Original Artwork: Psychedelic Woman
I was out of ideas.
My brain was stuck, I had two weeks left until the date of the exhibition and three pieces left to “create”.
I ate, drank, slept and breathed art. I did more art history research in those two weeks preceding my final exhibition than I ever have to this day - this was about 4 years ago in context.
I was so bored of canvases. So over cardboard, and so so completely done with conventional media.
I walked into our school art room one afternoon, and found a huge disproportionately cut slab of clearly cheap wood, perched next to the door. It was rectangular at best, one giant splinter waiting to happen. I picked it up immediately and placed it in my art space.
Tying my hair up, I pulled out my worn out sketchbook and flipped to my most recent research. Blasting James Vincent McMorrow in the background – if you haven’t already heard it, his voice is that of a folk indie archangel – it inspired me.
I read through my findings on the significance of long, billowing and lusciously thick hair in various art history paintings. My favorite being Venice’s strawberry blonde wind swept locks in The Birth of Venice by Botticelli. I thought to myself – she is regal, almost magical ascending from this pearly white oyster. But I craved modern. I wanted to paint a woman who was fearless, who would represent the strong sharp unwavering woman of our modern times, a GIRL BOSS.
I found a tub of yellow paint and quite literally picked it up and spilt it across the barren wood. Spreading it thoroughly, I used spatulas to create her.
You must be wondering, why am I ranting on about how I managed to paint this particular piece? I promise this is not a lesson in contemporary art painting techniques. I am writing this now because in the process of framing my old work a couple of weeks ago, I found this "painting" and remembered, that creating this piece marked for me, the first time I truly let myself have fun with artistic expression.
I spread the sticky lemony yellow paint across that wooden board like it was thick custard on a cheesecake. It was the most satisfying feeling I’d experienced all semester.
Moral of the story: Do the research, read about Van Gogh, and by all means cut and paste as many Monet's and Warhol's onto your prep sheets or sketch book as you want, as long as you don't forget to have fun with it! Experiment. Get OUT of your comfort zone. And most importantly make a huge, obvious, unapologetic mess.
It took three weeks for the yellow puddles I’d made to fade away, and I am most certainty not sorry.
Bonus: My favorite James Vincent McMorrow song, to this day, is called We Don’t Eat.