Why my art style is changing
No one simply wakes up one morning and steers their art practice onto a new direction, do they?
My main interest, until recently, had been that of pursuing greater excellence in the narrative representational style of my previous exhibitions in New Zealand.
Click above to see the works from my three main exhibitions
Where I diverged
I suspect my divergence is a process whose genesis may have been the unexpected death of my brother, Sam, who was only a year older than me. I felt the best way to honour his life, including the great tragedies he suffered, was to embrace, with more gusto, the gift that is my own life. I resolved to forge a better one for myself whilst encouraging others to do likewise.
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.
As the pressure of running the business mounted, I found myself playing with Inktense in the evenings. I opted to use archival paper rather than contend with the mess of creating handmade rabbit skin gesso, as I had done for ‘Out of Hand’. The series, Minutiae, was renamed ‘Wabi Sabi‘, when the rips left by removing masking fluid were embellished, with gold paint. Then came ‘7 Days’. It sold immediately.
‘Rhema Meditation’ emerged from a time of prayer and deep thought, followed by the boundary-free period of making ‘Rollercoaster I and II’. Next I embarked on ‘Can Red Come Out to Play?’, which was more structured than the earlier pieces.
Prayer and Meditation followed by Play
Click the squares to see works from the series
closing my business
After the close of my beloved business, the discipline of creating within the confines of circles, squares and triangles comforted me as I made ‘Can Blue Come Out to Play’.
Click the squares to see works from my Challenge
Journey to Nelson
On a journey last year to Nelson to attend Majesty, which was a faith-based workshop-weekend of contemporary artists, I learned more about working in abstract from Amanda Watson.
Back in Southland, I finished the two cloudscapes from the viewpoint of More’s Reserve, and created two from the Dunedin region. All of these works, abstract and landscape, came with me to the 2021 Dunedin Art Show. Abstract paper works sold. I was thrilled to show my two Rehab sculptures, one 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” after I shifted my art studio out of the lounge and into a former bedroom.
Persistence is and being uncomfortable
My conclusion is this: persistence in actively exploring “something different” over a course of four years led to a collective abstract body of small works.
My chosen response to new, usually uncomfortable experiences was to create something totally unexpected. I found that this relieved me of anxiety-inducing expectations. I’m learning to embrace the unknown by pursuing the unknown aspect of abstraction for this season of my life. This is why my art style is changing.
Now I boldly march forward into a season of remodelling and repairing my older home. Like a lot life, the opportunity to do this erupted suddenly 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.
How have you shifted gears in your arts practice. I’d love to hear your stories on this in the comments.