Before I started this new collection of work, I sat at dinner with my husband and asked out of the blue, “Do you think I could do something different with my art?”
I can’t remember exactly what he said, but all in all it was a “yes, of course”. I was surprised, and it felt like all of the sudden a layer of my artist’s soul was pealed back . . . like I was suddenly a new artist with endless options of what to paint, how to paint, and why. I thought I would hear a “why would you do that?” But I was happy to hear that “yes.” It was the answer I was saying to myself, but I needed to hear it from somewhere else. I needed to know that something I had worked nearly a lifetime for was ok to be set aside for something new. And I didn’t know how much that conversation would mean to me until later.
It suddenly felt less like I had to give myself permission to do something different, but rather, I had no choice but to do something different because I was already well on my way. It was as if I was standing in the doorway of change and opportunity with my hand still on the knob of the door. That conversation was the push into the room that I needed.
In the book The Art Spirit by Robert Henri, he says, “An artist must have an imagination. An artist who does not use his imagination is a mechanic.” In retrospect, I can see that the need for change was coming from a need for a fresh, creative challenge. I greatly enjoyed my previous work, and I did find challenge in it, but It was the same challenge I’d been facing and overcoming time and time again for years. I was comfortable with it.
That first painting of the new collection was exhilarating. As I stood at my easel, literal globs of paint covering my hands, an uncomfortably large canvas in front of me, I laughed and said to myself, “I have no idea what I’m doing but I love it!” It was perfectly uncomfortable. But I had a vision of my new work in my head, and as I worked towards that vision, I felt myself fall into a new rhythm and I enjoyed the “work” more than I had in a very long time. I was breaking the rules and boundaries I’ve created for myself, and I was no longer the mechanic of my work, but the artist once again.
“You will never find yourself unless you quit preconceiving what you will be when you have found yourself.” -Robert Henri
This new collection of art is about saying “yes” to things in life. It’s about saying “yes” to change and renewal. It’s about refueling your soul. It’s about reaching for dreams and finding peace in the new. My visual goal for this art was for it to leave an impression of simplicity with gorgeous delicate details at its heart. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.