Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A First...

This .... is my first painting on canvas!

I've been thinking about taking this step for about 6 months. One day at work, a communique went around that a senior executive was looking for one or more artworks to decorate her office with. Did we paint? Or know anyone that paints? Well, I paint! But only in art journals, and that isn't the kind of thing you can hang on a wall. If I ever want to share my art with others, then it has to come out of the journal and onto something displayable. "What???" the voice in my head says, "share it with others? Are you crazy! The first time anyone criticises it, you'll be completely crushed and crawl back into your hole and never create again!"

Enough of that, voice!

In the end the painting came about because of the fortuitous convergence of my Mum's 60th birthday, and a 50% off sale on canvases at Riot Art & Craft stores. I wanted to make something special for my Mum, and seeing the sale in my email gave me the idea to do it. I tried to choose colours that she would like, and they're colours I like too, so the painting is actually very similar to what I create in my art journals (except I actually finished it!). There's luscious colour, patterns, mark-making and collage bits. And -- the bit that's been missing from my art journal pages -- there are a couple of my creatures. I dreamed of them once, they've been appearing in my sketches for a while, and now they appear here. This particular painting shows two, emerging from a hole in the ground. Are they mother and daughter? Probably. Are they me and my Mum? Possibly. Is the 'hole' a womb, or an emergence from the 'Stuff' we both struggle with in our lives? Who knows?

I made the two figures the same size because we are both adults now: sometimes she leads me, and other times I lead her. Or they might not be us at all. I deliberately made it ambiguous. The only sure thing is that they are moving up towards the rainbow-coloured light above the canopy of the forest.

When I gave Mum the painting she said, "Wow! You've come a long way!" Later, when we were saying good bye, she said, "thanks for my painting!" I did notice however, that she didn't actually say she liked it. I had a slight crisis of confidence, thinking that if even my own mum doesn't like my art, then who will??! Thankfully it passed fairly quickly with the help of some sketching in my journals, and I'm ready to try another one.

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