Pondering authenticity is what I did this morning, and yesterday too, as I worked in my art journal. There is the eternal question of “who are you?” Besides a spark of the Divine that we all share, what is truly important in my life?
The answer is easy: to grow my soul. It has nothing to do with art, but I’m using that as a medium. It’s about becoming more, to expand, to learn, to deepen.
Lately, I’ve been feeling empty, Inspiration has been far away. Not even a promise of cookies and ice cream has brought back the muse.
To some extent, I have felt uncomfortable with the art I have been making. There is a very fine line between copying and authenticity.
What with so many e-courses and workshops offered about intuitive art, which is my main art interest, I find that you’re prone follow the “ways” of the teacher, and you learn to let go of the restraint of conventional art beliefs. This is all great and all the courses serve a purpose.
But what if you feel stymied even with these free-flowing ways?
I have tried it all, and always come back to myself, feeling there is a piece missing.
I’m left with myself and my feelings of inadequacy. If I truly follow my art moment to moment, the pieces won’t be popular or get many likes on Instagram. This is a fact. I have delved into my art making this way, and then felt I could do better. It’s the ego that wants recognition and praise for the “beauty” of the art.
That is not authenticity. It’s sooo easy to fall into styles, be it spiritual art or abstracts or avant-guard non styles.
If I allow my art to develop, one paint stroke at a time, I come up with these blocky paintings.
These paintings tell a story. They are not pretty, but I sense myself in them more than in any other kind of art. Here is an example of another painting that I then painted over because it wasn’t worthy. (Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.)
The painting then turned into this:
So much prettier, right?
I suggest we are slaves to styles, trends, and what is considered beautiful by the majority. i know because I’ve tried to cater to the crowds by making my art pretty and acceptable.
I do have many paintings where I have followed the brush strokes, and they haven’t sold, for the most part. Here are a couple of old paintings that I still have on my wall.
I painted “Moon Goddess” in 2009. I find that my truly intuitive leaning has a hint of the indigenous art you see in many cultures.
My art journal spreads reminds ME of something indigenous in Mexico of old. It’s more of a feeling than a fact.
Below is the process of a painting, “Balance,” that I painted in 2008. It’s one of my favorite paintings and now it’s hanging over my bed. I had it for sale for years, but no takers.
My friends say they can see me in all of my art, which is probably true, but to me it’s about exploration.
So authenticity is not really a noun, it’s a verb that means DOING, or taking action. Only through action can we evolve. Authenticity is something strange and wondrous that you explore, not in your mind, but with your hands and heart.
Authenticity only deepens as we dare to go down the road of “not pretty” or sales-worthy. The good thing about art journaling you don’t aim to sell any of it. That takes the pressure off.
Authenticity can’t be explained, only experienced. You can’t really ponder it, but it’s there to be felt.
Whatever the online gurus fling around the internet as in “be your authentic self” is not practical to the individual. You can follow their lead, but it’s ultimately your inner exploration / prompt that is valid to you. Other artists’ ways will put a restraint on your soul.
However, any art making is good as it moves you forward. 🙂 Just do it any way you can!
Want more inspiration? Check out this post: Trusting The Unknown.
Looking for a gift? I have items for sale in my etsy shop: Earth and Faery.
Have a great weekend!