Art 2017-11-03T23:45:33+00:00

My Artwork

Like everything else I’ve written about in Finding the Gift, my art shows up as a metaphor for life and the lessons I’m still learning. Abstract art challenges me to quit trying to figure it all out and create a masterpiece in ten minutes or less. Abstract forces me to be lost for a while and trust I will come out the other side, better for the journey. I remember to enjoy the process, to just be and expectantly wait to see what will happen next as beauty emerges from the chaos.

Some of the works shown here are available, some are sold and some aren’t for sale. All are original works of acrylic, with and without mixed media, on gallery-wrapped canvas of varying sizes. The colors shown are close but not guaranteed as cameras are limited in their ability to capture overlapping color accurately. My art is best appreciated in person to fully experience the layered textures. For purchase inquiries, please contact me. Commissioned work also available, with references. If you’re in the Nashville area, visit All About Art to view a selection of my works.

Click the link below to view more paintings with titles and sizes.

My Art

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What You Can Learn from My Journey into heART

 

An old journal entry where I described my dream of being a painter in 2011. This came true several years later, long after forgetting I even wrote my dream down.

I have avoided painting for over two decades. The unexplained longing kept showing up and every few years I purchased more brushes, canvases and paint, sometimes even the occasional how-to book, but I always put them in a drawer or closet for someday.

 

You see, I had another voice that came with the longing to get lost in paint, to get out of my head and let my soul speak in this new language. That voice had a lot to say, such as, “You don’t know how to paint. You don’t have any training. You wouldn’t even know where to begin. Why do you keep wasting your money? You have more productive things to do. You don’t have time to paint. That’s stupid.” And so on. You may know this voice as well as I do.

After tiring of this war within, I decided in 2014 to treat myself to a few lessons from a trusted friend who is an accomplished artist and a passionate teacher. Soon we realized I was drawn more to abstract art and she referred me to my eighty-two year old mentor. I took several series of classes with her and almost every day, I wanted to quit. I was frustrated. I hated being a beginner and giving myself permission to not know what I was doing. The voice said, “You have no talent and you need to stop making a fool of yourself.” The quiet longing said, “No, let’s keep going. I love the feeling of paint on my hands.”

When I published my book, Finding the Gift, the launch party was held at an artsy coffee shop in November, 2015. For some unknown reason, I decided I wanted to have several of my paintings at my book launch. I was nervous about showing my friends a new side of me (what if they thought they were awful?) yet determined to do it anyway. On the day of the party, I seemed more focused on how to get those eight paintings there than minding the other details like catering and the book displays. I thought to myself, “This is ridiculous! Why am I putting so much pressure on myself to have these works at my book launch party?” But I wanted my art to surround me and help tell the story of emergence—of coming to life when my corporate career ended in disability and left me scratching my head, clueless of what else I could possibly do with my next forty years.

When the party was over, the owner of the coffee shop approached me about keeping my art to put on their walls. I said, “But people will see them!” They laughed and told me, “Yes, that’s the point.” She said we could offer them for sale, too, if I wanted. “But they don’t have hanging hardware. But I’m not sure I want to sell them. But… But…” When I ran out of but’s, I said yes. The next year led to several public exhibits, a private commission and multiple sales.

In the following spring, I was asked to speak to a local art society about Finding the Gift and how to market art, given my recent success as a new artist. That keynote was held in a local art gallery and I brought several of my paintings to help me connect with the artists. After the talk, the gallery owners approached me and asked if I was interested in letting them represent some of my work. But … But … Doesn’t anyone know I don’t know how to paint? And my soul said, YES! Ironically, the first painting sold at the gallery went to a customer who has purchased my mentor’s work from them as well. (Please don’t tell her. Even at 82, she’s very competitive!)

All of this happened because I let one voice grow louder than the other one. Because I listened to my heART.

Which voices are you listening to? Which voices need to be turned up and which ones need to be silenced and proven wrong? Someday is now. Do it.

Artist Statement

 

A picture from a recent keynote, Courage to Birth Dreams, where I shared my dream of one day letting myself become a painter, after ignoring the urge for twenty years.

My abstract art evolves like life. It’s messy and chaotic and at times, makes no sense at all. As in life, my paintings initially lack balance and meaning. I focus on what I know and trust everything will eventually work together for good. I start by randomly, yet intuitively, layering the canvas with color, texture, and expressive marks. Though some areas may be interesting and pleasing, the whole piece is often fragmented in the beginning.

 

For a while, each facet of my painting doesn’t necessarily relate. Then all of a sudden, magic happens and clarity begins to surface. Shapes take form and I find myself solving a puzzle with clues that have been there all along. How is life any different, provided I am mindful and tuned into my spirit? Likes and dislikes. Victories and disappointments. All are gifts that shape my direction.

Slowly, balance finds its way into the chaos and creates meaning in the composition of my art, as well as in my life. I see now how every single stroke had its purpose, regardless of what remains visible in the end. Gratitude surfaces and the next steps become clearer. What appeared to be a crazy, disjointed mess becomes intentionally simplified in order to place emphasis on what matters most. Often, hard decisions must be made regarding what to keep and what to lose, and perhaps, what to bring back.

What works? What doesn’t? Sometimes it’s difficult to tell. I proceed anyway, because rarely is any move so permanent that it cannot be undone or recovered. A life lived unafraid of mistakes, is a life really lived and one of my constant aspirations!

In life and art, my perfectionist never tells me I’m good enough or “It’s done,” but I’m learning to ignore her deception. Life, my work, my art—they are not done, but this is where I am so far. Not where I used to be and not where I will be. I’m merely Finding the Gift each day, stopping at interesting places and letting my creativity flow. As I step out of my comfort zone to show more of my true colors, I hope others will be inspired to follow their own heArt and do the same.

* All artwork on this site is the exclusive copyrighted works of Angela Howell.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unlawful redistribution or reproduction of artwork featured on this site without prior express written authorization of the copyright owner is strictly prohibited. If you’d like to purchase the artwork, please contact Angela.

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