I spend a lot of time researching before I begin making art. This is what I've mostly been doing since I've moved into my new space. My research is based on topics that I find interesting. Some of the topics that are of interest to me are Ancient Ireland Art, Traditional Chinese Landscapes and Abstract Expressionism. I've spent a lot of time researching and educating myself about the history of these topics and trying to map out the connecting thread that runs between them and my own work. What I'm beginning to unravel, is this particular view of the landscape and the natural world. It's not a linear view, it's a multi perspective view, it's instinctive, it's spiritual and it's emotional. I have this belief in things beyond what the eye can see, a strong sense of place and I'm drawn to the element of storytelling and symbolism. These are just some of things that I want to bring into my own work. 

In my previous post here I wrote about how I used Feng Shui in setting up my studio. During this research I became particularly interested in the idea of using the Bagua map as a framework for my art practice. The Bagua map is usually placed over a room or a home and divided into nine areas. It is said that each of the areas of our home pertain to each of the areas of our lives. The nine areas are:

1. Life Journey / Career / Success

2. Love / Relationships / Partnerships

3. Family / Ancestors / Health

4. Wealth / Prosperity / Abundance

5. Health / Well Being / Life Force

6. Travel / Helpful People 

7. Children / Projects / Creativity

8. Wisdom / Education / Personal Growth

9. Fame / Reputation / Legacy

I find this a very interesting concept artistically. And so I continued to mull over all the possibilities in which I could develop this concept. I eventually landed on this: that I will take one "area" per month and I will respond to this area in relation to my own landscape. I will discover symbols in the natural world of West Kerry that express those Eastern principles. I believe that there are many similarities between ancient Irish and ancient Chinese traditions in their relationship to nature. This idea of exploring an area per month also encourages me to observe and reflect the seasons intimately, in an almost meditative manner, over the course of nine months.

The first area I'm delving into for the month of September is:

"Life Journey / Career / Success"

I'm looking forward to sharing my discoveries with you along the way and I hope that you've found this insight into my creative process somewhat interesting. 

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