I’ve just been going through all the images I have of my paintings, and picking out the ones that really feel like me; when I look at them something in me goes ‘yes’. Take these two below ~ paintings I did on paper when I was doing Conne Hozvicka’s class in 21 Secrets.I never fail to get that little squiggle of recognition inside, and something else I can’t quite name, when I look at these two, even though they’re not necessarily finished or ‘for’ anything. That tells me that they are me; an outward reflection of what’s inside that looks (and feels) familiar.
I don’t seem to have the verbal language for either the feeling or what it is about them that feels right and good. The best I can do right now is that it’s like settling into my groove. That position on the sofa that is just right for total comfort and cosiness. Total centredness and alignment with myself. A ‘clicking in’.I also a little bit wish that what was really me was something rather different! Something softer, paler, sketchier, cooler (in colour), more ‘grown up’ somehow.
In trying to discern what is common to all of these paintings (and it isn’t colour or even style necessarily ~ just look at the boat and peacock paintings), I notice primarily organic shapes; rich, strong and vibrant colours; a certain manipulation of paint, a blendedness. Also papers and texture, layering and glazing. Divisions of the canvas.But also I remember that each of these paintings required little or no planning or thoughtful input from me. They just sort of emerged. (With the exeption of the peacock, which was inspired by, although not directly copied from, an image I found.)
Another thing that came up for me over the past week is how damn seriously I seem to take everything! Enough already with the serious!
I get the sneaking feeling that that is not what life is meant to be about at all. That things are defined by the perspective we bring to them. That’s why someone who’s been through dark things we can barely imagine can see the gifts in them, why it sometimes takes a big upheaval and change in our lives to show us a different way of seeing.
I know I often sound a bit intense (can you be a bit intense? Is that like being a bit pregnant?) ~ in fact a friend recently used that exact word to describe me. It really bothered me. I got a bit intense about it. I have decided it’s time to lighten up. Just because something is important to me doesn’t mean it can’t be a fun, joyous and uplifting thing. Maybe there isn’t always a ‘why’. Maybe something is beautiful because you find it beautiful.
Tara those first 2 paintings are amazing I love those, but they are all fab and all a part of you.
How I see it is we all have many different parts to us, sometimes our paintings will be deep and moody and other times lighter and more fun, it is all relevent to who we are and how they represent us as people.
Be who you are, love what you do x
Exactly!!! It's all about that feeling you get when you paint–it doesn't matter how it "turns out"–it's more how you are in the moment–even if it's a fustrating feeling–I'm always (for the most part) very content when I'm creating–the best part of art-making!!!
Just enjoy it!
You are defining your own style–it is consistent in the paintings you have shown–love the blue and yellow one with the leaves!
Tara – love your abstract work. And the top 2 – wow! The lower image is definitely speaking to ME! Intense…hmmm, there should be a club for those of us who have been told all our lives that we're too intense. You either are or you aren't and I suppose our lesson in life is to take everything less seriously. But our intensity is part of who we are, so we just have to channel that into our work!
I know for a fact I take myself way too seriously in regards to my art. It's because deep down I know I don't take myself seriously so I don't think other people do. When I confronted that (and I'm not saying this is in anyway your situation, I'm just blurbing here lol) my whole attitude seemed to change and I became a lot less burdened by my desire to 'perform'. I often think my art needs to be elevated to more elegant palettes and for it to mean more then it does and that I should try and be more professional with my stuff because that's what I think other people think I should do. But everytime I do I become miserable and hate what I'm creating. I had to present to myself the very real possibility that I wasn't truely an artist and that maybe I would be better and happier messing around doing what I enjoyed and find other ways to 'succeed'. I accepted failure. And when I did, when I realised my love for creating was more then my love for being successful and taken seriously I mourned the loss of my so called dreams of achievement, got out my felt tips, and had an incredible day scribbling and enjoying myself without any baggage, pressure or guilt. I've been more productive then ever and I've stopped caring if I 'win' or not. The funny thing is even before all that I would never have said I cared all that much about doing well as an artist either but I think my level of concern over my work and how uncomfortable and vulnerable I felt about it kinda suggested I did but in a round about way. Anyway, the point is, I'm in a happier relationship with my work now and I wish the same for you- however that may come about 🙂
May I request you explore the reverse of this exercise and show the work you don't connect with? I'm intrigued by this exhibition and I'd like to see the otherside of the coin. It's a fascinating insight!
T, I LOVE the first two images – WOWZA! They are so totally you!
I agree with Janet as well, your style really is emerging in all of the paintings shown and I simply adore it. Your use of lines and shapes, words and textures, love of color and quiet spaces…it all creates the loveliest of paintings! xx
As for being "too intense"….girl I have BEEN there. I'm STILL there! lol, I think it's something we all struggle with. I find for me, the more passionate I am about something, the harder it is to lighten up and not take it seriously – but the trick is, to really explore and develop that passion you *can't* take yourself too seriously. You have to have fun, let go and find the joy in the process. Next time you feel yourself fighting it, just look at Flora's work and remember to RELEASE 🙂