When I returned from Japan I was, surprisingly enough, struggling to find artistic inspiration. I came home with a head full of emotions rather than a head full of ideas. I found myself wanting so desperately to paint but not really knowing what I was doing or wanted to do... to the point where the work I did do became formulated. Rather than daring to throw some new methods or ideas around or onto canvas, I stuck with what felt safe and began producing a few pieces that saw me happy to be painting again but failed to inspire or motivate me enough to even finish them. As a result, they have sat in my studio for months, just waiting for some attention.
I believe my most recent experience in Japan was so very different to previous ones that it has ultimately had a huge effect on my art. I used to always get asked how long I thought I would 'stick to this Japanese theme'. I never had an answer. I didn't think it was a question that could be answered. You cannot just decide when a particular subject or theme will cease to inspire you. You ride the waves of inspiration for as long as you can. I now feel like that wave I was riding has crashed to shore and I have had to swim out to sea to catch a new one. The good thing is... I feel like I am surfing again.
I sat staring at two of these half finished works today, preparing to farewell them. I love a good 'paint-out'. It's somewhat liberating. It's time for a new artistic relationship.
This is not to say that I will not revisit previous themes, I am almost certain I will, and there will no doubt be repeated motifs or designs that are carried over into the new body of work. It's just time to step outside the square.