Trust your feelings….
The start of a famous line from Star Wars, I know, but it’s true, and an accurate measure in choosing art and assessing what draws you to a particular piece.
Feelings in the main are what create art in the first place. It’s true for me. When I delve in, and dare to go deep, I’m never sure what’s going to come out in the marks I make. Whatever emerges, I have to accept it; I have to own what I’ve created, and in turn, my underlying emotions. Which includes the ones where I turn up my nose and say, 'Meh!'.
It has taken a very long time in life for me to recognise my feelings. ‘How do you feel?’ has been a question I’ve feared and rarely known how to answer with honesty.
It wasn't deception, I didn’t understand about feelings and rarely expressed them. Part of this is being an empath – someone that absorbs external feelings, energies, vibes and soaks them up, merging them with what’s already there, whatever that may be. Separating all that mess out takes awareness, effort and practice.
I believe my paintings are a direct method of speaking from my truth, my heart, beneath all that soggy confusion. I have finally found a subconscious way of expressing my inner self.
The paradox is that although I create from a personal stance, I allow you, the audience of my work, to locate your own emotional core, to hopefully trigger a personal response.
That is the pearl – the gift – of all art.
We creators – and those on spiritual path – brave shedding outer layers, and effectively wring out those sodden sponges into our works. We aim for, and hope to hit, the sweet spot with you. It’s a method of pure, soulful expression that may or may not affect you in turn but we take the chance anyway because we know from our side of the process that it heals.
The question is – whether it’s one of my pieces or another artist’s – does it make you feel something? Does it conjure a reaction; a gut feeling? Are you drawn aesthetically to a work which arouses pleasure or pause, a moment of calm and study, or is the emotional connection deeper than that? Do you feel passion, golden feelings of love? Does the work hint at a storyline that resonates with you, or does it ignite a response to a specific colour or texture, the light, or the darkness?
Whatever that feeling is, which can be a physical reaction as well, then trust it. Sit with it. And pause then to realise that single piece of work caused that reaction. Art brought about that response and feeling, it stirred something in you.
I ask you when you next look at an artwork become closer to your true feelings and ask yourself that question, identify with the artist and recognise your shared human connection and experience of life…
How does it make you feel?