Art with Soul

Every artist have their own unique artistic practice and processes. Here is a little insight into mine…

My process is messy and sometimes rather chaotic, both physically, emotionally and mentally. When I work towards a body of work I usually spend a few months exploring, experimenting, writing, researching and playing around with ideas and my visual language. This includes drawing, painting (or printmaking), mark making, colour explorations, reading and writing. The challenge is to let go and trust that all these seemingly chaotic and random events, work and creations will eventually make sense and turn into a more cohesive body of work. From experience, I know, at some point, they will.

Once a more solid idea and visual expression forms, the body of work itself takes takes me several months to create. I always allow myself plenty of time to work towards an exhibition, the work needs time to develop and I know if I push it too hard too quickly, the results will be compromised.

This is because it is artwork with soul.

I have learned over the years to accept this – frustrating as it is sometimes, it’s the only way for me. Believe me, I have dreamed of being another kind of artist many times. I have envied those artists who plan their artworks, paint from a photo or a still-life setup of some kind.

Or the artists who sketch out their design and composition and neatly fill in the spaces with perfectly manicured brush-strokes (or loose ones, but nevertheless, have a plan of some kind). Or even just know their subject matter so well that they can create an artwork by turning up to their studio for a couple of hours and voila, they have finished another piece. It’s like they have a recipe. It’s safe, neat, beautiful and they know when it’s finished. I’m not like that.

I don’t pre-plan my artworks, or have something outside of me to relate to (a landscape scene, a bird, or a vase of flowers for example). My art comes from within and each piece develops with the process itself. I can’t predict the outcome, I can only be the observer of the language, the messages and the voice that is expressed through me. I don’t know how long it will take to finish it, how many layers of paint it will require and there is no recipe for when it is finished. And that is both my biggest challenge and my biggest joy in being the artist that I am, creating art with soul.

I once heard someone share, that in their opinion, real art is when you let go of the outcome and trust the process itself. That is artwork created with soul. The other option is art production.

I can relate to that description – and I sometimes envy those artists who can produce. However, there is no point in my trying to be someone I’m not, we all know that only leads to misery. I must accept the challenge of being an abstract expressive soulful artist – no job or path comes without having to deal with challenges along the way. And I must say, although I’ve fought this aspect of myself many many times over the years, I know that there is no other way for me than to listen to my inner guidance and let the process itself guide me.

“Amongst the New” 76 x 101cm 

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