In the studio today

I started early and went for a few hours.

I warmed up for a good two hours. Then I walked for an hour and then ate.

I didn’t experiment with colour as much as I’d have liked to this time, just experimenting with different textures and elements together and getting different results. I didn’t have too much of a goal in mind except to clear my mind. I find it too easy to fall into the trap of “so and so is doing XYZ, and I like it and so I’m going to do it because it’s well-received”. And then focus all of my efforts on forcing myself to create in that particular way until I get distracted by another well-liked artist and try to copy that. I really try to stand on my own two feet in that sense. I think it’s definitely ok to like someone else’s style and emulate or copy it but it’s so important to find your own “unique” voice. I say unique with quotes because truly no one is unique. Art is about connecting with other people on a somewhat deeper level. You can certainly paint what Jo Blow did over there and get the same response but it’s superficial obviously.

I’ve never been one to be trendy, in fact, I know hardly anyone else personally who is trendy either, but I think it makes longer-lasting art to consistently do your own brand. It may be wacky-wild art that is barely art, but if you develop and nurture and believe in it, it will mature, I think. I don’t understand my own art yet, I just have to keep nurturing these ideas and fleshing them out and not worry that they look nothing like what is trending. It’s Great that it looks like nothing that is trending right now, in fact. It does worry me that I’ve wasted my time.

There isn’t much WOW right now in my art. It’s underwhelming but I’m consciously choosing what I actually want to do, not what I think other people would like, more or less. I’m letting that go in favour of starting brand new and in favour of creating something with longevity. My aim is to fumble through making foreign art right now in exchange for the development of something great. That is ok. I would rather create something honest and underwhelming than create things that are nice to look at and is easy to digest. I’m sure you understand what I mean but I have to create analogy. The only comparison I can think of is with music. There are the top 40 hits, and then there is the music that you really dislike at first but then grows on you and becomes your favourite music because it’s so complicated and deep and meaningful. I want to create meaningful art and you can’t do that until you get past all the crap on top of it. You have to put up with learning that you suck, you can’t make anything worthwhile, your just like everyone else and your not special. And then find your way.

I am hesitant when I like something. It feels nice to like something, but quality pieces aren’t always likeable at first. That is why I am going down this weird path. Everyone else and their dog is aiming to create art that people like, when I really think it’s the wrong way to go about this art thing. It needs to be more selfish. We need to place beauty before being liked. We all yearn to be accepted etc etc But we need to know our value. And it’s not to say that other artists do t know their own worth, but a majority of people, especially artists, yearn for acceptance.

I think we get caught up in making art all about what is pleasing to the eye, and of course they’re is no doubt about it that it could be a great component of art but, no one liked any of Courbet’s work when he first started out. In fact, in nearly all of the cases when art started shifting its course, nobody liked the new direction. Ugly art has its merits! Courbet was an unconventional artist, which is why I love him all the more. But he did his own thing until he got accepted into the Salon, and then it was cake from there on out. He led a difficult art path. Jeez, I don’t even know Kandinsky’s story.

Slightly illustrative.

By Afonso Abstract Art

Hello, my name is Kristina. I always knew I was a creative-type person but I just didn’t have a name for it in grade two. I grew up working in my dad's art gallery. After high school, I pursued art at Capilano University in Vancouver, BC; and from there, went onto obtain a bachelor of design with honours at the University of Alberta.

Kandinsky said, “it is evident therefore, that colour harmony must rest only on a corresponding vibration of the human soul.”

I make minimalist, gestural, abstract art. I aim for integrity; the only idea I follow is to be true and honest to my art. I hope that viewers feel a sense of freedom and austerity.

Typically, the material inspires me, followed closely by a compulsion to draw, which ends up leading me. Usually, I do not have a specific idea in mind. I do everything spontaneously, but not always, I have my considered portions. It’s never the same though. It’s unpredictable.

I love to work with oils and pencil. Watercolour is not far behind. Willow bark and conte are also in the top five.