to break the rules (especially in art)
|work in progress|
I've been talking a lot and thinking a lot about Carson McCullers lately. I cannot get her off my mind. I am so intrigued by her person and have a real desire to get inside her mind. I have this idea that she was a bit of a ragga muffin, raw around the edges but simultaneously too complex and brilliant for a young woman of her time.
I set out to start a larger painting of her, on canvas, this week. Since I was on a roll, I decided to start another (of another female author). Immediately, I knew this was the wrong direction. My heart wasn't in it. And this is putting it lightly. What this "wrong direction" feels like is like a scraping at the bottom of my soul - definitely NOT good. So I have to stop.
I have an inner struggle with the "Develop a strong personal style" and "Create a consistent body of work" message that runs a strong, rapid river in the art industry.
I was known as the cow gal for a long time. But then the cows were over. And maybe one pops up every once in awhile but, I have said what I need to say with cows. Same for rabbits, folks. And same for the bison too. As a side note: I am still really tired from painting those bison. I sent two smaller bison off to Bozeman yesterday and almost cried thinking of their travels (away from me). They have so significantly represented such turmoil in my life.
The art world says "Be Prolific". I say, get to know me. This is as prolific as I can be. And it feels like too much to manage most days, to tell you the truth.
If you really dig deep into my creative life you will discover a large body of work on (what I titled) Urban Earth. I spent an entire year assembling collages and I actually exhibited and sold them. I went through an abstract painting phase that wouldn't stop. Now, every once in awhile, a few abstract paintings pop up. I experienced an entire (long) winter season where all I painted were small portraits. I've exclusively worked on projects I've self titled like The October Project (mixed media drawings) or Life Lessons (color field minimalism). I even went through a year or so where I just photographed natural collections. If you looked at all this work and you really had no understanding of who I am as an artist, it would be impossible to identify that one artist created all this work (let alone see any connection between it).
But it all relates and it's all interconnected. And call me stubborn (even though I dislike this term) if you must but this is just me and this is just how my creating needs to be. It's been like this for 16 years and it hasn't seemed to change. That scraping at the bottom of my soul still feels exactly the same as the day I was told "no one is ever going to buy a painting of a cow". A million cow paintings later and...
So, it feels appropriate to leave this, here, again, because this is where I am.