True Colors May 2019 Guest Artist: Kerri Blackman
I am an intuitively led artist living just outside Portland, Oregon. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life and have always felt a deep connection to the land here, as though it was a presence, a voice that would call me from behind the mundane appearances of every day life and it would make my heart ache to try to hear it. I was always really interested in art. I had a wonderful mother who always encouraged me for as long as I can remember to pursue all my interests. My room was always littered with coloring books, crayons, then in later years water color tubes and pastel sticks.
But I got married young and had a large family. We home schooled and in the busyness of babies, math and cooking I lost touch with my art. I dabbled from time to time but not enough to allow it to be explored and to grow. When I got into my 40's I just felt like if I reached the end of my life and hadn't given my art a voice it would be something I would deeply regret. I went back to what I knew, which was mainly very tight, detailed works with watercolors or colored pencils.
Then I found a video by Jesse Reno on Youtube, showing his intuitive painting process. My brain was just shattered. All my preconceived ideas about what art should be went flying out the window. It was the bridge I was looking for, to be able to go between the material physical world on one hand, and behind the veil to other realms on the other. I am sure I've watched that video 100 times. I still watch it at times when I feel myself getting tight.
I switched to acrylics and I learned how to just communicate with the canvas, rather than coming at it with a preconceived idea I need to impose upon it. It is a process I am still working on. I try to detach myself from the judging part of my mind. Sometimes I am really surprised with what comes up.
Color is something that I have always needed around me. It gives me energy. I was always the kid wearing tie-dye and painting my room bright colors. My high school art teacher would laugh at me sometimes. Not in a mean way, just as if you say "Well, then there's you and all your color!"
If anything I would just like to encourage people to go after their dreams. It doesn't always lead where you think and sometimes it's hard. But even when it's hard it's better than the regret of not trying.