Blog: Pivotal Painting Progression

Christine Alfery

Posted on November 09 2020

Blog: Pivotal Painting Progression

Featured image: Spirit of the Wind, Spirit of the Land

"Spirit of the Wind, Spirit of the Land" is a pivotal work for me.


For the last few months I have been creating a series about Gears. But lately I have found myself thinking quite a bit about the wind. This work is the result. It turned out to be an outstanding example of my historical foundations, new ideas that have become foundational, and brand new concepts I am working on today. What a wonderful combination of series this work turned out to be.  



I am not into putting labels and categories on things. I name my series simply to define what I am thinking and working on during a particular time – not in order to create a work that specifically fits into a series. Much to the frustration of those who work with me, I often change the titles of my paintings. For me, times change, ideas change, concepts evolve and I often find that a work fits into more than one series – like this one. The series is simply a reminder of what I was thinking at the time. And as an abstract conceptual artist, I have a lot ideas going at any one time. 

I have been thinking about the spirit of the wind a lot lately. So I set out a goal for myself:

I wanted to paint the wind.  

And so I began.

The beginning of this work was all about the wind. As it progressed, I began to see a landscape – something I have been painting my entire life. I also felt a transition from the gears series that I have been creating for the past 6 months. In that series I explored design – Man-Made and Natural – so a landscape made sense.

The connection to the spirit of the wind – represented by the feathers – was a transitional connection. They helped me realize I have been painting the wind for a long time.




This is the way all my work happens - I may have an idea or not – but I start either way. While I did have an idea for this work, I still let the work speak to me as I worked on it.  I am so glad I took photos as the work progressed – not just the final work. This progression speaks to everything I do and think about when I paint.

In the end I named the work “The Spirit of the Wind, The Spirit of the Land” because of the remnants of a landscape and gears - but also to describe the connection to the new idea of the spirit of the wind – the movement, the mystery, the magic. This work fits into so many of my series categories.  

This is a special work because it indicates a transition for me – a change into new ideas. These ideas are treasures within me. I cherish these new ideas, seek change, and embrace the challenge of something new. Every morning, when the world is fresh and new, I ask myself “will I change today?”. 

With this work, the answer is yes. I continue to build upon my foundations and seek what is new. I am a creative.

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