Soul meets canvas: An Interview by Romantic Hippie

Soul meets canvas: An interview with Light. See. Art. Studio


Blessing Path

Daily, we see pretty images and interesting projects out in the blogosphere but we rarely get to see deeper into these works and learn about the creative process by which they comes to exist. Annie Lightsey of Light. See. Art. Studio was gracious enough to give me some insight into her creative process, which turned out to be so much more than paint and canvas.

Annie’s abstract art is a visual delight that warms your senses but when paired with the knowledge and inspiration of what drives her artistic nature, her pieces become an actual experience for the soul. Below is the Q&A with Annie that I hope awakens your creative spirit because as she says, “the pursuit of a creative life is a worthy endeavor”.



What music do you use as a soundtrack to paint to?

I listen to many types of music while in the studio. Gypsy Swing, relaxing Kirtan mantras, contemporary folk rock; but, my favorite music to listen to is my husband playing guitar for me while I paint. Lately he has been playing both classical and Celtic folk tunes. It inspires me to be creative when my partner is in the studio making music for me.


What artists most influence your work?

This could be a long list, but I will limit it to just a few: Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Hiro Yokose, and nobody does a moody sky better than JMW Turner.


When I Woke

From where do you draw your inspiration?

I draw my inspiration from within me and all around me – Mother Nature, other cultures (particularly what they find beautiful or holy ), the Divine Feminine, motherhood, my relationships, my experiences, Celtic wisdom, ancient thought, the list goes on and on.


Is there a certain color or color combination that you are just mad about at the present moment?

Hmmm. I tend to paint with very bright colors, but they end up getting toned down as I apply wash over wash and layer over layer. I also tend to work within a pretty tight color palette. That being said, lately I have been dreaming of a combination of rusty pink, muddy grey brown, and silver or copper leaf.



What is the story behind your piece, Exile?

Exile looks at the myths of various cultures that center around the exiled or banished bride, and asks the question as to whether or not life in the great unknown might not be more interesting than life in a castle, or cage for that matter. Perhaps Vashti or Snow White find the confinements of the Kingdom pale in comparison with the adventures of the wilderness. Perhaps Eve finds paradise at the expense of eternal ignorance not as lovely as one might imagine. Maybe Hades and the Underworld are a little sexier than life in the everyday world to Persephone. Maybe it is not Exile at all if She is the one who decides to go.


In your mission statement you highlight not just the created artwork but the process in which artwork is created- what feelings are evoked during your creative process? How is the process different for every piece? How is the process similar for every piece?

When I am actively creating, I feel like I am engaging in a meditative experience. Everything else falls away, and I am completely in the moment of laying down something on the canvas. Differences arise based upon how I approach each individual piece; but, what remains the same is that the actual painting, the process I engage in on the way to a finished piece, always feeds me as an artist. The finished product is not the goal for me, but instead it is the sacred, creative, ecstatic journey of creating that I find brings me fulfillment.



What made made you start painting again after your hiatus?

I was in my late 30’s and going through what felt like a creative dry spell. I have always enjoyed creative activity such as writing, music, cooking, and gardening, but all of these things were beginning to feel more like work. So, I bought a canvas and some acrylic paint and painted the first painting in over 20 years. When I came home with the canvas, my husband said ” you paint?’ and I said “yes I do”, and then I did.


What advice do you have for young artists who are considering starting their own business?

I guess my advice would be to think of it as a business. I made alot of mistakes, business wise, because I didn’t know what I was doing. Do your research, be willing to donate pieces to get your art and name out there, use social networking and media, don’t sell your art short, and most of all continue to feed your creative spirit. Don’t forget what made you want to be an artist in the first place!


How does your painting style influence your personal style?

I am not sure what influences what, but I do tend to gravitate toward the same types of colors that I paint with in both my design and personal style. Also, I think you would notice a funky multi-cultural influence in my home and wardrobe.


How is your spirituality influenced by your artwork and vice versa?

My spirituality affects my work in a couple of ways. First, much of the subject matter of my paintings comes from my spiritual experiences and beliefs. What I find sacred is reflected in what I paint. Secondly, since I believe that we are created in the image of the Divine Creator, and I mean this universally, when we engage in creative activity, we are engaging in a holy pursuit. To be creative is to honor the divine within us. Because of this, I think my painting influences my spirituality as it allows me to engage in that sacred activity of creating. It offers a space for me to experience my understanding of the divine working within me.



What is one of the most important things you have learned about yourself throughout your creative process?

I have learned that the pursuit of a creative life is a worthy endeavor. That is not something I was raised to believe. I have learned to be patient with the process as I am prone to be results oriented. I have had to learn that it is not arrogant to think of myself as an artist, but necessary if I was going to actually make art. I have learned that a creative discipline is much like any other discipline in that you regularly have to apply yourself to it in order to grow and go deeper. And I have learned that I really like to push myself as a painter, working with materials and media that aren’t exactly “paint”, in an effort to see what I can do on a canvas.


I encourage you all to check out the wonders of Light.See.Art via her website, follow along on facebook, and fall in love with her work just like I did.

Light.See.Art has been featured at the Rhum Academy of Music and recently received the Numa Arts Festival People’s Choice Award.