I've been going through a rough patch, or so I thought with my art process lately. I feel it is always evolving, since I'm constantly learning, every time I arrive at the canvas. My process has usually been, just go with the flow and it will all work out! – Well okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that. I'm self-taught and it’s not something I brag about, or feel bad about, but it’s just a fact.
It’s easy to get discouraged with it, when I see so many artists that appear to have their process down. I’m someone who has been unsure of me, and believe it or not- afraid of color. I gradually have to build up to it, instead of going in for the ‘attack’- as it looks like other artists do. I've been going back and forth between the voices inside of me that say, just TRUST in YOUR process, and looking on Facebook at other artists work and feeling inadequate, and amateurish. With all this activity in one’s mind, it can be difficult to let go and just create.
So… I continued working in this disturbed manner on my bathtub paintings, and after spending a good few hours just being ‘free with it’ stopped and looked at where I was going and got completely lost!! This is not something that ever usually happens to me. Usually I carry a painting from start to finish without major hang ups. I can usually work through the difficult spots. I felt I had lost vision or direction – or both!! It started a huge wave of self-doubt. But still I heard the voices to ‘TRUST YOUR PROCESS’. Well, through the holiday weekend, I put the painting off to the side, and seriously thought about starting over, which I would consider to be a major defeat. I spent quality time with my family, and when I was ready, decided to get back to the bath tub series, but paint on a different painting.
I felt like when I had returned to the easel I had given up. I said to myself, I let it go;- any expectations, any preconceived notions about my art, anything. I felt like I was starting over and it actually felt very good and very free. I was like, ‘well, this is all I got!’. Me and my little skeletons. I worked on a different painting of the series, and the more I painted, the more this cloud of self-doubt began to lift! I could see things developing in the painting that I had originally envisioned. It had appeared that some part of me knew what it was doing the whole time!! With this new feeling of confidence and wonder, I approached the original 1st started to speak to me. (They do that). I immediately saw the color that would tie everything together and it was the color that I originally envisioned the whole scene being; Purple. As I began adding purple, everything started making sense again!; it’s like I went about the painting, in a complete round about and backwards way, but for it all to work out in the end! I couldn’t believe it!! That voice that kept saying ‘TRUST’ was all I needed to hear. Nothing outside of myself is what I needed to evolve further; it was all inside me. The more I had looked elsewhere when I was confused, the worse my feelings of self-doubt became.
So, Life has given me another good lesson. TRUST. That’s it!; Pretty simple just trust. Trust that each artist’s methods for creating art, is uniquely theirs as mine is uniquely mine; whether you are educated painting of this series (the one I almost discarded) and looked at it, and it or self-taught; each person has the experiences in their life that makes them arrive to their process and it’s all really perfect!; All of it. I feel good about this.
Artist Heather Calderón