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Denny Reed

Denny Reed

How are you?
I am in the throws of a deep internal process that continually connects me to what I call the feminine energy.

How did you discover your talent for art?
My self development path has taken me deeply into the wound of my feminine energy. I reached it by examining my shadow side and dark emotions. This is not gender oriented as the feminine and the masculine energies exist in each gender.
In December 2007 I started to dive deeply into some unresolved places inside of me. I was noticing as I aged I seemed nice on the outside with others and I felt hard and cold on the inside with myself. I found an amazing woman to help me with this. Marta Luzim is a healer and writer living in Florida. She runs an organization called Give Her A Voice.  She was the one who suggested I express myself with paint on canvas. This was in February 2008. It was amazing what poured out of me! I have only been painting for a few years now.

What or who inspired you to paint/draw in the first place?
Apart from Marta Luzim’s emotional and spiritual support I would have to say my step father who raised me from age 5, Mike Reed. He was a weekend artist who really wanted to be a full time artist but did not want to take his family on that journey with him as one of his artist friends had done that and Mike did not think it would have been a good life for his wife and kids. Mike was partially color blind and as a little girl I would sit in his studio on a stool and help him with his colors. I would watch him paint for hours. It never occurred to him or me that I should play with the paints. I am guessing my observation powers were a lot keener than I realized. I also believe what shows up on the canvas when I paint is an energy that works through me. I am less about technique and more about just feeling what I should do next…with the color choice…and  shape. I do not really have an agenda when I begin to paint. It is an urge deep inside of me that is expressed.

What do you think is the most important influence in your art?
I would have to say my personal journey is the biggest influence in my art. I have always been a very sensitive person…in fact I was called over sensitive most of my life.
I feel strongly connected to nature and love the outdoors and creatures…all creatures. I talk to lizards, dragonflies, birds and I have always had either a horse or a dog or a cat. In my twenties I got into gardening and followed the Findhorn gardening practices. Findhorn is in northern Scotland and was founded by people who meditated and felt a strong connection to nature divas. Findhorn was famous in the late 70’s for their oversize vegetables that were grown in a sandy peninsular near the sea. Findhorn has a fascinating history.
In my early 30s I started going more into my self development process and put away a lot of my spiritual practices and focused on emotions and family patterns in my personality. This eventually led me to develop an international seminar business.
I did rely on inner guidance and my intuition to write the curriculum and to make business decisions. Initially the business was quite simple but the larger it became the more complex it became and it did not suit me. I was being creative in the business but I found it was too much time spent in my head (masculine energy) and not enough time in my body (feminine energy).
This was really the instigator for me to get out of the business world.
At this point I made a lot of changes in my life…from divorce to lifestyle. I have always tried to be true to my essence and find my passion.

Be Yourself
Be Yourself

Where do you do your work?
Right now my studio occupies one quarter of my house. I bought a very large screen to hide it otherwise I would only do art and not have a personal life.
I am planning to move in the next year or so. I think what would be ideal is a warehouse for my studio and a separate residence. I want to stay in Florida as I love it here and feel very rooted in the warmth.

Do you work from life, from photographs or from imagination?
Yes! All!
Mostly from life and imagination but on occasion a photograph will move me and inspire me. Of course I do not copy the photograph it is just an instigator. What is revealed is always quite different from the photograph. I love expression on faces. In fact I am fascinated by those expressions. I wish I could photograph people I see in the public as I cannot take my eyes off them. I just stare at them. If someone asks I explain I am an artist that loves facial expression and they actually seem complimented that I am so interested in them.

What are you currently working on?
The past 2 weeks I have not gone into the studio. I am processing so deeply within myself that it would just be a distraction. I am allowing a container to build in me to contain this building energy that is coming up in my process. I do this every so often. Then I go back into the studio and can paint as many as 4 paintings in a week.
I just finished a series called the Lost Tribe, it is six paintings. I finished it in 10 days.
My work lately is all women and facial expression from wild women to deserted women to women embracing their dark side.

Do you have any new projects planned?
The Mother Child Collection is new and is taking  me to places that are still unknown to me.
That is part of the excitement I have with my painting.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?
I would have to say both. The whole experience of each painting, a holistic experience. It captures a moment in time and absolutely fascinates me. It is quite magical or better yet miraculous.

What techniques do you use?
I love the palette knives, but I use many other things, sponges, steel wool, sticks, jar tops. Whatever I feel like using in the moment.

What are your favourite materials to work with?
So far I love acrylic, charcoal and pastel. A few years ago I got into tissue paper collage work which in itself was a joy to work with. I learned this technique through a Jungian therapist in New Mexico.

Do you concentrate mostly on content or technique in your work?
The whole experience is free form. I am only concentrating on staying in my body and not thinking about what I am doing. I wiggle my toes to stay grounded in my feet.

Do you work certain hours each day or only when you are inspired?
I only work when I am inspired. Sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up and all I see is a color and my voice saying that color so I get up and add it to the canvas.

The Witness
The Witness

Where do you feel your art is going?
My art is parallel to my personal development path. I keep growing and raising my consciousness. I know I am an artist through and through now. I trust the process and I know the future will reveal itself. I do not have to control anything; all I have to do is keep surrendering to the feminine energy. I know wherever my passion is my manifesting powers tie in. I am very excited about where my art is going and I could not tell you where that may be. It is a mystery….a very exciting mystery!

What do you think the role of the artist is in society and do you think that role is changing with the advances of technology?
The role of an artist in society is vitally important. Creativity and true expression comes from the core of our humanity. That core is our connection to the oneness; our divine nature, out spirituality. The role of an artist is to hold and contain our deepest feelings so we remain grounded in our humanity.
Art must parallel advances in technology. Otherwise it would be easy for us to end up as a very robotic society operating solely from intellect. The mission of an artist now and in the future is to keep us grounded in our bodies and our emotions. We will lose ourselves if we only function from our intellect.

What is your favourite period in art history?
Now!

Who are your favourite artists?
There are so many and some I not even know their names. I appreciate all art whether in museums, on the walls of buildings and sculptures in gardens. It fills me up.

What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to take up painting or drawing?
The first thing I would say to them is ‘just do it’. Also when you begin be aware of your inner critic. All of the messages you received growing up that you are not good enough all end up in self judgment.
Your art will make you stronger. It will amaze you and it will excite you.


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