ArtTalk: Growing spiritually free through art

Thursday, August 28, 2014 | 4:58 p.m. CDT; updated 5:50 p.m. CDT, Thursday, August 28, 2014
Jenny McGee created this using string and cup of ink for the first piece in the book. She said she used her emotions to construct each piece. "Similar to how a dancer would spontaneously move to a piece of music. I decided the piece was finished by following my gut reaction," McGee said.

This story was contributed by Jenny McGee, professional artist in Columbia. It is part of a project called ArtTalk, which has a goal of celebrating and discussing local art and artists. To submit, fill out the form at the bottom of the story.

Q: What kind of art do you create? Tell us about your medium and style.

I am a professional artist residing in Columbia, Mo. My work combines a passion for artistic expression with helping others give voice to their story. I specialize in creating one-of-kind paintings that capture the energy, emotion and ethos of a relationship, company or an executive's living legacy.

Q: What is it that inspires you? And why do you create art?

Tim Carson, Gen Howard and I collaborated on a book called "Six Doors To The Seventh Dimension." It explores spirituality through the metaphor of a house offering a guided tour complete with poetic responses and artistic interpretations. I jumped at the chance to do this, because it was a chance to grow spiritually free with two people I highly respect and also offer others a chance to heal and journey through the combination of message, artwork and poetry. The collaboration was a fruitful experience. It was a delicate process filled with respect for one another's artistry, openness and willingness to join forces.

This book is unique because it offers its readers three unique interpretations of the story. Everyone is invited into this house and welcome to unveil the dimensions that exist inside themselves. It is like three books in one with each part interconnected to the other.

The hardest part of making the book was facing my own judgments about the artwork. I had to work hard on silencing the critic inside of myself and trust that my visual interpretation of the message was successful. During the process I tried hard not to critique or judge the artwork so that my hand felt free and the artwork could evolve unrestricted.

If I were to pass on some lessons that came from this process, it would be to be keenly aware of the critics in your head and what they are saying to you. Once you identified them, whoever they are and what they are saying to you, it is time to kick them out of your house. One way to do so is to close your eyes and imagine what they look like. Hand them a bunch of imaginary flowers and say, “Good-bye, you are no longer welcome in my life. Take these roses, and you may never come back.”

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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