I had the honor of spending the last two weekends doing a mini-residency with the Denver Art Museum. I painted in front of an audience for 4 days. It was a very eye opening experience for my own relationship to my process. It was also emotional, exposing and in many ways, made me feel vulnerable. To open up about my process in a completely honest way, I worked on one painting a weekend while people stood around me awaiting my next move. So yes it was vulnerable. But with vulnerability comes reward. As Brene Brown states, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
I think the act of vulnerability definitely holds some sort of space for creativity and also innovation. The very act of making something creative, be it art, music, poetry, is a very vulnerable act in and of itself. To put something out into the world can be terrifying. I am not sure I have ever had as much anxiety as I did when I was in my first few critique classes in under grad. But atlas, as artists, as musicians, as makers, we make the things anyway. And eventually, hopefully, the anxiety and fear lessen or take a back seat to the creative process. The art studio is a safe place of creation for me. There is no one around to judge me, and I have gotten to a place in my process where I no longer judge myself while I am making the work. (!!!) I have reached this place after 10 years of study in this particular method of painting, and now I trust the process. I trust the work. That being said, I wasn’t sure I was ready to share the inner workings of my creative process with the world. Or on a literal stage. Or on a stage as big as the Denver Art Museum. But I did it anyway. Because I am an artist. And we get up and we make the work anyway. By allowing myself to be vulnerable and be seen my sharing my creative process with hundreds of people, I started to realize that there is some sort of gift in this experience to the work. There is some sort of awareness happening that I couldn’t have discovered on my own in the studio.
I found myself having a new awareness about my own process that I have been exploring for 10 years in the studio. It was as if I was able to see my process from another person’s perspective. When we are vulnerable we allow ourselves to be seen for who we truly are. I feel like part of my creative process and myself was truly seen for the first time the during this residency. I am interested to see how this experience comes back with me into the studio as I finish these works and continue my series.
This video was made for my exhibition at the Denver Art Museum. It shows my process in a way I have never shared before, in video format, much like my live painting at the museum.
Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for a full story on my experience at the Denver Art Museum and the inspiration behind the works I started there each weekend. Once they are finished in the studio, I will be sharing the full story on the blog.