Thank you, from me SAL, for choosing SALchemy.
I wanted to write to you and share three of the ways I work with my own SALchemy prints to catalyse a little transformation in myself, in case it helps you. Take a long moment to read, perhaps in a quiet place with a cup of warming tea, and enjoy, ideally before the print or prints you have ordered arrive.
A little context
My explorations (I call them 'the joy experiments') with my artworks come from my long-held belief that when we want to encourage an aspect of ourselves to the fore, or instigate change or transformation in ourselves, real or 'concrete' objects, such as toys, ornaments and artworks, can help us do it – if we intend it, give them our attention and keep an open mind.
More than a decade ago, even before I was making art in earnest, I enjoyed choosing small objects to represent different aspects of me, like my creativity or my inner critic or my higher self. If I wanted any aspect to grow, or fade, I'd use the objects as reminders or to help me shift my attention. I'd hold them while I worked, keep them in my pockets, or place them in strategic positions on my desk. (For example, to this day, I always have a 'snowglobe', with glitter in it, that I can shake when I want to galvanise myself to do something I've been avoiding.)
I found that 'playing' with the objects seemed to strengthen and encourage desired thought processes, behaviours and states of mind. Later, around 2015, when I began to paint more expressively, I realised that I could use my artworks to do the same thing.
If you chose to buy a SALchemy print because it called you or you have felt a resonance with its image, then I believe there may be a reason it has come into your life. You could consider what that reason might be... be honest with yourself, be curious, enjoy the discovery, as it may whisper or herald a time of beneficial personal change. Most of all, have fun and play!
Once you have an idea in mind, you can use the print to support you in whatever is your quest or wish, in relation to that thing. The print can accompany you, remind you, reassure you, motivate you – really, potentially do for you whatever you like. Be adventurous. And, enjoy the possibilities.
So, to help you get started in your explorations, here are three easy things I do with my own prints to encourage desired change or transformation. I think they help because, after all, surely any change begins with a shift in focus.
1. Honour them with the frame that feels right.
The first print proof I had made from this collection of artworks was of Antidote. I painted Antidote 71 days into my own UK COVID-19 lockdown experience, and I was often feeling out of balance and quite afraid. I always knew it would be the first print I would make. I felt it wanted to help me feel less anxious by bringing a gentle brightness into each day.
When the 8 x 10 inch print proof arrived, I ventured out to my local shopping estate, to buy a frame. It was my first visit to a store other than a supermarket, for weeks. I made sure I enjoyed it, took my time. I'd decided to look for a frame that might help activate the energy of the print and also celebrate it. As soon as I saw a rose-gold glitter frame on the shelf among many others, I just knew it was 'the one'. It called me. I did consider others of gold and silver, but no, I stayed true to my first instinct and bought the rose-gold. Instantly the experience made me feel happier and I was excited to get home and try the frame.
Am I normally a rose-gold-glitter kind of girl? Possibly, no. Normally when framing an artwork, I might go for something quite minimal to help the artwork stand out. So why didn't I do that this time? The answer is twofold. Firstly, activation. The glitter bounced light and I sensed it would enhance the print's vibration and make it stronger, and also be more likely to draw my attention. Secondly, celebration. I wanted to say to the print, 'Hey, you are important to me! You've got work to do and so I will honour you with this beautiful frame.'
Later, I chose a calmer type of frame for the artwork Flight, to support its peaceful vibes. And I gave to my sister the artwork Embrace everything in a plain white frame, because I wanted the artwork itself to draw her eye, but I said to her, 'Later, you can choose whatever frame you feel is right.'
This act of framing a print with intent, sets off all kinds of positive thought processes in the mind. We are honouring the print, but also acknowledging how we want to use it. We are already focusing on the change we want to make.
2. Give them purposeful focus with wise placement.
In order to encourage balance right from the start each morning, I wanted Antidote to be the first thing I saw on waking. I positioned the rose-glitter-framed print on my bedroom chest of drawers in my line of sight, from my bed.
Every time I wake up, and before I go to sleep, I see it there. It says to me, 'SAL, don't forget I'm here, you can re-balance right now or any time, just remember to look at me and I will help you. You are not alone, I am your friend.'
Next to it is a larger 16 x 20 inch print of Bridge, in its natural wooden frame, to remind me that everything is always changing and that each day, no matter how challenging it may at first seem, is full of endless possibility. (It also helps me stay hopeful that I will adventure in the Andes again.)
I haven't even hung these two prints on the wall. The frames just stand together, because I like the idea that I can easily move them around. Different days can call for other friendly helpers, I find!
Also propped up on a chair in my bedroom is Guardian. I feel it protects me when I go to sleep, even when there is no light.
I have two prints on my desk, where I write. I have a print of Embrace everything, whose purpose speaks for itself! And next to it is Time; I place it near where I work to remind me that there is no rush, I must create at my own pace, and go with the flow to bring my dreams and new projects (such as this SALchemy print venture) to life.
Of course, we will all want to place our prints in different important places. You could try one near your front door to welcome you home with a reminder to do something you love, or to expect delightful surprises when you go out. You could hang three together in a friendly group in your living room for company on quiet nights. You could intend a dash of magic in your kitchen to help you smile. The possibilities are endless, but the important thing is to do what you feel, for yourself and the prints you choose, to be right.
The act of conscious placement puts the aspects we want to encourage directly into our fields of vision, so that they attract our attention, and can help to reinforce any wish we have for change.
3. Treat them to some fairy lights!
This is the fun part... a bit of exploration to encourage further connection and resonance with the prints. I think playing with any idea helps it to develop and be more likely to thrive.
I use fairy lights* to help me feel I'm activating the energy of the print I especially want to help me at a given moment. It's lovely and uplifting to flick the little switch and see the print in the evening surrounded by dancing glows of light. As I do this, I often talk to the print too. It may sound strange, I know. But really, it's a bit like talking to ourselves, but probably in a more friendly way. 'Thank you for protecting me tonight.' 'Help me remember to take a break today.' 'Remind me I can say Yes, or No, to anything.' 'Yes, my friend, I know I am amazing!' These are all things I might say, either aloud, or just in my mind.
Right now, in my bedroom, Guardian has this 'fairy light' honour. Things in the outside world are so uncertain. I want to do all I can to encourage feelings of protection. Just looking at the artwork before I close my eyes comforts me.
There are many other ways to increase your connection with your prints, and you will find your own, I know. For example, I haven't done this yet, but next time I meditate, I will light a small candle* in front of Meditation, and ask for its serenity to accompany me through the quiet.
(*being fire-safety conscious, of course, at all times!)
Adding to the energy of an artwork with intent, raises its profile (and the job we want it to do for us) in our thoughts and in our being. In the end, each small act we make towards reinforcing a wish to change or to transform, surely helps make both more likely in our lives.
So, my friend, thank you for taking the time to read my words.
Now you know some simple ways I encourage my prints to work for me. I hope you have enjoyed what I have said, and that it has given you some ideas to try.
For now, I wish you well and that you enjoy any SALchemy prints you have already chosen, and any that you choose in the future. How you decide to use them and enjoy them is in your hands, but it will be lovely to feel that you are adventuring with me and the energies of SALchemy.
Every print you buy plants a tree in the Andes and also supports my future creative work and explorations, for which I am very grateful, always.
With my love, SAL. (November, 2020)
Ps. Do connect with me on my personal Instagram @salchemy11, I share new paintings there. And, if you'd like to see some of my past art work and more of my creative and other explorations, you could visit my personal blog. The SALchemy.uk Instagram account is @salchemy.uk where I share more of the prints and their stories😊