Thursday, April 22, 2010

one goal - PAINT

Flowers for Sharon - Mixed media on 12" x 12" canvas

Doing spring cleaning usually finds me with a few bags of clothes for Goodwill. I had this pretty tank top that didn't fit me anymore but I loved the material so out to the studio it went! The floral pattern is made with a sheer material that's thinner than the base fabric so it worked great to pick up color and texture around the forms. I used a regular gloss medium to adhere the fabric to the canvas then lots of layers of paint and medium over that. I titled this for my mother who I see in this painting - her femininity, beauty and grace. I think I'll make another painting like this for her for Mother's Day.

I've written about goals in the past and how they've helped me, be it daily, weekly or monthly goals. Now I'm just focused on one overall goal - paint. Paint as much and as often as possible with NO LIMITS. I have always resisted my true nature which is all over the place, including in art. One minute I want to fling paint across a room another I want to slow and steady my hand for a delicate piece (like comparing Frenzy to Flowers for Sharon for example). Now I am throwing everything out the window - the threat of not being taken seriously as an artist with a mixed collection, the weight of expectation to be consistent, the feeling that I have to force myself to make like minded creations or series. If it happens naturally, great. But If I want to make 3 totally different abstracts, 3 totally different figure studies and a folk art landscape in the same week, SO BE IT. I just CAN'T CARE anymore and I have to ask myself why it ever mattered to me before. I'm a freaking art renegade! (hahaha, as if) When have I played by the gallery world rules?

I've been asking myself what are my long term goals... like if everything could go my way, what would it actually look like? And the truth is I didn't really know the answer to that. I've been scrambling to make my art my career for years and it's just... well.. picture me on all fours scrambling up a mountainside. Looking at what's immediately in front of me - the next rock to grab hold off, the next safe spot to step. I have no clue what the top looks like because I'm just looking at what's right in front of me, but I've known whatever it is, I'm sure I want to get there! But if I don't look up, look ahead, I could conceivably climb in circles (which reminds me of a hike I took with my best friend in New Hampshire when someone screwed up the path signs and we ended up winding back up the mountain instead of back to the parking lot at dusk worrying about bears). This whole connection to hiking is funny to me because that's how I actually hike. I look like a spider - a really lanky, goofy spider. You'd laugh too if you've ever seen me do the spider scramble. But anyway... I digress.

What I really want is a life that I've custom made for me. One that works with my strengths and understands my weaknesses and incorporates how I genuinely operate best. I truly believe that if a person follows their truest desire and commit to it being exactly who they are, they will succeed. I like down to earth people, down to earth situations and down to earth art talk. I LOVE selling my art online because I get to make a direct connection to people in a down to earth way. In my perfect vision, I'd still be doing this, just more of it. I'd still have a studio, maybe a bigger one, and I'd open it up to the public sometimes. I'd teach small groups of people that want to learn how to paint from their heart - not an apple study (because I'm not the best teacher for that, I've tried). Lastly but most importantly, I don't WANT to know or expect the art that I will be making then because that would limit it - I will find out when I'm there. I don't know what I'm about to go paint after I finish this post, and I don't need to. I really need to let go of this outside vision of an artist and embrace MY definition through experience. Once and for all I need to put it to rest!!!
DOOSZH, that was a heavy load.

Ok. So it's settled then. I am an unapologetic artist that marches to her own beat. The word "consistent" is officially banned in my universe.

Thank you.


Dana S. Whitney said...

Can't believe that you don't already have thousands of other artists saying, "that's just like me." Thanks for writing this! (And when we land in Massachusetts, maybe we can do some spiderwalking/sketching!) Looking forward to seeing more.

Unknown said...

A spiderwalk sketch session sounds like fun! I think our medium of choice should be finger paints given the circumstance. :)

JoBlue said...

The whole paragraph that includes:

"...If I want to make 3 totally different abstracts, 3 totally different figure studies and a folk art landscape in the same week, SO BE IT. I just CAN'T CARE anymore..."

YES! It's taken me years - decades - to feel like I'm actually entitled to custom-tailor my art, my expression, and my life to my own essentialness. All in the name of sale-ability, like-ability, fit-in-ability. And who has really cared? Only me.

You go, girl.

Sharmon Davidson said...

This is a very cool piece! I totally get what you mean about scrambling up the mountainside on your hands and knees- describes my life (and art career) exactly!

Ginni Bingham LeVar said...

I echo what has been said already. I think I have painting ADD and cannot stick with one "style" or series for very long. Yet I've felt somewhat of a failure for this fault. It was drilled in during my art classes and through the years that I needed to have a specific style and stick with it. Thanks for voicing that it is ok to go where creativity takes you even if one painting is very different from the last.

This painting is very different from your others, surely very feminine like you said. I really like it. But then, I like lots of your other paintings too.