by Carolyn Edlund
Artist Joyce Huntington was chosen as a winner in the Manhattan Arts International Healing Power of Art competition. Her work is included in their online exhibition, which you can see here. She was chosen to receive additional recognition and an interview on Artsy Shark based on her body of work.
I find Joyce’s portfolio fascinating because of the deep connection she has with the process of meditation and creative inspiration derived from her experience in the meditative state. Her artwork is a visual testimony to the enlightenment and peace she has found – certainly a healing force, and one that promotes well-being and serenity. I asked Joyce to share her amazing life story and artwork with my readers.
AS: How did you become interested in and involved with meditation?
JH: When I was in my twenties, I, along with some of my coworkers, volunteered to be part of a hypnosis research project. It was determined that I was a very good subject, so much so that all I had to do was close my eyes and be quiet.
The states of consciousness during hypnosis and meditation are very similar, except meditation is self-directed. Once I had obtained that state of awareness during hypnosis, I was able to remember more fully the near-death experience I had at the age of seven. This included the now cliché components of a life review, going through a tunnel, being greeted by loving beings, and the Light of unconditional love at the end. Having remembered it, I longed to experience the Light again.
For that reason, I continued meditating. After the hypnosis project was over, I found myself buying books on meditation, and eventually joined an ARE (association for research and enlightenment) study group. After I stopped going to that group, I joined the Spiritualist Church and took classes called “Spiritual Unfoldment” – essentially meditation and telepathy. These phases were all brief, but the thing that lasted throughout the rest of my life has been the desire and need to meditate. As I grew older, it became less of a novelty and more of a spiritual practice.
AS: Your work reflects visions that you have experienced in meditation, and you have named your collections “Inner Work.” Could you describe how you receive inspiration, and your creative process?
About 25 years ago I put on paper what I felt was my life goal. What I wrote was “to bring feelings of health, healing and inspiration to others through my artwork.” For the past 10 years, I have devoted my painting almost exclusively to interpreting and portraying the visions I have during meditations or dreams. I am a very visual person, so these visions come to me very often and depending on their intensity, they will stick in my mind, demanding more attention.
I don’t try to paint every vision or every dream, only the ones that move me in my heart. I’m really trying to do more than produce a picture of my vision. What I’m trying to do is bring the energy of Spirit, that Light, down into manifestation, so it can come through the paintings and reach the people viewing them.
Once I commit to a vision, I’ll bring it more into the front of my brain. I’ll usually do sketches, and if there are figures in it, I will try to find models I can pose. If it’s a certain kind of place or objects, I’ll try to find props and take photographs, since my work is fairly realistic, I need a reference.
There have been times when I went directly to canvas with no sketch, no firm idea of how I was going to do it, only the image in my head. Although I enjoy the results of those paintings, it’s not the technique I feel most comfortable with. While I’m painting I find myself in a light meditative state. I lose track of all sense of time and external goings on. It’s a great place to be.
AS: What responses have you received from collectors and people who view your work in exhibition?
JH: People tell me that my art inspires them. It reminds them of who they really are, and I’m often told that my paintings carry an energy that affects others. There are a couple of paintings that everyone thinks are of someone that they know personally. Some people swear that I’ve painted them, when I’ve never met them before. If I’m doing anything at all right, my paintings will carry a positive energy that is reflected out to whoever views them, because that is my intention.
AS: Do you have a favorite work of art in your collection that is very meaningful to you?
JH: I have many. Natural Balance, Circle of Love, Initiation and Grace, just to name a few. Perhaps these are some of my favorites because I felt they were the most resolved, meaning the closest to what I saw and envisioned. I sometimes have to let the painting evolve into something different than what I originally thought it was going to be, and that’s good too.
AS: Do you accept any commission work?
JH: I do. I have done quite a few commissions. I’ve tried different approaches, and I greatly prefer being able to meditate with the person in mind and see what visions come from the meditation, then paint from that rather than trying to interpret an idea or image that another person holds in their head.
View more of Joyce Huntington’s artwork by visiting her website.