I watched a wonderful program on Matisse last night.  It made me realise that my new series ‘stripped naked’ was indeed a good idea.  Matisse started out doing relatively constrained and traditional works, paintings that fitted in to what was expected of him at that time.  It wasn’t until he had bowel cancer that he started to feel free and started to do the art that was a true expression of himself.

I have felt constrained, conditioned and shackled by what has been expected of me.  People tell you what they want you to paint, parents want to be proud of you, people want to see what they expect to see, this is why people like Matisse were so important because they broke away from all of that.

The series I am working on tries to break away a little bit, but I still feel I’m not going far enough with it, I’m not being brave enough.  I feel like I’m in a straight jacket, I need to break free, I need to find what is deep inside and learn to express it.  I feel frustrated and keep going back to doing what is expected, such is the force of conditioning.

Matisse stripped his work naked. He took away more and more elements, he let color speak for itself, the emotion it creates was enough.  He put colors where most artists would not.  He played with shapes rather than get bogged down with details.

In this series, I am exploring taking elements out, stripping my work naked.  Currently I am taking the color out, letting the shapes do the talking but I need to go much further, much further…

Orchid 1 – oil on canvas