Tag Archives: surrealist art

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.

My Healing Angel of Empowerment

Healing Angel of Empowerment. Original oil painting on canvas, 40 x 30”, © 2017 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.
Healing Angel of Empowerment. Original oil painting on canvas, 40 x 30”, © 2017 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

This painting symbolizes taking control of your life and stepping into your power and happiness.

It personalizes represents for me a great shift in my life’s journey, after a miraculous healing.

For several years I’d had a debilitating disease that significantly affected the quality of my life. It was a mysterious digestive disorder that kept me in alot of agony, with extreme dietary limitations. I’d tried to target this illness from many angles, but allopathy, naturopathy and spiritual practices seemed to do little to help lift the burden.

All of the sudden, one week I met 3 inspiring people that altered my perspective and shifted my beliefs from weakness to empowerment, and within a days or two after applying their suggestions, I began instantly feeling better and better, and eating a broad range of foods again, without painful symptoms. I’d resurrected my health against the odds, and it appeared to be a simple matter of deciding to take my power back!

In the following few initial days of health freedom, I drew this Angel of Empowerment, a figure which was inspired by my 3 earth angels, but I realized that it ultimately represents myself as my own angel of healing. The spiral of glowing health had to start with my stomach area and radiate out, and like me, the angel lifts her arms and elevates to light of awareness above the darkness of despair, in a pose of total control over the situation, as the sharp shapes of fragmented beliefs and painful memories are broken up and dissolved beneath her, to make room for beneficial change.

Although this relates to my specific situation, I feel it’s a similar journey of empowerment that many inspired souls will take in their lifetime.

Prints available here on my Etsy site, also linking in SHOP section.
Original painting available upon request.

The Existential Journey of Self-Transformation

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.

Share Love, Make Peace

Share Love, Make Peace. Original oil painting on canvas, 10” x 10”, © 2014 Tiffany Davis-Rustam. Original SOLD, prints only.
Share Love, Make Peace. Original oil painting on canvas, 10” x 10”, © 2014 Tiffany Davis-Rustam. Original SOLD, prints only.

This painting was created for The Peace Project’s annual call for artistic “Visions of Peace.” The mission was to create my own unique interpretation to their 2014 theme “Peace Starts Here.”

So in creating my Vision of Peace, I started with drawing on my own my personal experience I’ve felt the most peaceful when I feel LOVED. I’ve also experienced the life-changing power of yoga, and this piece draws on the beautiful mirrored reflection of partner yoga, which can inspire feelings of sacred union between people.

Here in this painting, two yoginis face each other, share love between them, and from that healing experience of love, the brilliant light of peace is powerfully emanated outwards. I believe that energy with this sort of positive charge can benefit others around the world in ways unseen, through the power of prayer.

The more love we share, the more peace will grow, and perhaps one day heal the world.

Interestingly, the original painting was purchased the very next day after it’s creation, to the first person who saw it! Luckily, archival prints are still available here at my Etsy shop.

 

To purchase a 12″ x 12″ wood panel print of this painting, visit my listing on The Whole 9 Gallery Peace Shop. Artists such as myself are donating all proceeds of these peace panels to The Peace Project, which is currently building new homes for Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines.

Malibu Rainbow Sunset

Tiffany_Davis-Rustam-MalibuRainbowSunset

As I’ve been going through my archives I’ve found a bunch paintings that I finished a while ago, yet never blogged about, or even posted for sale! Here’s a good one that may surprise you…

Is there perhaps nothing in nature quite as universally lovely as a sunset on the beach? As I always say, “The best show of the day is starting!”

Still I have to admit, as beautiful as it is, I often think “It could be MORE wondrous than this!” My vision was to forgo the dark shadows of the sunset, and instead marry the ethereal colors of dusk with the bright light of the midday sun.

Sitting on a beach in Malibu, I made this sketch as the sun went down behind the mountains. I also imagined how magical it would be if there were a rainbow arching right around the sun. And when reality fails to deliver such daydreams, it’s my pleasure to imagine them for the rest of us.

Also I tried something new here, mixing sand from that very same beach in Malibu into my oil paints. This adds a depth of texture that truly brings the beach right to you, and which you can’t help but want to touch in person.

Original available here in my Etsy store.

We The Living: Darius Lux Album Art

We The Living. 52" x 52", © 2013 Tiffany Davis-Rustam, created for the Darius Lux music album, We The Living, released July 2013.
We The Living. 52″ x 52″, © 2013 Tiffany Davis-Rustam, created for the Darius Lux music album, We The Living, released July 2013.

I’m so excited about this painting! This We The Living concept originated as a cover for my husband’s newly-released music album release, Darius Lux: We The Living, 2013.

Darius intends the songs in this album to empower people as individuals, and furthermore to encourage them to embody the changes they are looking to see in our world. To follow their passions, and help others while doing it!

Here in my painting these energetic beings are suspended in spheric orbs of brilliant white light, harnessing the light of the sun and swooping down over the hills to bringing abundance and knowledge to all people of the earth down below, represented by transparent spheres of light, bubbling within the arch of a giant red arena.

The dynamic cubist divisions greatly enhance the light beaming from the left corner, and spreads a rainbow of rippling color across the mountaintops, from left to right. A blend of abstract expressionism and cubist surrealism celebrates joyful outer expansion through inner experience.

Fine art print of oil painting on archival paper, 11″ x 11″, available on Etsy.
Different size printing options available upon request, or at Fine Art America.
Original 52″ x 52″ painting available on Etsy, upon request.

Art & Music Combo Package available on the Darius Lux website.

My painting for the Darius Lux album cover: "We The Living"
My painting for the Darius Lux album cover: “We The Living”

 

Hendrix Voodoo Magick

Hendrix Voodoo Magick. Original oil painting on canvas, 24” x 36”, © 2013 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.
Hendrix Voodoo Magick. Original oil painting on canvas, 24” x 36”, © 2013 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

Can you hear this music come to life?

Jimi Hendrix performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London. © David Redfern / Redferns / Retna Ltd.
Jimi Hendrix performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London. © David Redfern / Redferns / Retna Ltd.

This abstract expressionist painting employs a synesthethic experience, where one experiences sound through visuals. Jimi Hendrix, one of my favorite musicians, was a delicious inspiration and exciting challenge for me. The inital sketch for the painting was created with my eyes closed, listening to his wailing guitar and feeling the vibes pulse rhythms through my arm.

[Here’s an earlier blog post I wrote and showed some progress photos of the earlier stages. I think it’s interesting to see how the color and form was built up in layers over time.]

The undulations of explosive fiery color and sumptuous organic waves of form echo the circular way Jimi embellished a song. It starts off slow and simple, like in the left bottom color, builds tempo with each new line of each verse, has a spacious moment, and then delves into the infamously explorative guitar solo journeys, before returning back to the start and doing it all over again with each new song.

For the complete experience, view painting while listening to Hendrix!

+ Have you found any poems that describe the sound of Jimi Hendrix? If you do, please paste it in comments below, I’d like to reference it alongside this painting for future displays! 

— Tiffinity

To purchase the original go here to my Etsy listing, and visit my Fine Art America listing to purchase all sizes of prints.

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.

Creation Slideshow: Inside The Revelry Divine

Creation Slideshow for Inside the Revelry Divine, on YouTube

This video shows several phases of development for my painting Inside the Revelry Divine. It’s a brief little slideshow, as I only started taking documentation photos of my work in progress with this painting, and there aren’t so many progress pics, considering how very long this took me! Nonetheless I hope you’ll find it interesting to see the initial pencil sketch conception, and how much it changed along the way.

I did this painting several years ago, and it’s still one of my favorites. I’m so glad it hasn’t sold yet, because I love to gaze at it on my walls!

Here’s the original blog post I wrote describing this painting itself, and leading to online shop links for the painting and prints.

 

Embracing Angelic Feminine Sensuality

Angelic Petals. Original oil painting on repurposed wood, 7.25” x 9.25”, © 2012 Tiffany Davis-Rustam.

If you’re like most people, this painting will have an instant reaction—whoa!

Many of my paintings are inspired by very organic natural floral shapes, like Moonflower Magic  and some people say they look like vaginas!  In the past I never intended that — I take the Georgia O’Keefe defense — it’s just the symmetry of nature, which often reminds us of  sensual human shapes too.

But, since I heard this so much I decided to embrace it, and I thought I’d actually try to make a”V” painting on purpose. Innately, it was never a far jump for me to honor the beauty of the female anatomy, as I pointed out. While I was painting a little hidden image emerged in the middle, which appears to be an angel with wings standing on her tiptoes! I love the added intrigue of hidden images, and this one adds an air of sacred reverence to the subject matter.

I’m really happy with the way that it turned out, and I’ll not be bashful about what this represents either! Always interested to hear your thoughts out there.

Original painting is available here in my Etsy shop and prints available here in my Fine Art America shop.