Why my art style is changing

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.

Why My Art Style Is Changing - Lauren And Paul
The 'lauren and paul' work

Business Pressure

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

‘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.

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’. 

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

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.

7 Days
7 days

Unframed works from Can Blue Come Out to Play, and Primal Play

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.

Your Turn

How have you shifted gears in your arts practice.  I’d love to hear your stories on this in the comments.

I’d really appreciate it if you’d go down to the bottom of this post and sign up for my newsletter, which is occasionally sent out to when I create new works, new videos and new posts


4 thoughts on “Why my art style is changing”

  1. Thіs is my first time pay a visit at here and i am genuinelʏ happy to
    read all at single plaсe.

    1. Beverly Claridge

      Thank you, G, for your comment. If you have come here from Instagram or Facebook, include your user name for either platform to enter for a chance to win one of my artworks from my Challenge series. Details are on FB and IG posts.

  2. Hi Beverly!! Interesting to read the journey into abstract. Love the colours and happy to hear you’re really enjoying it.
    When I try sign up for the newsletter below, it does weird things with capitalisation in my email address then won’t send, something to check?

    1. Beverly Claridge

      Thanks, Anna, for your comment. That’s one of the reasons I’m running this contest. Hopefully, I can find out anything going amiss on my website. Kind regards,

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