Isn’t sky the most beautiful abstract painting ever? Whenever I can I like to go for a walk after work to look at the sunset and admire the beauty of it. As an abstract art lover I find it incredibly inspiring and kinda wish I could soak in all the colors and take them home with me. But instead I do the next best thing, I take pictures of the sky (often intentionally out of focus: to abstract the scene even more, to try and capture dominant colors in the scene etc) and then use to images as an inspiration for my paintings.
Few weeks ago, on a lazy Sunday morning, still curled up in my bed I wrote in my journal: "As I wake up I peel away my night skin made of enigmatic dreams, unfulfilled desires and longings..."
Almost every morning I fill pages of my notebook with whatever comes to mind, stream of consciousnesses style so no surprise much of my writing sounds nonsensical and I don't ever analyze or rarely even go back to it but this sentence stuck with me and in days to come I couldn't stop thinking about my "night skin" and meaning of it.
As I was going through my archives I stumbled upon an old painting called Nocturnal bloom, a dark blue and purple texture I was always very fond of. Even though it's from 2015 I can still recall exactly how it was made: I woke up feeling super restless and still in my PJs I started working on it without having a clear idea of what I was doing, in an almost trance like state. I don't usually finish my paintings in one day but I just couldn't stop working on this one. At one point I spilled a bottle of purple ink all over myself but that didn't prevent me from continuing to work on the painting. I made it in about 6 hours time which is super fast for me but somehow it worked, it made sense to me in all of its abstract, dark glory.
Looking at this old painting now and with its "nocturnal" title in mind I thought to myself I must have made it while still having my "night skin" on since I could feel an echo of "enigmatic dreams and unfulfilled longings" coming through it.
It made me realize that I made most of my best or favorite work from the same point of view, or better said while being in the same mode of operating, from the same, particular space: dark (but not in a sense of negative or destructive), enigmatic, mysterious, untamed, filled with desire and nocturnal in nature. In other words I make my best work while having my "night skin" on.
While pondering that I took some long exposure self portraits and other photos as well.
One of the most recent paintings I did that remind me of Nocturnal bloom is Metaphors of love and it's the last painting I also recorded myself making. I really want to shoot more work-in-progress videos but can't bring myself to do it, it's very hard for me to both paint and record the process, multitasking just ruins my flow unless I somehow manage to convince myself that recording is just as part of creative process as painting itself. In that case I approach painting as an act of performance captured on camera but since I'm not fond of performing I don't succeed in puling it off very often.
Currently I've been slowly but surely working on expanding The house of indefinable pleasures series and this little piece called Beloved is the latest addition to it. After years of predominately creating images in portrait orientation I decided to rotate my images which might not seem like an important thing to do but even such small change made me more inspired. I've been also doodling a lot just for practice and fun, drawing eyes or little stars.
Speaking of stars, I was very happy when I finally painted "a star of my own". Few months ago while finishing my mega project I was also struggling with finishing the series Enter the underworld. The series begins with an image of an eclipse and I knew the final image should somehow relate to it but I just had no idea what would it be. Eclipse was made on 21.03 2015. (during an actual eclipse) and it took me almost 3 years working on the series to come up with A star of your own painting that made me finally feel like the whole series is done.
I also felt I needed to make another painting that somehow relates to another image from 2015, White flame so when I made A vein of gold I knew the series was complete and it brought me a sense of relif and joy :)
I've been still making paintings inspired by music on the blog I actually update regularly (unlike this one oooops) and you can go there if you like to see those images or just scroll down to see some of my personal favorites inspired by song recommendations.
A couple of weeks ago I’ve finished the art project I’ve been working on for the past 4 years, project started in January 2014 with a goal of making 1000 ink paintings and drawings. Working on this project I always thought that when I finally create those 1000 images I’d feel exhausted, empty or even bored with with the repetitiveness of my own work but instead, to my surprise, I’ve felt very satisfied, energized and still very inspired to keep on making art.
The main reason why I even produced this big body of work over past few years is inspiration, I’ve simply felt inspired to do it, to do it for the love of making art, working with color and pattern, out of the need to develop my own style, to get to know myself as a person, to let my vision unravel...
Although pretty challenging at times this process was incredibly rewarding and it made me absolutely fall in love with working with colored ink creating small pieces on paper. It is generally believed that artists create small pieces on paper out of convenience (if, for example, they don't have a big studio space to work in or can't afford to buy many large canvases) but I genuinely adore working on paper and would, no matter the resources available, always rather make smaller works of art, they feel more intimate and satisfying to create.
Even though I've just finished a huuuuge project I'm feeling very full, almost overflowing with inspiration so I'll just continue this beautiful relationship with ink and paper and color and pattern and see where it takes me next. I would also love, as I've mentioned in previous post, to find time in near future to write down some things I've learned while working on this project and I would love to slightly redesign this website as well. It should all be challenging but fun to work on!
Recently I've updated my portfolio with new series of paintings called The House of Indefinable Pleasures. I've started working on this series back in January and the title is a reference to Goethe's Theory of Colors:
People experience a delight in color, generally. The eye requires it as much as it requires light. We have only to remember the refreshing sensation we experience, if on a cloudy day the sun illumines a single portion of a scene before us and displays its colors. That healing powers were ascribed to colored gems, may have arisen from the experience of this indefinable pleasure.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Theory of Colors
However, this series was originally inspired by Prince (wait what?! what do Goethe and Prince have in common?!). At the beginning of 2017. as I was listening to Prince I I couldn't help but think how his music was so incredibly positive, uplifting, sensual and sexy. Even if we put aside erotic lyrics his music by itself still sounds sooooo sexy and it made me wonder if it would be possible for me to make "sexy" abstract art, or is an idea of erotic abstract art an oxymoron? I mean, is it possible to express something very sensual and sexy by just using color and abstract patterns? At the same time I was reading some of Wilhelm Reich's work and also started to wonder if I could "paint an orgasm" or somehow express an energy of orgasm through abstract painting. Parallel to all that I got back into reading a lot about color theory, cultural significance of color and I even developed an interest in material history of color (seriously, even if you're not a color nerd like me, material history of blue is super interesting, I mean, how can blue be one of our primary colors when it's so rare to find blue pigments in nature etc etc) and in the process of that I re-read Goethe's Theory of Colors. It made me think of pure (and yes, somehow indefinable) pleasure we get from observing colors and the whole story of expressing pleasure through colorful abstract art came together. Slowly the foundations of The House of Indefinable Pleasures were built and I plan to continue to work on the series.
I've been also working on art inspired by songs recommended by others on tumblr. Recently I've uploaded all the music inspired paintings into a special album on flickr under Creative Commons license so they can be freely downloaded (and you can print or use them in your art projects etc).
Some of the paintings inspired by songs made during last month or so (you can see more on my tumblr):
Let's all have a wonderful, creative week :)
Last weekend I finished filling another sketchbook/art journal with drawings and paintings. Since I love to listen to other artists talk about inspiration behind their work and share their thought process I decided to share some of my ideas behind my art as well. You can hear me talk about inspiration for art in a video above or scroll down to get a better look at pages of my sketchbook.