Monday, April 30, 2012

Finding my Voice

Pastel on Black
Acrylics, pastel, markers, pens, color blocks, simple lines, abstract, art deco, painterly, graphical. Which way do I work? What do I want to do? Do I want to paint or draw, free form or delineated shapes? Lines or blobs, loose or structured?

The walls of my studio are crowded with the many and varied images I have created since I started to paint in acrylics this fall. There are  abstract faces, flows and stripes of vivid color, wild bright flowers,  mysterious forests, lovely girls in pretty dresses, symmetrical patterns and subtle geometrics. I also see drawings, pastels, line images and complicated symmetrical patterns.

What I can not yet see is a theme ... what DO I paint? What is my style? What do I want to say? Will I learn to say it? Will others want to see it? Will I feel good enough about my work to show it?

Classes help - every week another artist to study and think about, another technique or concept to consider and incorporate. Every class brings another artist to fall in love with, a new idea to marvel at or a color that compels me. Every class makes me  think, THIS is the way I want to work, and every week I realize how much I do not know, how much I can not do, and how much I want to learn.
Lately though, I am beginning to see some growth - an idea from one painting, a color combination, a technique I have learned, a style I particularly enjoy carrying over into my new work and shaping my choices. Last night I dreamed of bold sweeping lines, inspired by work I see in my classes, yet when I set out to work today, the image that I suddenly decided to draw was not lines at all, but loose, bright colored shapes - lights and darks, and not a painting, but a pastel. So, here it is, pastel on black paper, small and  square.

I am happy for today - the results are vibrant, the process was fun - and these are definitely MY colors, and those lines that have been so compelling to me lately? They are here too.  Is this a step to finding my own voice?