In August 2018, Magazine by Lisa BrackenLeave a Comment


Without a predetermined destination… without a definite means… without, even, conscious application, we instinctively project our minds, spirits, emotions and physical selves forward into the future… at times against unseen impositions… at times with ease within the celestial movement of an indefinite and ever-awaiting horizon. Upward, we surge toward a higher point of view.

An immeasurable attribute of abstract art is that it frees preconceptions of ‘reality’ and encourages exploration of pure emotion.

Whether our intellectual, spiritual, emotional or physical capacities are fully developed. Whether they function more or less independently or are well-integrated, there are messages that await emergence in the sweep, in the scope of our art.

Within the looming portrayal on every pristine canvas, within every interpretive approach to art of any kind, reside limitless opportunities to explore emotions that abide within what we believe harms us, blocks us or confounds us… therein, too, reside unbound opportunities to revel in what nurtures us, enables us and clarifies our vision, our path.

All perceived obstacles are invitations to discover a new perspective, a new means or method, a new, perhaps deeper and more meaningful value which, in embracing it, negates other negatives.

This is the power of self-integration and transcendence. These are the combined forces of positive, evolving continuance which inspire us to transcend experiences or self-perceptions which we may otherwise allow to diminish us. We are then empowered to reshape them via a renewed and integrated perspective into a dynamic state of ever-greater integration, clarity, affirmation and strength.

Each capacity informs the others. When we are fearful or fractured, one can become disassociated from the others, less informed and more singularly reactive.

Emotion has been the last thing to recover of myself after over a decade of heavily engaged environmental advocacy.

Once fully integrated of spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional capacities, emotion became the first essential sacrifice in the interest of more effective overall function. But without emotion, we are much less informed of our environment, our actions, or even how to process our response and better wed it to intellectual reasoning or, allowing it find agreement with our core spiritual values. We become reactive. And, truly, in this state, we are incomplete of a higher, greater sense of self. We self-diminish.


“Risen”, an atmospheric explosion of oil, thinner and inwardly welling emotion completed in 2009, was a very powerful indicator that I was urgently attempting to rediscover, rebuild and integrate lost emotional capacity. It had– without margin of planning or preparation– become time to re-calibrate a strategy for preserving and recovering self while encouraging others to tend our larger world for a time. One probably couldn’t infer all of that inside information just by looking at the painting.

The act of creating in an abstract sense– again, whether on a canvas, across the worn boards of a studio floor, from the mud and clay of the earth, or arranging stones on a river bank– allows articulation of our inner selves largely muted or cloaked from the assumptions or judgement of another’s scrutinizing eye. And it can be unexpectedly and very deeply therapeutic without our even knowing why. Much like stream-of-consciousness writing, these are actions which guide us further. In the least, they are components of self, finding unification and articulation through heart and hand acting together.

Transfer what is seeking expression within by releasing it to the cosmos. Translate your own presumptions of self-limitation. Allow greater integration of self and find clarity in the union.

Transcend. Transform.

Reacting to one’s own emotional surge and creating from it can result in excitement, solace, revelation, even anger. These are transient emotions, informing us and moving us forward. In an abstract sense, there is no known ‘end’. There is only allowing our intuition to engage us toward a renewed sense of intuition and further engagement.

When our personal expression resonates with an audience– it can speak even more broadly, reaching out to connect another in the immediacy of their reaction through the ethereal aesthetic of color, shape, and space. Unique form is found in what is emotionally perceived by each individual.

In seeking transcendence, allow a brush and a canvas to find you… allow the wind to move your feet and hands… allow the swirling of stars across a night sky to infuse a melody in your beating heart.

Without judgment, without preconception, simply allow aspects of self which may seem latent, lost or languishing to resonate. To speak. To inform. Find expression. And just go… literally with the flow.

Release and find.

Contributor, Lisa Bracken

About Lisa Bracken: A former resident of the Crystal River Valley, Professionally, I’m an artist, author, educator, speaker, and sustainability advocate. Should you see me in an apparent daze, wandering about, seeming lost or confused… I may, in fact, be lost or confused. But, more likely, I’m consciously and better-integrating self, experience, and environment. Finding the higher perspective… better yet, allowing it to find me. Who knows what may eventually come of that. You can stay posted and learn more about my work and musings here: http://newflightbooks.com/lisa-bracken-profile.html