The life of an artist is a funny thing. Creative process is something that must be surrendered to. Most of my life I have been in situations where I was the square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I never could quite adjust to the rhythms, imbalance and harshness of corporate America. I tried over and over again, and exhausted myself (and almost died of illness) in the process. Then there was the guilt. Guilt about the fact that I was unsuccessful. Guilt that I didn't even really want how corporate America defined success. And shame. I was ashamed that I was a "failure" and beat myself up constantly because I should be more.
After so much soul searching, I've come to realize a few things. One model does not fit all. We each have our own rhythm. And what if we are okay just the way we are? What are we striving for? Who are we trying to impress? These days, I am interested in living simply and in honoring my natural rhythms.
Last summer I had the wonderful opportunity of working at an internship with the fabulous installation artist Olga Ziemska. I was fascinated by Olga because she was supporting herself as an artist. I once asked her about procrastination, laziness and lack of discipline. All things I was guilty of in my opinion, and for which I beat myself up ruthlessly. She explained to me that there was no separation between her life and art. Her life was her art. Her art was her life. And that she honored her natural rhythms. She created when she needed to. Rested without guilt when she needed to - what a concept! Ate when she needed to. I began to understand the work/live space of an artist and how important it is to the creative process. Virginia Woolf had that right. A woman - especially a creative one - must have a space of her own.
Another artist I have come to know owns a popular vintage shop in town. He's up at the crack of dawn hitting the flea markets, garage sales and thrift stores. He's always got upcycling projects going on in his studio, and he's always rearranging his shops and does the most beautiful window display. When I asked him about this discipline, he said simply, "I live this stuff." It's his life. There is no separation.
In my own creative work, I've come to realize it does not abide by a clock. It comes when it wants and wanes when it wants. I am merely the conduit. Sometimes my process is almost manic and I can't keep up with the ideas I'm flooded with. That's one thing I've been blessed with. I never want for inspiration. Lately, the muses are very active, and I am prolific. I had a painting marathon this week, and I'd like to humbly offer some of my new work.
Untitled, 2011, 24" x 24". A clear imitation of Piet Mondrian's work. I have been more and more interested in color blocking of late, and Mondrian is one of my favorite artists. I love this type of simple, geometric art. Aesthetically it is my favorite, I like to hang this type of art in my apartment. But I find this type of work tedious to execute. It must be perfect. One line out of place ruins it. It takes time and patience. It's simple looking, but not easy to execute. Mondrian often used primary colors in his work. I have replaced the red with fuchsia, and the primary blue with baby blue.
Untitled, 18" x 30", acrylic on canvas. As you know, I always have more than one canvas going at a time. When I am working on an exacting, geometric piece, I also do a piece just for fun. It's highly experimental, almost the antithesis of the geometric work. It helps to free up the creativity, and helps to break the binding feeling of perfectionism. I like some parts of this one, especially the lower right corner where I have some organic plant growing. For some reason these types of paintings always have vaginas all over the place. I assure you, it's unintentional. I enjoy this type of work, but don't like to hang it in my apartment. I prefer simplicity.
Untitled, 24" x 24", acrylic and marker on canvas. And speaking of simplicity, I also executed this painting. It's, of course, influenced by a popular painting of Warhol and is an attempt to paint intentionally like a child. Have you ever tried to paint like a child? It's not easy!
Untitled, 16" x 20" print. This is actually a digital rendering of my blotter board. I often get fascinated by the patterns my blotter makes. When processing this work, I got caught up with the negative space. I will probably reproduce this work on a large canvas. And there it is, too many words. Art just is. And artists, well, we create because we must.