Friday, 16 October 2015

I should have listened… (Honoring the inner voice)

Hi my art-friends & readers,

I'm currently taking part in a Creative Accountability Group being hosted by the wonderful Stacy De La Rosa and with the daily checking in, a bit like noting small diary entries I'm getting to see some things changing in me already and some unexpected breakthroughs too.  And I'm all about the breakthroughs!

I'm finding that the deliberate act of showing up and giving yourself the gift of time to do your creative 'thing' daily somehow lifts the lid on the subconscious and allows other dreams and whispers to bubble up to the surface… wanting to voice their presence and be heard.   A bit of a realisation (quite a big one actually) has suddenly happened for me overnight without any prompting other than just the showing up for myself and my creative process…  

And BOOM! I get this moment of absolute crystal clarity around a creative dilemma I've had going on, haunting, taunting and troubling me for several years.

You see I have these two vastly divergent styles. It's like I have two completely different artists within me both seeking outward expression and I've been struggling to reconcile these two halves of my artist self.

As an example, it's like my Natal Sun and Moon signs being played out, for want of a better way to explain my two distinct artistic "personalities".  There is the cautious, more conservative Capricorn me who loves clean lines and the refined application  -and gets a thrill from-  a finely detailed watercolor approach, clear, structured and perfectly clean (a no-mess illustrative style 'me')

……..and then there is the wild, easily-bored, rebellious Sagittarius me who wants to splash acrylic, ink and gesso all over the place, charge across it with scratchy charcoal lines, cover it in beeswax and cut into it, in wild exuberant abandon, messy and deplorably badass delicious. A style I have always admired in others, but due to feeling conflicted, had never been able to allow myself to surrender into and have for myself too.

I love them both equally ~ and somehow between these two, I have felt myself become trapped. Frozen in amber. Unable to move because of my own false perception of how other people might respond to these two faces of me.

How did this happen… How did I get so stuck between these two inner artists?  It sounds really silly… but… well it's all down to this unhelpful dialogue, a lie that runs around in my mind perpetually that I have believed to be true, and it goes like this… You have to stick to one thing. Your style needs to be recognisable.  You cannot have these TWO vastly different approaches (at least not publicly)

I even allowed myself to listen to Benny's words in the movie "Basquiat"...
I first saw this movie back in 1997 and somehow I have taken on board what Benny says to Jean-Michel about creating a name (fame) for himself as an artist… (just before he met Andy Warhol and became infamously well-known)

At 2minutes 20 seconds in you'll hear him say: "Then you've got to do your work all the time…. But I'm talking about the same kind of work, the same style so people can recognise it and don't get confused, you know?   Once you're famous, airborne, you've got to keep doing it the same way, even after it's boring, unless you want people to really get mad at you, which they will anyway…"

But no… I don't think it has to be that way for me anymore. I'm going to erase that old file from my hard-drive! Well the bit about doing the work all the time is definitely true. 

However I CAN find a way to allow both halves of me to express themselves fully.  And I finally know how, I've finally figured out how I'm going to do that and I give myself full permission.  

I really should have listened to my own inner-voice all along, that whisper of disquiet that kept bringing this annoying little 'two-halves' thing to my attention in hope of finding some sort of resolution.  Digging a little deeper down I realise I truly can have it all, I really can… despite myself.

It's so healing to have these awakening realisations, they can change everything.

I feel an art journal and some dark messy charcoal coming on… 

Blessing of mystery, Catherine Athena xo

1 comment:

  1. Here's to surrendering to the fire the stories others have about our art. Even and especially other artists. My Aries/Picese meets your Cappricorn/Saggitarious in the spacious field of play and possibility.


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