It’s been a while since I blogged (sorry), partly because I’ve been productive and focused, but mostly because there has been so much learning and insight that whenever I sit down to write something, I want to talk about ALL the things.
Story of my life.
So I’m going to try to keep today’s post to one topic. Painting. Creativity. Intuition.
One of the perks of working at a bookshop is that you get reading copies of books (not Fantastic Beasts, unfortunately). Some time ago, my manager recommended one to me: Iris Grace.
I finally got round to starting it last week and WOW. If you’re not familiar with her story, Iris is a young girl on the autism spectrum. The story is written from her mother’s point of view, from her own life and marriage to the grief of Iris’ diagnosis, to seeing beauty in her difference.
Now the reason I started reading it had nothing to do with autism, and everything to do with art. Below is one of Iris’ paintings. She’s only four or five years old.
The book describes much about Iris’ perspective (through the lens of her mother) and about autism, but what I picked up on the most is her sensory awareness, her deep connection with nature, and how she is able to communicate this through her paintings. My first thought when I saw her work?
One day, I want to paint like this.
I’ve blogged about my identity as a creative, an online persona, and just as a human being, several times before (here and here, and also on my old blog here and here). It’s obviously something I’m still working through, and that’s okay. Since working solidly on my painting with the goal of an exhibition, I’ve realised how much I am ‘in flow’ with painting; how easily it is able to transform what is inside me into a tangible product (exhibition details here if you’re in Auckland and interested in attending).
Reading Iris’ story has inspired me to do what comes naturally, and not feel apologetic: it is not selfish to dig deeper into myself. It’s helped me realise that intuitive art, à la Jackson Pollock, is real and true; I don’t need to have an intention or conceptual meaning before the work is finished.
Most of all, it has helped me realise that I am an artist (as a friend was trying to help me realise the other day). What’s interesting is that when I embrace the identity of being ‘an artist’, I feel a lot better about my writing as well. It doesn’t need to be excellent in the usual methods of judgement, because it is a creative work of art – not a traditional work of fiction.
So in all of this rambling, what I’m trying to say is that I’ve found my way home.
Also, expect to see a LOT more art in the future.