As a painter my interest lies primarily in the process of painting – brush strokes, mark making, colour – the surface texture of paint, the flow of a line, the feel …
However, what lies behind the feel, flow and joy of painting is something I have started blogging about this year. That is, how my training as an Alexander Technique teacher influences my artwork. An influence much like the wind over the water that creates a wave … the breeze rustling the leaves of a tree … that invisible influence that changed my life and art. The awareness that the direction of my thinking influences me as I paint.
I am becoming more and more interested in what blocks and what allows creativity – yours and mine. I have been writing about it in my blogs on my website. The blogging becoming an important part of my art process this past year.
How does our thinking and sense of ‘self’ affect our artwork and creative minds?
I am sure the world needs unblocked creative thinkers right now!
An open flowing in the moment awareness and conscious balancing psycho-physical presence at the easel reveals something that is both palpable and recognisable to the viewer but at the same time mysterious and somewhat undefinable.You know ‘it is there’ but can’t quite put your finger on ‘it’ …
That mysterious thing was pointed out to me many years ago at an exhibition. Most of my paintings had ‘it’ a few didn’t. The visitor took me around my own exhibition and asked me what I had been thinking about and it struck me that she was absolutely right, the ones where I was truly present, without trying hard or thinking about the end result had a quality that was missing in others. They had it factor!
Since training as an Alexander Technique teacher in 1993 with the late Don Burton, my artwork has flowed. The unblocking of my ‘self’ and return to an easier balance allowed art to move through me, without me getting in my own way all the time. It is of course an ongoing challenge that keeps me going into the studio day after day. Life can be tricky and unhelpful habits can re – emerge. The question, how to stay in the flow, keeps the process of painting interesting and engaging.
As well as ‘presence’, another theme running through much of my work is portraying movement. I am moving at the easel, the natural world I am portraying is moving too! Kinaesthetic awareness in a ‘static’ painting. Seascapes have become the latest challenge to express this interest. The ephemeral quality of the sea and sky provides a huge challenge.
The sea is constant yet moving, light changing and influencing the vision and moment.
The body of water a metaphor for my own body, the light – the living soul.
How can I express the beauty and magnificence of what I see and feel?
A question that I will be working on for a long time.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk – art blog, free creativity e-course
www.kirstenharris.co.uk – alexander technique blog – the daily ease