Being an abstract painter didn't occur to me as a real possibility for a number of years. I loved abstract art for its freedom. But every time I thought about working this way, or calling myself an abstract artist, I felt like a fraud. I assumed the other painters had a special understanding I couldn't even fathom, I was too clueless. The level of invalidation to get through was astounding.
I remember the first time a show by an abstract artist created an intense desire to make paintings that had that kind of power. It was Gerhard Richter at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, in 1988. I stood in front of these giant canvases filled with the most incredible colors. The forms, the rhythms, the light in those pieces! I was truly blown away. Something inside of me stirred, and I remember the tears in my eyes, but it would be another 15 years before I had permission to call myself an abstract artist.
When I began making these wild colorful paintings, I was shy about showing them to anyone. I gave my husband the one he loved, and it hung in our home, still does. People would come over to see my work, and when they saw that piece would always remark how they liked it, it was so different from my other work. I finally began to play with abstract forms, looser brush work, the use of different tools. It was like revisiting my fabric painting days, though less safe. When I painted fabric, I had more permission. Now I had to find that again, on a scary canvas.
My new abstracts were fun to make, and began to find a following. I realized I was painting and expressing energy in a new way, and I could communicate this way and be understood. Part of this was me deciding I didn't need to make sense.
Everyone sees different forms in abstract imagery. Months and years later I see things in my paintings that are 'new' to me. But I understand what I am healing in myself is also on an emotional level. Somehow painting abstractly does this in a different way than anything else.
Becoming a clairvoyant was the biggest step I took toward healing myself in every way, including creatively. I don't think I would be making these kinds of paintings if I hadn't.
"Flower" 2007 13"x13" at Etsy