Rediscovering Creativity

I have always been an artist, from the moment I could hold a pencil I was always drawing, writing or painting something.  I kept a journal faithfully from the age of six to sixteen and in those notebooks I mentioned many times that one day I would become a writer.  Anne Frank was my hero and the personal account of her life that survived the war made me feel this sense that even children have really important things to say.  Knowing then that there is no time like the present I became a faithful reporter on my own life, accounting for all the details of my daily activities in over thirty books throughout that period of time.

Around the age of 16 I stopped writing along with almost every other form of creative expression that wasn’t mandatory in school and picked up Marlboro Reds instead.  I smoked for over ten years and used cigarettes as a way to meet people, fit in and fill the gaps in conversation that are present in every interaction but feel especially awkward during those years.  As a child I used my creativity as a way to navigate those uncomfortable feelings that can sometimes turn into loneliness and as I teenager I turned to more destructive activities.

Ten years later I was able to quit smoking and began painting again to keep my hands busy.  The year I began painting I did so quietly in the privacy of my home, sharing what I created with only the closest friends while using the time I spent with my paints as a cathartic way to express myself in an abstract form.

During one solo weekend trip to the beach I packed up a suitcase with a few clothes and saved the rest of the space for as many art supplies as I could fit within my bag.  Over the next few days alone I walked, listened to music, ate great food and created so much art.  Especially pleased with the results one evening I deceived to share two of the pieces on Facebook.  I was met with support from a wider audience than I was used to; one person even asked if I would hold an art exhibition in his restaurant.

In response to this invitation I returned home and began to work on this piece.  The first layer of “Out from the darkness she came into the light” was what I created and it looked nothing like I had hoped it would when I started staring at the blank canvas.  The colors were much darker than I had intended and I felt deflated when I realized I could not control my creative process in the way I had hoped.  I would learn later that most of my work is developed on its own time and requires many layers until it is finished; while I respect and admire my unique creative process now it would take many more evenings of painting alone to come to realize this.  So at the time, when what I created did not immediately look like the masterpiece I had hoped it would be, I shelved the idea that I would ever hold an exhibition, I put the canvas away and did not approach the subject of showing my art publicly until a few years later.

Instead I resumed again what felt natural, creating quietly alone and playing with paints using my hands as brushes to see how the colors would work together with as little tools as possible.  The result would become my first art series, “The Movement of Color,” a two year experiment with color that you can see in my portfolio.