What I have learnt from art is jumping higher every time the obstacle comes my way. It is like building resilience in personal life, boosting your inner immune system to be able to deal with anything that life throws at you. Let start from beginning of this journey to show you how “I cannot” been converted to “And what next?”
Sometimes we need to allow others to enter our space, maybe not in terms of invasion but kind of allowing for the step forward. It is not only people we allow to take the space -it could be emotions, processes, thoughts. We like to protect our space- the way it is and the way we shape it. Imagine you never allowed others into your space- how lonely would that be? Without memories, personal entries, ups and downs of relationships...A bit empty and bit boring I suppose...So life is shaped by our space being visited by others-that reflection came to my mind when I was creating recently in a collaborative way with another artist present at the same time. So 2 people, 2 different visual styles but...1 piece of paper! What happened?
“Some items can move us in time- from now to old past- we find our souls yearning for lost joy, time, sensations and experiences.”
Have you ever come across an object from your childhood that you almost forgot about for years and suddenly it transported you into the world of so many memories that it became a time traveling tool? Sometimes it is just a smell of something you remember, or the actual object-more material thing. I had this experience with some art materials from my childhood. I was gifted a traditional Polish drawing pad and found here in England gouache paints that are almost like poster paints I remember from 80ties in Poland. I touched that paper, I smelled the paint, dipped the brush in water and then in the paint... The mark was made on paper and…boom! I was transported in time!
I looked at my artwork gallery recently through the lenses of collection I gathered and published on Instagram. All small square pictures pop out once you scroll down your profile- probably the only visual social platform's feature that I enjoy. I looked at all those boosting journals, crazy patches of colours, my inner landscapes emerging from book pages, sketches with uncontrolled lines, contrasting visual ideas, colours that would rather not meet on a colour wheel, the images I created from invisible consciousness and visible expression. And I came to one conclusion about the art I devoted my time to. I try to tame the chaos- chaos of my mind that can only be partly expressed through the colours, shapes, lines, forms and layers. My art often starts with chaos and free expression to the limits of how much visual can I put on the page/canvas. Then I start navigating through those shapes to find my way and new path to peace...
I did lots of work with expressive way of art journaling, abstracts and pure colours combinations. Work that mainly depends on intuitive way of working without preparations referring to subject matter either without final picture in mind. All that led me to further understanding and discovering how powerful tool art may become in our hands and minds at the same time. Purely expressive and therapeutic aspect is just a beautiful stream of exploration what we may find more challenging to discover in direct way. However recently thanks to return to the traditional form and medium which is pencil drawing I have found unexpectedly a new avenue of expression: using representational type of art for deeper exploration of human connection with the object and actually going beyond the object itself...
There are times in our lives when we simply, without wanting either willing, have to abandon creativity. Life gets tough, life takes over. The problem arises when this period becomes prolonged and we start struggling to actually come back to where we were. Our routines and creative habits are gone and we find it easier to find excuses to stay away from creating rather than going back. Then it takes longer again and we start feeling like nothing is worth creating unless it is good enough and that “good enough” is another obstacle resulting in fear of creating.
Paint and pain can be moved, pushed beyond boundaries, crushed into other paint, smudged and splashed. Pretty much like human emotions- isn’t it? Recently I started the journey of moving paint in my abstract visual journals in order to see how processing mental and emotional states of mind can be done this way. Can your emotions be pushed beyond boundaries just to be blended with contrasting one in seconds later? Sounds like a familiar state of mind? Sounds like a moving paint process…
What is an act of creating? How would you define it? Beyond the concept of art, on general perspective, act of creation is making things happen, making something from something else, making choice what and how to create. There is not a single act of creativity without freedom. Freedom is streaming through creativity like its constant companion and condition for things to happen. We need to feel free to choose what and how to create to have the sense of creativity being worth an effort. We need freedom to create and be free to create truly-that strong however simple realisation came to my mind recently after delivering expressive arts therapeutic session to dementia patients.
I have never had the feel for planning, setting goals, over planning, hitting targets. Despite the fact that I can throw myself into creating like a mad person without limits and forgetting about eating I still could never been a "planner". Recently I came across an article that used visual and art metaphor for a different approach to how our mind function with future planning, when we employ rather "now" approach that has nothing to do with hitting targets. And that was a realisation for me that actually approaching life like I approach a painting at many occasions can work quite wonders! So again art is teaching me life...because as Socrates said "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance!"
Why do we must create? I do not know but what I know is that I mentally die if I ban myself from creating. It is like breathing for some- the necessary force of lifehood. Creativity is here for me and more I am involved in it more I become aware that it defines my life. It is not like interesting hobby, or maybe joyful evenings activity. It is not "oh nice you paint in your spare time" scenario. I have no spare time actually. I have no time to loose, waste, or spend on meaningless activities of life that are pulling me away from the core of life- ART.