Doorway To A Thousand Churches . 2014

This painting is 30x48 inches with a 1.5" gallery edge.

Made with acrylic, glass, phosphorescent pigments, water & light.

Shown above in:

1. natural light 

2. interior and uv (black) light combined 

3. uv (black) light only 

4. no light (glow in the dark)

 

Here are a few videos I shot of the making of this painting. 

 

Doorway To A Thousand Churches has sold. 

To follow along with all my art happenings, visit me on Patreon.

Ongoing Blatherings

This is purely stream of consciousness. It was written in paragraphs over the course of several months. Weeks passed in between sentences. I curated my own words after the fact. Don't think too hard about it, it's not supposed to mean anything. This is purely stream of consciousness. 

The need to worry is an illusion. 

"What will happen if you let it go?" I'm not sure. I wait for the sounds of a crash, but there is nothing.

Echoes, perhaps, but I am not attached to them now. They flutter past as I stare ahead. We have an understanding.

My Krav instructor is always telling me that I'm overthinking everything, which makes sense, since Krav has become a convoluted metaphor for life. You have to react to punches as they come. You can't plan the whole thing out. Don't fall over. Keep breathing. Get back up. 

I find it comforting. 

I dislike the "no regrets" mantra. Regret can be a helpful reminder not to make terrible choices again. People have a lot of "self-love" when it comes to justifying terrible behavior. I want to push through. I don't want to keep spinning, spinning, spinning.

Days pass. Now I can see through to the other side, but I'm caught in the hazy, slow-motion universe in between. Forward, but slowly. My mind is quicker than my body.

How long were you in your cocoon?

Sometimes you absorb a massive amount of information in a very short amount of time. An hour, a week, a year. It's a meaningful time. All you can really do is keep your eyes open and watch. Be a sponge. If you're ready and prepared for the information, you can learn it with just a word. But don't waste the opportunity. You might not get another one. Time is not waiting for you. It doesn't care. It's already given you many chances. 

In a fantastical parallel universe, I have lots of energy. I smile endlessly, and I bound around from one amazing decision to the next. I leap from rooftop to rooftop.

I didn't take Robin Williams' suicide very well. For me this was sadder than your run-of-the-mill unexpected celebrity death. He struggled for a long time and then it got worse. It got *that bad.* You want to believe that there is relief at some point during life, but maybe there isn't. Maybe you just get stronger. I've experienced a lot of growth from the same situations that caused despair and sadness. Good and bad, it all redistributes over and over again, like chemicals in a sphere. 

I've had some of my brightest ideas in my darkest moments. Life is a little like throwing yourself off a mountaintop and hoping that you will fly. Or stick. Or that someone will catch you. The reward is in the risk, I guess. Even if disappointment lies on the other side, isn't it better to know? I'm afraid of wasting time; I am haunted by the time I've wasted. Heavy ghosts.

I've been having this vision of a man wearing a large, heavy medallion around his neck. He walks forward. It weighs exactly as much as he is able to carry without falling over -- and no less. The weight grows heavier as he grows stronger. It's supposed to be an honor to carry more weight, more responsibility. It means you have earned it. 

I don't know if I really believe that, but that's the vision I've been having. 

It's 6:51am. I've been up for hours. It's nice to be downstairs working instead of upstairs judging myself for being awake. I'm supposed to work with my flow. 

Sleep when you're tired. Eat when you're hungry. You never think you'll have to learn basic skills like that as a semi-functional adult. 

The sky gets brighter and my stomach gets louder and I ponder Irish breakfast tea or a nap. I'll end up doing both, because I was awake before the sun anyway and because I'm supposed to practice feeling deserving. 

The morning is quiet and beautiful. 

Frenzied Solitude

Hello, March.

madscientist.jpg

The year is brightening up, yes?

There are these frenetic periods of quiet solitude ;) in which I get a massive amount of painting done. It's awesome.

Sometimes I don't take photos at all. Huge phases pass in each painting and I am the only one who will ever know about it.

But it's good to be alone with your art now and then. 

I am getting better about documenting my process and my life. It's so important. When in history have artists been able to record their own stories like this? We have a great responsibility and a great opportunity.

I think when I was first starting out, for many many years, I didn't believe anyone would find my process interesting. It's messy. There's no formula or pattern. Most of what I do is intuitive and based simply on what I "feel" is the next step. Then I figure out how to do it based on the materials I have (or I acquire whatever I need to accomplish it.)

If I have a large - or important - series of steps to make, I have to focus completely just to get it done. I have to disconnect from many other places. It's not necessarily due to artsy subconscious emotions, it's just impossible to hold *everything* in your brain at the same time.

So I jump in; throw myself at my art. Plastic everywhere, frenzied mixing, paint flying, fingernails stained turquoise, empty containers and ruined brushes. I spend time sitting in front of each painting, seeking out the next step. I listen. I watch. I work with it.

I've made mad progress on everything. I'm 10+ steps into a new painting I haven't even photographed yet. 

:)

Stay tuned.

If you'd like to follow along with my art diary and support me through Patreon, I would be endlessly appreciative. Thank you for believing in my art!

For Patrons Only

Ever wanted to paint with me or join me in my studio? Welcome to Patreon and my new art diary. I've been working on this quietly for months. Behind-the-scenes photos, videos, and journaling about my art. Experience my work as I do. Watch a painting come to life. 

patreon.com/shaylamaddox

This is very big news.

~

For instance, this is the kind of video I make for patrons:

I'm only showing you this one because I want you to know what you're missing. ;)

Sign up and get an inside window into my creative life. It's like a little moment of painting-zen we can share together every day. 

Help me turn circles, water, light : into art.

Aloha 'Aina and the ironic sense of motivation I get in Hawaii

I mean, sure, I like to zone out (zen out?) on the beach while the sun bakes my brain and browns my skin and .... What's that? Another lilikoi margarita? Why of course.

I think it's the potent love of being there that reminds me very clearly that my time in Hawaii is temporary. And intermittent. And directly tied to how often I can afford going. Which is directly connected to how hard I work.  

On the other hand, my artistic sensibilities are bombarded with insane beauty the entire time. I want to paint ALL OF IT. I've taken up photography over the last few years, which helps quench a bit of that thirst while there, but it's not enough. Some things just can't be photographed. Besides, it's not the way Hawaii looks that affects me so strongly. I want you to know how Hawaii makes me FEEL.

Emotional, profound, poetic, intense, eerie, spiritual... It's a long list of words, which is partly why I'd rather paint it.

The experience of all these feelings calls me to question much about my life. Or rather, almost inexplicably, it's as though I find myself in the islands whenever I'm deep in thought about who I am and where I'm headed. It's where my mind is able to process all that it needs to. My own spiritual monastery. 

Inevitably, every single time I've been there, I stumble into a conversation with a random local that answers the very life-questions I've been pondering. To be honest, I had a few of those conversations this go-around. It's a little creepy. There were goosebumps involved. Somehow I never see it coming.

Does the island hear my thoughts? Does it bring me there for answers? 

I won't bore you with my hippie zen mystical LOST-esque spiritual crap, but let's just say the island knew what I needed to hear this time too, as it always does.

Regardless, my understandable love of the land (Aloha 'Aina) inspires quite a lot of artistic inspiration. It's not just that I want to express my personal interpretation of Hawaii to the rest of you, but I want to show my appreciation for how it changes me. More specifically, Aloha 'Aina means to nurture the beauty and purity of the land. I can't think of a better way to express my gratitude for this place than to show you how I see it through my own eyes. 

So begins my new Hawaii collection. If I can't make a painting for every photo I took, I'm doing something wrong. I certainly have more inspiration flooding my brain than just what I posted on Instagram. Some paintings are already spoken for and I haven't even yet bought supplies. Mahalo nui loa to those of you who believe in my artistic vision so truly that you can see the magical possibilities just as I do.

In the meantime, if you'd like to jump in and buy one of my photos, I would be honored.

Or, if you see a photo you'd like turned into a painting, get in touch with me and let's discuss the options together.

For now, I am back in the island of Orange County. Sure, I'm sad to be away from home, but I'm glad to be back to work. I have too many plans and ideas not to get started right away. My studio is here and here is where I will create my own personal Hawaii. At least for the time being. I feel a renewed determination to take my art to greater heights, to show more people; to show all people. It might take a little work, but there isn't anyone more capable of telling the world who I am than me. It's just a little climb up, and I think I'm ready to reach higher than ever before, maybe even higher than I can imagine. 

Besides, between you and me, I have this sneaking suspicion I'll be back in Hawaii sooner than we think............................................. ;) 

♥ 

 

Warrior Princess

I've always wanted to be a fighter. I've always had a "fighter spirit", which I know now is much different than being a fighter. I hear a lot of women say they'd like to learn self-defense, but ultimately feel secure that if a dangerous situation should arise, they'd instinctively know how to get out of it. Their anger and fury would be enough to scare off an attacker.

 :)

That's sweet. It's also complete nonsense, but I'm not really sure how to address it, since getting down and dirty on the mat with giant men throwing punches at your head is definitely not the kind of fun after-work activity most people enjoy. Fighter life isn't for everyone. Of course I had to go and choose one of the most hardcore styles of fighting there is, because, well, why not? Go big or go home. Friends laugh at how proud I am of my bruises, my bloody knuckles. I'm sore pretty much always. Everything hurts. It's awesome. I adore it. I can't stop blathering about it.

 

Meanwhile, over the course of the last two years, unbeknownst to me, another change was happening. I didn't see it until recently. I was just obsessed with fighting - learning to be a good fighter. I have never been an athlete and to say I dabbled in a couple of sports seems like an exaggeration. But, for whatever reason, I NEEDED to fight, and I needed to push myself to every limit I had. I just wanted to be better. It was hard for me at the beginning. I was so skinny and scrawny and every class left me feeling like I'd been hit by a bus.

Until this year. 

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to give you a little backstory:

I've always been skinny. Sure, it's been nice. Part of it is that I was born that way and part of it is my natural tendency to eat like a rabbit. A good start, but taking proper care of myself was never a priority. I was sick a lot in school. Lots of things, different things. When others got a sore throat, I got strep throat so bad it landed me in the hospital. I was tired a lot. I was diagnosed with a handful of not-real things that probably would have been better summed up as "she seems kinda depressed." On occasion, this would cause weight loss. Friends began the chorus of high school whispering - I'm clearly anorexic - or I have cancer - or..... Whatever, I didn't like school anyway. But it left an impression on me, that I was skinny and fragile and sickly. It became part of my identity. I'm not sure I've ever gotten over it fully.

…Until this year.

Somewhere between the tests getting harder and my obsession growing larger, I started attending my Krav Maga classes more regularly. Sometimes every day. Sometimes twice a day. Sometimes for 3 or 4 hours a day. Even my instructors told me I was going too much. They said I would burn out.

I think I was becoming an endorphin junkie. I felt so strong and capable. It was a fantastic feeling. Occasionally I would pass my reflection in a window and -- wait are those muscles? On my arms? My back? Where did those even come from? 

I'm a big supporter of artists documenting themselves and their lives. Yes that means photos. We are writing (and photographing) our own history. Hopefully, as an artist, you can make them interesting. Hopefully they reflect some current or important or profound aspect of your life and condition. As an artist, my evolution as a human being is directly connected to my art. I want my very life to be art.

 

Am I shy about these photos? In all honesty? Not really. If you knew where I'd been and where I've come from, you'd be proud of me too. So relieved. Victorious. That's how I feel inside. I want to reset the standard, the new normal for myself as a strong, healthy person. 

I promised myself that I was not going to be bashful in my 30s. I had no way of knowing what I meant by that. I wanted to live fully and freely and not be tied down by a false, negative image. I'm proud of myself, and how hard I've worked. I have earned that right through a lot of fortitude and pain. I want to celebrate. 

I am strong. And that's what I find beautiful. I never really saw myself that way before. There is nothing negative about it. You could say I am fulfilling a life dream, one that is happening right now. I FEEL the best I ever have.

You bet I'm going to enjoy it.

 

A Light in the Dark - 2013

I've been calling it my "most successful show ever." 

Signing my name on the wall : by Colin Maddox

by Shuji Sakai

Jaz : by Colin Maddox

by Kevin Toth

by Kevin Toth

by Colin Maddox

by Shuji Sakai

by Aria Bruss

The Ceiling 

by Colin Maddox

by Colin Maddox

by Colin Maddox

I have had other "successes," of course. It's all relative to what you're going for. A couple of years ago I sold everything in the show before the night was over. That was fun. And I actually sold quite a bit here too! Almost half. That's not bad at all. Big fat check. 

But that's not why this show was so great. 

There was an energy present, a vibe, a level of excitement that I'm not sure we, me and the people who support my career, have seen before.  

Much of this is owed to Four Elements Art Gallery, who provided an amazing space for my work and fully backed my vision for what the show could be. Not only do they BELIEVE in my art, but they hung blacklights from very tall ceilings, built a platform for our DJ to rule over his kingdom, and put a lot of money and sweat behind this project. Most galleries I've worked with simply can't envision such a happening party, and although my other DIY shows have been awesome, they were never technically happening in a 'gallery.' So previously it felt a little homespun. Which, ya know, has its place too.

But this.... This was spectacular. 

I keep joking that we "almost broke fire codes" which is mostly a joke, except for the wall-to-wall people smashing into each other and pouring into the super packed patio outside when it became too hot inside to stand any longer. I hovered near the door a lot, just to keep a breeze on me. 

And as usual, I only saw most of you briefly, in a glimpse, this electric but fuzzy memory in a flurry of moments in my mind. Just know that I remember and cherish every one of them. I always appreciate seeing your faces, even for a minute. 

To everyone else: it was a pleasure meeting you. I hope to see you again, and I hope our next show is even more fun. (Is that even possible?)

 

Thanks, A Light in the Dark, for restoring my faith - in myself, in my art, in my purpose. It's a nice feeling. :) 

 

In which you get to see more of me! ;) LIVE!

You might be kinda-sorta surprised to find out that I'm shy. Sorta.

Obviously I have a strong need to express myself through art, and I've always been a bit of a performer. This painting thing on the whole is relatively new to me. The first two thirds of my life were dedicated to acting. Being on camera. I WANTED TO SHINE! TO BE A STAR.

Or so I thought. It's still there, but as I grew older I also embraced my secret alter-ego of being an introverted hermit. I like things quiet, I like to be home, I like to paint. I'm sort of perplexing to others. I excel in social situations, I'm not afraid of public speaking, and if you follow my photography, I'm fine displaying myself as well. But through all that, my close friends know that I retreat and withdraw a lot. Back to my happy hermit cave. Where it's quiet and I have control of my surroundings and what I share with others.

Well, screw all that. 

I'm about to embark on a new, very public journey. It'll be a challenge for me, which is probably the best indication that it's a good idea. I love challenges. I don't go down without a fight, and I'm pretty determined to succeed in all ventures, especially if something requires me to try harder.  

To make a long story short (too late), I'll be displaying my life, LIVE AS IT HAPPENS, on camera via the Hang W/ app. It's available for iPhone and Android, and it's free. The basic idea is live streaming video - currently in 3 minute increments. I'm still in practice-mode to be honest. Figuring out how I fit in, what I want to share with you about my life. There's a lot of pressure doing things live. I have no edit button. There aren't filters. I have to roll with the punches as we go. It's basically public performance, or... public existing, you could say.

I invite you, my friends, my fans, my family - to come along with me. If you want.

Long term this will be an excellent way for you to participate in my art and my travels. I have an art show tonight and I will be broadcasting live all evening from the event. I'm going to Hawaii in two months and Greece in the spring. How fun would it be to come along with that? Short term, you might see a lot of me walking Musashi or drunken dinners with friends. Maybe a hike, or a sunset, or a little Krav Maga practice. Who knows? It's all spontaneous and in the moment.

Oh and painting! I'm about to start making new art again, and this is a great way for you to see me in my studio at work. 

*Full disclosure (as required by law and the FTC): I'm getting paid to do this.

Someone thinks my life is worth the time and money. We'll see about that. But I take the honor and responsibility seriously, and I will work my hardest to make the experience interesting and entertaining for both of us. 

Bonus- You can comment live and I will answer your questions on camera. 

After you download the app - called Hang W/ - make sure to adjust your notifications as you see fit. Go to 'Me' (on your profile) then to 'My Settings' then to 'Notifications' to turn them on and off. You're welcome to keep them on but, fair warning: You might receive a note that I'm broadcasting live over 300 times per month. That's not an exaggeration. Otherwise, turn it off and tune in when you feel like it. I promise in turn that I will make an announcement if I'm broadcasting something particularly interesting, and I'll have the app tell Facebook and Twitter at those times when it's happening. I certainly don't want to bug you. :)

 But I also don't get to see many of you as much as I'd like, and perhaps this way we can Hang out a little more often. And who knows? Maybe I'll become utterly fascinating one day. ;)

--If you'd prefer NOT to download the app or don't have the capability on your phone, check my new Hang W/ Me LIVE page where you can view my live broadcasts directly on my website. Yay! 

There and Back Again . 24x36 . 2013

Well, here we are. Again. 

1. natural lighting

2. interior lighting

3. mixed uv (black) and interior lighting

4. uv lighting only

5. no light (glow in the dark)

Ingredients: acrylic, sand, crushed glass, glass beads, pebbles, crushed garnet, phosphorescent pigments, water & light on canvas. 

When I was first asked to paint The Shire in 2011, I found the idea a little intimidating. It's the freaking Shire.  And who was I to try and reinvent something that was written so well that so many hold dear? But, as I started, I got to thinking..... The Shire... The light. The sky. The color. The joy and serenity and wonder of it all. The MAGIC. Wait a second. I was BORN to paint the Shire! And I truly loved doing it so much that I kinda wished I'd be able to again. But, ya know, I generally stick to my circles and time went on and well, anyway..... that was then. 

But things circle around, and this year another fellow LoTR fan contacted me to express interest in me revisiting the Shire. WHAT?! A trip back to Middle-earth? TO THE SHIRE?! UM YES. And thank you kindly for asking.

What I learned while painting The Shire the first time was that it felt more like a state of mind than acrylic arranged on canvas. The Shire made ME happy to paint. I wanted to live there too, and for a short time while painting it, I was able to. I think we all have a place in our hearts that make us feel that way. Our own personal Shire. For me, it's probably Hawaii. The light sparkles differently, the water is crystal clear, the colors are more saturated than anything I've ever seen. I just feel at peace there. And that's really what the Shire is, I think, relative to the rest of Middle-earth. It's everyone's happy place. The place you NEED to know exists in the world because it balances all the rest. It makes the daily hardships of life just a little bit easier to handle. We can all close our eyes, and whenever we want, be in that place. In the Shire.

Or, if you're lucky like me, you get to be there up close and personal for a time, or like Ray, the owner of this painting, whenever he feels like looking up at it. It was an honor for me to visit there again. I hope it's not the last time either. I'm a convert. I'm a Shire addict.  

I try not to play favorites with my own paintings, because I change my mind often, and generally evolve my opinions over the course of years in my career. But let's just say I had more appreciation and reverence for what I was doing this time around, and the process meant much more to me. It was emotional, and serendipitous, as I really needed to escape a few dark places in my own mind for time. I needed to rebalance. I needed to be surrounded by that indescribable light and magic.

I love this painting. 

The Art of Initiative

Talent does not begat initiative. Neither does intelligence. Confidence doesn't either, although all of the above are helpful if you have...

Finess? Maybe.

The more people I meet in the art world (hell.. in life), the more I am inspired and disheartened. There are a lot of people out there -- have you been outside lately? Wow. But I guess there's a modicum of balance in that too; meaning, for every inspiring person you meet of course there's going to be a few who disappoint. 

Mayhaps I get ahead of myself. Traditionally I have little patience for people I don't like. That's my fault.

I begin the process of show planning again, this time with a new set of eyes and ideas which will hopefully result in a show that is as fun as I expect it to be. I adore working with people who dream big, are hip to modern art-world ways, and who expect success. I'm really excited about this show. My interest in my art and myself dwindled there for a second, but I feel downright enthusiastic again. I'm happy to have a sounding board outside my own head. Collaboration is so important. 

As are like-minded individuals. Which I feel like I have. Phew. It's really such a great feeling to be around people who want to support each other and work hard together.

I wish I had more tolerance for everybody else. 

I feel so indignant when I run into artists with bored, entitled attitudes. People who wish to be heard but can't listen. People who offer up contrary opinions but no solutions. Loud sighs, never-ending objections. Egocentric dispositions. Criticism, negativity, self-indulgent apathy.

You can hipster your way right out of a successful life.

And for what, really? To win discussions? To appear smart? To seem cool? Okay. If that's seriously what you dig in life. Get drunk with all that hipster power.

The thing is, I guess I used to be that person. Ten years ago I was given an opportunity to share my opinions with a larger group of (far wiser) people, and I absolutely took it. I was more interested in my opinion than how my opinion sounded out loud. I hadn't yet experienced hard work or discipline. I was just snarky and feisty. Thankfully these people saw a potential in me that I didn't know I had. They listened. They looked past my hipsterism and encouraged me to grow. These people changed my life. If not for these people, I'd still be that person.

On the other hand, I'm definitely not as wise and patient as I could be. Maybe I'm not old enough, maybe I don't yet have the experience and confidence to outweigh the baseless opinions of another who just wants to be recognized for his or her own potential. We're all just growing into ourselves, right?

I just wish it could be done with a little more enthusiasm. A splash of positive, sparkling energy. It's kind of sad and pathetic that so many in our society apparently value sour attitudes and false confidence. If presentation is everything, we can do a damn better job at presenting ourselves as cool and smart. The person who has the confidence to encourage others' ideas and foster creativity rather than having to snark all over it is the one who looks truly wise. 

One day I hope to be that person.

Hanami . 30x90 inches. 2012

Hanami is a triptych: three 30x30 inch canvases, stretched over wooden support beams, with 1.5 inch sides, painted black.

1. natural light

2. artificial/interior light

3. mixed interior and uv (black) light

4. uv (black) light only

5. no light (glow in the dark)

[Made with acrylic, sand, glass, phosphorescent pigments, water & light on canvas.]

 

I am having a Japanese trip-out. 

Two years ago we were there, in perfect time for Hanami (flower viewing) -- The brief but glorious two week period of time when cherry and plum trees bloom all over Japan. It's like springtime snow. MADE OF FLOWERS. Pretty much one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced. 

In this short time, the trees put forth buds, bloom fully, and then float away casually in the breeze, filling the air with blossoms. Actually it's even way better than I could ever make it sound. This painting represents all three stages - the first just blooming, the second in full bloom, and the third showing the flowers beginning their departure from the trees, swirling lightly to the ground.

At five centimeters per second, apparently. ccording to this anime movie, anyway, called 5 Centimeters Per Second, which we watched last week and is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen on screen. Holy saturated light and color. Absolutely stunning. 

Watch it in English here.

Watch it in Japanese here.

(We watched it in Japanese, which I highly recommend, because Japanese is amazing to listen to.)

Ironically it's Sakura Season again in Japan right now. I can feel the anticipation nd excitement all the way from here. I wish I was there, but then again, I always do. At some point I will be again. Everything seems to move in cycles.

So it's kind of fortuitous that Hanami ended up being the final painting from last year that I have still to show you. So many memories, so much opportunity budding on the horizon. Truly, it was just a happy coincidence. But my mind is turning to sakura smoosh either way. And I'm okay with that.

Springtime has such a profound effect on us. The regenerative properties seem quite emotional in root, at least this year, at least for me. I'm thrilled to experience the newness, new life, clearer skies, clearer thoughts. There is much hope and possibility. We can start fresh, begin again. Do I feel like this every year? I can't be sure, but I know that I am appreciating my life more nowadays. That's really all that matters. 

Hanami is $4500. Email me to discuss a payment plan suitable for your needs. --SOLD!

Coalesce . 30x40 . 2012

1. natural light

2. artificial/interior light

3. interior and uv (black) light combined

4. uv (black) light only

5. no light (glow in the dark)

[Made with acrylic, sand, glass, phosphorescent pigments, water & light on canvas.]

Coalesce. To grow together; to blend together; to unite so as to form one mass.

Isn't it funny the way things work out?

Ideally, it's the result of everything in life flowing together as it should. If we allow our lives to carry us along while making conscious effort to follow whatever innate sense of personal direction we have, we (hopefully) will arrive at the destination that is uniquely created for us.

It's not an easy concept though, as I may have blathered about in a previous blog. It's a lot of conscious, mental work. Passivity has no place here.

We tend to shift between laziness and manipulation, trying to force things to happen or else refusing responsibility for it. We're control freaks. We seek control of everything - of each other, of our outcomes, of how others view us. We want it to be the way we want it to be, and if it isn't -- well, it's just not our fault. We're weak, we're busy, we're tired, we're broken. Worse, we blame everyone else. Insert your favorite excuse here. I like to claim confusion a lot. Option-paralysis. 

In the healthier versions of ourselves, we might see these moments (and our shortcomings) as an opportunity to explore humility. We might find enlightenment in the powerlessness of our very human capabilities. We might embrace our helplessness and seek to grow.

I always like to envision how solar systems form, out of an explosion of matter, all slowly gathering together over time to eventually move along in beautiful circular orbits around a central point. Simultaneously, everything within our universe moves farther and farther away from itself while these mini systems coalesce. Dirty and messy and deadly and seemingly erratic, yet ultimately all flowing as one.

Like life itself.

Usually, hopefully, as if by magic, as though it was always supposed to be that way, things work out. Many times we feel absolutely aimless only to look back and rejoice at how fated, synchronistic, or 'divinely inspired' certain events were. Perhaps. Pure coincidence can be just as exciting. Our perspective is really all that matters. Whatever pushes us forward to where we're supposed to be. Circumstances change quickly. The only control we have in life is how we react to them. Denying moments such as these, or attempting to force them to fit into our hardened will equals death. 

True wisdom is recognizing when we're given an opportunity to Live, and taking it.

Coalesce is $2400. Email me to chat about it or discuss payment options. Installment plans are always happily accepted. :)

In the flow or growing mold?

intheflow_shaylamaddox_blog.JPG

I guess I've been feeling inclined to write again. Sometimes I have so much to say that all the words get jumbled inside my brain and formatting text becomes impossible. At the same time, without an adequate channel for my thoughts, they bind themselves up and clog everything else. I'm an artist. I need outlets.

I've been pondering the concept of passivity in life, which is ironic since of late I've chosen the route of not doing things out of some inane bullshit belief that the "flow" of it all would answer it for me, which of course it never does and I find myself with less ability to make choices in the first place. In fact, I've delayed on publishing this for awhile now because I keep worrying someone will take it personally only to find another someone who might take it personally and so on and so forth until this concern proves my very point in writing it to begin with: I'm being passive. 

I think I've realized lately that "passivity" is often just a fancy way of saying fear. Fear of change, fear of work, fear of the unknown. Fear of making choices. People try to spin it, sugarcoat it, turn it into something a little nicer sounding, but it's still just fear.

People have way too much influence if you let them. 

The silliest (and perhaps most detrimental) spin on passivity is when people believe they're actually moving, growing, or changing by "allowing" life to lead them when in actuality they refuse to be moved at all. It's self-deception, pure and simple. The world passes by, everyone else changes, but there you are, sitting where you were ten years ago, spouting the same nonsense you went on about then. You're not flowing with the water. You're stuck in the mud, rooting yourself into the earth because you're too hardened and rigid for the water to take you anywhere. What flow?? I see nothing but a stagnant puddle. I see mold. 

Dangerous, creepy mold, and it will spread and attach itself to you if you don't flow right past it. Which ultimately is what I want in life and ultimately where this reminder comes from. It's for me. I know too many who've become mentally paralyzed while the rest of everything passes by. People come and go, flying past in blurry succession as you watch. As you age. 

To be honest, I'm trying to summon a bit of fire here. I need it. I forgot that true flow requires conscious effort to stay on course (or get back on it), to keep going, to never stop. I forgot that purpose and direction are actions, not passive beliefs. I have witnessed the slow, sad dwindling of life from those who are too stuck to truly flow; to truly LIVE. And it terrifies me.

So, here we are. Nowhere to go but through. And I'm not waiting for you.

Twitter Art Exhibit

Here's the piece I submitted for this year's Twitter Art Exhibit

natural light

interior and uv light combined

uv (black) light only

no light (glow in the dark)

This 4x6 card is a fully Light Reactive original painting.

[Made with acrylic, phosphorescent pigments, and crushed glass on postcard paper.]

It is $42, which includes Priority Mail. Find my name on this page listing artists whose last name begins with M. - All proceeds go to Art Division -- a nonprofit organization which mentors underserved young adults (18-25) in the Rampart district of Los Angeles in preparation for careers in the visual arts.

This is a very rare opportunity to pick up an original painting of mine for just $42! And for a great cause!

Thanks so much! :)

Balance . 48x30 inches . 2012

1. natural light

2. artificial/interior light

3. interior and uv (black) light combined

4. uv (black) light only

5. no light (glow in the dark)

[Made with acrylic, sand, glass, phosphorescent pigments, varnish, water & light on canvas.]

I wish I were the type of person that remained at a steady even level in all things without a lot of variance, but it just isn't so. I work more on a back-and-forth, swinging between extremes, living in moments of chaos and times of calm. In a way, that's pretty consistent. Depending on when and how you run into me in life, you'll find me either to be pretty mellow and easy-going or a bit snarky, worried, and closed off. Actually I'm pretty snarky regardless. But I snark out of love. Sometimes.

To know me for any great length of time, you've probably experienced both, in waves. I generally like to stay closed off for as long as possible, then burst out with a lot of the emotion I've been withholding, only to close off again. It's a constant balancing act, searching for the middle, that place of steadiness. 

But, in all honestly, I'm not sure that steadiness would make for a very interesting me. Art is born out of emotions and experiences, good and bad. To have neither wouldn't give me much to draw on, and certainly wouldn't provide motivation and stimulus to create compelling work out of nothing. It wouldn't give me much to even think on, to process through, to explore in myself. 

People who project total balance strike me as kinda boring and, well, kinda fake. To know one's faults, or at least that one has them is what make the triumphs and inventions have depth, and color, and texture. Be real about it. I hate when people speak of their only faults as being "too nice," or "too passive," or "loving too much." Come on. You're not a robot. Unless you are.  

Presentation is everything, I do believe that. But part of presenting yourself eloquently is balancing the good with the bad in an honest, poetic, dynamic way. Don't hide behind an illusion because you're too afraid to face anything short of all-knowing perfection. 

Show me your wisdom. Show me your dark side. Show me your truth. That's what makes for beauty. Mistakes or not, the rest is just a waste of time. 

Balance is $2600 (+ 300 shipping.) Email me to discuss a totally negotiable and workable payment plan.

:)

 

Frequency . 40x30 inches . 2012

1. natural light

2. artificial/interior light

3. interior and uv (black) light combined

4. uv (black) light only

5. no light (glow in the dark)

[Made with acrylic and phosphorescent pigments on canvas.]

...... and we're back.

Hi!

So now that it's 2013 I thought I should introduce my 2012 collection. Well timed, no? 

This one is Frequency, and I think my own personal favorite of the entire collection. For a piece that has so much going on, it's one of the most Zen painting experiences I've had. I opted for simplicity in materials - just acrylic and glow pigments - to be made up for in HOLY SNAP HOW MANY CIRCLES IS THAT?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

After a bit of math, I have calculated there are 840 circles, and -- wait for it: 159,000 dots.

Approximately.

What am I, crazy?! Well some people seem to think so, and I figured I might as well capitalize on insanity by funneling my superpowers into circles and dots.

For the moment. 

Actually there's another painting coming up that might have more dots but I have no easy scientific way of calculating them as I did this one (the magic of grids) so we're just going to ignore that for now and you can judge it when you see it.

In my daily painting schedule, I really do love nothing more than sitting on the ground, burning incense, listening to music and blissing out on meditative dotting. I don't have to think about anything other than dots. It requires intense concentration, yet leaves me feeling very relaxed and happy. Minus the painful neck and shoulders, but eh, we must suffer for our art, am I right?

Totally worth it.

This painting is $2400. Email me. Payment plans are always accepted. But, fair warning, I might cry a little when it leaves my home, so make sure to invite me over occasionally after you hang it up! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, I *have* been updating, thankyouverymuch. :)

Hi.

The funny thing is, despite numerous people approaching me and asking if I'm doing anything anymore since my blog hasn't been updated in months, I feel I've been rather communicative. Just not on the blog. Or in writing in general.

I haven't really felt like writing anything.

Ironically, I've been reading a lot.

But specifically, I've fallen into the Instagram tunnel, and more and more I find great satisfaction "talking" about my life through photos. It's so visual. And allows for creative expression in a way that's generally more my style.

I suppose I should have told you, but I wasn't sure until now how you could follow along unless you were on Instagram. (Which I highly encourage by the way. I play with Instagram the way other people play with games on their phones. It's addictive and wonderful.)

Eventually I hope to strike a balance between the two, written and visual expression, but for the moment I'm feeling obsessed with the visual, so that's where I'll be putting energy. Gotta go with the Flow, ya know?

Fortunately, I just found out that I could connect Instagram and Tumblr, so if you care, check out my tumblr site to see the zillions of photos I've posted in the last couple of months. I'll keep updating it as I go now.

But, for the record, I have been busy with art.


(Thanks to my homeboy Travis Tanner for this Instagram shot. And the flattering angle.)

The group show I was in last week was kinda awesome. I loooove alternative galleries, especially when the gallery owners are also awesome and have exciting, progressive plans for the future of their space. I can't wait to work with them again in the future.

And I still have my big solo show coming up at Studio C. If you're anywhere in Southern California, you really MUST stop by and say hi. This will be my biggest show and most complete collection since March 2011. It'll be a party. Art. Wine. Chatting.

I'm in painting mode right now, preparing. I'm redesigning my website. I have a few additional show opportunities in the works. I've also been making plans, making friends, being active, and looking forward to wherever it is I'm going. Which, at the very least, includes Ireland in November.

So, you know. Keep an eye out. I'm totally here.

Two shows! The show before the show! Wooo!

Last minute opportunity to preview this year's collection before my solo show!

I'll be participating in an awesome group show focusing on female artists in Los Angeles. Hooray! There will be three never before seen paintings of mine, and you'll get a fun glimpse into my full collection, on display at my big show this October.

I'd love if you can make it to both, but I'm happy to see you at either!


Friday, August 10th from 6-11pm @

4 elements Art Gallery
2450 Daly St. #2
Los Angeles, CA 90031

Please stop by and check out this awesome loft gallery space! I'm super honored to be a part of this. :)