Category Archives: Paint


pentimento (pĕnˌtəmĕnˈtō) [key], painter’s term for the evidence in a work that the original composition has been changed. 

Despite my good intentions, there was no beauty in the outer lines. The peace I so longed to paint upon the canvas held the jarring discord of the reality. I did not know how to bring peace within the relationship this mandala represented. I did not feel direction in how to breech that barrier. Imposed hope, unwanted judgments clashed as colours and line created dissonance. Only the centre held promise.

How the urge to flight, to run away from what I couldn’t seem to fix held me! Throw the canvas away! Repaint the background to obscure the creative mess! What good are intentions if the product is flawed?

I was stopped by the centre, the seed and ground of my own heart. Green radiating from the spiral spoke to me. 

I raised my paint brush and began to recolour some lines. As I did, it struck me. This mandala was walking me through the inner labyrinth. This time on the journey was the walk toward the centre, that time of Release, the emptying to make room for the changed. The past could not be undone but colours and lines could be revisioned by letting go of what needed change.

I chose the colours that were darker for the heaviness of their pigments. Spiralling upward as layers obscured the colours and line below. I prepared for what will come by letting go.

It is not finished. Releasing is a spiralling process in time. It will come as I take the steps I can see. Each will draw me to that place of Revelation which will lead me to Return to the place of serving more deeply again. It will not be what was. It will have a new beauty.

I look at the mandala and see raised shadows as the only evidence of what had once been.

Only the centre remains.


**Credit to Heather Plett for teaching me the stages of a labyrinth

**Credit to Info Please for the wording in the definition of pentimento.


Shades and Shadows

Now it is my turn to decide what to do with this black crayon in my hand. It may not be clear right away how best to enhance the art of life with this creative tool, but if I am willing to take the time to step back and look at the whole picture, the answer will come. It will take patience and wisdom and a willingness to look within to the inner artist who sees beyond my limited outer vision. (

It can never again be the picture it was. Carefully applied colours and points of light are buried beneath the black shadings. Greens and grays blend a mask hiding the carefully placed lines which once was. As incomplete and artificial as it was, the image I had held on to for so long no longer exists as more than a mapping of shapes and a loose rendition of colors chosen long ago. I opened my heart and hand choosing to use the black for change. With inner healing, old options were no longer available.

For too many years I ingested the black anger, eating the black crayon, avoiding the deeper shades, burying the darkness inside when it wouldn’t just go away. Turning it toward myself brought thoughts of death and self harm. It didn’t matter whether I acted it out. I was no different in that interior place where self conception flourished or died then someone who acted on those thoughts. Knowing this inner darkness growing with each new shadow I took inside, my outer world became more pastel, more secretive to hide what I saw beyond my face when I looked in a mirror.

No more. Anger and emotions we label as dark are a part of the hues and shades creating the richness of life. We are not created to ingest and bury those materials holding some of life’s creative potential. Can you imagine a landscape without shadow or shading?

So I took paint brush in hand and let my inner artist undo the paled colour palette which had made my artwork incomplete. The deed has begun. I look at it now and can see potential I had not seen before. There is depth and dimension I had not imagined.

It isn’t finished. I can’t yet see what the new tones will bring into being. The change is too deep to happen in a single setting. It will take time and openness to the inner artist to bring forward the new vision I am only beginning to see.

In life events, it is no different. Moments come when something within says, “No more!” When there is no further to bend without breaking and something has to give. Having been taught by forces in life certain mores of acceptability, and coupling that learning with previous  maladaptive ways of addressing uncomfortable relationships, the tension of choosing to address the problem instead of hiding from it is testing every reserve within me.

For days I held that black crayon in hand not sure how to use it to create art in life instead of destroying what I had. I began reaching for resources, others whose guidance and support can help me make healthy changes within the tension. I am accepting the emotional turmoil and accessing resources to support me as I take these new steps.

I do so without  knowing how the painting or this time in my life will turn out. Will the potential depth be something I can carry out? Will my inner and outer resources be enough to complete what has been begun?

I only have the ability to change myself. I have neither the moral right nor the power to change another.

So I will pick up my brush. Squeeze the tubes of paint and design what is in my power to do. I have heard though that it would be helpful to pick up a tube of Payne’s gray.

2014 summer art projects completed in August

“There is a feeling of wonder when you put that last touch on a painting and something deep inside you says it is finished. At that moment it doesn’t matter what anyone else will think of it. You look at what the inner artist has created with your hands and you are filled with awe.” Comment posted when the last brush stroke was added to Smoke in the Air.

Golden fields

This was painted with acrylics on an old terracotta wine cooler. The picture is based on some photos from a recent trip from Alberta to Manitoba.

P1090427c P1090436c P1090435c P1090434c

Smoke in the Air

Based on sunsets at Rocky Lake. I watched the red globe of the sun roll down over the horizon one night and was told the colours came from smoke in the air caused by northern forest fires. To me that is such an image of finding the beautiful in the midst of the fears in our lives that I had to try to bring that sun into the image.


P – The Language of Paint

PIt began with a mandala drawn in my outer self’s carefully geometric lines Satisfied with the pattern but restlessly struggling with a sense of something more, I sat back, looking at the picture in front of me. There, where no shapes were drawn, I could see four more connected mandalas like shadows on the page beckoning to be filled.

To my outer self it almost felt like tracing the lines through a thin page in the first coloured pencil, marker and crayon art work about 5 years ago. Yet when it was finished I knew I had met a part of myself I had buried inside. There was an artist within. It didn’t matter whether or not I would ever be anyone famous. There was, within me, the ability to move beyond a camera and create images that were my own.

I began to explore the world of art. That inner eye seemed to gravitate to acrylics and collage so I have been following along in the past few years.

The paintings below are a few that came to mind as I considered placing some of them on here. Each has its own story that would fill far more than a single post. But art is about communication between the image and the viewer so I will leave them here with you to see what and if any of them speak to you.



“It Begins in the Dark” and “Make Way”, L.J. Andres, Acrylic




Secrets, L.J. Andres, Acrylics



Totems, L.J. Andres, Acrylics



Sunbrushed, L.J. Andres, Acrylics



Strained Glass, L.J. Andres, Acrylics