Saturday, 15 February 2014

Detours, guilt and resolutions

Life never seems to go in a straight line. Instead, at times it curves, spirals and meanders. At other times it feels like going round a racetrack at breakneck speed. Then there are the pitt-stops and flat tires. I am talking here about myself as an artist. What I am trying to say in a rather poetic and floral way is that I've hardly produced any work over the last few weeks. There was a 'detour'. Not an unwelcome one, mind you. My fiance and I went to Europe to see our families. I'm Dutch, he is British and we went to 'Meet the Parents', so to speak. Unlike a certain movie with the same title, it was a thoroughly pleasurable event for both of us and our families. When we came back to Australia, we had to move house. All went well, and we are happily settled now, but it hasn't been a great time to put a brush on paper. So, what is the bottom-line of these detours? Guilt. At least, for me it is, and I guess that this may be the case for many artists. So, on the positive side, I was, and still am, inspired. The place we went to that inspired me most was Bath. Even as a kid I wanted to see the Roman Baths in Bath. Like any decent tourist, I was snapping away with my camera, mesmerized by the intense green water, the pillars and architecture. In short, I was inspired and couldn't wait to dust off my watercolours and brushes.

This is however, where doubt snuck in through the back door. During my days at uni it was made quite clear that originality was highly praised. To give a long, deep and meaningful explanation to back up your painting was even better. It gave me impression that just being inspired by a  beautiful place was not good enough. Even worse, the Roman Baths have been done by plenty of artists, most of them local. This time, I squashed the doubt, and came to a resolution. I've got plenty of photo's of beautiful places where I've had the pleasure and honour to be. Why not make a drawing a day, and publish them online? A 30-day challenge, so to speak?! I know full well that some days I'll produce better work than on other days, but what is wrong with a quick sketch? In fact, the simple drawings by Matisse
Henry Matisse
are masterful and deceptively simple. I'm not going to put myself in his league, but I will use his example to stop fretting. It's time to change gear and get back on the racetrack!