One chapter of my life ended and another one hasn’t yet begun and wheneverI find myself in such transitional periods I tend to journal A LOT. In lately I’ve been scanning some of the doodles and words from my journals and coloring them digitally so I thought I’d share some of those as well as my messy, abstract art journal.
I remember images I haven’t created yet, recall paintings yet to be painted and feel nostalgic about photos I am yet to take.
In a world of images concept of time doesn’t exist, past, present and future are all blended into one and can be accessed by allowing yourself to experience them as raw emotions, sometimes “positive”: joy, bliss, ecstasy… and sometimes “negative”: sadness, longing, fear, etc.
Last year I listened to an interview with writer Colm Tóibín about “the important function of a novel’s first sentence as a catalyst for the rest of the book” and as it resonated with me I would think about it every now and then.
I’m not a writer but many times a sudden and spontaneous occurrence of a single image in my mind, an intense feeling rising in my body, a spark of a curious idea or even a single sentence would move me to create an entire art project.
Few weeks ago I realized I have fallen into a routine with my painting and needed to do something about it so I took a break to get some rest and then to try to make new, exciting paintings. While short rest period certainly helped to get an energy boost and find joy in painting again I couldn’t make a desired breakthrough.
Forcing creative breakthroughs is never a good idea so instead of working on art, one late afternoon I went for a long walk exploring the part of my neighborhood I don’t know well. I walked along a narrow street parallel to the train tracks. As the trains went by the sound of passing wagons put me in a strange mood, evoking nostalgia about my early childhood and also made me think of distant trains in de Chirico’s metaphysical paintings. I kept wondering could a symbol of a train be an universal symbol of nostalgia and longing (at least for modern humans). My thought process was interrupted by arriving to the end of the road and seeing a wide meadow with a view of open sky and mountains in the distance.
The sun was about to set and sky was colored with every tone of blue imaginable mixed with occasional strokes of deep oranges and pinks and stained with patches of dark grey clouds. The beautiful scene got me thinking: “What do we look at when we look at a gorgeous sunset or a sunrise?”
We are actually looking at colors, free of form, floating on an endless canvas of sky. And this experience of color free of form, this impression of boundless beauty moves us, elates us, inspires us, it often brings up very deep sense of awe and admiration for the the world that surrounds us and enhances our connection to it, connection to the nature and all that is.
This effect of directly experiencing colors free of form is apparent in the art world as well, for example in Rothko’s work. If you look at one of his classical “color field” canvases for long enough you might have a similar emotional experience as if you were gazing at the sky during a beautiful sunset.
As I was contemplating colors and Rothko and still in a strange nostalgic mood and enjoying a fascinating sunset an unusual sentence entered my mind “I remember images I haven’t created yet.” and was followed by another thought: “I recall paintings yet to be painted and feel nostalgic about photos I am yet to take.”
What was that? I’m not sure but those simple sentences possessed me and I could feel their potential, the potential of starting a brand new art project. I could, for a split second, indeed remember images and photographs I haven’t taken yet but I will in near future and could feel their energy and mood.
If you asked me to describe those images in detail, I couldn’t, but I can still feel them and can sense they will somehow deal with nostalgia and longing and exploration of colors, perhaps colors free of form.
So, this spring that’s the direction I want to take, live with this somewhat absurd idea of remembering the images that I am yet to create and building another series of pictures around it. Let’s see what happens next.
Without any additional explanations, I'd just like to share some of the art I've made this month, some paintings, some doodles, some pages from my sketchbook, some ideas and thoughts... a bit of everything :)
Hello, hello, my dear old perpetually neglected blog-space, it's been almost a month since the last time I updated you and I thought it would be nice for us to spend some time together on this warm Sunday afternoon so I can let you know what I've been up to last few weeks.
In early March weather got nicer and as I could feel springtime in the air I thought it would be a good time to pick up photography again. I started going for long walks in a park and local woods accompanied with my camera and also took pics of grass and budding branches and cute little flowers. Somehow an idea of getting back into self-portraiture emerged, I don't know where it came from, maybe it was beautiful weather , maybe I was feeling nostalgic for like 2008 flickr experience when I had so much fun taking mediocre photos and sharing them online enthusiastically. Oh, well, for some reason I though it would be fun to go into the woods lugging my equipment and take some causal selfies but it turns out I'm probably too old for that kind of action: lugging around heavy camera and chunky tripod and then sitting on wet ground next to empty plastic beer bottles and half-buried animal skulls (did I venture into illegal pet cemetery?) didn't do much for me.
However I don't give up that easily and I gave self-portraiture another chance when I crawled into an emptied out book shelf under a random hand written sign trying to look all dramatic and emotional and what not (VERY 2008 flickr style) and then I definitely realized I am too fucking old for cramming myself into a semi-functional piece of furniture for the sake of a mediocre photo. But, hey at least I'm not too old to still do silly things and to laugh at myself for doing them.
Finally I gave up on photography which allowed for more time, space and energy to do what I really wanna do and that is to paint. But, hey before I move into sharing some paintings I've finished recently here is a photo of pretty flowers! Yay for flowers!
Last September I started working on some ink sketches that I finally got to finish as a warm up for something bigger, it was a fun and easy exercise. The day I was playing around with them light at my work space was sooooo beautiful and I had to document it.
This past month I also played around with tiny collage experiments and with adding some stiches to simple paintings again, just for fun.
...and here are some actual paintings I made for my ongoing Ink Flower Garden project:
Also, I'm still "painting songs" over on my tumblr (people send me their song recommendation and then I respond to them by creating a painting inspired by the suggested song done in my abstract style) and next two paintings are inspired by tumblr musical suggestions as well (first one by Foster the People - The Truth and second one by Tame Impala - Feels Like We Only Go Backwards). I got quite a few song recommendations in my tumblr ask and will slowly respond to them all (hope so).
Since I started this post with Flavor of your pleasure painting I will end it with a short video clip of me finishing it:
Over the last couple of weeks I've been keeping myself busy practicing embroidery on paper, adding stitches to inked paper and filling pages of my art journal with simple designs, playing around with both thread and paper cut outs to create minimalist collages. It's been a fun practice and also a nice break from doing bigger paintings that require more effort, energy and emotinaol input.
Oh, hey, here's my art journal and some designs that hide inside its pages:
This piece was started back in January but I couldn't bring myself to finish it until today when I decided to use it to practice my stitching and just add simple patterns to it. You can also see short video clip of how ink texture was made below (I didn't film me doing emroiderery since that is pretty awkward :))
I like to make stuff, so let me show you some of the latest stuff I made. Few days ago I had some free time but not enough energy to work on paintings so I made a simple and fun art journal about night sky. You can get a better look of it in my latest youtube upload in which I also ramble on about idea behind it. And I made a planet! A real planet! (No, not really, I made a round painting) that you can see in the video as well or scroll down, down, down to see it pictured :)
I've finished another set of small paintings with text added to them (still using my art as a journal :)) You can read the text below:
My comfort zone is midnight blue. I am not afraid of dark, silence or loneliness. I am a nocturnal animal, my eyes are perfectly adapted to darkness. I stand at the very edge of the void, forever looking in. Always dwelling in the shadow, under the surface, withdrawn but carefully observing.
My comfort zone is reading your mind and seeing through your masks but seldom judging. I find my safe space in pondering life and death and sometimes allowing my mind to become too morbid, too deep, too dark, too serious.
My comfort zone is being raw and failing to learn how to be a well adjusted woman, not wanting marriage, not being interested in motherhood. I let myself to be problematic and indulge in being defiant and subverting your expectations of what a proper woman should be.
My comfort zone is being stupidly, recklessly fearless. Tearing myself down just so I can build myself up again. I'm too familiar with swinging from one extreme to another and sometimes barely surviving.
But when I move to the edge of my comfort zone I find love. It challenges me to surrender, to let go, to become tender and soft, vulnerable and warm. Occasionally I permit myself to sit still, breathe in, breathe out, feel the love permeating my being, feeling it in my blood, in my bones and eventually in every cell of my body.
I feel it all but remain suspicious, skeptical and reserved. Love invites me to surrender but how can I possibly let go? Just the notion makes me scared, makes me feel powerless. But I persist and keep on breathing, breathe in, breathe out. Let fears melt away slowly one breath at the time and maybe one day I'll let love transform me, push me outside of my comfort zone.
So, I've started this new thing of incorporating texts into my paintings and basically using them as an art journal, writing down my thoughts, ideas and such. I'm allowing the words to mix and merge with other patterns and elements of painting so they are not really legible. But in case you're curious what it says on the image here is the text:
He wore black on black.
Black on black never as a fashion statement. Black on black but never a minimalist. Black on black but not emo.
Black on black but not as a shield, not for protection. Black on black as a source of personal power, as owning his messy, complex, raw self. Black on black as raw power focused and channeled into something constructive.
Black on black as there are no other options. Black on black as Lilith, dark side of the Moon and owning his rage. Black on black as self-mastery.
Black as black ink, incaustum nigrum. Black on black as being fiercely independent. Black on black as being to Hell and back several times and surviving. Black on black as being his own savior.