To me, one of the hardest things about being an artist is simply that- being an artist. Consistently coming up with new content that combines your style with your passions. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, or very similar to writers, to hit a wall. "Artists block" if you will. I remember during an end of the semester critique in college, one of my (favorite) art professors told me he couldn't figure out my style (and in turn that I probably hadn't found it either.) Looking over my portfolio, I realized he was right. I was all over the place. It wasn't that I didn't like what I was producing, but semester after semester of studying scientific illustration, I'd stopped creating art and instead was just finishing projects. I followed the guidelines, learned the lessons, made the piece- but I never really allowed myself to make it my own. It was a little depressing to be completely honest. (It was around this time that I realized I was no longer going to continue doing scientific illustration after college. I loved the science behind it- watching surgery videos, studying insects under microscopes, all of my anatomy classes- but it was killing my creative side and left me yearning for something more. As luck would have it, as soon as I started focusing on painting again, my style reemerged.) And while I'm a thousand times happier (a billion times even) it never occurred to me just how much I would miss the assignments scientific illustration provided. I remember the first time I sat down just to paint for me and feeling completely lost. It was as though the moment I could create anything, I couldn't think of a damn thing to actually create.
So I started creating my own assignments. It didn't really matter how good the paintings were, just the fact that I was doing them. I read an article (about hiking no less) that said "if you rest, you rust" and that's really stuck with me. The longer I waited to "figure out what I wanted to paint" the harder it was to paint.
Anyhow. With all of that in mind, I decided that I didn't want to rust (or remain stagnant) so I sat down this weekend and just made myself paint. It was snowing, the house was clean, and I really couldn't find any other reason to procrastinate so I figured it was as good a time as ever. I wasn't really sure what would develop, or if it would be anything I'd want to share with you all, but luckily inspiration struck and before I knew it time was flying by as I painted.
About the paintings:
Despite technically leaving scientific illustration behind, I've never been able to fully ignore my love for science. One of my favorite things ever were studying the microscope slides and cross sections. It was so cool to see what things looked like from the inside- a view most of us never have the opportunity to experience. Combine that with my love of cooking and it seems like a no-brainer that I would eventually paint something like this. From the outside, onions aren't really that remarkable, but cut them in half and you're greeted with a perfectly arranged pattern, subtle colors, and organic shapes. A hidden world inside something so incredibly common. (I'm so excited to see where this series goes! I'm thinking citrus fruits next.)
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