more than one voice

Sunday, September 25, 2011

becoming a shape shifter

she had been sitting there all day - slowly she realised that nothing great was ever created suddenly

Part of my frustration with trying to be an artist is that I feel I am too tight, too rigid. I feel that I hold back when I should learn to let go.  My art is sometimes stiff and doesn’t flow as I would like it to.  I seem to put too many restrictions on myself.

I love the work of artists who seem to create effortless work, work that feels fluid, where the motion and energy is almost tangible.  I would like to explore what this means, to try and unpack this strange feeling, a feeling that I need to become more fluid.  It feels as if I need to escape the confines of my body, of my skin and bones, and somehow learn to be less of a fixed shape. Perhaps, I need to explore what it means to be a shape shifter.  I would like to explore the shape and form of things around me, learning how to take on the contour of things, fitting into new skin and then letting it go again. I would like to learn how to transform, how to be in a state of constant metamorphosis, reaching into new states.

I see water in my dreams and I try to understand the meaning of this symbol. A liquid takes the shape of whatever it encounters, yet it remains a separate entity. Perhaps this is part of developing an artist’s mind, to be in constant liquefied motion.  I would like to squeeze into different spaces and consider the possibility of the existence of magic, as I become that shape for awhile.

Learning to be less rigid, to understand transformation, to not hold to fixed ideas and positions but be more open to other possibilities.  I suppose, what I’m ultimately seeking is unrestricted freedom to throw myself into this wonderful creative life that I want to life.


Katie at her recent market day - selling door hangers
She had a really good day and almost sold out
Working hard making stock for market day - she really wanted to do well as her dad is her EMS teacher.


  1. I think we all feel the same about our art. I find your are very fluid and beautiful. I think when we look at our own work, we forget about what it took to create this beautiful work of art.

  2. I love the word shapeshifter! It's been one of my favorite words since reading The Wood Wife many years ago. Great read.

    I think creating art is always a moving, flowing process that you describe so well. I love the background so much in all your paintigs. It draws me in and takes me to another place that leaves the girl behind. So much story and depth just in that texture.

    I am in a real hole with my drawing at the moment. I need to find my direction I think. I look back at what I have been drawing and seem to be dissatisfied. I know I should not. But it's how I feel.

    I think I need to do a little shapeshifting!

  3. this painting is so wonderful clare! the background looks loose and gorgeous and "she" just looks so.....!!!!!
    you have stated it well about shapeshifting. and i simply would like to share with you: that the more i have painted the more i lean toward intuitive paintings...i still go back and forth and both bring me new lessons and new delight!
    your katie could sell anything with that smile and body language of hers, truly! xo

  4. Thank you for putting into words just how I also feel sometimes. It can be a real challenge to step outside our selfs and become fluid. I don't think we try to be ridged, it's just a type of safety net we put up just in case. I see other artist with their bold colors and strokes and wish I could be so free. I guess that's what art and creating is all about, for ever trying new things and pushing out of our comfort zone. I love your work and how you make such a great effort to always leave such constructive, uplifting comments on the blogs you follow.
    Thanks again!!!
    It looks like Kate is off to a great start!!!

  5. You have such a way with really take me on a journey with you....experiencing every detail of your thoughts with you...

    I was entranced by this the whole concept...makes me want to be more aware of the subtle aspects that fill me as I create and to invite more in...
    I love how I felt like an animal when thinking this I'm more a part of the Earth and my ancestors...and the natural world that we are made up of...

    I'm so inspired!

    ...and Katie is so cute!

  6. First of all Clare: your new painting is SO SO SO wonderful! I absolutely love it!!!! Beautiful!!

    Then your words are again your very special way to express deep feelings and thoughts - providing them as food to chew on for a long while. That is very good indeed!

    And last: this girl is just lovely - so sweet - yes that smile is to LIVE for! :-)
    Go on Katie - I wish you success and happiness!

  7. Transforming into something else... that made me think of a book I've read. How a young female was teached, through meditation, how to transform into becoming the object that she was meditating over. She described how she could feel the inside of a leaf for instence. Sorry I can't give you the title of that book because a friend has lent it from me. It's about old Egyptian knowledge, very interesting book. Otherwise I'm sorry for not having the vocabulary to discuss this with you, could have been very interesting.

  8. Clare, I don't see rigidness in your art. But I know what you mean about wanting to be fluid. I like the idea of being a shape-shifter. Katie is adorable getting all her door hangers ready! What a crafty family you have. :D

  9. This post resonates with me. I, too, would like to loosen up with my art and just let it flow. I like the idea of being a shape-shifter.

    Katie's door hangar display looks great. It's great seeing young people doing art.

  10. An art teacher used to have us do an exercise to loosen up our work. We would sketch a whole scene or a portrait without taking our pencil off the paper. It was amazing! That said.... I really, really like your style and sense of color! Scrolled through a lot of your blog.... great stuff Clare. God bless.

  11. Oh Clare, I love this post! You are so gifted with the way you express yourself. I too love the shapeshifter concept and have felt this way about my art as well. Sometimes I am able to transcend but the more stressed and hectic life becomes, the harder it is to achieve.

    This new work of art is so FAB. Love it, love it, love it! The colors, the textures and the message she conveys - wonderful!

    Jessi xox

  12. Clare so lovely to see you! Sorry I had bad bout of depression over the weekend and closed my blog.
    I've been up and down like a yoyo! How are you! You look radiant! The photos are so lovely. I look at your art and know it is very beautiful! Keep with it, as it will bring you right were your meant to be. YOur beautiful! :) Julie

  13. I'm so happy to have discovered your blog because I'm there with you, feeling the same feelings! I know what you mean about 'fluid' and I sometimes have to switch my thinking brain off in order to get any paint on the page at all! I've been so busy decorating this past week that I haven't painted properly for ages and I'm a bit nervous about starting again. I'm very inspired by your blog. Thanks Clare :)
    Jess xx

  14. Dearest Clare,

    I LOVE the thought of becoming a shape shifter... It seems so intuitive. I feel the same way when it comes to letting go... being less tight in my work. Isn't it amazing how hard it is to undo everything we have learned about staying within the lines??? Maybe playing around with abstract might help you to loosen up. I did this a little while ago and it was freeing not to have a concrete image to reproduce... I love your latest painting...the colorful detail in her dress and the expression on her face...she is trying to figure it all out isn't she?

    PS. I think it's so cool that you and your husband sell historical South African books... Keep painting girl, you have some work to show soon at the Market ;) xo

  15. Dang - I just wrote a long comment and it disappeared!
    I was saying that when I get stuck I experiment - doodle, dribble, collage, stick, rip, scrub. It helps free you up and you often end up with some surprising results!
    I think we all feel like this. This is why blogging is so great - we find ourselves in this tribe of like-minded souls that help support and encourage. You make very pretty art - keep at it, but maybe try something different every once in a while (you don't have to show anyone)... just let go!

  16. So lovely to hear from you Clare, Just noticed the comments and had forgot to put to read them before publishing so I don't miss anyone.
    It must be so hard for you sometimes. Your an angel amongst angels! Thank you!
    I can get like this sometimes but am feeling much better now. Maybe if I do start getting worse it would be good idea to do something. You know I think there's some St John's Wort in the cupboard. Thank you Clare, I didn't think about taking anything for it. Loads of love to you all <3 JUlie


thank-you for taking the time to leave a comment