Long ago and far, far away in a life with little similarity to the present, I thought I had to paint in a realistic manner to be considered a “serious” artist. Like the “good little girl” that I always tried to be, I did what I was told regardless of what I really wanted. (Thank Goodness for the Feminist Movement even though it took me half of forever for it to sink in and become part of my being!)
So I painted realistically, incorporating all that I had learned. For me, and again, this is just for me, it was more like getting a math equation right—the shading, the proportions, the perspective, etc. There was little joy and not much satisfaction.
When my kids were young, and I brought home a painting more in keeping with the way I paint now, they got excited. They said it looked like clouds, but in color.
They said they could see something different each time they rotated the canvas.
Having taught art in elementary school, I had always tried to foster imagination….no yellow suns in the corner, a purple sun was fine, suns in all four corners was fine, but not the yellow sun in the corner. I loved teaching and seeing the faces of the students light up. I loved seeing them relate to each other through art. I loved seeing the “nerds” find acceptance through creation and imagination.
When my kids made their pronouncements, the comments were certainly appreciated, but what I had done seemed too joyous to be considered “serious” art, so I went back to realism. When I brought back the next painting, my wise wonderful kids said “OK, we’ve seen what you had to say, no point really spending much time looking at the painting”.
I realized that what I wanted to do was to create in Joy, and to foster creativity and imagination in adults, who needed it so much more than kids.
So, that’s what I do. I create from nothing. I begin by taking a few colors which either seem to relate to each other, or colors which seem to be totally unrelated and quite possibly a disgusting combination, and make them a harmonious unit…my version of creating “world peace”, only on a canvas!
Initially, the colors flow and it is fun and wondrous. Then comes the editing, what to expand on and what to delete.
It is like creating a puzzle where there are no set rules, and personally, I detest puzzles, but these seem to get my juices flowing every time. Sometimes I don’t paint for days, but I am still thinking about what to do and how to do it. I think a LOT.
Frequently, it would be nice NOT to think!