Thursday, 27 February 2014

Accepting Who I Am: A Journey with Paint

I have high standards for myself.  I have an imaginary self too.  If I could wave a magic wand and design who I would want to be, there would be some changes made.  I have been that way my whole life, but one of the things I am better at now that I'm older, is to see what I like about the things I cannot change and to allow the things I can change to be a process and not expect instant progress.  Learning to appreciate the NOW has been one of the biggest challenges in my life but I get better at it all the time and living with a chronic illness has perhaps been one of the best teachers.

On my middling days, when a larger painting would be too draining, I can dabble in a journal and it still feeds my hunger for creativity.  In my art journals I will work on many pages at a time, sometimes flipping back and forth, sometimes leaving something and going back to it later with some sudden inspiration about what it needs.






Art is one of my favourite ways to challenge myself to accept the real me.  My art has changed and evolved and I began painting what I thought I should paint.  It took me awhile to find out what I wanted to paint and the strategy that got me there was painting big and fast as I mentioned in my last post.  I started that strategy with tempera paint and paper as it was relatively inexpensive and was okay to  just toss out work after awhile.  I still like tempera, gouache and water colours and still work with them, but have added canvas and acrylic paints to my repertoire.

One of the features that stands out to me in my art is that it is very feminine.  I favour circles, organic shapes, and flowers.  My flowers are nearly always pink or red and I love poppies or roses for their blowsy shapes.  There is a sense of spring and of sunshine.  I'm sure my previous days as a gardener are involved here.  Spring was my favourite time as I anticipated all the new growth and eagerly spent hours outside after a long wet non-gardening winter.  The colours, shapes and themes I chose when I allow myself to paint fast and free, are the ones that make me happy and the ones that feel true to me.  I still enjoy painting something outside of my comfort zone, something that requires more thought and planning.  Sometimes a painting sits unfinished on my easel for a long time while I wait for the inspiration to tell me what it needs next.  I usually have several projects going on at once because most are in a state of being unfinished.

The images below are paintings I have kept and not painted over.  They are the ones that feel the most authentically  me and I can see that in them.  I instinctively want to apologise for their being so feminine.  But I shut my mouth.  I  know that isn't what I should do but it's still a journey.



9 comments:

  1. WOW! Shawna, your art is stunning.

    I scrapbook and that is the art that I create. When I was at school we were led to believe that you were only creative if you did art e.g. paint or draw however as I get older I now believe that I am an artist through my scrapbooking.

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    1. Thank you Lynn, you are far too good for my ego. There are so many ways to be creative and it is something I think all human beings benefit from. If you are making something, you are creating. When I was a gardener it was very much about creating for me. I was painting a landscape in plants. I think we bring who we are to our acts of creating. Scrapbooking looks like lots of fun and perhaps you will inspire me to try it some day. Ever since switching to a digital camera I almost never get my photos printed. There is a blog called A beautiful Mess. One of the girls there makes something that is a sort of cross between a scrapbook and a photo journal. I was very inspired by that too.

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  2. gorgeous shawna! gorgeous!!!!!!
    love this huge red and pink flowers! keep on - one paints sunflowers and one poppies and roses.......
    :-)

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    1. Thank you for all the sweet things you say! I am pretty sure I cannot stop. There are poppies and roses to be painted and I must do it! LOL

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  3. Thanks for showing us more of your art, Shawna. I love the colours you use and you have a great style

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    1. Thank you, Northern Mum, for visiting and leaving a nice comment. It makes my day! Have a lovely weekend.

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  4. Your paintings may be feminine in some ways, Shawna, but so what? If that's what you love and want to express, there is no need for apology at all. The images are soft, yes, but they are bold and have strong colours. They're beautiful. xxx

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    1. Damn and blast all that femininity I just can't keep it down but I've spent much time trying. Now I might have to start wearing pink!

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  5. I love your art! The colors are amazing, the shapes are so graphic!
    I so agree with you. Everything is art. Cooking is art. Gardening is art. Home decorating is art. Writing is art. Raising a child is art. Blogging is art.
    Or it can be. Art is not the subject - it is how we do things.
    Life is art. It is the ultimate form of art to me.

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