EMOTIONAL IMAGERY

Payne.jpg

I am at a strange cross-roads with the new work I am creating. Its evolving in bright, organic directions, which is a good thing. It is coming across as both beautiful + relatable, and those who have seen it in person have responded very well to it. The problem is I am not quite sure how I am responding to it - at least not yet. These new elements are still a bit new, and maybe a little too cheerful in comparison to what I'm used to. I'm extremely attached to (what I describe as) emotional imagery, so I suppose I am waiting for a sign as to how I get these two worlds to collide. 

I have always, always been drawn to emotional art work. In my first Intro to Painting class, our instructor laid out our first assignment in a few simple words - "I want to know what you think, and what you feel". That was it. As a young sculpture major halfway through college, I had never been asked to convey this before, at least not so directly. I wasn't sure how I was going to achieve this, and it was terrifying. 

My first few paintings were just color studies. No images, nothing obtainable. I was mixing colors + blending paints in a beautiful way, but in mostly dark, dreary palettes. It was just what I was drawn to. They were sad + uncomfortable, yet raw + deliberate. I felt they began to tell a story, I just wasn't quite sure where the story was going. It took a few weeks to progress past color studies, but just like that, I was hooked on painting. 

I had always loved the human form, so I began playing with distortion and gesture as a way to push the mood and emotional boundaries of my work. I drew inspiration from artists like Francis Bacon, Heironymus Bosch, and Chaim Soutine, whose works had such complicated mysteries behind them. They were captivating, and I felt a connection. I wanted to challenge myself to make that same connection with my viewers, and hoped I would not be alone in being so drawn to such imagery. 

After years of being fixed in my mission statement and the continuity of my portfolio, I am finally opening up to the idea that it just might be time to expand on my artistic purpose. Its ridiculously uncomfortable but I'm going with my gut on this one.