I guess at some point I decided to remove my blog from my website because I kept forgetting about it, but I've decided to resurrect it.
I had a loose goal this year of creating one surreal piece per month, but that fell to the background this spring until it was awoken again by a trip to the SFMoMa to see an exhibit of René Magritte. I have been inspired by surrealism since high school, but it was mainly Dalí, whom a friend introduced me to. I remember looking through a book of his work in a Barnes & Noble café and just feeling like my mind was blown. I was so smitten.
The Magritte exhibit was amazing. Walking through, I felt so stirred to get back to the weird. So reassured by the fact that every artist has their journey, their explorations, their work that deviates from the work they're most known for. I was particularly taken by The Granite Quarry and The Large Family, and also his reverse mermaids and crescent moons and things that challenge the way we usually perceive them.
Going to the SFMoMa anyway always makes me feel like anything goes. I don't have to be as perfectionistic in my work, I can loosen up, I can lean into whatever I feel most moved by. It helps me shed my own hangups and the things I feel I 'should' do. Somehow it makes me feel less like I need to prove myself and more like I just want to get deep into the bones of creating. I think this is a power of genuine personal expression. Seeing what these artists have created empowers me. I recently heard that fine art is illustrating the self and that basically it doesn't have a direct benefit to an audience. What? I'd say the encouragement to reflect, discover, and embrace one's truth is a huge fucking benefit.
Anyway, this is the fuel I used to complete the piece above, Never Empty, which had been sketched out on my easel for a couple of months prior. I have always felt that surreal work is deep down what I really I want to express, but previously the work itself felt like such a chore and that's because I was putting SO much pressure on it. So much pressure to create a refined look. I have realized that a) a finished piece doesn't HAVE to look like that and b) if loosening up allows me to actually bring more of these pieces to life, then that is the best thing to do.