An artist and their art can evolve quite a bit over time. What i experienced these past couple of weeks was a significant change in my artistic abilities. I feel like I experienced a clear transition. Let me explain
I have a past in my artistic career of painting solely realism and copying pictures onto canvas. I got very good at recording what I saw into a painting or drawing. What I was missing though was the creativity and that energy that can only come from me and that was my own. I was unable to let myself go with whatever was flowing. I was blocked.
I then started intuitively painting and I created a piece that started off as a self portrait. Before I had an idea of how to tap into my creativity I had planned this painting out in my mind. It had to represent a woman (me) in her fullest potential and power creating literal worlds and balancing the moon and the stars. I had it all mapped out. I began the painting by doing a realistic self portrait except I have blue hair because why not. I had left it for a little while because I again felt creatively blocked and no idea I had was satisfying me. It either felt too cheesy or like I was slightly copying other artists ideas. I was in the midst of taking life coach sessions (you can read all about it in my previous blog post entitled Clarity in the Abstract) and one of the suggestions my life coach had for me was to paint without using my brain whatsoever. I practiced this technique and completed two paintings and then looked back at my self-portrait and thought what if I apply this technique of intuitive painting to this piece just so I can finish it once and for all. I finished it, it came out beautifully but I was so enthralled by the intuitive technique I completely dismissed my ability for realism and ditched it completely.2
I embodied my new found creative abilities for a few months. Only painting intuitively, no thought or form in my mind before starting a piece. It was purely from my subconscious. I had a solo exhibition in late August 2019 that featured all of my abstract pieces that I created in the 3 months prior. The gallery owner who was also an artist and I both agreed all my intuitive paintings were all a match and had a nice flow in the gallery space. I had brought my blue-haired Sasha Di portrait for moral support and I secretly wanted to find a way to put it up among all the newest pieces but finally she did not match and I kept her in a corner at the gallery. My exhibition lasted 6 days and I spent 8 hours there everyday. So for the entire time I had the Sasha Di staring me in the face all the time. I reflected and thought to myself maybe I should get back into realism. I had built up a sort of resentment towards it because i associated it with not having a creative voice but it was festering in me. Every person who came into the gallery noticed it and was taken back by it. Someone even told me it gave them goosebumps. I thought hmm... i was able in that piece to convey emotion as well as realism, why not give it another go.
Fast forward to my studio a couple of days after my solo exhibition, I was inspired to paint a hand. I took a quick picture of my hand in an interesting sideways position, traced it ( I no longer spend time trying to copy figurative works by eye, i had done that for over 10 years, i spare myself the time wasting and just trace a simple outline) and I proceeded to just fill in the colours of the hand. I then realized how in that moment I was flowing more than i ever have in my life. I had merged the creative flow of intuition with my trained technical eye. I painted the hand in half an hour. Back in the day it would take me hours on end, sometimes up to 8 hours to finish anything realistic or figurative. Here I was in total connection with the image and my painting just translating like you would a language you are completely fluent in, instant translation from real life picture to painting. I was astonished. I then intuitively mixed a colour that would complement the hand and make it stand out, added white and then of course my signature squares came through and in a simple way it all came together and I just knew the piece was done.
After that wonderful experience, i realized I was blocking myself all those years, I just had to take a little detour into abstract land, spend some time there and leave with the utmost confidence in my intuitive abilities. So here I am now, completely and totally ready to let everything and anything flow freely, even a realistic piece. I got rid of the association I had with realism being a form of painting that would block me. I think the biggest thing to have happened through all of this was my connection with my self and my natural gift. Instead of looking outward for inspiration or for ideas, i went with what my hand wanted to naturally make and went from there. Taking an inward approach now I know all my pieces are original and unique, tainted with my personal style and confidence. Only took 25 years...