Un-locked

As an artist, every big event is potentially seismic on the emotions and what we produce, and ordinarily the go to would be to put our feelings down on paper. But in present times? There must be a whole lot of very different (and familiar) feelings out there right now. Some we share, some we don’t. We don’t have to. 

I’ve been doing some experiments with work which I don’t always share that’s for sure! Don’t feel you have to share everything in this share everything period of time we’re in. Events both big and small affect us all as individuals and we sometimes just need time to adjust. Transition. Especially if we have been personally touched by this pandemic which has totally thrown everybody off track. This time has certainly left it’s mark and no doubt will continue to do so.

But if you’re a creative, there’s the potential to become creatively locked in such a stressful environment.

There was a time several years ago when I had reached a creative plateau. Creatively locked if you will. If this is sounding familiar, here’s my recommendation. Create. 

Even if you don’t finish, you’ll always learn something. Whether it’s a technical lesson learned, it’s another step along your personal artistic journey. Believe me.

Gorse, by Mary Swan
Gorse, by Mary Swan

Gorse – oil on paper

This dreamlike piece was created once I learned to let go. Highly enjoyed making this piece. But I was about to happen upon my new medium!

I’d been using oils extensively for a few years but had become creatively stuck in a groove. Something was missing. Then, I walked into an art shop in Central London one afternoon and picked up my first Unison pastel. This set me on a new OLD path taking me back to the fun of being a child again. Having fun again, not worrying about the outcome. A creative rebirth if you will!

I highly recommend trying a new medium and if you haven’t tried pastels, make Unison your choice. For me, the transition from a wet medium to a dry one was made an easy one due to their sheer strength and range of pigments.

Un-locked 1
Adrift, by Mary Swan

Adrift – Unison and Conte pastels on Daler

This was one of my first pieces created using my newly acquired medium. It was accepted and hung with the Pastel Society, London which confirmed it was a great marriage!

I’ve kept creating through difficult times by experimentation. Pushing the boundaries with mediums and supports keeps things fresh and interesting. Even if you don’t feel like sharing you will ALWAYS learn something new. The creative process is a law unto itself and ultimately, our world has changed. Sometimes our processes need to evolve too. My pull is drawing and painting the atmospheric. I certainly have my work cut out now!

Don’t we all!

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3 Responses

  1. (Translated)Self-isolation is a difficult and difficult thing. I studied in two studios with different teachers, and suddenly only at home, no communication with artists, no museums, no cafes, no walks. Thanks to the Internet, cellular, native people. Not without losses, in December went cat Murzak, reached the venerable age, 21 years. Some had a heavier hospital and long rehabilitation. In the studio, we exchanged works on the Internet. Our friends from the disabled home still do not go outside the boarding school. No one canceled the parcels! You can draw at home, and get advice on the phone. The road will be overpowered by the walking!

    (Original)Самоизоляция это тяжёлая и трудная вещь. Я занималась в двух студиях у разных преподавателей, и вдруг только дома, никакого общения с художниками, ни музеев, ни кафе, ни прогулок. Спасибо интернету, сотовой связи, родным людям. Не обошлось без потерь, в декабре ушёл котик Мурзак, достиг почтенного возраста, 21 год. У некоторых было тяжелее, больница и долгая реабилитация. В студии мы обменивались работами в интернете. Наши друзья из дома инвалидов до сих пор не выходят за пределы интерната. Посылки никто не отменял! Рисовать можно и дома, а консультации получать по телефону. Дорогу осилит идущий!

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