Updated: Oct 5, 2022
A snapshot of work space paint remnants
Taking the Find Your Joy course by Louise Fletcher was one of the best decisions I ever made in my journey as an artist. Why? The focus of this course was not about how to paint abstracts and create beautiful paintings. Instead, the course set us off with the tools and strategies to figure out the ways we want to approach creativity, which was possible only through experimentation and exploration. Prior to this course, my attitude towards making a painting was quite different. I would start with an intuitive idea and focus on one painting at a time. I liked experimenting with materials and media, letting my intuition lead me, and I figured things out along the way. But, my intention has always been how can I make this a good painting? I considered playing a waste of time. So, I invariably went straight to painting on my board as soon as an idea emerged. I certainly had fun but it had its repercussions. I struggled to create a cohesive body of work, and found painting large quite challenging. I became bored quicker, and looked for alternatives to keep my curiosity and inspiration alive.
The thought that I am not good enough hindered my creativity. This course changed that thinking.
One of my big revelations was the shift from my thought I am not good enough to I am good enough, worthy, and valuable. How did this happen? One of the pre-course introductory exercises was to examine older works, notice, analyze, print and stick them in a sketchbook journal; and, make notes of what we loved about them, the whole painting or just parts.
A few pages from my first Sketchbook Journal
I decided to dive into this exercise. I chose my favorite works that brought me joy since my first decoupage art class, printed them in 4x4s, stuck them in a sketchbook journal (which I never had before), and made notes about what resonated with me. It was well-worth my time. I was surprised to notice that several paintings intrigued my interest and I felt connected even though they varied in style and subject matter. I experienced a moment of self-assurance and acceptance as I flipped through the pages, and I realized they are a witness of where I am today. It helped me identify the common thread between my artworks over the past years; I enjoyed working from intuition and imagination.
I am aware that the thought I am not good enough will try to do its faithful job by creeping into me. Now, I know how to quiet her down and not let her take over me. I have a few years worth of proof to show her that I have evolved slowly but steadily as an artist☺️
Sketchbook journaling has become a part of my creative lifestyle, and they feed my curiosity with sparks of excitement.
I had one more eureka moment! Early this year, it came to my recognition that the truth of my story lies in my mandalas. However, the emotions and the energy that I experience while painting a mandala came through only as a symbol of ornament of beauty, color, and symmetry. I could not figure out how to express those feelings and emotions visually in my paintings. I discovered to combat that struggle from this course!
This is a snapshot of one my exploration exercises. It developed into something more, which I will be sharing shortly.
Painting a mandala gives me solace and momentary peace. Through explorative exercises with no thinking or intention in mind, I was able to identify the strands of truth that drove me to such a place. I began to ask myself the ways in which I would want to express the ebb and flow, the yin and yang, or the push and pull between the internal and the external realm that I experience in my life. For instance, how would I juxtapose the busyness and chaos we experience with creating time to soak in calm and peace. This was the fizz of excitement that I was looking for in my work.
I am learning to stay away from the fear of making mistakes, feeling precious and attached. It's not easy for me, but I will get better with practice. I am accepting the idea of something leading to the next thing -- another idea, or a variation of the thread to follow. I am intrigued to dive deep and uncover how working from intuition with intention emerge through creative play and imagination.
I am on a mission to refine my artist voice, develop my visual language by capturing my emotions, and see where it takes me. More about my exploratory exercises in my next blog, Play:)
Thank you for your time!
Peace & Namaste!