Painting – Pathfinder

“Pathfinder” 20″ x 26.”

Discovering the story, and painting it along the way

With every painting I create, behind the scenes there is always an adventure, a path of life experiences as the foundation for each painting. These experiences are a part of the painting process, along with experimenting, and discovering new painting techniques to accomplish a texture, colour, or light.

Lion Stage one.

This is not the typical “method” of art, but it is how I create, the discovery of what it is I am painting and why…the story of the image and understanding life through the creation of the painting. Maybe you create this way as well?

Stage One; An image of a Lion popped into my head and I wondered how in the world I was going to paint all of that fur! I also wondered why I was going to paint a lion. At that time, only a part of the greater image of the painting would arrive in my mind. Never the entire image. I began painting the lion. I found that if I painted a wash of colour and then scratched the paint, it would create a nice look for the fur.

Lion Stage Two

Stage Two; By adding more washes, and scratching them with different degrees of pressure, some of the scratches maintained the wash underneath, creating an interplay of light, tint, and texture.


Lion Stage Three

Stage Three; More washes of the deepest contrast were applied in specific areas, as well as some additional texture with a bristle brush.Then using an opaque cream colour, and a fine brush, I added the highlighted whiskers and hair around the face and random areas.

As the lion reached this third stage the “setting” for the background of the image came into my mind. This was an older type of subway system with brick walls. I had been listening to, and observing life around me, and all of the changes that have been happening so rapidly worldwide for all of us. Issues with lifestyle, belief, religion, and who’s right and wrong were escalating. I realized that the unconscious norms of society about “how to live life” were rapidly leaving, and leaving many at an emotional, economical, and spiritual loss, escalating an inner feeling of confusion, depression, despair, and mistrust.

Ruck sack, Candle, Clock and Compass

So what is left to one and all in these highly charged, and rapidly, changing times? The centuries-long mode of “follow the leader” is failing completely, and each person must now look within themselves, and find what is true for them.

I painted the rucksack, symbolizing that from the moment you were born, all of the tools and skills you needed in this lifetime came with you. As a very wise and funny friend of mine says, “sometimes, you need to remember where you left your backpack.”

I painted the candle for the light within each of us that is illuminating our way, especially in the dark.

The clock symbolizes time, in that the time is now, living someone else’s plan for you and remaining un-true to yourself is over for everyone. This is the discomfort, the “shake-up.”

I painted a compass to represent that although we may not trust it, we each know what direction is our own, and the world map, represents a reminder to be open to all possibilities, and that maybe our own path is not just one place, but many places along the way.

The young girl symbolizes the innocent child of the universe in each one of us, and through this part of ourselves, this goodness is available, by simply asking.

As I put the finishing touches on the Lion, this powerful, protective creature of grace and strength, I came full circle with my experience of the painting, and the present moment in my own life. The Lion represents the Creator, God, or whatever you choose that beats your heart. It is always present when we are confused, present when we stamp our feet and demand the whole “story” before we try, always there watching over our individual path custom designed for each and every one of us, with offering us what we need to know each step of the way when we choose to ask and listen. When we ask, when we follow our own truth, we are each a pathfinder of our own story.

Sometimes we bump into other people’s stories, but that is a different painting!

This is the “The Pathfinder”

The Pathfinder

Thank you



  1. I see so many posts like you said that only post the picture. This was a great post showing the phases of your lion and then the complete picture. Here I was thinking the lion was magnificent just by itself! Then to see an entirely new picture with everything else! Beautiful work 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Jennifer! I appreciate your comment very much! Sharing the images was my first challenge, but to actually write about the process and how it moved through my personal life as well, was another big step! Thank you again for your thoughtful and kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Eduardo, I love that description. Writing is a challenge for me……I could say, I paint my words, however, I am taking baby steps into writing about it. Now talking on the other hand……….well, its a challenge to shut me up! Thank you again!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, I use a combination of watercolor and acrylic brushes, all digital, and a wacom tablet. The paint pallet is a digital Windsor & Newton pallet, plus the many that I have created along the way. I transferred the same principles I have used with traditional watercolor methods, over to using pixels. This has been self taught through a great deal of experimentation, trial and error. Thank you for asking!


  2. Magnificent painting!! 😍😍 I love the description and its deep meaning, it’s a wonderful poem,it really moved me. As I read the post and looked at the painting, I seemed to be immersed in the painting, I felt the emotions that transmit the proud splendor of the lion,the sweetness of the girl,the objects, the scenery, everything was a sublime feeling of wonder. Emotions of the soul. Thank you so much for sharing this faboulous post,the creative process is a work of art full of beauty and wonder,I loved every single word, it’s pure poetry,I completely identified with it,many compliments for the splendid post!! 🥰😍
    A hug,Ely.🥰🥰😘😘😘❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yleniaely, what a wonderful comment and response! Thank you so much for taking the time to offer me your thoughts. Your response is EXACTLY what I hope to share with my art, to create a thoughtful consideration of the best of ourselves. You have expressed why it is I paint. I am so grateful, and I thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Throughout my life as I learned about art, I found myself not caring much about the artist’s technique but more so about why they created that particular work. I always wished I could ask them, “so, what’s the story here?” Thanks again for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How long did it take you? There is so much detail. It would take me, for instance, more than a month painting for 6 hours daily. Well, it depends on size also, I normally would go with fairly large.
    Since you’re saying washes, I suppose it’s watercolor. That makes me wonder (although I’ve been using that too for many decades) how did it come out with so much contrast and with such a very deep dark?
    I again as an artist love reading about the techniques one has used. That simply sometimes widens the range of tools I use, for instance. I like seeing the size and the medium since that allows getting some idea about the painting process.
    I do here and there post pictures, well with text, but I care about selling some, too, since there are about 1,500 or probably more, and I try to advice how to get them done because lots of my students follow that blog.
    It’s great you have developed a symbolical style and everything means something.
    We all paint ourselves, but I can see it’s an absolutely different approach. That depends on situation.
    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello and thank you for your interest! The painting took about six weeks, working evenings and weekends. Although I continue to try and balance detail with looser areas, I love detail, I want the image to become real, but that would be a photo now, I suppose. The original painting final size is 60” x 43.” When I use the word washes, I am also using it to describe “glazing,” many thin layers of pure colour. I don’t use any of the classical painting methods, (I don’t really know them) I use whatever makes sense to achieve how I see the image in my mind, constantly working in a circle. Selling work is a great investigation and endeavor, always changing with new methods, and I continue to search for a way that feels comfortable for myself. The search seems endless, and at times a bit overwhelming. Thank you for the term; “Symbolic Style” I always wonder about style. I am not sure I have one, I seem to create the “style” for the image, and yes, it always begins with a story, a personal discovery about life, and the experiences we all share as individuals in one way or another. I guess I create illustrations with paintings, of insights, and hopefully, understanding our own individual paths in life. Thank you for every one of your questions! I have truly enjoyed this conversation. – Best, Liza.



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