This week’s Spotlight Sunday will be about the painting Catherine. I picked this painting as I created it around a similar time to Liz, but it had a different theme. This week’s post is somewhat personal as I talk about insecurity and my relationship with it. Catherine’s theme is relevant to what I have been feeling over the past few weeks.
When I initially painted Catherine I built up a shape combining a pink drawing ink and a red acrylic ink then splashes of yellow to create a solid colour base. Getting an even finish with these colours can be challenging so this painting remains one of my favourites in terms of colour.
Upon it drying I had an idea about what I was going to make from the form I had created. The top left head looked like it had a beak so I visioned a bird like figure with the right side being its wing. After I walked away from that painting in the evening, I returned the next morning to see something completely different. This time the right side was a head with little pointed ears and the entire composition in my head changed. It interests me how my process can sometimes allow me to see the shapes differently especially when I give it time. The process I use is forever evolving which allows me to be open with my choices making each work I create different from the last.
Catherine was similar to Liz (painting to the left in the image above) because I painted her during a time where I was thinking particularly about my relationship with people and how my autism can affect that. A lot of my monsters have two faces in their composition but this painting captured what I was experiencing on a personal level. I worry and give too much thought into my appearance, especially in relation to the world. The two heads are a metaphor for two different outlooks on myself.
Anybody who knows me personally will tell you I have a silly and jokey personality. I often restrict that behaviour around others with the thoughts that I shouldn’t be allowed to be myself. Being self aware can be a hindrance because I look into things too deeply then bully myself into a strange, irrational state of mind.
Catherine is a painting that expresses this feeling. The left face are the times I allow myself to be me and relax, when I don’t put too much thought into how I am perceived by others. The face on the right represents the restrictions I place upon my personality. I believe that everyone has to do this to some extent but I think it’s safe to say that I have an unhealthy relationship with these feelings.
I’ve tried working on understanding I have no control over the perceptions other people have of me. Having control over situations is something I look for but have to come to terms with the fact I can’t always have that. My mental health is always changing and my paintings allow me to challenge myself to change things for the better.
Catherine became a very personal piece without intending to create her but I am glad that I did. She is a painting that sticks out to me as a stronger design than some of the other work.
Catherine is available now on the MessyMiscreation Store.
An A4 print from a series of nine original paintings focusing on the relationship people have with mental health. Catherine was painted using drawing inks onto A3 Perspex and detailed with paint pens. This A4 limited edition set has been printed onto 120gsm Fine Art paper with a satin finish.
Each print is signed and numbered 1 to 20 on the front right corner. This print has a small white border.