This is the first time that I share with you all one of my oil paintings. The truth is I have been creating artwork using oil paints on and off for a while now. But non of my earlier paintings really reflected my vision as an illustrator and artist… until I created this container gardening oil painting – which I think reflects what I truly love, in terms of subject matter and style.
The last time I posted anything on my blog was almost a month ago, and I have also been minimally active on social media. The reason for this mini social media cleanse is that I have been busy attending a self-initiated summer “art bootcamp,” where I made it a point to keep my interactions with the outer world as minimal as possible. I have been in search for my true voice in both illustration and fine art, and to achieve this I had to bring the noise and the distractions to a bare minimum.
As a result of this mini social media (and real life) break, I was able to regroup, and be very mindful and thoughtful of the art I created. I freed my mind from obligations and worries – like social media posts – along with it the need to impress, express, or talk when all I needed was silence and peace of mind. I needed to know who I really was as an artist without any of the external factors that could sway my judgment or affect my behaviour.
Solitude, Container Gardening, and Artistic Style
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that solitude is a powerful thing. It helps us tap into who we really are and frees us from a lot of mental, emotional and even physical clutter.
When I wasn’t illustrating or learning something new about art and illustration, I spent my time container gardening. I got so much into it that it helped me phase out from art itself, and also helped take my mind off my little quest to hone my style. I got so busy looking for pantry seeds to grow, watering techniques and ways to keep a healthy homemade tiny garden. And in the simple act of container gardening came my most powerful inspiration.
One day I got out my canvases, brushes and oil paints and started sketching and painting away. It was so effortless, honest and direct. It felt like the time was ripe for my style to come to fruition and become a reality. Something inside of me became more “flow-y,” less controlling, and more at ease.
I can’t help but feel like gardening had a lot to do with my growth as an artist. When we first plant a seed in the little bit of soil we have, we need to give the seed the “solitude” it needs in order to grow. It needs to “hide” inside the soil for a while, meanwhile receiving the water and the kind of nurturing it needs before it “appears” in the world. A seed sprouts in its own time. I grew a handful of legumes the other day and noticed how each grew in their own time. The little green stems appeared in varying times above the ground, which I think is a powerful metaphor for our growth as people. No two artists are alike, and no two people are the same. We all bloom to our own rhythm, and there are no rules to when we will find our “voice” or “style” or even the kind of career we want to follow.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, and I do look forward to seeing you again in my next one!