oil paintings and photography by Amber Honour

Open Mind Exhibit & the Zone

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Last week I came across a flyer for Open Mind Art Show & Open Mic inviting local artists to submit work and briefly explain why art is good for their mental health. The art would be on display for one night to the public during an open mic night. So in an effort to put myself out there and support the community, I submitted 3 paintings and Fire Fins was accepted. I’m assuming they accepted only Fire Fins because it was the only one I submitted that depicted the surrounding area. I’ll have to keep that in mind when I submit locally in the future.

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Coming across the Open Mind flyer coincided with a TED Talk I came across the same day. I really connected the TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love. I think she articulated some good ideas and I especially liked the idea of separating the genius from the person. It’s essentially how I feel about my own art anyway. I do all the leg work and sometimes I’m graced by the presence of genius. It feels like something outside of myself because when it happens I’m in what I like to refer to as “the zone” where my hands are doing their own thing while I watch.

I also sometimes think of this “zone” as meditation. As I go through the process of setting up my work station , turning on music, and painting, my mind relaxes. It relaxes to the point that I don’t have any conscious thoughts running through my head. I just paint. It’s almost like I’m watching myself paint from over my shoulder. Sometimes hours pass in the blink of an eye and I’m amazed at what I just did. When I’m done I’m always more relaxed, centered, and calm.

I know many artists mention the “zone,” but is it a similar experience for everyone?

Read more about this painting:

Fire Fins



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