Art is the space where everything is possible, where no restrictions apply when it comes to imagining what turns up in my page or my photos. Anything I can imagine, I can put on my page -as much as my skills let me, at least. When I am out there taking photos, it is my own specific view that captures a detail or a way of looking at the space in a unique way.
Art allows me to express what I imagine, to convey moods, to share my vision with the world. But it all starts with an audience of one: me. I need to make myself happy first, and then I can share it.
I have always relied on photography to pursue beauty and convey my moods and expressions. But in 2016/2017 I reconnected with painting watercolours and I was hooked. I started painting and could not stop thinking about it. If I took a photography, I was inevitably thinking how I could paint it, which colours I could choose, what pigments would work best. I was so happy to have reconnected with painting, and started playing with colours, papers, brushes and everything I could find to expand my horizons.
By then, I had also decided I would be a watercolour maker: learning about pigments and mulling them to transform them into creamy, velvety beautiful colours was almost a meditative practice. I learnt by reading anything and everything from artist’s material handbooks, new and old, about watercolour making. I trained with expert pigment makers to learn their secrets and tips (I will write about this in a separate post). At some point, I will create and launch a high quality line of watercolour paints.
My creative explorations led me to study with other artists and expand my skills by learning new skills and mediums. I marveled at creating marbled papers, both Japanese Suminagashi and Turkish Ebru techniques. I discovered printing -linocut and screenprinting and the ability to reproduce art in ways in which watercolour doesn’t. In an attempt to preserve my work and work with my favourite paper, I learnt with bookbinders to create handmade sketchbooks. After a couple of years of exploration, I can express myself through art in different ways, depending on the medium I use. This makes me feel extremely happy and also free to choose the medium that suits me best according to how I feel or what I want to do.
Thinking about making art creates a limitless, fearless space in my mind. There are no limits to what colours I can choose, no limits to the subjects I want to paint or the scenes I want to photographs. It is a truly a space without boundaries.
2020 has seen a global pandemic unfold and cover the world with fear of contagion, death, separation from friends and families. An unknown virus is bringing fears into our lives. With no treatment and no vaccine…the only option is to avoid catching the virus. It is what happened when our great grandparents were children. Our generation has grown knowing that antibiotics can cure terrible illnesses to the point of almost wiping them out. Other illnesses, such as HIV/Aids, once thought to be lethal, are now treatable and no longer fatal. We are used to think we can influence and shape reality as we wish. However, when this new virus shows up, it is a reminder that sometimes we really are not in control. Nature has a way to make us think again about our role on this planet.
This digression circles back to the concept of freedom: art allows me to be free to choose what and how I express myself -no conditions, no restrictions. This is what makes it so extraordinary. I am at my happiest when I am creating or inspired to create.
What about you? How do you see the link between feeling free and creating art? Drop me a line at email@example.com to share your thoughts.
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