I created this initially as I was going through a ‘blip’ in the direction of my art. I thought I would do a pink girlie piece for some well-off teenager in Cheshire. I thought of stopping doing art for myself and started to think commercially.
As I sat down to start this mission, my direction changed, and I couldn’t do what I had planned; becoming commercial was pushed to the side. I couldn’t do it.
The pink girlie style was a subject I could work on and tackle some anxieties. Such as: what’s it like to be a woman in the UK. with its pressures placed on us from an early age. Such as conform, look pretty, be kind, have a family and care for others.
I needed to do art to get out of my deep anxieties, and bizarrely by choosing a pink girlie style that I had thrown onto a canvas in anger. I could see an outlet to express some painful feelings. This pressure almost limits you from finding out who you could fully be as a person.
The black beads and cotton express how I can not do what I’m asked to do. Partly due to ill health, partly from lack of family support, and partly because. It’s a provocative and subtle way of saying fuck you.
As I progressed
This piece is very complex and is about dozens of subjects. At the time, I moved away from my comfort zone dramatically compared to my last parts before. A few months after completing it with a fresh perspective, I am looking at it a few months after completing it.
My previous pieces had the same trail of thought for a good few years, where I had a simple shape on top of a chaotic, messy background.
This style referred to my interest in the Buddhist religion (please read my previous blog posts to understand more about the subject)
The dramatic change you will see with this current piece. I think it is very fitting and explains very well. What happens to a person if they don’t, like their lives, in a simple way. As in ‘ it turns to chaos’.
I feel it holds ‘respect’ towards the philosophy of Buddhism and, in a way, shows beautifully (hopefully) chaos and how it unfolds.
To give you some greater understanding of what was going on in my life when creating this painting.
Was it a moment of clarity where I started to think about a new chapter in my life? I had just come out of a hospital, and I was beginning to create this new artwork. I had decided to move into an art studio and go freelance in my full-time work. But also to concentrate more on becoming more professional in my art.
I have sometimes found that ‘Praxis’ comes into play with my artwork. But praxis had another plan! I planned to create a more commercial piece that could potentially attract a buyer.
I had always made my art for myself and didn’t care if people liked it or not. So the plan of thinking in a commercial was complicated for me.
When creating this piece, I felt a little defeated and like I was letting myself down, but I just got on with it and forced myself to ‘man up.
I suppose I’m trying to say that I failed with this aim. The result wasn’t commercial at all. I’m pleased I forgot! I sneakily feel like I was being true to myself and creating art for me, not anyone else.
What’s this art piece all about
The subject I chose for the lady was me looking through my sketchbooks and selecting a sketch. I thought it was very pretty looking and feminine and fashionable at the time. I was aiming to sell the canvas to possibly a wealthy teenager. I was hoping the buyer would admire the piece’s colours and uniqueness. I intended to add beautiful unicorn colours and start from there.
As I progressed with the piece and experimented with beads and different textures. When I tried to do commercial work, I found myself (as always) becoming bored and feeling somewhat controlled.
I ended up being my usual self and rebelling against the whole act. I started thinking very subversive and gently moved the artwork into something edgier by adding a dramatic black to the soft pink colour using beads and cotton.
I was fooling myself that doing this wouldn’t damage the commercial feel of the piece or potentially make it desirable to buy. Honestly, I didn’t care as I was enjoying myself being naughty.
As time went on, this piece took a year to do. I found myself getting closer and closer to the whole process. The aim of making it commercial wasn’t sitting right with me. I hate that women seem to make themselves pretty and kind for men to like them and respect them.
The whole thing of the colour pink, a woman’s colour, started to rub me up the wrong way. This disillusionment was expressed by my making the artwork edgy and punk-like.
I had entered a whole new concept without even knowing it. Praxis play came into play. How I got there, I did know! The artwork has a pessimistic feel, with the girl’s face not smiling and the uneven writing, saying ‘Family’ – but half-heartedly.
The whole subject of women, the role of having children, and the entire family unit. It made me act with contempt and distaste. Maybe it was me ‘once again’ getting rid of those dreadful feelings from my past, or perhaps it’s me coming to terms with not having had any children.
The word ‘juxtaposition’ came into my mind for the first time while working on this piece. On the one hand, the painting is very feminine and happy. But on the other hand, it’s angry and has unrest.
I think this is like many people currently in the capitalist world. People are split into two or even three people—one personality for work, one for home, and one for personal. In an almost departmental way, in our minds and how we layout our towns and cities.