Several years ago when I began to paint I came to fine art from a graphic design background. The art that came from that experience was bold, flat color generally composed in a structured layout. And that suited me just fine over these last five or six years.
I'd had my eye on classes I learned about by following art blogs, but the classes were always far away on one of the coasts, making it difficult for a person who doesn't fly to attend. Then around this time last year I read that Art and Soul scheduled one of their retreats in the Kansas City area. After overcoming another hurdle—fear of painting in a room with others (yes, many artists suffer from all kinds of crazy anxieties)—I enrolled in a couple of classes. It took a while to relax there and let go, but once I did a door was opened to a new way of thinking artistically—making marks without a plan and responding to those marks with intuition and proceeding in that manner until a pleasing image or composition results. I came home excited to put the new techniques to use and to combine that with the messages I try to convey in my art: celebrating our lives on this planet, spirituality, my Jewish roots, and peace. As I began to merge the new way of working with my point of view, I continued to think about what I learned at the retreat—that art materials and tools, and even objects found around the house could be used in different ways to create unique and lovely textures and patterns that are pleasing to the eye.
And now I find my self jumping all of the stylistic map, hopping from one place to the next without a compass, experimenting with new toys like a kid on Christmas morning. Is this good for a person preparing for an imminent art festival? I'm not sure my work when all displayed together will have a cohesive look that jumps at the views stating "this is unmistakably the art of Laura Bolter." But this is where I am right now in my artistic journey and I'm enjoying the time and exciting experimentation, and even with a festival coming up I hesitate to veer from this course to create a collection of things that "go together."
What are your thoughts or experiences? What do you think about this? I'd love to hear about others' points of view.