Tools & Talismans #14 — Marisa Anne Cummings

Marisa Anne {of Creative Thursday} included several things she's made herself in her Tools & Talismans collection, and one of them was a small painting of a little bear. It’s my first experience — so far — recreating someone else’s artwork in a painting of my own, and though I hesitated a bit at first, it was a fun exercise — and reminded me of early art school days where we went to a museum, picked an artist and recreated some of their works in order to start the process of finding our own expression and our own feel for a brush and paint and color.

Just like the above exercise from art school, I’m finding with each painting in this series — each time I paint something I didn't think I could re-create or something I didn’t think I could render in an identifiable way, it expands my ability to communicate, it adds a richness to my voice as a painter, and it surprises me, in a delightful way — even when the painting isn’t perfectly rendered.

Narrowing it down to a small selection was a challenge, because the kinds of symbolic objects I surround myself with are profoundly meaningful for me. I’ve written about the importance of totems in my book Creative Thursday. And I collect or make a lot of them {all small of course}.
Here's the meaning behind this collection from left to right
1) My favorite tiny of tiniest paint brushes size 000.
2) A saying I look at every day to remind myself to keep reaching and stay open to all of my dreams coming true, as sometimes I think we limit ourselves to a certain number, like that’s all we’re allowed.
3) A favorite tiny bear painting of mine because my art makes me happy.
4) Tiny girl, a symbol of something personal to me.
5) A bunny I made while going through a delicate & hopeful time.
6) A jewel given to me as a reminder of sincere generosity and the importance of giving and receiving help.
7) My lucky cat from NY for prosperity.
8) Heart tile that reminds me that it really always comes down to love.

— Marisa Anne Cummings, artist and designer at Creative Thursday


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I’m documenting {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. — join me for a year of paintings.