The first canvas that became the first painting in this series (“what makes the worlds: chit ganna”) had hung on my studio wall, blank, for months. In early fall of 2013, I blocked in a seated female figure on the canvas. To my surprise, she was pregnant. Again, the painting sat for months, gestating. Busy with other creative projects, with family, with holiday celebrations, I could not bring myself to the careful, layered, figurative work I’d told myself I would continue and that I had been doing for several years.The question is, “Who was telling whom?”If I listened deeply, I knew something different and exciting wanted to emerge. Could I allow this? How would it flow with the series of paintings on which I have been working? What would the work have to say? When I finally allowed myself to paint, to play, I finished “chit ganna” in just three sittings of several hours each on January 1, 2014. This is significant, as I have formerly been very slow to complete the larger work represented by my former series, “Beyond Boundaries,” only completing one painting a year.
This emerging painting style has become, for me, a kind of affirmation or resolution, if you will: I allow & divine interplay in my art, in my life. Not only do I allow this interplay, but I invite it and welcome all of its surprising.”the surprising” has brought with it much emotional healing and hope.~the surprising, d. ellis phelps, 2014
This series comprised the body of my solo show at Intermezzo Gallery of Boerne, Texas in 2014, at which I also read excerpts from my now published debut book of ecstatic poetry, what holds her. Here is a recording and video of that reading.