It seems like an easy thing to paint what you think people will want to buy, and it can actually work for quite a while. It did for me. But eventually I got to the point where I couldn't paint that way anymore.
When life hands you certain lessons, more than once, they become impossible to avoid and the old ways get really uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that a new way must be found and the inner voice must be acknowledged. So it has been in my life, and in my painting.
I have finally started to paint from my heart, from true self, from real feeling. From the gut. An incredibly vulnerable place to be, but also wildly freeing. That's why the abstractions have shown up, and the representational pieces have become far more personal.
The painting process has changed too. It is so much more enjoyable now, as if that was possible! But it is really effortless, and next steps come freely and naturally. There is far less agonizing and wondering. And much more confidence.
I have wondered though how it would all translate for the people who follow my art, and ultimately how it would change my career. Despite how much these new directions have brought me personal joy, the nagging thought about what would sell is never far off. However much an artist would like to be free of those considerations, unless she is blessed with a benefactor, the consideration is always there.
As it turns out, when I paint from the inner core, the work speaks even more strongly to others as well. The painting above, "Seasons", came from where I really was. It came from a place of thankfulness, forgiveness, and fond memories. I actually thought it might be too personal, and no one but myself would connect with it. How wrong I was. On social media it has received more response than any other piece. And a British artist I am connected with had this to say about it...
".....to me the painting has conveyed a sense of peace and calm, and also intimacy. Its really good - I like it a lot."
He affirmed that everything I was trying to put down on the paper actually did get there. I realized I had let go of enough of what should be, and was able to put down what was meant to be. As it turns out, when my heart showed up, so did everyone else's.
My hope is that I can continue this way with my painting, to continue to journal, and journey, with pictures. Hopefully it continues to connect with enough people so that can happen.
I trust that it will....