And.. actually before this - it was a portrait. It was a face with long flowing hair that was to be a mermaid with a underwater background. It was one of those panels in my studio that lost its way. It has become one more layer and makes a richer deeper painting to think that a mermaid lives under Vegetable Dreams :)
I seem to be hare brained at the moment - in a good way.
I've spent the past 5 weeks Blooming True with Flora Bowley. Its been an amazing journey for me and I have shared some thoughts and some of my intuitive paintings over this time. After this process, I am not sure if I can go back to the way I was painting - at least not for a while. For me, the journey has been fun and full of unexpected twists and turns that have helped me discover or uncover new desires in my artwork. I'm finding color - real awesome color. I'm finding BIG - painting BIG is fun. I'm finding a joy in painting animals.
I do have to say that it saddens me a little to understand that some of my classmates are not experiencing the joy that I am finding in this process. There is frustration and disappointment with results. Art is so very personal and so very easy to self critique and compare - especially in classroom situations. The intuitive painting process is not easy. Its not. It requires an open mind, open heart, the ability to really let go of everything you've been taught about structure, planning, and rules. It is much harder than it sounds because our inner critic makes it so. Its a little easier for me because I have had no formal training to undo.
I feel they are a little too hard on themselves, especially at this point in the game. We are all learning and in the early stages of getting this process which is so very different than I know I have ever tried. It takes time, patience, practice and kindness. This prompted me to pull out one of my favorite quotes that I felt was a fitting reminder to all of us who do creative work.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” Ira Glass
Fight On! - and remember to be kind to yourself. Use kind words when thinking about and making your creative work. Thoughts become things - really. Realize that not every single thing you make is gallery quality. But that's OK - because we make art for ourselves. I have 6 other panels that are in various stages in my studio right now. Some of them are the ugliest ducklings ever - but I have faith they will grow into beautiful swans.