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Creative genius… is both more primitive and more cultured, more destructive and more constructive, occasionally crazier and yet adamantly saner than the average person.
-Frank Barron

Did you know that this entire blog has always been about painting? The thing I’m most driven to explore, yet is also the most difficult for me. I’ve often pondered the concept of “path of least resistance”. Some say it’s what you should always aim for, not out of laziness but to find the way around things that achieves the most in the shortest time or with least effort, that’s when you’ve hit the sweet spot, “your thing”. Where you are meant to be. Others claim Resistance is the sign you are on the right track, that you need to push against it to get to something deeper, more meaningful. Resistance as fear of success. If it wasn’t important, you wouldn’t be afraid of it.

I’d like to transform the latter into the former. Too easy and I just end up getting bored and finding a new passion so I can feel the rush of learning all over again. Too much resistance and I just procrastinate (possibly by finding a new thing to learn).

The spinning, dyeing etc. were all steps to noodle my way into painting, and they did work brilliantly for opening the door. My brain was fried for a while and had lost all sparks of creativity, but doing things with my hands instead of a computer screen, working with colour in different ways, learning something that I didn’t care if I did imperfectly, all opened up the floodgates and now ideas never stop coming. What took me longer to find was my courage. Painting is the one creative thing where I can’t just accept whatever comes out. I play and slosh, certainly, but there comes a point with any canvas where I’m stuck because I want the result to be excellent. And I don’t trust my ability to match my taste. Slubby yarn, that’s just fine. Wonky paper people? What fun! But my paintings “must” show “talent”. As soon as that thought enters, everything I make is garbage. I know it, yet I persist in this pattern. So odd.

My most stubborn case was figurative work, to the point where I initially decided I didn’t want to do it. Both because I hate repetition, and to become good at drawing you need to complete “exercises” umpteen times, and I prefer to just jump in and wing it. But also because I didn’t really believe it would work, that I could master it. Abstractify things and nobody can accuse your work of not being realistic enough! Excuses, excuses. Because honestly, I’d love for my paintings to have a story, not just be empty landscapey colour doodles.

So I’m not ready to give up on it, although I could easily fill up my time with other creativities. It might even seem like the smartest and healthiest thing to do, cull my herd of fascinations so to speak, to FOCUS. Nope, every time I do, a new shiny, irresistible thing pops up instead. Not helpful. I’s why I’ve been testing out not socializing online instead, to give my creator mindset more space.

I’m such a big advocate for normalizing imperfection, so it’s curious why I get paralyzed with thinking that bad art (and thus, wasting expensive art supplies) is a disaster. Funny thing is, I don’t even WANT to paint super-realism, just some kind of interesting, recognisable, scruffy motif blending in with the expressive style.

There’s been some progress though, and I hope it will all improve further now that I’m no longer sick 2 out of 3 weeks and actually remember what project I was working on last time I visited the studio.

Anyway, I did make some paintings in the last few years in between migraines. (which also seem to have stopped, finally, so thrilled about that!! Fertility is way overrated). So to mark a new starting point, here’s a tiny compilation of oldies for those of you not in the IG loop.

Another time I may share my forays into the world of portrait painting. Doesn’t get more figurative than that!