Choosing a New Path hero

Why my art style is changing

My art style is changing. Does one simply wake up one morning and steer their art practice in a new direction?  I know I didn’t. 

My main interest, until recently, had been that of pursuing greater excellence in the narrative representational style of my previous exhibitions in New Zealand.

My Exhibition and Narrative Works

Where I diverged

I suspect my divergence from the familiar may have been precipitated by the unexpected death of my brother, Sam, who was only a year older than me. The best way to honour his life and the many tragedies he suffered, I believe, was to embrace the gift that is my own life.  I would forge a better life myself and encourage others to pursue one, too.

Saturday Morning FB Live

Soon I embarked on an almost year long Saturday morning Facebook Live video series, upstairs in the gallery of my business, creating the ‘Lauren and Paul’ work. I aimed to create a work redolent of important passions and interests of the couple, whilst creating a surrealistic painting. I loved the results and the FB Live experience was enlightening.

Business Pressure

As the pressure of running the business mounted, I played more with Inktense in the evenings.  I used archival paper rather than contend with the mess of creating handmade rabbit skin gesso I’d used for ‘Out of Hand’. The series, Minutiae, renamed ‘Wabi Sabi‘, were embellished with gold where I ripped the surface when removing making fluid. Then came ‘7 Days’. It sold immediately.

Prayer and Meditation followed by Play

‘Rhema Meditation’ emerged from prayer and deep thought, followed by the boundary-free period of making  ‘Rollercoaster I and II’. Next came  ‘Can Red Come Out to Play?’, which was more structured than the earlier pieces.

Closing my business

After the close of my beloved business, I found the discipline of creating within the confines of circles, squares and triangles of ‘Can Blue Come Out to Play’ comforting.

Next, I arose to the 22 day challenge of daily paintings of ‘Southland Skies’, the ‘Dansey’s Pass’, and ‘Grebe Valley’ works where I worked semi-abstractly using impasto techniques.

Click the squares to see works from my 20 day Challenge

Journey to Nelson

Then I journeyed to  Nelson to attend Majesty,  a faith-based workshop-weekend of contemporary artists and learned about working in abstract from Amanda Watson.

Back in Southland, I finished the two cloudscapes from the viewpoint at More’s Reserve, and created two from the North Otago region.  These works, abstract and landscape, were displayed in the 2021 Dunedin Art Show. Abstract paper works sold.

Of my two Rahab sculptures, one was in the 2021 ILT Art Awards; the other at the Queenstown Recycle to Upcycle show.

Early this year I had a blast making “In the Pink”.  It was a set made in celebration of shifting my art studio out of the lounge and into a former bedroom. You can read about it by clicking here.

Persistence in being uncomfortable

My conclusion is this: persistently exploring “something different” over a course of four years produced a collective body of small abstract works. 

I chose to respond to extrordinarily uncomfortable experiences by creating something unexpected. Surprisingly, this relieved me of anxiety-inducing expectations. I embraced the unknown by pursuing the unknown.

This is why my art style is changing.

I boldly march into a season of remodelling and repairing my older home. As opportunities often do, this one sprang up when my builder became available now rather than next spring.

Four new works have begun since the construction began. I can’t wait to show you my new home and my new studio works.

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