What is Energy Art?
I’ve spent years trying to find words to describe the art process which has found me. The best way I’ve found to try to put some structure and definition behind my practice is to begin with some terms from ancient cultures of the world. What I think of as universal life force energy has many names such as chi as it is called in China, prana in India, and ki in Japan. For me, it is God, spirit or source. You may think of it in whatever terms are comfortable to you. The term Energy Art describes artwork created in the flow of this spiritual energy.
My unique form of Energy Art is based on a spontaneous movement form derived from a wide variety of martial arts practices such as Tai Chi and Qigong. Engaging the body in this spontaneous energy movement–while creating art–produces art charged with energy, thus the term Energy Art. Energy infused art has the ability to enhance the energy of spaces and benefit those who encounter it in a positive way.
While much art is created with an idea in mind, an image to create, or an object to explore, the approach to Energy Art is to be completely devoid of pre-conceived ideas. The creative energy accessed through spontaneous movement is allowed to create through the artist. The only things that are pre-determined are the size and type of surface, and the mediums used (which sometimes change as the work progresses).
More than 20 years ago, I was taught a movement form called qigong which is an ancient Chinese health system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. As I practiced this form over time, I realized my body was moving itself with the energy in a very effortless way, rather than me directing the movement. As I relaxed into this movement, it felt wonderful in its free-flowing spontaneity. As I explored this process, I had the idea to try drawing while moving. I got out my Conté crayons and big pads of paper and started moving with the qigong energy. Once the energy was activated, I reached for the crayon and large circular drawings were spontaneously drawn on the paper.
I drew like this for a couple of years, just for me. I felt more relaxed, centered and grounded as I drew. I also noticed this feeling was staying with me longer into the day and when I took time to meditate with the drawings, the same energized feeling I felt in the creation of the piece would again flow to me. Eventually, I ventured into color and then into other mediums such as printmaking, collage and clay. I found that every art medium I tried could be approached in this same way. I felt as if I was creating in collaboration with spirit while the juicy energy of creativity was running through me. The biggest challenge I faced was staying out of my own way. I found if I kept my mind out of the process, the results were much more satisfying.
I encourage you to observe the artwork created in this modality two ways. First, observe what they look like visually. Then, take a moment to feel inside yourself to notice anything subtly different. You may feel a quiet calmness, a sense of increased energy, warmth, a chill, tingling, strength or joy. You may feel certain pieces in certain areas of your body. Everyone experiences them differently and there is no wrong way to experience the work. I encourage you to explore your own responses as you dive deeply into the experience.
Energy Art can be created to enhance your living or work space for your specific need or intention. Public spaces are energized and/or calmed by the presence of Energy Art. Hospitals and healthcare facilities can benefit from the healing and calming properties of this work. The work can be large or small. I have created murals to cover entire walls or rooms. Please call or email me to discuss your project.
About the Artist
As long as I can remember, I have been an artist. I loved to draw and could make things look like what I was drawing, even from an early age. This led me to pursue a degree in fine arts as well as design and art education from Kansas State University. After graduation, I continued extensive study in art practices at Kansas University and Washburn University. Much later, in the mid 1990’s, I was introduced to energy healing and had the opportunity to study with many exceptional spiritual teachers who have opened my energy channels, or meridians to allow for energy to flow easily through me. The combination of those two practices, art and energy laid the groundwork for what was to become my life’s work.
- Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas
- Student Union, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas
- Topeka Shawnee County Public Library Permanent Art Collection, Topeka, Kansas
Comments about the Artwork
“Burning with creativity that ignites the soul.” – Judy James
“Dynamic, energetic, colorful” – Becky Dickinson
“Dynamic, rich, moving, personal” – Lois VanLiew
“Energetic, intuitive, linear, colorful” – Michelle Levian
“Intense, enigmatic, adventurous, soothing” – Carolyn Martin
“Moving, mystical, playful, emotional” – Jan Ash
“Luminous” – Beth Murphy
“Brilliant, exhilarating, uplifting” – Tammy Lee Schumacher
“Introspective, conscious expanding, spiritual, enlightening” – David Hoppe
“Energetic, encouraging, inspiring, joyful” – Sarah Banhardt
“Kinetic, spirited, colorful, expressive” – Kelley Wade Hunt