Layers of Time - Embracing Transitions in Art
Over the years, things tend to pile up. Maybe you know this phenomenon from your life, either from dust on your furniture, files on your computer, notes on your desk...collections of this or that. In my case, I found my room getting stuffed with canvases – paintings slowly started to pile up everywhere.
Recently I opened the storage box under my bed and went on a journey back in time. I found a lot of paintings there that were more than 10 years old. Dusty and almost forgotten.
My technique has changed so much over the years that I could hardly recognize the style as my own.
Some of these works contained my first experiments with acrylics.
Even though I usually hide these works away, I still honor the old layers and humble beginnings. I would not be where I am now without them. It is good to look back sometimes, reflecting where we have come from.
But sometimes time is calling for renewal and letting go. To allow space for new things to come through and to unfold their unknown beauty. Without death, there would be no chance for new life.
I love to reflect on this idea in my artist life. That's why I like to overpaint old images from time to time.
Seeing a new painting emerging on an old canvas can be very satisfying. Especially when we document the process!
I learned not to be too attached to old images anymore. It is the acknowledgement that life is a cycle of constant changes and transformation. The only permanent thing is change.
A painting can have many hidden layers. And sometimes, a painting will transition into a new phase many years after its "completion".
This deer is one of these old canvases that carries a piece of history. Underneath, there is a layer of one of the first animals I ever painted with acrylics.
The deer is reflecting the changing seasons.
Layers upon Layers - these are a few stages of the painting process
Deers themselves are powerful messengers of renewal and regeneration. Their antlers grow back when they fall off - as do the leaves of a tree.
The old painting was focused on Autumn only– the time when nature feels vibrantly intense, full of bright colors, moving into a last celebration before transitioning into the silent winter retreat.
On the new layer, I wanted to capture ALL the different seasons and the cyclic nature of change. The new deer contains the transitions of autumn and spring in its antlers and thrones above summer and winter.
The painting is a reminder that season carries its unique magic. And that we gently transition from one phase into the next.
It calls us to become sensitive to the cycles in nature around us. We can observe the shifting seasons within ourselves, too. We are moving through phases of active creation and rest - both of them are equally important to create a peaceful balance.
Closeup of the finished painting (40x60cm, September 2020) that I've called "Transitions".
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