I know I have written about this before, but as an artist we walk a fine line, between giving people what they want and need, and being true to our own voice. It’s a tightrope walk at times for me because I want to give people want they want and are happy with. While at the same time, I need to paint what works best for me. Sometimes I end up giving away a part of my voice without even realizing it.
(Indian Americans would call this a version of soul retrieval – which can happen in three ways – a) soul theft: someone taking something from us; b) soul gift: us giving a piece of our soul away; or c) soul loss: occurring during times of trauma or death, when parts of us are tied up with other. Me, I tend to give away and not even realize it.)
A few years ago I was dating someone, and while he was very supportive of my art, he had this idea that my color palette was not right. That it needed to more match his own aesthetic tastes.
I tried to see this as an opportunity to expand my color palette repertoire. And came up with a few additional color palettes with which to paint from that would more suit his tastes, and those of similar background. So I painted a new series in his colors and continued to do so, not because I loved those colors the most, but because I forgot I had ever painted differently.
Recently I dated a guy who has a very similar color tastes as myself. As a gift I went through my paint sketches and gave him one I knew he would love. The thing is, pulling it out, I realized I missed that color palette. I missed not painting in ways most important to me.
So today, I opened a few new canvases and painted in my colors – not someone else’s – my own. And it feels really good.
Has anyone re-discovered a part of themselves, they had accidentally put aside?