Artistic Turmoil

What if Pollock had reversed the challenge. What if instead of making art without thinking, he said, “You know what? I can’t paint anything, unless I know exactly why I’m doing it.” What would have happened?
 He never would have made a single mark.
The challenge is not to act automatically. It’s to find an action that is not automatic. From painting, to breathing, to talking, to fucking. To falling in love…
Ex-Machina (2015)

I was going to throw this piece of art away, I can’t recall a time when my work took  me on an emotional roller-coaster. This ride was one to never be forgotten, the highs and lows were tremendous, an experience I don’t want to go through again, unfortunately a repeat is inevitable.

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It all began whilst I was laying in bed not wanting to face the world or be engulfed by my duvet, I reached for my sketch pad. I started to sketch exactly how I was feeling, what I thought would be a mental exercise turned into a deep love/hate relationship . Hate is probably a strong word, reluctant sounds better, there were days when I was reluctant to continue painting, actually that word doesn’t  fully convey the emotional turmoil I went through. There are no words to explain what it was like trying to complete this piece, it’s not that I was in a rush it was a struggle! The struggle to get and stay in my zone, the zone that allows me to submerge into my art.

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The standstill came the moment I allowed hesitation to creep in, the instant I question a colour or where a line should be placed I slowly start to crumble. It was choosing the colour of the hair, it was driving me insane, I would paint it one colour, not like it, paint it white, and then another colour, hate that, paint it white again, add a different colour, not like that,  you get the picture. This cycle went on FOREVER!!! But, what I loved about the experience, because in every bad situation you find yourself in there is some positivity hidden in there somewhere, is learning to not overthink. The hair wasn’t working, I was thinking about it too much so I stopped obsessing with what colour to use, what to do next. My hand reached for the black paint and just like that, problem solved, love re-established and the rest is history. This is now one of my favourite pieces, I don’t think I’ll ever sell her because I learned such a valuable lesson. Now, when I am drawing or painting and something isn’t looking the way I want it to I simply stop thinking about it and let my hands go wherever they want. Art shouldn’t be a struggle, it shouldn’t be hassle, it is meant to be liberating and most importantly enjoyed! Another reason she can’t be sold is because I  sprayed her with gloss, unevenly.

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She is a powerful image because the emotion is relatable, her body language screams vulnerability yet the colours chosen depict a softness to her even a sense of calm. The moment I added the black background and stars she becomes comforting to look at. She is one of the few pieces that isn’t covered in a lot of detail, she is simple, not confusing, doesn’t require the observer to overthink. Still left unnamed I am open for suggestions….

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