Reflections on art and leadership

I use my art to reflect an artist and a senior manager in the financial services industry. I notice that the deeper I understand myself the more I succeed to impact others; in both art and work.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Every limitation is... a source of inspiration

On 14 July I will participate to an art show in Barcelona. The venue will be a beautiful Gaudi house/museum/gallery; Casa Batllo ( ) located at Passeig de Gracia.
This exhibition will show multiple artist and I got involved through the organising gallery: One of my art works will be shown there, but as this is a traditional building with many nice curves and decorations there are limitations to the display size. The concept is that each artist shows one work and his/her other works are available through iPads that are made available there.

Limitations are quite strict and as I joined a bit later I had a bit less options; so I can show one painting of max 60x90 cm... And actually I don't have that type of size at hand;  had been working on larger formats recently, some of my art work being sold, some being still displayed in a longer exhibition in Amsterdam. And at the same time I want to make sure that the painting that will be shown is a nice representation of my other works.
I faced a bit of pressure, but decided to use the limitation as an inspiration for some new art work. Focusing on limitations can remove loads of energy, which will delay the production of art, which on its turn will increase the pressure and reduce the energy. Instead I decided to look for a new way to create art works in my Subconscious Power series.

When I started looking for a format of my favourite type of paper (hand made from cotton rags) I discovered the art store had no such sizes; normally a frame takes 10 cm on each size, so was looking for something like 40x60 cm. But after size 30x40 the next one was around 60x80... Was a bit disappointed; I had been looking forward to buying some new materials and let that inspire me...

So then on the way back I realised I had been thinking for some time now to use thread in my paintings; to accentuate shapes, to create another layer on my paintings. And I had thought to combine painted sheets with sheets that were drawn with pencil; as a contrast and showing how even very different materials together could make a rich and beautiful composition. I decided to go to a small store in the West of Amsterdam, specialised in threads, needles etc. I found some lovely colours in silk and bought myself some embroidery needles to weave the thread on the paper. Had no clue yet what it all would look like, but just felt energised and decided to follow this flow.

I started working on the papers; already had some 30x40 pieces that I had been decorating in the snow. I selected a few and started continuing to decorate; getting myself in the flow and feeling what I felt when I originally made them. This gave some nice combinations of sheets; one painted and one made with pencil. The pencil part I worked by spraying water on it to fade some of the decorations and make it integrate with the other image.

Then, had been waiting for the right moment and finally had some time reserved to start the weaving of the silk threads. Had the needles, the paper, the silk colours... I put the thread through the eye of the needle...but the eye was not big enough. I couldn't get this done and there I was...filled with inspiration on a wonderful bright Sunday in Paris...stuck with all my materials...

I told my friend that evening and she gave it a try...after 15 minutes she had one done; she also did a few other ones and I could really start. I worked into the night, and also the days after, energised by finally making it happen. The first one got finished this weekend, and really happy with the result; cant wait to start finishing the next one.

Result? Two different sheets of paper decorated with different techniques, connected through silk threads that form the highlighted pattern that connects both images. Somewhere this week I will make a better picture and upload it to the website; and the promotions can begin.

It is funny however to keep reminding myself that every limitation is a source of inspiration. If I don't I just lose energy at every step and it becomes a very long journey.

Read about how I made the art in the snow here.
In next articles more about the art exhibition in Barcelona 14 July.
Art work available for sale at The Funky Art Gallery
Also coming up: exhibition in Chelsea NY November, December 2012

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