Mandy Norwood's artistic journey began in April of last year, sparked by a deep need for an outlet to cope with the anxiety and stress brought on by her husband Brandon's battle with a brain tumor. Despite having no prior painting experience, Mandy bravely delved into the world of art, finding solace in the act of creation.
When asked about her sources of inspiration, Norwood struggles to put it into words. She gazes at a blank canvas, allowing her intuition to guide her. It's the colors of the paints themselves that "speak" to her, beckoning her to pick them up. She embraces the unknown, embarking on each painting without a clear plan in mind. For Norwood, the process unfolds as she immerses herself in the act of painting.
The couple's life took an unexpected turn while working a job in Red Wing, Minnesota. Initially dismissing Brandon's symptoms as a migraine, they eventually sought medical help after three visits to the emergency room. To their dismay, a large brain tumor, called a meningioma, was discovered. Filled with fear, they returned home in April, anxiously awaiting the pathology results. The waiting period was excruciating, as they grappled with the possibility of cancer.
During those uncertain days, Norwood turned to her paint set as a means to find focus and relaxation amidst the chaos. She made a decision: since they were home and unable to work, she would devote herself to painting. Little did she know that this choice would become a turning point in her life.
The true transformation occurred during a follow-up appointment at the Mayo Clinic's oncology department in Minnesota. It was there that they received the news—they were only one point away from a cancer diagnosis. With their lives hanging in the balance, the couple relocated to Minnesota for two months, and Norwood brought her paints along for the journey. It was in this unfamiliar setting that her artistic expression truly flourished.
To witness Norwood's artwork, one won't find traditional brushstrokes. Instead, she explores a unique form of media known as Fluid Art, which involves manipulating paint on the canvas in unconventional ways. Employing various objects as tools, she creates mesmerizing patterns and textures. Sometimes she pours the paint, while other times she employs a straw or hairdryer to blow it across the canvas. She also experiments with plastic or cloth, using them to pull the paint in unexpected directions. Everyday items that one wouldn't typically associate with painting, such as forks, ceiling fan chains, pieces of plastic, and Q-tips, find their way into her artistic process. Through this unorthodox approach, Norwood brings forth her artistic vision, always embracing her inherent creativity.
Norwood's artwork has become a beacon of hope and resilience, capturing the essence of her emotional journey. To explore her creations and witness the healing power of art, visit Mandy Norwood's Facebook page at Shallow Creek Studio, https://www.facebook.com/customnorwood?mibextid=ZbWKwL. Join her on this inspiring path of self-discovery and transformation as she continues to navigate life's challenges through the vibrant strokes of her creative process.