COUNTENANCE | Putting Myself Out There Through My Art
Yep, I’m a creative person. Almost everything I do in my life actually, somehow involves my creative streak. Not sure which came first of course, but for as long as I can remember, I have used my hands, my brains, my capacity for making things. And thankfully this has evolved into the creation of more refined, pieces – things more thorough. Certainly pushing into a full-service interior design business over a decade ago, puts my creativity to very good use every day!
So with all of this to say – I am generally not at all shy about putting my abilities out there. As you can see, I do that every day. With my latest endeavor, however, I was a taken a bit by surprise. Not because I felt uncomfortable, but because I have been placing my imaginative thoughts out into the world for so long, I must have taken them a little bit for granted. Let me tell you what this particular experience was all about…
I grew up in the fine arts and in some way, shape or form, have always been schooled in it. Every part of my formal education was related to it, and every step was encouraged. I was often defined by friends, family, and teachers as an artist – or at least encouraged to continue to grow into an artist.
And I loved it. From early childhood it would seem. When I look back, I have such vivid memories of early artistic impressions – fantastical experiences, like the first Pollack I saw in person at age 4 or 5. Or the sounds of a gallery, with hushed voices, an hollow resonance as feet walk around. Or when my grade school class got to interact with an exhibition for children, about the vivid art of candy and color. Much of my childhood memory stand-outs involve a particular painting or spatial experience, and I can easily recall (or still use to describe at times) particular paintings to people to get a particular feeling or point across. Art is clearly in my veins.
Luckily my life as a child was placed in this rarefied series of situations where art was always a priority. It has been an important interest to me since forever. Likely that’s how I ended up in interior design. It must be since when people ask me how I got here, I inevitably tell the story of my full circle as an artistic young person, to a great corporate career, which gave me the business skills I needed to start my own creative firm.
But throughout my life (my adult life included), I have always painted. I’ve jumped across many media, though canvas has been my staple. And that takes us to this topic of my most recent series and exhibition.
Never having enough time to paint while running a business was clear. But what was not clear was how much that lack of painting was impacting my daily disposition. Apparently clear to my friend and right-hand woman, Ashley – it was she who lovingly enforced me to schedule time to paint and play. At first, I saw it as more of an inconvenience; you know, running a business, there is always a next thing to get to. But then, after taking a few afternoons, I began to settle in on the experience, settles in on a theme. From there came this now completed series, I call COUNTENANCE.
A body of work which includes 7 pieces, all on canvas, exploring the alchemy of expression through a variety of texture and materials. For this series, I am interested most in exploring what a material is capable of – what it does as it interacts with another. Can it be pushed? Can it complement or bring out or highlight something else? How does this make us feel? Each painting results in a particular emotion of characteristic or personal expression. To hopefully be re-interpreted by anyone who views the piece with their own opinions.
Surprisingly, it tugged on me a little harder as I put it out there. Unexpectedly, I was a little more nervous about leaving it out in the world and taken a bit aback by my slight barrier to do so. I wonder why that is. Do we protect certain components of parts of ourselves that the world regularly sees? Do we impose additional pressures when it comes to setting out a unique version of what we make? All indeed, but I am so incredibly thrilled to have explored this part in me.
It’s been such a pleasure working on this, putting this side of myself out there. I never imagined I would feel that this was something so deeply personal to me, to my insides, but it has been great to connect with people on their thoughts, their favorites and have so much incredible support. The opening was a wonderful example of all sorts of thoughts and discussion in how we see different things in different ways. And even though this series is personal to me, it was clear in an instant that these pieces can also feel immediately personal to someone who admires it. Something that is important to be reminded of.