Video by Mike Call - mikecallpictures.com

How I Work

I love to draw. I’m captivated and nerdy about the line quality of charcoal and graphite, and for me oil painting was a natural extension of drawing; made more complex because of the endless possibility of color and texture. Working creatively has been a lifelong companion, offering a consistent way back to self connection and awareness even if at times I’ve been afraid to engage with my own inner wisdom.

 

It’s only recently that I began to recognize just how deeply this internal knowing allows me to travel back towards myself, and help reshape my path ahead. Looking forward through a new lens, I rediscovered an old one that had never completely left--but had faded into the forgotten and been disregarded. 

 

As a small child I believed everything had an energy and language of its own. I inherently trusted that we were interconnected with “all things great and small.” As I grew, I lost this inner connection, but it remained beneath the surface, quietly holding the door open and patiently waiting until I found my way back. Over the years, I began to understand that when I’m painting authentically, it comes easily and effortlessly, connecting me to myself and everything around me. It was my path through the door.

 

Before I begin a piece, I have a clear image of the entire painting, but at some point the painting itself seems to have a stronger presence than I do. I feel as though I am following a different language in which my deeper self engages in a dialogue of images and possibilities. Sometimes they’re clear, “loud” and forceful, other times they’re barely perceptible and subtle as my composition tilts and shifts in accordance with this collaboration. 

 

By the time the painting is completed, it feels as though it has a voice of it’s own--a living breathing entity, alive with a particular energy that may have the ability to influence and change some of those who interact with it. I know I feel changed for having been a partner in its creation, and I’ve wondered if the painting also changes as each witness takes in the energy in their own unique way.

 

In painting, I’ve become more curious about the connection to self and others -- bringing our potential universality into the forefront. Discovering where we overlap is what I find most exciting, intriguing, compelling, comforting, and challenging. I feel I’ve created a successful painting when it has enough “room”-- inviting the viewer into the image to seek, and then find and/or recognize some part of themselves