This morning at home I really felt like painting. The car was still packed from Friday night's art gig, so I had my paints, but all my canvasses were still in my studio, a drive away. I remembered I had some old completed artworks in the garage, so I went for a rummage to see if I could find one to paint over.
That's when I came across this artwork.
It's one I created years ago, when I was going through a particularly emotional rough patch. My gorgeous friend Anna was studying art therapy at the time, so we did a little session together, to help me experiment with my feelings through art. So, for the first time in my artistic career, I painted how my heart felt. Up until that point, I was still creating lots of artworks and having exhibitions, but I was painting purely for the hell of it (which of course, was fulfilling in itself as well).
In hindsight, I reckon this is the first feeling-based artwork I consciously created. The text around the heart says 'Relax and let myself experience my feelings with freedom'. I remember feeling an amazing sense of inner power as I created this artwork. I was actually representing something inside me and I was surprised to see how my feelings were translating as paint. There is huge emotion in this one: Hope, angst, truth, fear, dreams, wishes, love.
I'm so grateful for this artwork and to Anna, for the wisdom this experience brought me around connecting with feeling as subject matter. It truly opened me up to a whole new way of being in the world.
This was the beginning for me, a delicious, juicy seed which grew and developed over time in my work and still does to this day. Feelings as a subject matter is something that can never be exhausted, it only blooms into something more beautiful and connective every day, which is something to be incredibly grateful for.
Some years later, I went onto study Art Therapy myself and now I teach Creating with Feeling art courses. It amazing how things go full circle. Sometimes, our personal pain and struggle will force us to experience new things and ways of being, which end up becoming new lights in our lives.
Being alive is truly a rich and awesome thing.
Love C x