In my previous post I mentioned that I wanted to draw, paint, sew, build, and find a more consistent approach to my work. I love that I can move across different media but I really struggle at times to find direction.

I would like to be more diligent at filtering my ideas and sticking to them. And that goes with how I make art. Right now I can’t seem to shake the idea of incorporating more stitching into my work….it’s been on my mind on and off for about 7 years…and it is back with a vengeance. However, it has never come to fruition. Not as I see it in my head.

Whilst cleaning out my ARTWORK folder on my computer…because I was looking for an image that I wanted to print….I came across the top image of some vessels I painted in 2011. This was obviously painted when I was in a calm mood, where there were no interruptions of disturbances in my day. I allowed myself to set up a still life and paint with slowness and precision. It was quite a methodical approach that brought me peace. That’s not to say that I treat my other work in a less considered way…it’s just different. It reminded me that when I get to be in this situation, I am happiest. I honestly believe that my non art life in which I can’t seem to separate from for a long period of time, impacts not only my approach to what I paint, but how I paint. The marks I make.

So perhaps the reason I haven’t yet made the stitching concepts truly happen is because I have to box away my other ideas and push out those interruptions with more force. I admire artists that can do this. Abstract art gives me the freedom to produce at a rate that works with all that other day to day stuff. And the finer details in my work, the smaller scratchings and illustrative layering, happen when I have full, uninterrupted time. It is very meditative and rewarding to let this happen. My visual diaries show evidence of this too. Pages of random mark making, colour studies, the fast and the furious of smashing out ideas. Then flip a page or two and I’ll see a softer, more detailed drawing of a flower or leaf created with a more illustrative or graphical approach.

Some artists have a set aesthetic. You look at a Jeffery Smart or Egon Schiele painting and you know it is their work instantly. Maybe one day all of this madness and frustration will align and I will stand back and see that I too have a recognisable aesthetic. Perhaps I am just too close, and can’t see the overall picture. All of my play and interruptions will develop into a more resolved body of work. A work that has only come about because of all the other factors. In the meantime I am happy to explore and need to remind myself that the journey is as important as the destination.

art by Tiel Seivl-Keevers

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6 Responses to journey or the destination?

  1. Wanda Comrie says:

    Tiel, your journey is so similar to my current journey and you articulate your mind space so well, which has helped me format my headspace a little more. Thank you 🙂

  2. So nice to see you blogging again. I can really relate to this post Tiel as I often feel the same myself. Interestingly though, when I look at your work, I do always feel like it has the stamp of you. Perhaps it is the forest of the trees thing, that you can’t see that because you are so close to it. I think your aesthetic and palette is very recognisable and I also love how you are always exploring! x

  3. Laura Horn says:

    Hi Tiel
    Wow, I feel almost like i could have written this. I too keep thinking about how can I develop a consistent body of work, how do I pull together all the loose threads or like you said do I box some of them away and focus more fully on one line of work? When I think about artists that I admire though,for me it is the ones that have a recogniseable aesthetic even though they work across a wide variety of subject matter/media. There are threads that tie the work together but the different aspects to the work make it incredibly interesting and to me it is a sign that the artist has remained open to new possibilities, that they haven’t been boxed into a corner. For me, you are most definitely one of these artists. Your style is very strong across all the work that you do and I enjoy seeing the different directions that you take.

    • Tiel says:

      Hi Laura,

      maybe we don’t have to, may be we should just accept that its OK to process our thoughts and creativity in this way. Agree with the threads connecting comment. Many thanks. Tiel

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