Changing My Mind About Genre and Purpose in my Art
Over the last few years, my art has shifted away from painting what I think will be popular. Selling lots of prints, in lots of sizes both online and offline, I knew I could make piles of money in my sleep. What fun!
That thinking is no longer my goal for making my art. Don’t get me wrong, I love selling, it’s in my blood. It was my career for many years. But times have changed for me. Circumstances have changed too. I’ve stepped out of the rat race. Out of the business world strictly speaking.
I stopped painting for cash. Stopped picking the most popular flowers, in the most popular colors, in the sizes that sell the most.
I’ve turned inward. I’ve begun writing about what matters in my life, in my world. I care more now about my work being a form of meditation. An opportunity to ponder our place in the universe. My flowers are to me a symbol. A microcosm of the universe.
Since my art starts in the garden, I’m now seeking to translate lessons I’m learning there that inspire my work. I’m learning to write the stories, the messages, the ideas that motivate me to dedicate a painting to them. I care about what the painting will symbolize for me and perhaps for others.
Writing is helping me to find the language to express my thoughts. These thoughts are embedded into the artwork I create. Each painting is a manifestation of these ideas. I am now working towards a deeper interpretation of my work beyond just the visual.
In thinking about my art I had always labeled myself a floral or a landscape painter. My work was very realistic, the more realistic the better. I loved creating the details.
However, the work I’ve begun doing over the last few years has changed. My mediums, my style, and my thinking. For the past 30 years I’ve been a digital painter, (yes, before Apple, before Photoshop). Now I’ve returned to my roots and I’m painting again in oils. There’s no $20,000 digital system between my work and my body. I am again, up close and personal.
This change in medium, this physical closeness to my work, this reawakening has given me an opportunity to re-evaluate what it is that I’m trying to do. To say.
As my forms become more simplified, more minimal, more stylized, my thinking has gone deeper. Richer. More meaningful. So this is why I now relate less to floral painters but more to meditative, more minimalistic painters, more abstract painters. It’s not really just about the flower. The colors. The form. It’s about what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling, what I’m learning. The garden is my tutor. These are lessons we can all learn if we pay attention quietly to what’s around us. The lessons carried to us on the wind.
Love this shift. I cannot wait to see what comes forth from it!
Me too Kristen! I’m letting the paintings doing the talking now.