I debated whether I should change the name of this blog post to Beyond the Paper given my upcoming watercolor collection that will drop on April 24th (save the date!). As my good friend Gord told me when I launched this blog, why not call it in front of the canvas if it is more about the painter than the art. Well, while he is right, it did become Beyond the Canvas and I am kind of digging it!
As I have mentioned a few times now in previous posts, this winter, I took an ArtBiz class with abstract artist Jodie King from Texas. While the course was all about the business side of art (from marketing to social media to shipping), the course became a catalyst to work intensively on my art and my voice as an artist. I am not sure how other artists find their voice; some surely struggle while for others it is intuitively easy. For me, it was about going on a journey to find my true inner voice, not just my artistic voice. We tend to define ourselves by the roles we play and the values and beliefs associated with these roles or those acquired over the years. That was totally me.
As I began to do an exercise to paint only for the fun of it and whatever I wanted, I kept wanting to paint skies, of all sorts and colours. Over time, a number of watercolours emerged as beautiful scenic skies. Is there anything more limitless than the sky? The sky can be all colours, shapes and shades and its immensity engulfs us. It extends to the stars and reaches infinity. It was a clear representation of where I wanted to go in my life.
What I learned through this creative process was to stop putting limits on myself when I create. Stop thinking about creating the perfect piece, external validation and the need to always produce a beautiful piece of art. For a Type A, performance driven executive like me who always drives for results at work, this was not a comfortable position to be in to say the least. But, what a liberating one! My artistic voice has emerged and I can see my art getting stronger and stronger and more importantly, truer to my inner voice.
The collection coming on April 24th is the result of this journey. It is a series of watercolour skies to dream with, and escape. And to remind ourselves that we need to examine the limits we put on ourselves and whether they should continue to hold us back or whether they need to be taken down.
While I am not going to pretend that I am now limitless, what I can say is that I grew a pair of wings during the month of March that are truly allowing me to soar. I hope these paintings will do the same for you!