Finding my Voice in a Songbird Painting

SING, 48" x 24", mixed media songbirds on canvas, Available, ©2015
SING, 48" x 24", mixed media songbirds on canvas, Available, ©2015

SING for days, 48″ x 24″, mixed media songbirds on canvas, Available

I have been staring at an older painting of mine and having urges to rework it. Since I’m trying to get better at following my intuition, I went ahead and started painting over it.

Risk ruining a painting? Yes, because RISK is what it takes to make good art great. Whether or not you think this painting is great, it feels like a true expression of my voice, and I love that.

For a long time I’ve been working towards finding my voice as an artist. I know my work will always change, but I’m looking for some solidity, something to stand on. What do I have to share as an artist? What the hell am I expressing, anyway? And basically, what’s my style?

In my hours of painting, (Malcolm Gladwell claims the key to success is practicing a task for a total of 10,000 hours) I have come to believe that true art is simply a true expression of yourself. That each person on this planet has a uniqueness to share. My thoughts on this are further strengthened by the recent words of New York Times Writer, Oliver Sacks, upon discovery of his terminal illness:

“When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”

I don’t mean to be grim here, but the gift of death of course, is the perspective of life.

So in creating art, this is the great challenge – to clear your head of anything that might get in the way, like “good” or “bad” art. Each of us is unique, and it’s our job simply to express that.

And this is why I love this painting. Whether or not anyone else loves it, I look at it, and I see me – my soul, my human-ness, my chunky, messy, vulnerable-ness. And I can stand back and feel love for the person who created this. As if she were someone other than myself.

6 Comments

  1. Nice post – personal and universal.

    ” but the gift of death of course, is the perspective of life” – great isight and line. Wonderfull!

  2. Shawna Moore says:

    Great post Kelly. I love the painting and the words!

  3. wanda miller says:

    you spoke words directly from my heart Kellie. I’ve been trying to find HOW to say these feelings. there is ALWAYS so much more to us. I just sent in a new ARTIST STATEMENT for a proposal, yesterday. sometimes I LOVE changing THAT and sometimes I ABHOR it. THERE IS ALWAYS SO MUCH MORE. THANK YOU for speaking from YOUR heart….and I happen to LOVE your changes here and your work! 😉

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