As a visual artist, I have often been asked to define my style, and nine times out of ten, I fail miserable at being able to defining my style in words. Yet, if you look at my portfolio, my style is very evident. From the bold colors to the crisp blacks lines, there is a common thread that connects my works of art that have been created over the years.
Part of the hesitation to define my style comes from knowing that labels stifle creativity. Yet, there is a balancing act that takes place in knowing yourself as an artist and giving yourself the creative freedom to explore. As Julia Cameron states in Walking in this World:
“Art” is less about what we could be and more about what we are than we normally acknowledge. When we are fixated on getting better, we miss what it is we already are–and this is dangerous because we–as we are–are the origin of our art. “We” are what makes our art original. If we are always striving to be something more and something different, we dilute the of what it is we actually are. [In] doing that, we dilute our art.
This danger of striving to be something more, something different is exactly what I’ve been struggling with this past year. Part of me questioned if it was time to move onto a different subject matter…something besides the series of senuous female portraits I have been exploring in recent years. Then another part of me felt compelled to tackle larger scale paintings. It finally reached the point where I took a break from creating any new paintings.
Yet even during this creative break, I find myself embracing creativity from designing my own jewelry to painting glass candle holders for our bedroom. And it’s been during this creative break that I’m rediscovering my style.
Several new ideas for paintings fill my head, but I’m taking one step at a time. As Julia recommends:
Just as in romance, too serious, too fast, and the fun fizzles out. We need to flirt with an interest, approach it with a sidelong glance … We must learn to explore, not repress, our intuition. Intuition is key to creative unfolding.
So I’m getting back to basics, from going on meditative walks to taking artist’s dates. Every day brings a new adventure, and in time, maybe I’ll finally discover the Holy Grail of paintings. Until then, I embrace the little sparks of divine inspiration that each day brings.
Post inspired by this week’s theme at Sunday Scribblings