This week I have been sharing the Color Play series on Instagram. A series of three pieces that came together as my first work in the new studio. In December 2016 I moved into a new home and studio space. The studio sat for months unpacked as I worked to get the rest of the house setup and finish renovations on the 1906 home.
Then around April 2017 I was able to find time to begin setting up the studio. It was an overwhelming task and in the middle of boxes and art supplies, I decided to take a break from the work. I escaped the piles and began creating a new series of work. It felt great to have my hands back in paint, there is something therapeutic to moving paint around and building up layers.
The three pieces set the tone for the studio, my first series in a new chapter for my business and me personally. This work marks the beginning of working full time as a contemporary painter. They did not come together quickly or easily, it had been months since I had painted and I second guessed every layer and struggled with where to take them. I started over many times, I got discouraged, I got distracted (there were still boxes everywhere), I then got determined.
With the studio half setup and the work partially done, the energy in the studio was stifling. There was no way I was going to be able to create in a space that I was limiting. So I cleared the decks. The boxes got unpacked. I didn’t worry about making it pretty, just functional. I setup the furniture. Again functional not beautiful. Then I gessoed over what I had started and began anew. The second go around was an equal disaster, I hated every layer. I began thinking…was I even a painter? Could I really do this full time? It was not good. So I closed the studio door and walked away. I didn’t go up there for at least a week.
Then one day after a long walk through the neighborhood I decided to add one layer to each piece. Nothing more and nothing intended to be a final look. Just one coat of paint. Then the next day another coat and then another. Quickly I was drawn into the series and completed all three of the works.
Not only was my first series of a full time painter complete, but a new process was born. To slowly add layers, let them unfold and talk to me. When I don’t know where to go next or I am trying to push a direction, I walk away. Give myself and the work time to breathe. Allow the emotion to build. Give space to the story that is trying to come through. It is how I have created every piece since that time in mid 2017 when I learned how to listen to the work and let it shine through.
This series will always hold a special place in JMW Studios history. But you can’t hold on to the past. You have to learn from it, remember the lessons, and then move forward. So these three dear pieces are now available to find their new home. If one of them speaks to you, contact me and we can connect your stories.