Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Resin and RED and the search for not needing approval

How is that for a title of a blog post! And I have just realised that I have hit the 4000 views mark just now which is fairly exciting. Obviously a few people like to check in with what I am doing which is nice to know.

I have continued working on these abstracted landscapes with resin and I love them. I finished this one yesterday. Unfortunately it is so hard to take an accurate photo with resin and this particular one just glows in real life. I still haven't come up with a title yet, so still mulling on that, however size wise it is 600 x 450 x 40mm.

I have been thinking about why I am using these materials and why I am suddenly doing this more abstract work and why I am loving the process and the outcome. What I am coming it is that these are about a feeling I have of a sense of place, not the physical representation of it. And because it is a feeling and sense, I first close my eyes and imagine myself where it is and then identify my feelings about it and then translate that into bands of colour. I have so many ideas I want to express this way and I am finding it really exciting.

I also love the tactileness of these. Every time I walk past one on my wall, I stop and touch it, I feel the smoothness of the resin and see the suspended gold underneath. I am still trying to work out what exactly makes me want to touch it - perhaps it is the solidity of the resin and the knowledge I can touch the artwork without damaging it, I'm not sure.

Another interesting outcome from this series of work is that I don't give a damn about whether other people like it or not. In fact my husband who is normally my biggest supporter, doesn't get them and prefers my realistic work. But I am absolutely okay about that because I love them and I will keep on with these for a while yet. And other people who have seen them in real life have had quite different responses to my husband so that's okay too.

Why that is important for me, is that in the past I have been quite concerned with receiving the approval of others in order to feel validated in myself. About 6 years ago I was going through a Human Synergistics course prior to going through the training to become accredited to use and deliver these materials myself. During this, you do a survey on yourself and then get 5 other people to complete it on you too. You end up with 2 circumplexes and can compare the difference in how you see yourself and how others see you, as well as understanding whether your behaviours fall in the construction areas or not. These tools are fabulous and backed up with huge amount of research from Harvard and all the big names. Anyhow, my results showed that other people saw me as quite high in requiring approval whereas I didn't see that in myself. This really upset me and I got home, burst into tears in front of my husband saying that I was so upset about this result and how I didn't think it was true.

My very honest husband said "Look what you're saying, you are so upset about what other people think about you, perhaps there is something there". That was a bit of an ah-ha moment and I realised that I obviously was very concerned about how I was viewed by others and their approval of me that it upset me so much when I received feedback that I viewed as negative. And a very important step in the development cycle is to accept and recognise where you are at so that you can then move forward and develop more constructive behaviours.

So I do think I have moved on with this since then, especially in my professional career life, but with my art and perhaps because I am still relatively new at this, I still have required validation from other people liking what I do in order to determine if it is "good". But not with these, I love them and I don't need others approval and I will keep going with them.

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