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…
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.
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.
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.
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….