What I create best is an abstraction of myself in a medium that seems to allow it – in my case, acrylic paint on canvas.
My art is a visual manifestation of all things Isa, which risks the disappointment of my audience. On the other hand, my artist friend confessed that he creates what he imagines others will appreciate; he feeds an experience which resides outside of himself, and that approach can also be difficult.
This got me thinking.
How is my art an authentic version of me, the nonconformist, and why do I answer that call? Each action rises up in my longings, my instincts, my unexplained impulses. The passion to do the unconventional may be subtle, but it is mine, and it often comes to me in whispers and dreams, in a mental kaleidoscope, in an imagined tapestry of rich, bulging fibers.
For example, I might know that a real hawk is brown and white, but here I am defiantly using greens, blues, and metallic bronze. Because my inner life finds browns and whites a bit dull, a bit too plain for the hawk within me. Plus, my sky is pure golden yellow with edges of burned orange – not blue or grey or stormy green- because the sky in my brain is a warm mix of air and fire. So, color alone is a reflection of how I see the world from the Isa summit.
Now, if someone else sees it that way too, well then, POW! We have a soul connection. You see me and you see you in my art. An intimate love story begins.
Furthermore, my art reveals me in the soft edges and blurred lines. It is true that a thick hard line is difficult for me. It feels too rigid and awkwardly contained, unnatural and submissive. Thus, my art holds an impressionist appeal, just as you might experience me in the flesh. I am not clearly defined. I am pliable and physically forgiving, unpredictable, obscure.
This makes me wonder about the fascinating versions of other creators: the wonky lemon yellows and black geometrics, the giant monoliths of glass, the abstracts of numbers and faded scraps of ancient lore. The violent art. The micro arts. These are not me. But I see their beauty, and I see their distinctive ways. Sometimes I experience another’s art and I think, “No, I don’t like it.” But I am also fascinated with how different we are, and I recognize that some part of me is ignorant about them. If I do not understand their art, then I still have something to learn.
Those people who really see me and really want to understand me are the very people with whom I must gather, for they will love me and sustain me and bring to me the stronghold of a common ground. They are my people. We share the same inner landscape. Alternatively, if you experience art that does not resonate, perhaps you should stick around and observe more.
If we create what emanates our truest inner world, we take a risk. Some people will not like it. And that means some people will not like me – since my creations are my children, a thousandth version of me. It might not feel too good having my original self cast off as unworthy, and I will risk that displeasure when I am true to my art.