Sunday, March 16, 2014

Portrait


I paint objects. Typewriters, sailboats, vintage cars, cakes, toys, cats, teddybears, anything that feels good and evokes coziness. I did not set out to do this, it happens to be my voice, my color palette, the way I see the world. So, like any beginner (read: IMPATIENT) artist, I decided, I didn’t like that path anymore. Too predictable, too bright, too cute, tu-tu. I wanted to stretch. Stretching is good. But what I did was more like running a marathon without stretching and beating myself up horribly because I did not place in the race and had to hobble the last several miles in agony. And by hobbling, I mean painting portraits. Here’s the rub. I have a deep desire to paint faces. I need to paint them, draw them, doodle them. I’m sure the columns of my notebooks from high school and university are littered with the same faces over and over again. Yet when I paint them, I enter some kind of crazytown phenomena of them not looking like what my brain had imagined. They are abstract and I’ll say it, ugly. Not ugly in that cool French I meant to look crooked and bored kind of way. I mean, weird ugly where the hell did that come from and please lord, show me how to paint a nose for Godsakes!

I talked to my painting teacher about this longing for stepping over the invisible line from quirky and charming. Like the perfect mentor for me, she laughed. Not at me, but with me. She gave it some deep thought, she is kind like that. And this is more or less what she came up with and it (for a few minutes…hours) set me free. She said, we all have our voice. Our look. What comes naturally. Don’t fight your voice. Keep going. Keep stretching and it will develop on its own. Find other painters you like and do what they did until it becomes your own voice. Practice, play, process not results!



And it’s all true what she said. I was nodding, like, uh huh, I know this, but oh how it has a different meaning when its YOU getting in the messy middle. I shall continue with this unpaved road of creativity, portrait painting. Maybe it is my next great passion. Maybe it is a creative doodling mess making process I need to loosen up for other projects. Maybe it is the thing that reminds me to have fun, be joyful in creation and trust. Maybe it is my Muse in disguise. xo

“The muses are ghosts, and sometimes they come uninvited.” Stephen King



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