Saturday, 13 September 2014

Parallel Lines



There is a connection, or a parallel as I see it, between my personal style evolution and my growth as an artist.  In both areas I have experimented.  As my personal style has developed in both clothing and in painting, it sometimes takes me awhile to figure out what is wrong if I have not quite been true to myself.  Other influences might creep in and send me in an experimental direction, but there are certain things that just feel right, feel like me and this is the case both with what I chose to wear and how I chose to paint.  Dressing in a way that is not true to my personal style makes me feel like I am in a costume.  Painting in a way that is not true to my personal style makes me feel a painting isn't finished.    

In exploring clothing, it became evident that while I am attracted to earthy and softer colours they do not suit me best.  I am better in jewel tones, rich colours and with medium to high contrast.  In pale colours and low contrast I look lacklustre or washed out and I don't quite feel myself.   In my paintings I have experimented with softer colours, subtlety and small details  as well as a very colourful, vivid and expressionist way of representing things and have concluded that it is the latter that feels like a true expression of myself.  Some of the paintings I had done, which were hung around my home allowing me to observe them and ponder, were too soft and subtle but it took me awhile to pinpoint why they felt unfinished or wrong to me.
                                                                   
When it dawned on me, when I suddenly realised they needed to be more vivid and contain more contrast, that it really is my signature style to outline most of the shapes in black, to use big bold and blobby paint strokes and lots of colour,  I couldn't rest but had to get at those paintings right away.  Whether I have made them better or worse is perhaps a matter of taste and opinion but in my mind I have made them authentic and I am much happier.  It has been a similar experience to finding just what type of clothing I wish to wear, only painting  makes me happier than dressing does.  Painting, when it goes well, makes me happier than just about anything I can think of and I feel very fortunate to have discovered that.


Realism ain't my bag, baby.  And neither is photography as these are not the best photos but I may or may not get around to taking another photo.  I may be too busy painting things Bigger Bolder Faster.  When I let myself paint that way it feels true.  The more I paint that way the more I know myself.  I can stare at a painting and find flaws just as I can stare at myself in a photo or in the mirror and find flaws but I would rather just be happy with what is, learn from it and move forward.  That's why I post pictures of myself in outfits that are not the best ones, or that I have forgotten to accessorise, why I share first draft writing (which each blog entry always is) and paintings which may not be finished.  It's okay for everything to be a work in progress, to not be perfect, to be a little bit undone.  I am not in any way trying to model perfection, but the joy of trying and learning.

Perfection, well I'm not much good at that.  What I do know how to do is to keep trying, to keep going, and to learn something along the way.

14 comments:

  1. It's all amazing, Shawna! In every way amazing. I think you are absolutely on fire with your artistic self and you got something extremely extremely important, I am sooooo happy for you and I applaud you! Wishing you the same ease and fire with your writing, dear friend! (Wishing the same to myself too. :)

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    1. Thank you Natalia. You are such a supportive sweetheart. The writing is coming along too-lol. I write better when lying down in bed so that's a bit of a challenge. I'm on chapter eight of 'the novel'

      I too am wishing the same for you! Keep on creating-drawing, writing, and dressing yourself so beautifully. It's making the world a better place.
      xoxo

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  2. Ll, life is a work in progress, isn't it? So hopefully we continue learning and developing and finding out what works for us and makes us happy, whether in terms of clothes, art, or anything else that matters to us. Like Natalia, I applaud your efforts to find your own way, Shawna. You look wonderful in that bright orange-y red (or is it red-y orange?) with purple, and your paintings are bold and strong and beautiful. xxxx

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    1. LOL-it actually has red and orange in the background with some mauve in the designs, hence my choice of a mauve shirt under it. Imagine how dull life would be if we were born having it all figured out? Thanks for you kind and encouraging words.
      xoxoxoxoxo

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  3. I sure love that quote. I repinned it today! Nice to see your reworked paintings too. Canvas is great for that!

    A couple of years ago it dawned on me that a lot of the paintings on my wall, mainly my mother's soft watercolors, were just not bold enough. I took them down and added new art, some my own, some not. It feels much better now.

    As far as my wardrobe I've never worn a lot of color but I do like bold clothing if that makes sense.

    I love how you assess your own private world at home and in your closet. It gets me thinking!

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    1. It's a great quote. I try to use the words/quotes I collect on pinterest in one of my art journals. I write the words and combine them with watercolour and ink drawings or colours and designs in a little moleskin book.

      Yes, not a lot of colour but bold makes sense. I would think that to some degree bold is a personal interpretation. If it makes you feel bold it is bold clothing! I think you always look great.
      xoxo

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  4. I always love your paintings.
    I love looking at art in all different styles, but when it comes to creating my own I always find they have a touch of the cartoon about them … I can't keep it out … so I guess that means it's "my" style and I should embrace it :0)
    xx

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    1. Thank you, Jo! I appreciate the compliment. I enjoy looking at many styles too and perhaps everything we look at influences us in some way but our own style tends to want to assert itself. I love how whimsical your art is, which I suppose is what you call the touch of cartoon. I suggest embracing the whimsical!
      xoxo

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  5. I have so many styles! I think that's my style...a hodgepodge of whatever works for the situation. I can muck around, or do formal photography. I can paint realistically, or abstract expressionistically. But I think my style has a relaxed element to it, no matter what.
    I love those jewel tones together, and the style says "kasbah" to me! Just needs that lovely scarf from your bedroom mirror ;-) very arty!
    It's good to know yourself as you do, and I love your reworked paintings. But that's not the point...you love them, and that's all that matters.
    I'm not sure I can increase my colour and zest for life...it's pretty colourful and zesty as it is...I might explode!! Xo JJ

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    1. Oh we don't want you to explode! You are a very versatile artist and I definitely understand the urge to do everything. I can get a bit carried away wanting to try out different styles and different projects and forget that my time and especially my stamina is limited. Rather like what clothes I choose to wear though, or how I decorate my home, everything that I like and admire is not always what is right for me. I am learning to edit a bit, pare down a bit, despite still being a maximalist colourful lover of abundance.
      xoxo

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  6. Your paintings are lovely, I would hang them on my walls for sure. Love your outfit.

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    1. Thank you, Sue! Your vote of confidence is much appreciated.
      xoxo

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  7. You really nailed it - trying to be someone we're not feels like costume. Sometimes I like costume but I am always happy to shake them off. Same with painting. Your paintings here are beautiful. I don't see the flaws but I think they are what keeps us vivid, like your wonderful quote at the end says. Keep on having fun exploring, Shawna!

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  8. Oooh, I love the orangey over top! Gorgeous! I just love how loquacious you are when you write , I feel in good company. Your paintings are really great and I love your search for your artistic self identity. X
    Right, comment bombardment must cease, I'm off to bed... x

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