For me, it’s a joy to make beauty out of a “mess” on the canvas. I love nothing better than to make things beautiful, whether transforming a canvas, graphics, or a room.
I hadn’t thought that hard about whether other artists are this way.
Then one day my friend Greta remarked, “Well you artists, you love to express!”
I was taken aback. I realized for the first time as it came out of my mouth, “Some artists love to express. Others love to make things beautiful.”
Thus began a period of observation and introspection.
For one thing, the distinction between expression and making things beautiful led to an awareness of my superpower, helping other artists to see and bring out the beauty & spirit in their unfinished paintings.
For another though, I began to wonder whether my artistic expression was actually locked inside of me. I had gone through a long process to free my verbal expression after an unsafe childhood, but had thought my art haven was not subject to the same suppression.
Meanwhile, my longstanding fascination with intuitive painting came to the foreground. What would show up in my paintings if I were truly willing to express freely?
For many years I had enjoyed a book considered the mother lode of wisdom on intuitive painting: Life, Paint and Passion, Reclaiming the Magic of Spontaneous Expression, by Michele Cassou and Stewart Cubley. Then last October I had the opportunity to attend Stewart Cubley’s workshop, The Painting Experience.
Stay tuned to hear about my expressive Painting Experience in my next blog post.
And let me know which you love more – expressing or making things beautiful – if you had to choose. I’m curious!