Why do I paint?
Updated: Jan 18, 2022
- and what does that have to do with you? -
As all of us are, when doing literally anything in life, I am looking for something in my art.
And recently I realised what exactly it is and always has been.
My art has at its centre self-exploration.
Here’s where my yogic background comes in and has immensely helped with becoming aware of it. The beautiful thing is that no matter whether you are familiar or agree with yoga or self-awareness it happens throughout the process for me and the same option remains in the finished painting for any viewer. It's an interact-on-your-terms situation.
So what is it that I am exploring?
I am exploring different abstracter sensations and emotions that I from a very young age found easiest to describe in colours and shapes more than in words.
There are quite a few elements playing into this search and some might inevitably vary from painting to painting.
So let's start with the ones that can be found in almost all of them.
No1: A sense of vitality and aliveness - this one is the most basic and also the reason why I feel most drawn to wildlife and animals in particular. I do find that there is life in Still lives as well but that's where the vitality comes in...the play of muscles underneath the skin, the breath connecting the being to everything around it, the ability to interact.
No2: Simplicity, calmness, focus and clarity - all different words for an underlying desire for elements of visual silence and clarity. This one is clearly linked to my yoga practice. All in all, my whole artistic process is a part of my spiritual practice, but these particular elements found their mirrored strands in yoga and meditation. This is also the element that I could probably talk more hours about than any of the other - which are still needed to correspond with this one though.
I have always felt nervous and uncomfortable around the hassle, noise, and rush of cities, crowds and the life society “suggested” to me - to say it mildly ^^. I felt like I was wearing clothes that didn't fit...until I realised that my life is my own and I can do with it what I want - and more
importantly I am also responsible for infusing it with a meaning not anyone else in the world could give me. Now this is a delicate point at which I have learned by trial and error that it is not about creating sense - it is about surrendering to what is already there. A forced meaning always involves strenuous “work”...a literal walk against the wind - a meaning arising from surrender has its own innate pulsing light and is filled with much more ease (not that it doesn't involve “work”, but it feels far more natural).
So the natural meaning (read essence) I feel drawn to is that feeling of calmness & simplicity full of clarity, harmony and balance. I think I could come up with quite a few more words to triangulate the sensation that I mean, but those will do for now.
Those elements give me the notion of a true “home” - a bright warm space full of authenticity and joy. And I think they do for a lot of people, such as you. :D
Now this already leads me to the elements in No3 (smooth right ;)).
No3: Gentle warmth, softness and authentic joy
These three are the character of my artwork so to say - they may change, but for this moment in time, they are what I feel most drawn to. They determine everything else - from the colours I use and the type and flow of the lines defining the subject to the lighting situations I prefer.
Then there are other varying themes that I frequently revisit, but which are more pronounced in some paintings than they are in others.
Some examples are:
Solidity and Grounding
Certain anatomical features such as the eyes
and many more....
Now why did I not state that earlier?
Because I couldn't put it into words. It's as simple as that - it takes quite a bit of self- exploration to connect something seemingly obvious like the painting of a lion to what caused it to be painted in the first place. And “because I like it for some reason” was a sort of placeholder until whatever was underneath was uncovered. :)
What can you find in the work?
Do go and explore! The various subtle reasons and concepts are my perspective my touch so to say and they don't have to do anything with what you see in my work.
If they aren't - and definitely when they are resonating with you - I would love to chat about it with you! Art is meant to connect, to transfer and spread emotion, concepts and meaning, so talking about it is right there at the top of the list. So don't hesitate to get in touch with me.