Arizona Artist: Peggy Guichu

My art began out of a personal need. As an artist of another kind, that other kind having been stripped from me quickly, I desperately needed to fill the void. It was also a risk that I needed to take. A journey that traveled away from family and towards my true self. Taking the risk in order to fill the need was stronger than insuring those around me would stay in their comfort zone. I was truly not in mine.

I had a dream. In the dream, I was flying with many others over a field of flowers. The air was so pure that you could touch it and it would ripple, flashing tiny sparks of light. I was so light and happy. I curled up into a ball and somersaulted over the trees, dipping down towards the fields then souring high up in the air like a kite caught in a breeze. All my senses were aware of themselves experiencing complete and utter joy. You could hear harmonious singing, which I realized, was in and of all that existed. The music held all the smells and visions of the colors. The joy was nearly overwhelming, but was everything.

When I woke up there I was looking at myself from the ceiling in my room. I saw this woman lying on her back looking up at me and I felt so tremendously sad. I no longer wanted to be in that body or share that woman’s life. Slowly as I tried to pull away, I was drawn back into the density of flesh. The sadness was almost as overwhelming as the joy I had just felt. However, I couldn’t forget the colors. They weren’t of this world. There were so many of them I had never experienced before. I had to try to recreate these colors, this feeling, find myself in the music.

Therefore, I began my journey. I chose to take the journey alone without a helping hand or a safety net. In doing this, my paintings became a necessary therapy for me.

I find my paintings in different ways. I will dream of a piece of work and spend days, sometimes weeks in my head working it out before I put it down on paper or canvas. I know where I’m going. The challenge is finding a way to get there without distorting the vision.

Then there are my spontaneous paintings where I allow my subconscious mind to create. This is a deep healing. These paintings I do with no prior thought. I just put a canvas in front of me and begin. The feeling is of anticipation and fear. When the fear dissolves away and is replaced with intrigue, I’m ready to see what I’ve painted. More times than not after completing a piece I find the true painting from a different angle than I originally painted. I can’t describe the childlike excitement I feel when that happens.

There is safe art, confusing art, uncomfortable art, soothing art and I could go on. Each teaches us something about ourselves that we need to know whether we are creating it or experiencing it as an observer. What category my art fits into is the viewer’s interpretation and personal experience. I don’t expect or desire that the viewer have the same experience as mine.

It is my intention to continue on this journey for as long and as far as it takes me. Each day there is a compelling need to reach further inside myself, pull out the mud of life’s lessons easing the weight off until I can return to the place where I flew over those fields of beautiful flowers and became music.