Visiting the studios is a fascinating opportunity to catch a glimpse of works before they are gallery-ready, and to see how our artists turn sparks of inspiration into the art you see displayed. Today, Meg shares an idea that stemmed from our April Open Studio event, and is taking her work in a new direction.
Artist’s notebook: Meg on letting things be easy
I’ve recently been experimenting with oil paint, after working as a watercolor artist for my whole artistic career. It’s involved challenges, setbacks, frustrations – it feels like learning a whole new language as an artist!
One of the interesting things I’ve found is that, although it’s always a learning curve to try something new, the reputation oil paint has for being ‘difficult’ hasn’t matched up to my experience. In fact, I’ve found great ease and freedom in the way that the paint layers on; you can always add more to a picture to create the effect you want.
It’s messy, and it doesn’t always go as planned, but that mess is what makes it easier than some of the techniques I’ve been using for years.
Finding the ease
This is all connected to the way I’m learning to talk about my work and the connections that have opened up at our recent events. Creative Gateways is an exciting, creatively fertile place to be a part of. The workshops and events challenge us as artists to come out from the studio and talk to people about our work; to listen to feedback on what we do and incorporate it into our creative process.
I’ve found talking to people about my work to be so much easier than I ever imagined. And a whole concept and feeling is just beginning to seep into my consciousness… it’s okay to lean into where life is easy!
Bringing ease into my work
So, I’m starting to play with this concept. I have followed up on an “easy” commission, started several “easy” drawings and am connected to a feeling of this is how I am supported by the Universe. Not by becoming “master” of something very hard and insisting that people understand (and buy into) my complexity.
This concept is just beginning to grow for me. And who knows, perhaps in time I’ll feel myself returning to the cycle of ‘raising the bar’ on my achievements and proving myself with how I tackle the hard stuff. These things tend to come in waves, after all.
For now, I am choosing to be a little softer on myself. To allow myself to lean into the love and support that exists, and to become a little softer, a little more empathetic, as a result. I will still paint the couple of drawings I had prepared as part of my watercolor Mother and Virgin series, but I see now that they are not the be-all and end-all of my creative destination. They are “just” the way I have been trying to express that I am loved.
These simpler images that are emerging now feel like a way of caring for myself in the real world.
Where can you find more ease in your life?
Art raises big questions for all of us – artists and viewers alike. It takes us beyond the day to day questions and causes us to think about the big picture. Where are you struggling to ‘prove yourself’ or seeking out challenges and hardships? Is there any scope for things to get a little easier for you?
We’d love to find out your thoughts at our next event. On the first Friday of every month we welcome visitors to explore the gallery and talk to our artists, and the conversations that open up are always fascinating. Click here to follow us on Facebook and find out full details of our next event.