I am part of an exhibition called Voice at Two Rivers Gallery at the end of January. Voice is a group exhibit where many talented artists will be featured. Bill Horne, a BC artist from Wells, will also be exhibiting a retrospective of his assemblages that he has created over the years. The opening is at 7:30 on January 28th. Hope to see you there!
When I am in the evaluation process of painting and taking a moment to observe what I have made, I find the paintings I appreciate the most are the unselfconscious ones. These are the paintings that look less controlled or ‘out of hand’. I wish I had a secret formula that I could follow to create art that is less self conscious but all I know is how to recognize when it happens. Because it feels like magic! The only secret I know is…………. the more frequently I am able to spend time in my studio painting the more likely this magic will occur.
When I am in my studio painting and everything feels like it is working well then I feel good about my choice to be an artist and in my studio happily painting away. I truly feel like I am following my bliss. But there are always those days where nothing feels like it is working well and then the inner critic appears. I find when the inner critic is present in my studio that my ability to create and take risks becomes constrained. When I am painting this is the worst time to think about what gallery owners, curators or art collectors think about my art. Because making good art is a solitary affair, I try to be alone in my studio and therefore it is important to quiet the voices of the inner critic. I simply tell my critical voice it is not welcome here and show it the door. Making good art initially requires playful intuition and trying things just for the sake of doing something new. It is not until the painting is getting closer to completion that the evaluation process is needed. Then I can look at my painting with more scrutiny and ask myself what is need to make this work of art the best it can be in this moment.
Making abstract art is very different than painting something with a representational image. First of all abstract painting is more about mark-making, color, patterns, design principles and creating differences and then responding to them. Metaphorically the process is more like walking in a thick forest and having an idea about where you would like to go but worrying that you might be lost rather than walking a path with a set out starting point and a destination. I find when I am working on an abstract painting there is always a moment when I look at my painting and I am not sure what to do next, or I think it looks like a horrible mess and then I wish I had taken up nursing instead of being an artist. This is when I try something and it makes things worse rather than better. I find this is the time to take a break and go do something completely different like go for a walk, have a cup of tea, make lunch or read an art book. I find when I step away for a while and try not to think about my painting invariably I get an idea on how to move forward with it and it begins to turn a corner. The more paintings I create the more I realize this is part of the painting process but even with this realization I still experience that moment of anxiety that is followed by panic but I also have learnt to trust that an idea will come that will help me to resolve it.
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