,
you sense a shroud pulled over eyes

Through the head in time there grows a rising symphony
The tender hearts awaited a joyous dance
while bodies are shackled to weighted clocks,
they force your hand to their machines
holding us down in darkness
while the sun shines its promise outside.

Them who have drawn the the blinds on truth,
have set us into endless race of time for dollars
to put the shoes and house and all our feet
Fining all who dare to step out of imaginary lines.

It’s said that we were made for greater things
than those tiny prison cells.

Out there
somewhere
diamond suns beam from grassy mountains down below
bringing cloaked mysteries to crystal lakes of
clarity for all to see.

When the first spotlight shines in,
When freedom comes,
we shall all have a right to live for ourselves.
When freedom comes,
We will all sing and dance in sunbeams.
When freedom comes
there will truly be life with liberty
and the pursuit of happiness
for you and for me.

 

The painting When Freedom Comes was painted on repurposed plywood salvaged from a theatre production, with a gritty texture of sand mixed in for texture on the black bars.

Here’s the purchase link to the painting and prints on Etsy.

Jump for Joyful Greeting Cards

These all-purpose notecards are from my mini-series of joyful leaping dancers. If you love art and dancing, these cards are a perfect expression for you & the people you send them too. Also makes a great gift!

These Dancer Notecards come in a set of 12 cards and envelopes, measuring 5″ x 7″, in a plastic box with silver elastic ribbon around it. The cards are blank inside, so you can use them for a wide variety of purposes.

Dancer Notecards available here.

Original paintings available in my Etsy Painting Originals section.
Flat prints available at my Fine Art America shop.

Body of the Beholder

TDRart-BodyOfTheBeholder
Body Of The Beholder. Original oil painting on canvas, 24” x 18”, © 2011 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

At long last, the finished painting from my previous post, “How Nude of Me”!

This is actually the first nude painting I’ve created, as it’s a subject I’ve been a little daunted by before now. The uncovered human body often makes a big impact, perhaps because it is so personal and often hidden, even a social taboo for some. But I always like to challenge myself, and the female body in particular is so beautiful that I finally took the plunge.

I’ve always seen nude painted so delicately, so in contrast I aimed to create a painting that was unabashed in its bold color and rendering. To me, the unusual color combination and fluid interpretation of muscle tone give it an air of seductive mystery.

Still meditating on the painting’s title; what do you think?

Original and prints for sale soon on Etsy and Fine Art America.

When the Magic Began…

Moonflower Magic
Moonflower Magic. Original oil painting on canvas, 24” x 40”, © 2009 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

Something very mystical about this piece that you can’t put your finger on…

This painting is like a first child to me. It was the first painting I painted on my own ambition after my oil painting classes, and I spent more time on it than any painting before, trying to get it just right. “Moonflower Magic” marks the beginning spark to my passion of painting, and experimenting in many different styles.

Original for sale on Etsy or original, prints and cards at Fine Art America.