I was just denied entry into another much anticipated exhibit – very last minute, completely unexpected. I spent all this time advertising it through various media, as well as with my friends and current clients. Now that it isn’t happening, I was at a complete loss as to how to proceed. Rejection is terrible. So I rushed to the studio to medicate myself, to pour my negative energy into a piece that has long held my thoughts. Here’s what went through my head as I was processing the very last stages of its completion. Here’s how the process helped me heal.
It’s a stage when topography no longer matters. It’s when I can simply revel in the color relationships, in contrast building, in texture nuances. I want to soar, to be free as a bird, to feel like a teenager overseas discovering new worlds. I want absolute freedom. But there’s always something holding me back, something gravitational that does not let this ecstasy to fully play out. I need an anchor, a reference to reality, a thread to hold onto. It’s an ultimate struggle. Part of me wants to violently slash the canvas with my palette knife, create energy and raw emotion. Another part really wants to look back on the watercolor sketch and keep referencing it, keep to a plan.
Maybe I’ll always be stuck in this paradox. How do I stay true to myself, yet operate fully in this world? Perhaps it’s what my work is about – the push and pull of a struggle between an inner reality vs the outside world? It could be that it’ll never turn abstract because that is just not me. It’ll always hover over a precipice of a gorgeous cliff. This might not get me anywhere, but you can’t jump over your head, can you?
Maybe people will at some point understand this struggle being depicted in my work. Perhaps they never will. But that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about me keeping up a good fight, navigating this course called life with the most dignity I can muster, keeping sane on my tightrope. To view some of my artwork and process videos, feel free to browse to http://www.dianastelin.com