Tag Archives: surreal art

The Existential Journey of Self-Transformation

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The Existential Journey of Self-Transformation. Original oil painting on canvas, 30 x 40”, © 2017 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.
The Existential Journey of Self-Transformation. Original oil painting on canvas, 30 x 40”, © 2017 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

This painting is a very special one to me, as it illustrates my own personal journey of health through spiritual transformation. I began it during the onset of my illness, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to finish it until years later, after I’d experienced my own miracle of healing, which I illustrate here.

The tiny black figure curled up in pain in the nautilus shell represents a sorrowful sick me. Then an angel emerges from the clouds, lovingly tossing my shell of self-pity down the waterfall. I emerge gingerly from the waterfall of change, stepping up into beliefs that reflect a more empowering attitude, as then my higher self sends me healing energy, leading to me finally stepping into my fully self-actualized power of joy and health! I hope this painting helps to inspire others, as the journey to true healing through the higher self is often similar. Believe that you can have the quality of life you desire with all your heart and that’s when miracles happen quickly!

Also, I’d like to include an accompanying poem I wrote about my journey here. Much of the verses describe what’s happening in the painting, but some of the elaborated parts hail from the many initial sketches I did in exploration of creating the painting. It’s sometimes heavy stuff, but it will help you to delve deeper into my story, and perhaps you see a part of yourself in there.

Painting prints available here in my Etsy shop.


My Journey Through Hell to Heaven
— Poem & Painting by Tiffany Davis-Rustam

Never did I start to see
the storm of my suffering crest the horizon
before it blew inside my door.
Oh so slowly as a snail crawls
from the secret garden of shadowy dreams,
did the hopeful stride fade from my steps,
and the agony within began its grave descent,
setting a trap to twist my beleaguered body from the center-out,
churning my insides from bright to grey.
The great graces of the days faded
as twilight deepened into an ocean of inky midnight.
Wave upon wave of nightmare nausea came crashing in,
spinning and spiraling me downhill into valleys so low,
crippling my queasy heart to depths where I no longer knew myself.
My body bubbled and bloated, burped and gurgled,
like dank poison in a witches cauldron.
I was rotting from the inside,
a spoiled carcass long gone,
SO long gone the grace of my smile,
the fleeted memory of levity,
as rivers of hot tears ran grooves down my face,
flooding my faith deep undersea, further every day, every year.
I pleaded, I wished, I whimpered in vain,
yet still the onslaught of battle raged on inside,
as quick daggers of pain stabbed my heart and gut without mercy.
Hopes of health withered to dust
as an invisible slavedriver
whipped my broken body with all it’s might.
I cowered into my shadowy circus cage,
but still the demonic locomotive kept raging full steam ahead,
determined to crush the remains of my soul,
as I shrunk small and curled up tightly in my shell.
I wept and I prayed,
I prayed and I wept,
yearning for brief rays of relief —
to be let free from this thorny dark pit.
I heard echoes of wise men pronounce it,
but I couldn’t begin to imagine
how I crafted my own dungeon cell.
— Just how does an innocent kitten
deserve to be tortured for her purity,
day by sorrowful day, until life is barely worth the breath?
How dark the night before the dawn
and how bright the angels appeared
to save me from such a wretched existence?
Out of the sky, the circle of light gathered
around my saddened shell of self…
The Red Eagle gazed into my eyes
and spoke straight to my wounded soul,
opening the shutters of gloom
and shining his magic
into the darkest shadowy depths.
Two beautiful devas held my hands,
and we sent my shell crashing down,
down a towering waterfall,
my self-piteous pain suspended in air,
rushing down from great heights of hell I fell.
Fell into deep crystal pools of peace,
water glistening with the shimmers of hope.
Slowly, unsurely at first,
I stepped gingerly out into the dazzling day,
buoyed by the whisperings of my angels.
I called upon the infinite nature
of my all-knowing higher self
to lift my weary body
and fill me with the long-last light of dawn,
to nourish my body with warm bread..
And do you know what happened???
I ANSWERED!
From the depths of despair I arose,
stretched out my wings wide
and the battlefield cleared free at my command
—Because I SAID SO and I meant it!
Miracles of miracles,
my torment started disappearing
and under the eye of the beaming sun
my malaise began to evaporate,
and my smile returned once again.
And still the reality presses upon me to share
that perfection takes longer than a day and a night,
but now I know what to do,
the the besiegement settles in…
I’d discovered the secret of ages,
the key to all locked rusty doors:
To simply believe
that you can shape your own clay,
to trust in the light of grace,
that we are all divine sparks of godhead,
that this is YOUR dance,
and YOU are your savior.

Painting Creation: Light Warrior

Here’s a little slideshow I made, featuring my one of my neo-cubist paintings, “Light Warrior.” It shows this painting being created in stages, so you can see part of my process from start to finish.

For more information about inspiration about the painting itself, see my earlier blog post about “Light Warrior.”

This painting was sold before the paint was dry, but prints are still available. Contact me for large prints, and 11 x 14″ Light Warrior prints are in 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.

Healing with the Violet Flame

Purification of the Violet Flame, acrylic paint on canvas, 12" x 18," © 2015 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.
Behold the Violet Flame, acrylic paint on canvas, 12″ x 16,” © 2015 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

I painted this new painting in honor of the Violet Flame of the legendary Saint Germain. The healing power of this ethereal fire has been spreading around through spiritual teachings and I use it a lot to help clear my path from obstacles.

What I do is just think of the Violet Flame and mentally put all of your worries into there—all of your fears, all of your anger, rage, pain and worries. The idea is to just release it into the Violet Flame, and it will then dissolve and transmute your pain, leaving you with a purified peace of mind.

I can feel the benefits this practice, yet still there was a little bit of a mental block for me because I have never actually seen a violet flame, (as that is not something we generally have here on 3D earth) so I decided that I would paint it from my imagination and then I would know what it looks like.

My intent for this painting is to use it with devotional prayer to help me visualize this process. I hope it helps you too, because life can be filled with many disheartening things and we need a way to release the drama that holds us back, and move on into ease and joy.

I’d love to hear your own experiences in visualizing the violet flame’s healing power. Please feel free to comment.

Behold the Violet Flame. 12″ x 16,” acrylic on canvas, © 2015, Tiffany Davis-Rustam. Original painting available here in my Etsy shop. Prints available through pre-order temporarily.

Trifecta Confections

Trifecta Confections. Original oil painting on canvas, 9” x12”, © 2013 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.
Trifecta Confections. Original oil painting on canvas, 9” x12”, © 2013 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

Dare you believe it is what you think it is?

Yes! This painting is the ultimate expression of the divine feminine sensuality, to the magical power of 3! Three is a sacred number in many cultures, and it certainly shows strength in numbers here.

The female anatomy is celebrated here with a sacred reverence, expressed like a blooming flower, or a perfect candy-coated confection. I feel we should be honest about our sexuality, because in truth we are all sexual beings, and conscious use of this intimate union brings us closer to our own soul power.

A woman’s vagina is the entrance through which all beings enter through, and a source of love and pleasure for a woman and those who love her.

As a woman myself, I believe we should embrace the divinity of our sexual natures, and treat our body as a temple… only those who respect and nurture our ENTIRE beings deserve to be “let inside the gates” of our special place, and partake of the candy!

This small little painting was done on flat canvas, and is framed nicely in a white wooden frame.

Original and prints available on my Etsy shop.

Mystic Trinity of Smoke Valley

Mystic Trinity of Smoke Valley, Original oil painting on salvaged plywood, 17” x 24”, © 2014 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.
Mystic Trinity of Smoke Valley, Original oil painting on salvaged plywood, 17” x 24”, © 2014 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

Once upon a construction trash heap, I saw this mystical painting appear to me in the grain of the wood, and creating it was simply a process of revealing its hidden magic…

I just love repurposing discarded items into expressive art, especially when it whispers a secret picture to me! There were 3 distinct knots in the surface of this plywood which looked liked heads, and in the organic undulations of the wood grain surrounding them, I could also envision the hoods and robes that envelope them. Much of what you see in the top half of the painting is me echoing the pattern of the wood, continuing into the flowing movements of their robes. 

I’ve always been drawn to the ‘Three Graces’ of Greek mythology, specifically known as: Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer.”) Most famously in the paintings of Boticelli, Raphael, and Rubens, you find them dancing around in joyous circles, but my take on them here is quite different.

I’ve re-interpreted these Three Graces as mystic spirits that emerge from the shadows of time, revealing their inner light glowing from within to those who reflect their qualities in their own spirit.

Original and prints available here in my Etsy store.

Where In the World Have I Been? — Part 2

 

TDR_010615-Blog-Row2-paintings
Left to right: ‘Share Love, Make Peace,’ ‘The Quiet One,’ ‘Mystic Trinity of Smoke Valley’ on salvaged plywood, and a freshly cut tree branch face in Caspar, CA that I was asked to paint.

Part 2: PAINTING ON THE ROAD

Now that I’m traveling so much with my husband’s music tour, I don’t get quite as much opportunity to paint as I did before. Yet my soul yearns to paint, and I have completed 3 paintings that I love, and started 2 other intriguing ones recently, plus I’ve been sketching a whole lot more than I ever did before. I plan to post more photos of my drawing process in the next year, as well time lapse painting videos, so you can see how the concept starts out & changes.

Featured here are a few snapshots of my completed paintings since the tour began in June 2014, starting with Share Love, Make Peace, The Quiet Onewhich is anything but quiet. Mystic Trinity of Smoke Valley was done on repurposed plywood that I found at a construction site, which inspired a similar cloaked figure on a freshly-cut tree branch face that I was asked to paint, on some quiet ocean-view land in Caspar, CA that we stayed on. I really enjoyed this new experience of painting on the wood, picking up on it’s naturally-occurring patterns and then turning it into what I see it the grain; to me it feels like the painting almost paints itself.

Share Love, Make Peace was the first painting I did on the road, created for The Whole 9 Gallery’s Peace Project contest, and I sold the original the very next day after finishing it — and for much more than I expected— from a dear new friend we’d met our on NorCal travels! If you’d like to purchase a lovely 12 x 12″ wood panel print of this piece, it’s for sale at The Whole 9 Gallery, and 100% of the profits go to changing lives around the world.

My husband Darius and I have been so impressed by the global relief efforts of The Peace Project, and founder/gallery owner Lisa Schultz, that we’ve also started to donate 10% of our music tour income to their wonderful actions, which has most recently gone towards rebuilding homes for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. It feels so great to give, knowing that the money is going immediately to help change lives in such big ways.

I welcome hearing your favorites or comments on these new paintings of mine! Which is your favorite?

Tomorrow, Part 3 of 3: Tiffinity Art Scarves & Other Products

The Dawning of Infinity

The Dawning of Infinity. Original oil painting on canvas, 20” x 24”, © 2013 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

My own personal journey of spiritual discovery and growth feels like it’s been accelerating lately, and that’s inspired me to make paintings that reflect that inner excitement, such as this one, The Dawning of Infinity.

As a joyful dancer leaps through the air towards the sun, the peaceful energy she emits radiates out in pristine white orbs around her, intertwining into a nuanced infinity loop. The cubistic yellow sun rays beam intense divine light down through the complementary contrast of a thoughtful inky blue. Many gradual layers of white were applied to enhance the eminence of light, and the technique of finely-blended brushstrokes lends a quiet air of surreal ambience.

I hope to convey the outer and inner appearance of feeling the warmth of the sun upon one’s skin, while reveling in the realization of inner joys that uplift and inspire.

Here is the purchase link for the original and prints on Etsy.

The Groundswell of Spring, at Summer’s End

The Groundswell of Spring. Original oil painting on canvas, 22” x 28”, © 2012 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

Here is my newest painting, an exploration into softer colors, which inspired a dreamy setting. I started it in springtime, but now that it’s done summer is almost over!

I’m increasingly preferring to write a poem about each painting, instead of a paragraph description, as I think it lends more poetic license to everyone’s interpretation. Please let me know what you think!

 

The Groundswell of Spring
Oh, let me spin you legends of fairies and orbs…

Hush now, and keep a reverent watch for miracles,
as the luminous light of dawn
filters through prisms of shimmering dewdrops,
and you begin to sense sweetly
the palpable groundswell of spring re-emerge all around.

What was once hopelessly chilled to grey
has now been kissed by the returning rites of dancing sunbeams,
and romanced by lilting butterflies
into sugary candy-colored blossoms
of a new day’s invitation.

Lay down your blunt sword and swoon with me,
down there under the wishberry tree,
let’s get lost in time’s lazy river,
and found again in the nurturing embrace of terra flora.
Yes, your paradise is here, surrounding us, finally.

Original and prints available at Etsy and Fine Art America.

Creation Slideshow: Upwards Through the Brambles

 

Upwards Through the Brambles, Progression Slideshow

I’ve made my first video slideshow that shows the progression of my painting creations, from start to finish. Until recently I didn’t take many photos throughout the process, and this marks the point I started taking more. Future uploads will see many more numerous photos of different phases.

This abstract expressionist painting is called Upwards Through the Brambles, and it delves into the human and philosophical experience as we often struggle for fulfillment in our lives. The transformational journey through dark times towards personal triumph is expressed through dynamic forms and intense saturated colors.

Here’s further information about this painting’s meaning, from a previous blog post, along with purchase links to prints and the original artwork.

I like to hear how this painting makes YOU feel! Please share.

—Tiffany