I’ve been an admirer of Rita Loyd’s art for quite some time. Her paintings healing messages touch me. She uses images of women which symbolically represent different aspects of all women’s lives and this really draws me in.
I love the whimsical imagery and color and I’m a big fan of symbolism so this is just my kind of art!
I put together some questions for Rita to learn more about her art and creative process. Read her artist interview below. And you can find some of my other artist interviews on my blog here>>
Rita, will you tell us a little bit about your journey to creating your art and being an artist?
I began painting my art in 1996 as a way to cope with chronic illness. I wanted to create art that was uplifting for me to look at and that would give me hope of recovery. I painted myself as I was or how I wished to be.
How long did it take you to develop your own style and when did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I developed my own style within a year I think of painting in my early 30’s. At first my painted women looked similar to an Asian artist’s style that I had admired. They were jeweled, tall and thin women. But then I decided to paint my women with a more realistic appearance and who were plainly dressed to put more emphasis on the message of the painting rather than on the details of what they were wearing.
I knew I wanted to create healing art from the first painting that I did in my early 30’s. I named this first painting Hearts Touching. It was while painting this image that a message came into my mind that said, “You will continue to paint and the art that you paint will help you and others to heal.”
What drives you to come up with ideas for your work, what are your sources of inspiration?
My art is my therapy. It helps me to look for my answers in life and to share the advice that helps me the most. Its also a reflection of my self-love journey and what I think can happen when we love ourselves.
Can you explain your creative process?
The way I decide on what to paint next is that I ask myself the question, “What’s bothering me?” And, then I reflect upon my spiritual studies and personal wisdom to find advice on how to best handle this problem. Next, I think of the symbolism I can use to get that message across and that is what I paint.
Do you throw much work away? Do you ever paint over a painting you aren’t happy with?
I recently threw a painting away because I painted another one that I thought conveyed its message more clearly. But then an on-line magazine wanted to share the one I threw away and it made me regret tossing it. Luckily they were able to use the image of it that I shared on Facebook a while back.
Other paintings I have thrown away were because they were not coming from my heart and from my deep authentic process. They were painted just to paint. So I didn’t have a heart connection with them.
What has been a turning point in your art career and why?
A huge turning point came years after I began painting. It was when I discovered that my art and creative process were teaching me how to unconditionally love myself. I had known that my art was healing and nurturing but I didn’t know what it was healing or what it was nurturing. Turns out it was nurturing self-love and healing self-hate.
Knowing what my art was about gave me direction in life and from there I wrote a book about self-love and my book is just about to sell out so I am working on its 2nd edition. This book is even being used in domestic violence centers to help survivors of abuse find self-love and I am very happy about that. My dream is to one day get my book into more domestic violence shelters and centers and it become the gold standard in teaching self-love to survivors.
How do you want someone to feel when he or she views your work?
I would love for people to walk away from my art having a deeper sense of how to connect with unconditional self love.
How important is the title of a painting to you and when and how do you title a piece?
My titles are very important because they convey the message of the painting. The title is based on the advice I am trying to convey. So I know the title or the basis of the title first.
When you feel self-criticism setting in or feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do to get back on track?
When I feel unfocused or blocked I walk away from the drawing and rest. Sometimes taking a walk will help clear my head if I have the energy to take a walk. My inspiration comes in slowly and I can’t hurry the process. It might take months to visualize what I want to paint. I only paint about 3 paintings a year.
Fill in the blank: In the last five years, I’ve become better at __________.
Loving myself. Self-love is a gradual awakening and I am learning to take better care of myself.
If you could get a message out to millions or billions of people or even the entire world population — what would it say and why?
Heal and empower your life through unconditional self-love. Believe in yourself and believe in what you have to offer. Now, more than ever, we need everyone to wake up to their abilities and to use their abilities to help save the planet and humanity.
What’s your current or next art project?
After I finish revising the 2nd edition of my unconditional self-love book I want to focus getting that book into more domestic violence centers.
I also want to create an interactive art exhibit teaching people how to nurture unconditional self-love. So I want to paint the main lessons that I teach about self-love. For example, one lesson is to slow down and take the time to listen to how you feel. So I have a painting to convey that message. Some messages are harder to paint than others and I am trying to visualize those concepts.
Anything else you want people to know about you?
My art and story will be in the mindfulness issue of Where Women Create Magazine in late November. It will not only feature my own art but some of the art from artists I have interviewed on my website. I can’t wait to see it!
Thank you Rita for sharing your journey with us!
I hope you all will visit Rita’s lovely website at NurturingArt.com