pulled in two different directions...

kari j young
i've been struggling a lot lately with defining who i am as an artist (i think this might be a common theme among us artists!)... its seems the harder i try to move in one direction only in my work, the more confused and anxious i become... for some reason i feel that i must choose one way of painting right now... i have a side of me that is SO playful and likes to draw and paint with child like curiosity, simple shapes... sheep, different characters, birds, simple drawings, etc. and then there's the side of me that wants to paint and explore abstract shapes, work large, exploring colors and textures. i want deeper meaning and connection which is more on the fine art side...

i love both ways of painting and i think that i am realizing as i write this post that i am trying to put myself into a box again (i hate it when i do that!!)... my box has many doors and windows... i can leave the box and get into other boxes and i can come back to the box, break down the box and create a new one if i want to... i need to paint for me damn it! i think ultimately, i am an artist first and i am going to paint what is speaking to me at that particular moment... this is my struggle right now... what's yours? do you have a similar struggle? it would be great if you want to share it in the comments section of this blog... maybe it will help someone else in their creative struggles... thank you!
from the series:  sheep patterns


  1. I feel so much the same way. I don't think I could have put the words down as well as you did, though. I am a fiber artist, so in many ways, I'm not taken as seriously as someone who works with paint. I feel I should do a commentary on the Gulf oil spill. I've been working on a series of New Orleans after Katrina. I also like working with happy bird shapes. One day I want to be taken seriously. The next day I just want to create something to make ME happy. Other ideas are always jumping around in my head. Do I ignore these other ideas? Sometimes I feel I must finish a "serious" series, but then I realize I'm just plodding along and know I have to make a change no matter what.

    By the way, I'm a big fan of sheep.

  2. Greeting Kari, I could have written that, and here is my 2 cents: it's the nature of the medium that drives us in these different directions, it's almost to undefined and versatile, it demands our playing. Go for broke and do it all, that's my latest theory and something will come of it all. It feels like starting over each time I work now, it's a scary expansion, but we gain knowledge by jumping out of that box. Have fun along the way!


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