New Painting: “Breathing”
I took the winter off from painting without really meaning to. I just didn’t feel like painting the same thing I’d been doing for awhile, but I wasn’t sure what I DID want to paint. So I spent a quiet winter in resting, reading lots of books, working on creative writing projects, and spending lots of time with friends and family. I knew I’d feel like painting again when the time was right.
It’s ok to go through different creative seasons.
When I felt like painting again, I looked around for inspiration. I knew I needed to go in a slightly different direction, but I wasn’t sure where.
I filled my mind with images, ideas, thoughts I might want to express visually. I doodled and freewrote. I journaled.
Then one day, this image popped into my head. That’s usually how I get an initial idea for a painting: an image just flashes in my mind’s eye, I scribble down a rough thumbnail, and I get to work.
I’m fascinated by recurring patterns in nature and how different types of lines and shapes show up over and over again. The shape of tree branches echoes the shape of lightning, veins, synapses in the brain and bronchi in the lungs. Painting again after such a long hiatus also reminded me of how much I really need art and beauty in my life. Creating and being around beauty is a need all humans share. Creativity is as natural to us as breathing.
As I worked, I also thought about humans and nature, which is a running theme in my art and is a big reason why my figures are usually faceless silhouettes that blend into the rest of the painting. As humans how do our best to manipulate and fight nature, who live in climate-controlled houses and buy our food in grocery stores and spend lots of time at desks, we often forget that we are part of nature. Humans evolved alongside everything else in our world and as much as we try to overcome nature, we still need it. We are a part of it and it is a part of us.
Creativity and nature are part of us, and we absolutely can’t live without either.
I was initially too nervous to share this piece because some people might think it’s “weird”, so I didn’t publish my process photos on Facebook or Instagram. I love it though. I haven’t felt this excited about a piece in ages. I adore the concept, the texture, the colors, and I loved every step of the process.
I built up the texture with layers of gesso, collaged tissue paper, string, and paint applied with brushes and a palette knife. The heart in this piece is collaged paper with an incredible “veined” texture. I’ve been saving it to be a “heart” someday!
This piece is available in my Etsy shop and I’m working on getting prints ready! I’ll post an update when those are available!
Never forget, you are nature, and you are creative.
Have a great week!