Art and Soul: To Arouse, To Excite, To Inspire
by Roxsane K. Tiernan
Christian Faith Publishing, Inc.

"What are you working on
On Life's Loom?
Colors full of joy,
Sobriety or gloom?"

This vibrant mating of artwork and poetry opens with "Lesson in Love" accompanied by the impressionistic representation of the "Coquitlam River Morn.” Love, poet Tiernan suggests, has its costs, but "the more you invest the more you get back." A wry look at "Feelings" declares, "I've bottled them up / I've set them in stone / I don't want my feelings / let loose on their own.” Appropriately, this short work is set off with tall, straight, leafless trees titled "Silent Sentinels." The very Japanese "Cherry Blossom Time" with its pink blooming tree in the foreground and majestic mountain background matches the poem "Small Child": "Full of promise, full of hope." A rather somber composition in browns and yellows heralds "To My Higher Self,” while "Spring Colors" presents plowed fields converging in triangulation to a distant mountain range: "Magenta, cochineal and sandy peach tumble and sprawl. These are the flowers of Mexico I love most of all."

Tiernan, who has lived a long and rambling life and opened her consciousness to differing cultures and experiences, explores grand, universal themes in these poetic explorations while honing in emotively on the symbolism of the natural world in her artwork. In Japan, she was taught the art of Chigiri-e—a technique of graphic creation using torn paper collage. From there, she added acrylics. The resulting mixed media has garnered attention and led to her production of significant public murals. The one artwork here that departs from the realm of nature illustrates a poem called "Parents Concern" in which fragments of newspaper clippings, puzzles, and coupons reflect the hard-edged worries that modern parents experience. Tiernan’s moving aggregation feeds the eyes, tickles the mind, and may serve as an inspiration to creative souls of any age seeking their own medium of expression.

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