We all have unique histories, points of view, different interests, things that motivate us and things that don’t. There are things that we are enthusiastic and passionate about and let’s face it, we all have dreams too. Together, these things make us who we are, and it’s what makes each one of us truly unique. Sometimes, it’s difficult to express too, but today, I thought I’d introduce you to my painting titled, “Odd Pot” which inspired my collection of paintings called, The Garden Bazaar. It’s an opportunity to learn about the way I approach painting, and what makes me ‘tick’ when it comes to creating a new artwork. And, I hope it adds a great splash of colour to your day.
In January 2020, I was at the pointy end of moving house, which as you know isn’t easy. In the 2 months prior, I had moved so many boxes, gone through files that were 20 years old, and upcycled, recycled and repurposed as much as I was able to. Like most people, I had extra things and I was lucky enough to be able to find new homes for some of my old and precious things. I was about six weeks into the moving process, when I began layering colours and simple shapes for a set of new paintings, that started to remind me of boxes. So, it’s true to say that art started imitating life, which is rather funny. My studio was the last place that had to undergo any move and it was a much-loved excuse to ignore the other aspects of the moving process itself. In the beginning, I used a limited colour palette to see if I could find something I liked, but I was mainly interested in the shapes themselves, and whether or not they might give the illusion of movement. I started using brighter colours, perhaps it was something to do with the heat and humidity (it was 80% at the time) and living in the Tropics of Far North Queensland. What was unmistakeable at this time, was the way in which ‘moving house’ and all of the things that go with that, was showing itself in my creative process and the artwork itself. However, I really started to love the simplicity of what I was creating.
With adding brighter hues, and with the inspiration of my garden surrounds, I thought it might be interesting to layer both colours and shapes closer together. At the same time, I had a friend come for a visit, one who kept describing all manner of things as odd. I’m not sure about you, but when others describe anything to me, as “Odd” it always catches my curiosity and interest. There is always something fascinating about anyone, or anything being described as “Odd,” because it often speaks to something or someone with a unique backstory. And, perhaps it’s even a story that might teach us something we didn’t know before or help shift the way we think. It might even help us grow, change and thrive and that’s where the idea for the “Odd Pot” grew from.
This painting also evolved out of the process of moving and going through the process of “letting go” of things I’d had for a long time. Interestingly, I was captivated by what I’d kept, and why, with many things representing a different time, different places and different stages (and, ages too). As you know, we all get attached to things, especially as parents (mum of 4, here) and I created a few new “keepsake” boxes that have special meaning or memories for me. I discovered my grandmother’s favourite dinner set, and finally plucked up the courage to “unbox” it, and now I use it every day.
The “Odd Pot”, is my tribute to the courage, reflection, learning, change, bravery and renewal that we go through (and, grow through) in our lives. It’s symbolic of embracing the journey we each take as unique individuals, from childhood through adolescence and adulthood. I believe we should embrace and welcome things that might be considered “Odd”, because that is what makes our lives the most interesting, and what makes us uniquely who we are.
One of the best things about making the move we did, was redesigning my studio, and learning to work a whole lot smarter. I have had all kinds of studios over the years, including warehouse studios. I decided to create a new “home” studio, which I have found is the best way to work in the Tropics. It helped me confront the issues of studio necessities, storage solutions and organization. It also helped with considering issues I’d often ignored in the past, especially lighting, ventilation, useful solutions to shelving and so on. You might like to read about that here.
The Odd Pot can be purchased as a limited edition print here.