Annelie Solis

About

A mix of a bio + artist's statement + a little of me rambling.

 

This is going to be a mix of bio + artist’s statement + me rambling

I’m a twenty-nine-year-old artist/creator (but aren’t we all?) and ardent follow-your-heart advocate from Trinidad and Tobago. I’ve lived here for my whole life so the beauty and diversity of these people and this land have always been conscious and subconscious influences in my work. 

When I was younger I went to school and learnt what I’m supposed to do, how I’m supposed to paint, and what would most likely sell and then did that for a little while. I didn’t go to a university, I just worked on painting. I had a couple of small exhibitions in little cafés which culminated in me deciding to not paint the sure-sellers anymore because they didn’t really bring me any joy or fulfilment. I am grateful for the sure-seller-painting years because I spent a lot of time enhancing my skill and "finding my style". During that time I also experimented with different mediums including illustration and art photography. 

By mid-2011, certain life events had caused me to view things differently and this new perspective shifted my understanding of my art, of myself, of life, of God, and I began to realise how each of those things is the other. It’s just some kind of inexplicable knowing and who feels it knows it. 

I began painting things that felt beautiful and holy to me: humans adorned as queens and kings, goddesses and gods; personifications of divinity and nature; cultures from all over the world; movement and dance; indigenous tribes and their wisdom; the stars. I began exploring symbolism as a vehicle to connect with the subconscious.

Awareness of Spirit brought new purpose to my artwork. I found that it didn’t matter about painting the sure-sellers. The act of creating is a reward unto itself. My paintings became contemplations of personal and universal themes—the infinite beauty of creation/nature/life being a wellspring of inspiration. 

In 2013 I had a solo art exhibition at The Night Gallery in Woodbrook, Trinidad. I was able to share the work that I had been making, or that had come through me, over the previous couple years and the response was overwhelmingly positive. For me it was confirmation of the validity (and absolute necessity) of expressing your truth (following your heart, living your dream, pursuing your passion etc. etc.) in this life.

I used the earnings from that exhibition to take a boat over to Venezuela and spend almost a year floating around South America; learning, connecting, growing, and creating. I'm back home now but that journey marked a turning point for me; not because of the experiences I had on the trip itself (exploring jungle medicine was for me somewhat redundant), but because of who I have become since returning home. Because like the old parables say, it was at home that I found the treasure I seemed to have been seeking elsewhere.

It was at home that I found the teacher I didn't know I needed—my compassionate and selfless guru, forever working to lift others to their highest potential. Through pursuing the path of ancient yoga under the guidance of my teacher, and with the support of my fellow aspiring sages who I am blessed to call friends, family, co-workers, and housemates, have I begun to come close to truth and depth of purpose. In 2016 we together founded The Sage Path, an organisation aimed at guiding others towards their total human blossoming and balanced living. My work now is to guide others to blossom in fullness through art and creativity—through the ArtYog (art + yoga) workshops and courses that I have developed, as well as through individual guidance. 

I have found that to pursue art with intensity, to identify with it and abandon all else for its sake is as useless and detrimental to the authentic spiritual path as to not pursue art at all. All must be in delicate balance. Practising daily meditation, surrender to God, awe of nature, compassion for all living things—practising the authentic yogic path—has deepened my artistic and spiritual journey in profound ways. 

My artwork comes through joyous love and gratitude for creation itself, and the intention, my hope, is to enliven the human spirit and inspire a celebration of life which is beauty and divinity.