Patricia Robin Woodruff, divides her time between her geodesic dome that runs off solar deep in the woods of PA and the groovy, artistic town of Floyd, VA where she has her gallery. Her artwork falls into the category of Expressionism; paintings that capture emotions, dreams, and imagination. Woodruff’s art has been described as “A meditation transcribed onto a visual matrix.” Or as spiritual artist Alex Grey would say, “bringing the infinite into finite form.” She is an active member of her local PFLAG organization and her artwork and writing reflect the spectrum of sexuality that exists in the world.
Follow her blog on art and creativity at InnerArtSpirit.Wordpress.com
My painting, Pink Kiss, came out of wanting to create an image that was of Love but genderless. I hope that all genders can look at that painting and find that same feeling within themselves. Pink Kiss is done in the style of sumi’ brushwork, an Asian style that is probably the earliest style of Expressionistic art. I chose the color fuchsia to represent the love, the smoldering passion when two lovers kiss. Although this was painted quickly, it takes great skill to get the lines exactly right the first time. This color fuchsia in watercolor is what is referred to as a “staining pigment”, it means it doesn’t wash off if you get it wrong. Sumi’ has to be done with a swift and sure hand. You can’t go back and redo it because when you stop, you get a blob of paint, ruining a line. It takes a lot of practice to paint in the style of sumi’ but I love the gracefulness of it. The painting of Yoni is done in the same style. I wanted it to symbolize the feminine Divine that resides within, which is why at the center is a golden glow.
Body Tribal was drawn from a live model, who had an appreciation of tattoos and body piercings. While I drew, my right side of my brain was wandering around and tapped into primal imagery for me.
This is contrasted with Body Tribal, which is done in pastel pencil on velour paper. It’s great for doing the soft look of skin, but because of the fuzzy paper, there is no way to erase any mistakes. Body Tribal was drawn from a live model, who had an appreciation of tattoos and body piercings. While I drew, my right side of my brain was wandering around and tapped into primal imagery for me. I started incorporating various cave paintings that seemed to work well with the overall theme. These are drawn from ancient petroglyphs. I see it as your body is your property and what you do with it is your own business.
DiversiTree took some time to ask Patricia some questions about her artwork. Patricia can be easily contacted through her website.
DiversiTree: When you are painting – would you describe it as “praying” or “speaking to the Divine” ?
In my studio, I usually start painting by lighting some incense in front of my little art altar. There I have a statue that was gifted to me of an abstract pregnant figure on one side and when you turn it around the folds and curves are reminiscent of a yoni or vulva. This is my goddess of creativity helping me give birth to the images inside of me. I also have a painting that I made of a Green Man who looks on with a gentle smile at my growing creativity. My spiritual tradition acknowledges the concept of Deity as Male and Female, Both and Neither, so I have a photo of a galaxy to represent Neither and I’d like to add a statue of Ardhanarishvara, who is the Hindu Deity that is half Shiva and half Parvati. I have these as a reminder to myself that these are aspects of Deity that need paid attention to and are present in our world and it’s my responsibility to bring that forth.
While I create a work of art, the time around me dissolves into nothingness. There is a word for this, “kairos” or “sacred time.” It’s sort of a time outside of time. It fascinates me to look back at this strange state of being and try to figure out what is happening. The mystical poet Rumi stated, “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” That’s what I feel… joy, peace, a sense of completeness, enthusiasm… It was intriguing to find out that the original meaning of the word enthusiasm has been translated to mean “touched (or kissed) by the gods.” When I am finished and can analyze the process, it feels to me like I am “channeling”; that it’s not me creating it, but the artwork is being created thru me.
So yes, I am in ritual space when I paint. I think the artist Alex Grey summed it up best when he said, “By linking with universal mind the painter “disappears”, allowing the natural rhythms of divine creativity to channel through the hand.”
I consider myself an Expressionistic artist. You’ve probably herd of Impressionists, like Monet and Degas, but Expressionistic artists focus on capturing the feeling in a painting. The colors aren’t necessarily realistic, they are there to represent the emotions. One of the most famous Expressionist painters is Edvard Munch who painted “The Scream.” He tended to focus on more negative emotions. I feel that my mission in life is to increase the joy and beauty in the world and help people feel that thru my artwork.
DiversiTree: Do you ever do live paintings or are you willing to?
For over 10 years I was a member of a weekly drawing group that painted from live models. It was terrific practice drawing from real life, but then in my quirky way, I would add extra details to the painting. The fascinating thing to me, is that while my head was in “art space”, it was easy for me to “read” things about the person. Sometimes I would add, say, eagle feathers to their hair and then the model would see it and be like, “I always felt the eagle was my totem animal!”, or one lady I gave raccoon ears and tail and she said, “That’s so weird, I dreamed about a raccoon last night!” All these moments of synchronicity make me feel like I’m just giving them a message from Spirit. So I am willing to do spirit portraits, but the person can’t be too exact about what they want the result to look like. They have to just trust that the right images will come thru. If I try to consciously change it, it just doesn’t work. So, usually, I tend to just let Spirit guide my hand and sell the results to those that connect with the image.
DiversiTree: I noticed you are part of PLFAG, can we know more about that?
In the process of recognizing my pagan beliefs, I called into question many, many things. One of which is sexuality. The Kinsey scale which measures the degree of a person’s sexual orientation made sense to me. Aside from my relationship with my husband, I find my emotional relationships with women the most satisfying. It was very easy for me to empathize with those that were attracted to the same gender, so when my daughter became involved in the school age Diversity Club, it was natural that my husband and I got involved in the local PFLAG chapter. We helped organize the first Pride Parade in our small rural county and I’m proud to say it has been growing each year.
Although I have been married for almost 30 years, I consider myself pansexual; I love who I love, not because of their gender but because of the inner person that they are. I must confess that I’m probably a sapiosexual too; intelligent people just turn me on! When most gals were drooling over the rugged Han Solo or the hero, Luke, give me magical Obi Wan! I also thought Wonder Woman was totally awesome; gorgeous, smart, strong, compassionate, I’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat!
Follow her blog on art and creativity at InnerArtSpirit.Wordpress.com
Patricia Robin Woodruff’s artwork falls into the category of Expressionism; paintings that capture emotions, dreams, and imagination. Woodruff’s art has been described as “A meditation transcribed onto a visual matrix.”
Desire is a mixed media of markers, black ink, and a poem that I had written that inspired the image. So I’ll leave you with the poem that works for any gender:
Valentine Sonnet – Patricia Robin Woodruff © 2013
Firelight catches the curve of your face.
Traces your smile, your shoulder, chest and thigh.
Stretching slowly with soft, leonine grace,
The beauty of soft touches makes me sigh.
My lips tingle with your passionate kiss.
A coruscating fuse traveling deep down.
Igniting desire, propelling towards bliss.
Sensations explode with barely a sound.
Holding me desperately, your passion grows.
Sweet tasting and touching will not be tame.
Deep in my dan tien spirals a rose,
Full blossom of crimson edged in bright flame.
Then you melt against me with your desire,
And all thoughts are consumed within your fire.