Just before the first confinement, I was in Mexico for one whole month visiting my mom. I brought art supplies and 5 projects that I had prepared in advance. I was supposed to have an art show at Jimmy Ray’s Chapel. It had been cancelled but I went ahead with my plan to finish 5 new watercolour paintings while I was on vacation. Because the deadline wasn’t really a deadline, I didn’t finish all of my paintings. Without a deadline I don’t always follow through. I hate deadlines but the pressure can be helpful to push through laziness and/or blocks. I famously start a million projects, but finish only a small percentage of them.
And I always feel guilty about abandoned projects. Like, I feel that every good idea deserves to be brought to completion. So, the confinement provided me with no excuses and no distractions. Plus and intense need to stay busy creatively. Finishing a project doesn’t demand anything but the discipline to do the work.
The first and the last image were basically finished before I left Mexico, the others I finished during the first lockdown. We weren’t allowed to leave our houses, except to buy groceries or to go for a walk (less than 1 hour).
I found that keeping really busy finishing projects helped me a lot to deal with anxiety. Also the fact that my husband was at home with me and using the computer made it really hard for me to get distracted. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so productive in my life.
Here are just some of the results: these are all the artworks I was able to finish during the first lockdown:
Trying New Things
How to push yourself to try new things:
I don’t know precisely when I started to want to make my work more three dimensional. But, I can tell you it was a good amount of time that passed before I even dared to try.
You know how you get ideas in your head that you’re not good at something or you’re even too scared to try? Yes, I can have those thoughts sometimes.
I wish I could tell you what pushed me to dive right in and just start. With this piece, I had absolutely no ideas where it was going in the beginning, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. I started with the central shape. It was just a silhouette of one of my Milagros tattoo designs.
I think I was just assuming that I would paint it just like the design I did on paper. But maybe that idea didn’t excite me enough, so I started the sculpture part of the heart frame. I used an air drying clay.
Then I painted it. After that I still wasn’t sure where it was going until I had finished some of my other mixed media pieces.
I had some left over « rays » made from fimo and I played around with them. Realising that I liked them, but that I needed more, and a variety of sizes.
When I finished the lady face on the center heart I thought I was done. It was even framed and ready to go. But the corners looked so empty and bare.
Then I got inspired by one of my own paintings where I have the winds of four directions blowing into a ship’s sails. That was it!
So, I ordered the clouds to be laser cut and I used a modelling paste for this part. It’s really hard to manipulate. I had to build up the clouds in stages.
You never know where things will lead until you try. The key is to just get started and try things out. What do you need to push yourself to try?