At certain times of my life I used the symbols of Christianity. Living with the image and not looking for meaning. Paintings need to be stared at like icons. They need to be used, not necessarily to expand one's intellectual knowledge, but to enlarge one's soul. Apart from the mother and child I had no feeling for anything else.
The liturgy that could have been realised within myself and become part of me, was not something with which I could fully engage. The imagery did not engage me.
I can hear you ask, “Was this because she was one of those people who always complain about seeking and not finding, or was she one of those people who did not know how to seek, or was simply looking for sentimentalities,exaggerated self indulgent sadness or nostalgia ?.”
No. Collective symbols could not provide a path for me to tread, and as a painter I generate my own symbols. Human beings need diversity. We thirst for it, our dreams and imaginations create them. One only needs to count the number of people pouring into the galleries and museums of the world. And then reflect how some religions regard image making,
Images churned out of my dreams, reflections on my environment, and of course on my relationships, once my concentration was placed onto the paper.
Rather like Tarot cards, where archetype and instinct meet in historical form, but instead of the random choosing and placing of the cards and following the meaning one could derive from them, my art was the history of my own personal and intellectual development. An intense search to discover what possible paths were open to me at that particular moment in time.
I remained gripped by the stories that I have hung on my walls, and as I enacted them either in my imagination, or with real people in real life, I learned, as time went by, that it took an act of human will to objectify the images and free oneself from their influence.
On other occasions I accepted the images as agents of transformation. A surfer who, when finding the right crest of a wave, would allow and use its natural form to carry one forward until one arrived on the beach exhausted, sometimes bruised, but I would triumphantly shake myself off and start all over again. The same journey, but this time perhaps I navigated a little more successfully as I had learned to recognise, more successfully, the quality of the wave before I embarked on another journey.
I knew that there was a difference between seeing and looking. The same difference that exists between hearing and listening. In both, the numinous would arise from within oneself. The image initialised by feeling and then pondered on and externalised and harmonised by the colours and the brushstrokes to form a mirror image of my state of being.
Pictures that were not constructed to provide an illusion of perspective and space, but were based on feelings, intuition and imagination. This gave them form from which I could then admire their separateness and quirkiness, at times I seemed to be able to cross over the bridge where my own personal experience was recognisable as having some sort of universal resonance. What made people recognise themselves in the paintings I do not know,but I refer to these pictures as “ having legs”. It was a pleasure to know someone wanted to hang the painting on their wall.
Unless of course the painter is following what has been taught as being correct. The right way to put on paint. Like the right clothes. Painting is rather like handwriting. It can be unique or follow the standard style of what is most fashionable at the time.The brushwork is individual and provides
a clue to the character of the painter. This discovery is an individual journey. It is not a false persona.