I was recently asked by one of my collectors to join two of my previous styles into one work of art. The work was to be two panels of 24.5 x 59, and the two styles of work were very different.
One style was colorful, with lots of primaries in various shapes and forms, some in the shape of vines, flowers or small trees. This style is from "Love in Progress" (30x30 acrylic on canvas), and was my very first piece.
I started it somewhere around 2011 on a whim with markers and travel-size acrylics. Its was merely a creative and passive outlet. A thing kept in the closet except for once a month, maybe, while my husband and I watched TV.
It never had an easel, instead it laid across my lap, leaned against a couch arm, or sat on the floor with me in front of it. I never thought about the shapes, lines or form it was taking. I merely "played around".
Eventually life got too hectic and stressful for a casual night of fun doodling, and I didn't work on this canvas again until Jan 2013, when the sudden urge to paint hit me. At this point my husband and I had separated, and I'd moved into the home that belonged to my Dad, who'd recently passed.
Over the next few months I worked on that canvas, keeping my hands busy while my mind processed what I'd just been through. In 2011 when the painting started, I was living in NYC, kind of happily married, working, doodling and just doing my best to enjoy life. By 2013 I was gratefully divorced, on my own for the first time, unemployed, accepting the loss of my father, living in his house in my hometown, lonely, and trying to just get by.
I titled the piece "Love In Progress" because what I realized is that love is always shifting. If you're learning how to love- yourself, others, your lifestyle, your circumstances, or even your drive to change all of those things- you still have love. Its ever evolving.
The second style was from "Forest of Inquiry" which was created two and a half years after "Love in Progress". This painting is almost entirely latex, and its forest-like interpretation comes from the (at that time) unpredictable dripping of the latex onto the canvas. At that time I was relying heavily on the paints freedom to do as it wished and my enjoyment of the experimental nature of my practice to form the shapes and suggest the next step. There was no predictions or possible planning here. It was all flow and in the moment.
Taking these two styles, which had never been practiced for duplication, wasn't the challenge for me. It was in the combining of the two styles, and on a nearly impossible short deadline that made me nervous.
I have to say. I'm proud of the results, and that I was able to produce them within the timeline impresses me even more.
However, these pieces were stylistically not the right fit for the room we were making them for. So we opted for a new set (and a new timeline) that stuck to only to the "Love In Progress" style of free formed shapes and nature elements and bright colors. No drips.
My collectors are happy, I'm happy, and whoever ends up with these amazing combo pieces will also be delightfully happy, I'm sure. They'll own the first and only set of paintings to join two different styles, and time periods of my work into one.