shapes & textures

After spending so much of my time painting the formulaic children's cartoon characters in pink, I realised one of the most important things about them was their texture, shape, colour. I picked pink because it was a colour I hated as a child because I was supposed to like it, and I felt that now I could appreciate it whilst retaining all my anger and frustration against the idea that anyone "should" like a colour based on their sex. I guess it was in part an exercise in forgiving the colour, and an exercise in recognising the ways in which my personality and interests have been shaped against my will in trying to combat forceful ideas concerning "how one should be", etc.

But my main focus, I believe, was to relive childhood in a way, now that I have shed so much of the discomfort of childhood, adolescence, and new adulthood - a way of re-doing childhood with all the knowledge and comfort and understanding that I have now (and some of the skill, I suppose, because the "little babies" never looked authentically like young children's drawings, more like a stylised ideal of a child character).

Following from the themes embedded in that, I now find myself desperate to just make shapes (which is often the advice I give to people asking "how to art" but I'm not sure it's easy to grasp). I want new colours and shapes and to be lead mostly by pure spontaneous emotional/kinetic decision. In the "little babies" I found a catalyst for unthinking art, which I found incredibly satisfying. I had a formula - they babies were one simple shape that I copied again and again, each one a variation on the same character. One anonymous person on my tumblr even came and told me how bored they were with my "immature" paintings.

The pictures below are the beginnings of a progression in both the "unthinking" element and the "child" element. They allow me to make paintings for the feeling more than the look, and the look is more visceral as a result.

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