Often, in my blog, I discuss writing or I share examples of my poetry and prose. I sometimes interview fellow authors. I have recently made friends with a poet from South Africa on Instagram who uses the handle the_blaquedove. She raved about my poetry and left me feeling amazing about my fiction, but she mentioned something that didn’t even occur to me. She talked about how I call myself an artist, yet I do so little with my art, whether it’s incorporating it into my blog or using it for word art. Frequently, I call myself an artist in name, yet somehow, I neglect that side of me.
Part of it comes down to severe Imposter’s Syndrome because though I have sold my paintings before, I don’t feel like a true artist. I’m working to confront that feeling and change how I feel about my own art, but in the meantime, I’m going to try to incorporate more of my art and thoughts about art here on my blog and in various places on social media, whether that’s my Instagram or my Facebook group.
When all these thoughts were churning in my head, I accidentally wandered upon the above quotes and thought, What a perfect quote to blog about.
I will have to admit, though I am fascinated by art history and color theory, for a long time, I was uncultured when it came to modern art. I looked at a Pollock painting with the attitude of “I could do that.” I saw a Rothko painting at the St. Louis Art Museum and though I was impressed by the sheer size of it, I struggled to wrap my head around why it was art. As I’ve gotten older and further into my art career, developing my interests beyond collaging, I have begun to understand color field paintings better. I have begun to appreciate abstract art.
The above quotes remind me of when I took art history courses in college, I had classmates ask why a particular style of art was popular when it was. To me, this explains the heightened desire for abstract works. You look at these paintings and feel something. I write poetry as a cathartic release, and I hope that my readers feel something when they read it as well.
Likewise, with my art, I want to evoke passion and emotion. I want people to take their time with it and appreciate the techniques, whether it’s impasto or detailed intricacies. I want them to walk away from my art with a feeling in their chest that wells up inside of them bigger than they can possibly express.
I have begun experimenting with acrylic paints and blending colors, and certain colors do elicit a certain emotional reaction – visceral practically. Art is a way of expressing ourselves on a canvas that transcends words. Since I was seven, words were my primary means of articulating my feelings, but now, I see how art is both grounding and escapism. My paintings are a form of expression, and I love knowing that I can create in various mediums.
Painting is an act that takes me outside of my own mind. Often, I find writing can become a monumentous task of choosing the right word or utilizing the proper diction for a character. There are times when I lose myself and the Muse takes over, which is exhilarating, but more often, writing can be a painstaking process. When I am in the flow state (of either writing or paintings), nothing else seems to exist. Hours can go by without me realizing, and at the end, it’s amazing to see what I have created.
When I first began creating art, I stuck to a very neutral, subdued color palette. While the works I was creating were indeed lovely, viewers felt a sort of repressed beauty. As though I was holding back. I lost important people to me as I grew older (colorful, magical people who cast a spell on me), and I started to realize that life was too short to hide my true colors. This has changed so much of me – not simply my paintings but me as a person.
Color now is my default, and art, whether we’re looking for it or not, is all around us. If we slow down and take the time to look for it, we can find escapist art all around us – not just in museums or studios.