25 Sep 2010

Searching new horizons .........

I am feeling strangely at odds with my paintings at the moment. This is not a sudden thing because, now that I stop to think about it, I have been a bit 'lost' for quite a while!

I feel that I want to branch out and experiment, that I should 'move on' from representational renderings to something a bit more original and expressive. Although I don't think my paintings are exactly 'photographic', to my mind they don't show much imagination or originality.

Imagination and original ideas do not come easily and I often wonder if such things are innate or if one can cultivate them through trial and error! Two books that fill me with hope for better things, if I can only keep on trying, are:

The Creative Artist by Nita Leland and The New Spirit of Watercolor by Mike Ward and I find both wonderful sources of information and inspiration, and surely as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. The first version of Nita's book came into print in 1990, and she launched a further book The New Creative Artist in 2006 (this one I have yet to get hold of).

Both Nita's and Mike's books (which I have written about on this blog before) are filled with ideas and advice, and are illustrated with examples of work by many exciting contemporary artists. However, I have to say that looking at paintings produced by others can not only inspire but can sometimes lead to feelings of despondency!! But I suppose its all about experimentation and, should one fall down, having the courage to pick oneself up and having another try ...........

Some of my problem lies in 'artistic constipation' ..... i.e. I have great difficulty moving out of my rather rule-bound mind-set. By this I mean that I tend to get so caught up in the process of producing a recognisable image that all spontaneity and/or imaginative interpretation tends to gets lost. I must also admit to other artistically stultifying traits such as 'fear of failure' and a certain miserliness with paint and materials!

However, there have been occasions when I have managed to produce something which I felt was a bit 'different' and more creative than usual. So I am really pleased that a recent 'abstract' painting of mine has been selected for the Anderson Park Spring Exhibition in Invercargill, while a more realistic painting 'The Red Shoes' entered at the same time was not selected. The successful painting was originally called 'Hear us, See us' but I have renamed it for this exhibition, and now feel encouraged to try my wings at something new!

'Girls night out' (Mixed Media)

2010 Annual Exhibition of Art
Anderson Park Gallery Inc.
Invercargill, Southland

3rd October - 25th October


DJ said...

Congratulations on the acceptance of your own "personal" piece of art, Lesly!
I knew this piece was special when you posted it earlier. I'm so glad others have recognized it as well.

As for continuing with your own paintings style, follow your heart. Don't worry about critics; what do your insides tell you? Color? Realism? Textures? Light? People? Emotions?
If you look back over my blog, you'll see changes because I had to follow my passion instead of others' expectations.

Find Lesly's passion: What do you love about paint? and there's your answer.
Cheering you on in this journey,

C. Robin Janning said...

Wow Leslie!!! I love this. Keep going.

lesly said...

Thank you DJ ... you are right about finding my own way but I am currently just a bit lost! I will get there eventually I am sure.

Robin .. thank you for dropping by ... and nice to see what you look like after such a long time.

Betsy Grant said...

I love your creativity! This one - especially, and the lavender field. I am a musician who blogs about creativity. Please visit me at freetospeakblog.blogspot.com