The creative process is a constant journey through trial and error, experimentation and hope.
On the weekend, I began working on a couple of paintings loosely based on my #ShePersisted series. For most of the paintings in the series, I drew a figure that became a stencil, or the actual figure I collaged into the painting after printing onto coloured paper.Which means, I’ve got a bunch of stencils and cut-outs I can use to create new paintings with.
I am not yet ready to sell any of the paintings in the series. I’ve created 40 different paintings with quotes and want to create 52 before I do anything with it.
And that’s where the experimentation comes in. I decided to start creating using the stencils and cutouts and see where it took me.
What happened was fascinating.
With a ‘destination/purpose’ in mind, I was not as loose nor fearless as I like to be when I create. I was too conscious of the outcome. In fact, while I didn’t take a photograph of the original background for this painting, I was so attached to that background, I worked carefully, not fearlessly. In that space, my curiosity took a back seat to my desire to ‘create an outcome’.
And I felt frustrated. Dissatisfied. Unfulfilled in the process.
Creative endeavour is a journey through discovery.
What happens when…
What if I…
I wonder what…
Painting with an outcome in mind limits my freedom to be ‘in the process’. Attached to the outcome, I think, rather than feel, my way through.
The results showed.
The first iteration of this painting, once I applied the same figure who is in the final to it was not satisfying. Though there was a point where I gave a big ‘oof’, which is my sigh of contentment when something goes just right in the process, I moved beyond that moment and muddied up the colours, over rode the symmetry and was too careful in my application of everything!
The final painting pleases me more — though I am thinking of going back in to now bring out some of the flowers…
But, we shall see.
For me, the secret is to let the painting sit for a few days so I can feel my way back into what is calling out to be revealed, or not.
I often begin my paintings with meditation. From that space, words often appear. I like to write them onto the canvas. I use them to inspire me to ‘stay loose’ and to inform whatever is calling out to be revealed.
Underneath this image is written:
A flower doesn’t think about what it is going to grow up to be. A flower just grows into itself.
We can learn a lot from flowers. How to bloom in full colour. How to grow where planted to be who we are and not spend endless time trying to become someone we’re not.
If you look really closely at the first photo of the words painted on, you can see the image of the ballerina — upside down.
As always in life, it’s all in our perspective.
If you don’t like what you’re seeing, change your glasses, change your position, turn things upside down.
I am creating these paintings for an art show & sale I’m in —
Friday, May 12 — 2 – 9pm
Saturday, May 13 — 10 – 5pm
Marda Loop Community Centre, 3130 16th St. SW