My work isn’t for everyone…and that is fine. Feeling a connection to a piece of artwork is a very personal, subjective, unique experience. We are all different. We are all unique. Because I paint from a very personal place, intuitively expressing my unique self from one moment to the next, there will only be a selection of people who will connect or identify with my work on their own personal level. I am offering my paintings to those people, to you (if you are one of those people reading).
I don't want everyone to like my work. If they did, I would be failing in my approach. I would not be achieving true authenticity. Seeking to please the masses with my art would be to take the soul out of my paintings. It would take the me out of my paintings, which would defeat my whole purpose and reason for painting in the first place.
So… I am super happy that there is a select group of individuals who will love my work because they are the people I am painting for. …and in order to paint for them, I need to truly and wholeheartedly paint for myself, from my soul, because this is where the connection lies. This is where those people can relate to my work. Each person’s connection will be unique. It may be through loving the colours, the feel, reminding them of a happy place or memory, or simply resonating at an intangible level (‘I just love it’). Whatever the reason, it gives me such joy to know that someone can feel that emotional pull to one of my paintings.
Going back to my previous blog post Why Do I paint?, I described how painting gives me emotional balance, along with an array of other feelings – excitement, joy, calm, invigoration, to name a few. Painting can have a transformative effect on my state of mind or mood. If I’m feeling down or anxious or aware of general stresses of life, I know that the act of painting (even for just half an hour) can have a soothing and emotionally restorative effect.
In terms of the finished paintings, I often feel they are like ethereal worlds with a somewhat dreamlike quality. They invite me in and I have a strong sense that if I enter, I will discover a place of abundant warmth, joy and calm, where the worries of life just float away… a beautiful escapism. How fascinating that not only does the process of painting have a positive effect on me, the worlds I create may offer this experience to the viewer as well. In essence, what the process gives to me, the painting gives back to viewer.
When offering a painting I am giving much more than the physical artwork itself, I am giving a whole collection of unique personal moments, of self-expression poured into the paint, into the marks, the textures, the movement… so that on some level those restorative and soothing qualities that I feel myself, are passed on to you within the painting. That when you have the artwork on your wall, in your own personal space, you can experience calm or joy, or something meaningful to you.
It is a beautiful thing to be able to share this connection, an emotional exchange, an understanding between two souls - in the form of a painting, from me to you.
Midnight Serenade, oil on canvas