Working hard to figure out what I’m doing

So lately I have been working hard to figure my art out.

For a long time I’ve known that I have some talent as an artist in the sense that I know I am able to make things look how they are supposed to look, and I know that I have the desire and passion to continue to make art works. But I have been feeling like my art is missing that something that makes it important.

I recently read a book called art visionaries and I said my husband that I want to be make work like the people in that book. That is important and forward thinking. That people look at and it blows their mind. That they can’t stop thinking about.

Over the weekend my Dad said to me that he is so proud that I am using my talent as an artist, that he always wanted to see me use what I instinctively am able to do. Im said to him about how I feel like I know I can paint and draw well, but that I am disappointed and don’t see my work as being important or good, and that I don’t consider myself talented because I don’t see my work as being what I want it to be. For the first time in my life ever I understood the way he sees my art and why he wants me to pursue art so badly. He said to me “Even Picasso, a great modern artist, transformed his art many many times through his life before he settled on what became the important thing he had to share with the world”. This comment made me breathe a sigh of relief.

I have time.

Finally I understood, I have time.

Art is not set in stone. Just because right now I am creating this one thing, it doesn’t mean that is what I will create for the rest of my life. That it is ok to majorly overhaul your work. That people who say you have talent see what you are trying to do, and not just the technical skill you have now for making something look the way it is supposed to. God I am glad I understand. Thank god for Dad explaining this to me in this way, at this time.

So, you may have noticed that my work is changing a lot at the moment. It frustrates me that when people ask me what is your art like, right now, I can’t tell them in any way that is straight. When I tell them what I imagine my work to be, it’s just that, and imagination, because right now the work I want to create is in my head (its slowly coming out) but it is taking time to get it out – mainly because I work full time and have a child and study as well. I so wish I could dedicate the time to my art that I feel it deserves so that it can be released from me, so I can explored what is building up in me to create. And the thing with art is that even though I know what I want to create, the thing that I want to create (I know) will not be the thing that I first create. The thing that I imagine in my mind is actually an idea, a series of thoughts that I want to get down, but I need to explore the best ways to bring these ideas out of me to communicate them with the world. So I know that its not a thing of I’ll take a month off work, create the thing thats in me to create and then I’ll be happy. This will be my life work.

Anyway, I ramble.

So my work is currently in the process of transformation.

Here is what I have been working on.


So far with this one I have managed to stitch the words into the background, and cut out the ellipses ready to stick down. I am still puzzling out how I want to be sticking the ellipses down, and working on getting back to doing this one. This one is reflecting on how one of the women from my ante natal class (and a fellow img_1450artist) killed herself following post natal depression. This is something that affected me quite badly at the time, even though I wasn’t particularly close to her. It was more the situation around her death that affected me, and the fact that I found that in myself I related quite closely to her, and questioned the ability of myself to kill myself. But then this work reflects
mostly on her situation, but for me while I have been working on it I have been thinking ‘how could she do this? How could she leave her little boy like that?’ Which again raises other issues. Such a complex subject. And one that I think I will puzzle over for a while. Suicide is something that has affected my life so many times. This is the first time that someone I know personally has actually killed themselves, but I have often had similar thoughts, and when growing up there were many times I was confronted with the possibility of someone doing this to themselves but then stopping it from eventuating. So suicide and mortality is something that I find intriguing, and confusing, and troubling.

img_1474 img_1475

This is another work that I have in the pipe line. This one I am calling vessel. Its a painting of an urn. Something that we put things in, and sometimes that ends up holding ourselves. The “lid” is going to be shaped like my own face looking (hopefully) fairly statue like, cold, and unfeeling, like I’m there but not there. This is me starting to think about the way that sometimes in life I feel like I am taken a bit advantage of. Not necessarily by other people, but by life itself. By the fact of what I am created as, and the fact that I have no control over what actually happens to me. Its starting to think along the lines of of being violated. Of being unable to control things that happen to you, of being unable to control what goes inside you, and what changes you. Of feeling like you have to remain unfazed by such things.


And then there is this one. Which is the smallest portrait that I have painted, and I hate it. I really can’t paint tiny images. I’ve been so frustrated and unsatisfied with this. It doesn’t look right and for some reason I can’t get it to look right. Grrrr. Anyway, whatever, it looks alright if you don’t know the people and haven’t seen the photo its taken from.

And then this is just a happy little picture of me after a long drunken night out for our work christmas party. And we got our faces painted!!! Such a fun thing to do….


3 thoughts on “Working hard to figure out what I’m doing”

  1. It\’s so amazing that you\’re making time for your art with everything else you\’ve got going on, and so, so important! The world needs more creative people in it. Thanks so much for sharing your process. It\’s neat to see it before it\’s complete. I\’d love to see how that vessel self-portrait turns out.

  2. Thanks for commenting Amanda. You\’re right about all the things I\’ve got going on. It\’s funny for me, because being a creative isn\’t a choice. Its like breathing, I could no more choose to stop breathing than I could to stop being creative and creating things. I tried once and it wasn\’t pretty.

    Keep an eye out on my blog. I will keep updating the progress on vessel. And put the finished picture on my site.

  3. Hi Darling girl. It was great getting together with you in the weekend. It\’s not often that we get to spend time alone together, to discuss things that are really important in our lives. Remember that the only constant in life is change, and we need to acknowledge that so that we can embrace it. I will be seventy next year and I hope I can continue to work with our changing world as I have over the past 69 years. My kids and grandkids and my beautiful wife are my inspiration these days. Live life full of fun and see every new day as a gift and an adventure to embark on, and encourage wee Grace to do the same. God bless you in all the ways he can!

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About Me

I adore and practise Art and Embroidery. I blog about Art, trying to encourage open communication through the creation of Art and discussion about Art.

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Bruno Mars

Last week my girlfriend Delwyn and I flew to Auckland