Last year, I undertook an exercise of identifying the themes in my art – what each piece meant to me, what I was attempting to capture or what I had experienced. Yes, all these pieces have been based on moments in my travel, but which moments?
I found 8 different themes, but the one with the largest number of pieces I categorized as “Transcendent Moments” – where I had a heightened sensory experience. Sounds a bit “out there”, doesn’t it. But you’ve probably had some version of this experience, where you feel transported listening to a piece of music or looking at a brilliant sunset – where you are paradoxically very present but also lose all sense of yourself.
I get these moments all the time when travelling. When I slow down, put my brain on pause, and let my senses take over. This past summer in Manarola, I had another of those transcendent moments, sitting on a café terrace across from the beautiful vista of the village. I became transfixed by the shifting light and its effects on the house colours and on the sea. From the darkness of foreboding clouds to brilliant sunshine, the village changed character every few minutes. I truly got lost in this light show, forgetting all else – and when I recognized that I was in this blissful state, the spell was instantly broken. Argh! But even for a short moment, I had transcended beyond the intense July heat, the crowds, and the fragrantly-delicious plate of meats and cheeses in front of me.
As brief as these moments can be, I have been amazed at their power and strength – I can recall the feelings of these transcendent moments when I see photos, tell the stories, and paint the pictures months or even years later. These moments are a definite blessing of travel for me! What Transcendent Moments do you experience?
From that blissful day last July, this is my latest 5″ x 7″ ink and watercolour, “Manarola Summer”:
(Original available for purchase at upcoming art shows or contact me directly.)