It is nothing new these changes, I have grown to accept them just as the seasons change.
Having a studio jam packed with paintings of all sorts of sizes has become some what of a burden in many ways, it weighs heavy on my mind and I am not sure it is a load I can carry much longer. It is depressing looking at years of work sitting there, doing nothing except reminding me of the countless hours spent alone. I guess that is why I have no trouble burning my paintings, in fact when I do it is a release because it is a sense of 'knowing' that they won't burden me any longer. The physical act of creating, "working in the NOW", that is the ONLY thing which makes me continue to paint. That is the orgasm, noting else. Maybe when I look at the culmination of my work together it brings the realisation of failure.
So I have my open studio weekend coming up at the end of this month. I received my invitations today and I totally LOVE them, one thing I will give myself credit for is the ability to bring images together in a visually pleasing way. I think I should have been a graphic designer in truth he he he! I mean how can you not look at it and think at least 'This looks interesting, I want to go see'. Having said that, I have now come to realise that what I paint and the images I use are not so popular with a lot of people, especially in Norway (let me rephrase that...Norwegians in my area are more conservative, lots of religious people. So I guess I am not expecting to sell much art). I've been told everything from creepy, freaky, morbid, deathly, weird and bizarre. People don't like to be reminded of death and to be honest I didn't think that skeletons would scare a lot of people, one comment recently on my youtube channel " While I am a huge fan and love your approach to art, these canvases tend to turn me away. Must be because they remind me of the day of the dead art which creeps me out. Still, your techniques are worth watching as long as I don't look too closely at the death overtones ".
Isn't that interesting? Because I have never thought that the Day of the dead was creepy! I think it celebrates life and it is hugely celebrated anyway. I use skeletons in my work to remind us of our mortality and that we should make the most of our time. Is that creepy? I think the problem is understanding the artist and their thought process because if people know me then they would understand where I am coming from.
Growing up in the 80's as a teenager I was exposed to a lot of B grade horror films, because my mum use to work at a drive in cinemas and I would go out on weekends and help out in the projection room etc. I would always get mum to park the car right in the middle of the screen, put a blanket on the car bonnet and lay back on the windscreen with a drink and a hot dog watching these cheesy B grade films. For me there was a sense of comedy about them, the terrible acting, the over dramatisation, the ridiculous situations these people would get themselves into (Oh yes lets walk into an old mental asylum at midnight and see what happens). I mean how funny is that! So in saying that any images I use which could be viewed as creepy are in fact not in my perception.
I am really keen on making masks at the moment, painting them all sorts of cool colours. I love them because I feel like they are real, they have eyes, meaning and expression in their faces. They all have their own stories and tales to tell and all though they all come from the same couple of moulds, not one is alike. Just by laying the clay into the mould in different directions creates the subtle characteristics which makes them so unique and individual.
They are mischievous, interesting and not perfect in shape or look and I like that! You could really image them being alive and in my world they are.
So I am going to be spending a lot of time making many more, adding unusual fabrics around them, objects, you name it I have a tone of ideas. At the next art fair I attend, I will be mostly selling masks.
It is time to give 'painting' a little rest and focus on my masks, as it is I already have orders piling up... that isn't a bad start!