I’ve been struggling all day to write an article about the series I’ve been working on.
The thing is, I’m calling it a series because all of the paintings are so related - but if I’m going to be honest about what this is REALLY all about it’s actually more of an “exploration”.
You see, I grew up a perfectionist. When I played sports I needed to win. When I painted the end result had to look EXACTLY like the photo I was using as a reference. I envied those who could paint with expression. I judged myself harshly for mistakes, flaws or imperfections in any one of my pieces. I could work on a drawing for 6 hours straight, but if I made one error it was in the trash and I was to start over. Never would I show someone a doodle or drawing that I didn’t think was 100% a reflection of who I am as artist. I wanted people to look at my work and not understand how a human could make it. I was filled with pride when someone looked at my work in high school and asked how I edited that picture to LOOK LIKE a drawing (when it truly was a work made with my own two hands).
But the tedious work of realistic painting became draining when I couldn’t apply meaning behind it. In high school I had a gallery all about painting portraits - recreating childhood photos with different media to express the emotions in a different way (see examples above). I stayed up for days creating works for this gallery. I loved every late night, each early morning. I didn’t need sleep, I was in LOVE with my work.
However, my dream was to be on stage. My dream was to be the most lethal triple threat the world had ever known. So, what was the point of going to school for art? I could draw and paint, sure - but could I change the world in the same way I could with my performance? I never even questioned it. I dismissed it.
And now here I am. Circling back to my old ways. My old thoughts. The questions resurfacing…
And not if I am good enough - I am talented and skilled.
But my message… will it resonate? Can I say what I feel through my artwork? Can I make people feel what I feel when looking at my pieces the same way they would if they saw me talk about it? Cried with me while I cried? Laughed as I laughed? I’m not sure.
And yet here I am, called by the universe to write these words and to paint the way I do.
The very essence of my soul feels pulled to share my messages, to pour my stories onto canvas and to explore, learn and then teach.
Creating is an endless cycle of questioning, creating, exploring, and learning.
I have chosen a world of exploration, travel, and uncertainty.
I have also chosen love. Peace. Fulfillment. Purpose.
I will take these above all else any day, in any life.