Inspiration Equals Perspiration

Where does inspiration come from and how does it transform into action? As an artist, inspiration comes in many forms; from my children, to nature, other artists, life's journeys, love and loss. Inspiration causes a chain reaction that often turns into creative thoughts and images and eventually original pieces of art. Many of my creative thoughts and visions come to me in the shower, while I'm driving, or in dreams. These are not exactly places that I can document or sketch the ideas but I definitely try to hold onto the best ones as long as I can. I am very inspired by things I see in my everyday life as I travel, meet people and hear stories. My ancestors are probably my biggest source of inspiration and you will find that I speak of them often, especially during spiritual conversations, in writings such as this one and in my art work. I can't really explain how I know they are guiding me; It's kind of like being in love, you just know. Feeling them with me has helped me get through some of my most difficult moment ad helped me to create some really beautiful pieces.

My great Grandmother, Julia Womack Cobb was one of the most sought after  midwives in Moore county, NC. It is said that she delivered somewhere  around 65% to 70% of the babies during the time she practiced.

My great Grandmother, Julia Womack Cobb was one of the most sought after midwives in Moore county, NC. It is said that she delivered somewhere around 65% to 70% of the babies during the time she practiced.

The gentleman on the right of this pic on the horse is my Great grandfather, Thompson Cobb and husband to Julia Womack Cobb.

The gentleman on the right of this pic on the horse is my Great grandfather, Thompson Cobb and husband to Julia Womack Cobb.

My Paternal Grandparents, Richard Frank Cobb & Alice Mclaughlin Cobb

My Paternal Grandparents, Richard Frank Cobb & Alice Mclaughlin Cobb

Inspiration to create something doesn't always come with the motivation or necessary tools to actually create it though. Sometimes it's hard to wrap my mind around the concept of certain things specifically when they seem beyond my reach. I wonder if the works will be understood by others or if I will be able to execute them in the way they need to be. I often spend hours researching colors, tools, species, cultures and anything that will help with accuracy of details in visions that I have.

Heat lightning I experienced in West Haven CT in August, 2016

Heat lightning I experienced in West Haven CT in August, 2016

Original painting, “Thirty Eight” in progress

Original painting, “Thirty Eight” in progress

My motivation to create comes from my experience with growth and its process. I have watched my children growing into their own which makes me truly understand the necessity of nurturing. It has taught me that I must nurture the gift inside of me to allow it to reach its full potential, as I have nurtured my children to live up to theirs. My family has given me the gift of motivation to continue pursuing and manifesting what I was born to do. I believe that the art of transformation is everything and mastering the art of transformation is most important. I have learned to let go of others perceptions about who I should be. I go with the flow of what I feel within.

A day at the Beach

A day at the Beach

God's Beauty

God's Beauty

I look up at the sky very often and see the majestic views of an ever changing piece of artwork created by the Master Creator; I see myself in that work of art. The art that comes out of me is also ever changing and I am determined to expand my art as far as it will go. When I body paint the model will often twist, bend, and change positions which created movement to the art. That excites me because it reminds me of me watching that ever changing sky. Being in nature and enjoying the company of close friends and family gives me inspiration because every moment counts, every word spoken has meaning, every element brings new ideas, and new ideas bring transformation.

Painting live in Hartford, CT

Painting live in Hartford, CT

Painting live at BPT Creates in Bridgeport, CT

Painting live at BPT Creates in Bridgeport, CT

The world isn't always positive and things get sour sometimes but I always find a way of finding inspiration because it's what I thrive off of, it's what makes me tick.





The Art of Painting the Human Body

The most common reactions that I get when I tell people that I paint human bodies is... "Do people actually hire you for that?" "What do you do with it? or they are just overall intrigued. To be completely honest, the first time I body painted I didn't really know what it was myself. I had seen the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues with body paint and the infamous cover of Vanity Fair with Demi Moore adorned in a spectacular painted suit; this was not the type of art I wanted to create. I wanted to do something different, something more. I literally wanted to create fine art using the human body as my canvas.

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The art of painting bodies is quite unique because you are literally working with a living, breathing canvas. Throughout history, body art has captured how humans relate their experiences to their physical body. Examples of body art come in many formats, including tattoos, photographs, drawings, engravings, books, films, sculptures, and paintings. This particular form of art goes back thousands of years and is perhaps one of the oldest forms of art there is. Holding very high importance in many different cultures, it is still practiced as ritual and healing practices.

I have embraced this ancient art by creating art or full canvas pieces on the body. My spirit often leads me into some form of tribal markings within my pieces which leads me to believe that my ancestors play a very significant role in the works created. I'm quite sure the reason this kind of art chose me is because I was very receptive to it. During the time that I started, I really needed a change in my life. It also helped me heal through some very trying periods in my journey of finding myself.

When I paint a human body, I am always aware that my subject and I are having a very personal and intimate experience. Painting a living breathing canvas is very powerful and energy is always exchanged; what I end up creating very often is coming from them, not me. I am no energy thief but I definitely love to be around and share positive energy with others. Occasionally I will work with someone who's vibe might be a little off but we make it work. I actually appreciate getting to know my models ahead of time. I often ask them questions to get a feel for what they like and dislike. During the painting process I also tend to have personal conversations with my models. We laugh, sometimes cry and always connect in some way. The experience is very therapeutic for me and I've learned throughout the last few years that the models find it therapeutic as well.

Galaxy Girl. painted on my model, Samantha - New Orleans. She is an aspiring artist and beautiful soul. Shot by Photographer, Phil Brown.

Galaxy Girl. painted on my model, Samantha - New Orleans. She is an aspiring artist and beautiful soul. Shot by Photographer, Phil Brown.

A body paint I completed in 2014 on model Jonnie Reboira who had been battling    Alopecia    for three years at the time. Shot by photographer,    Stacey Lopez   .

A body paint I completed in 2014 on model Jonnie Reboira who had been battling Alopecia for three years at the time. Shot by photographer, Stacey Lopez.

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The creative process of painting a live canvas isn't easy by far. Often times a model may be restless or need to take a break. I am always aware of their well being so I check in and ask if they need to walk, stretch, use the bathroom, drink some water. This is another reason I like to talk to my models ahead of time, so they know what to prepare for. It usually takes me an average of four to six hours for full body paint but that is never set in stone. I have created partial body art pieces in an hour or two depending on the detail needed, which is where most of the work is required. I always hope for my models to be on the same frequency with me because it helps to make the process go very smoothly. I don't usually even take breaks while I'm painting because once I get into my creative zone it's almost as if my bodily functions shut down completely until the piece is done.

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Face Painting is a form of Body Painting and ironically it's how I got started. There was something about the brush to skin and the human connection that drew me in. Face painting doesn't require as much energy because I usually know exactly what I'm painting and the timeline is much shorter. Kids do get a little restless sitting for long periods of time so I paint little faces as quickly as I can. I have learned through trial and error how to prepare myself for either type of painting.

Of all of the forms of art I have a hand in, body art is by far my favorite.

I'm Going to Greensboro

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Life brings us to different places at different times, for many different reasons. Sometimes it will bring you to the point of understanding that in order to move forward in your journey you must take risks. Risk is not to be confused with faith; faith is something believed in and hoped for that may be unseen but you know it's there. I'm talking about risk, something you visualize or feel but don't know exactly which way to go about executing it because you don't know the outcome. A risk is "the potential of gaining or losing something of value", so when you weigh the options on losing something you may cherish or hold in high value it becomes more than just believing. It takes tenacity, strength and endurance to gain the ability to ride out the emotions and inner turmoil, waiting on the responses of your actions. It's not easy to take risks because there is always something of value at stake.

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We all take risks everyday no matter how small or subtle they may seem. Much of the time we only look at the big risks because they seem to hurt a lot more than the ones we take for granted. I am learning daily that every risk taken will affect our lives in one way or another even if it's not immediate. Conquering the fear factor placed on risk taking is the first step to having better outcomes through the experience.  Once I understood that fear is the driving force of emotions during the risk taking experience, I had to learn to release that fear into the universe because it didn't belong to me. As an artist, I have no room in my experience to doubt my creations. I have no room for negative energy in my positive realm of thought. I have no room to stand in fear. I have a responsibility to bring truth to light and help to mend what has been broken.

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The second step of my understanding of taking risks is recognizing and honoring your "Spirit". However you decide to identify with your spirituality; is understanding and walking in alignment with those feelings you get before something goes either amazingly well or terribly sour. This is usually your spirit trying to guide you into better experiences, giving you a sense of direction leading you into that final decision to move. When intuition tells you not to do something, I have found that it is almost always in your best interest to listen.

As I watch my children grow into adults, the risks become more evident. I want to protect them from everything that will hurt but I have to let them go out into the world and experience those pains anyway; that is what will make them better people. Experiencing their own trials, developing their own strategies and creating their own lives. It is not our job as parents to create our children's destiny for them, we are here just to lay a foundation so when they take their own risks they have something to go by. This is step three of my understanding of risks: "Letting Go" and not holding onto preconceived notions about what outcome you may or may not have.

Obtaining a driver’s license doesn't make you a good driver, it only gives you permission to get behind the wheel. I make that analogy because it takes practice to become better at changing lanes or moving in different directions. Obtaining the tools to our lives doesn't make us better operators unless we practice using those tools. Sometimes you have to let go of your emotions and take the risk because not taking the risk will most likely leave you asking "What if..."

Take the risk!

Take The Risk

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Life brings us to different places at different times, for many different reasons. Sometimes it will bring you to the point of understanding that in order to move forward in your journey you must take risks. Risk is not to be confused with faith; faith is something believed in and hoped for that may be unseen but you know it's there. I'm talking about risk, something you visualize or feel but don't know exactly which way to go about executing it because you don't know the outcome. A risk is "the potential of gaining or losing something of value", so when you weigh the options on losing something you may cherish or hold in high value it becomes more than just believing. It takes tenacity, strength and endurance to gain the ability to ride out the emotions and inner turmoil, waiting on the responses of your actions. It's not easy to take risks because there is always something of value at stake.

Take the risk2.jpg


We all take risks everyday no matter how small or subtle they may seem. Much of the time we only look at the big risks because they seem to hurt a lot more than the ones we take for granted. I am learning daily that every risk taken will affect our lives in one way or another even if it's not immediate. Conquering the fear factor placed on risk taking is the first step to having better outcomes through the experience.  Once I understood that fear is the driving force of emotions during the risk taking experience, I had to learn to release that fear into the universe because it didn't belong to me. As an artist, I have no room in my experience to doubt my creations. I have no room for negative energy in my positive realm of thought. I have no room to stand in fear. I have a responsibility to bring truth to light and help to mend what has been broken.

Take the risk.jpg


The second step of my understanding of taking risks is recognizing and honoring your "Spirit". However you decide to identify with your spirituality; is understanding and walking in alignment with those feelings you get before something goes either amazingly well or terribly sour. This is usually your spirit trying to guide you into better experiences, giving you a sense of direction leading you into that final decision to move. When intuition tells you not to do something, I have found that it is almost always in your best interest to listen.

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As I watch my children grow into adults, the risks become more evident. I want to protect them from everything that will hurt but I have to let them go out into the world and experience those pains anyway; that is what will make them better people. Experiencing their own trials, developing their own strategies and creating their own lives. It is not our job as parents to create our children's destiny for them, we are here just to lay a foundation so when they take their own risks they have something to go by. This is step three of my understanding of risks: "Letting Go" and not holding onto preconceived notions about what outcome you may or may not have.

Obtaining a driver’s license doesn't make you a good driver, it only gives you permission to get behind the wheel. I make that analogy because it takes practice to become better at changing lanes or moving in different directions. Obtaining the tools to our lives doesn't make us better operators unless we practice using those tools. Sometimes you have to let go of your emotions and take the risk because not taking the risk will most likely leave you asking "What if..."

Take the risk!