“She believed she was creative life worthy.”
“Oh to be Queen” is a mixed media collage that reflects my desire and determination to pursue a creative life.
Unfortunately, the real world does not readily lend itself to this pursuit. As soon as I decide to begin a new art project, a dozen distractions wait in line like impatient customers at a ticket counter. So I often imagine the enchantment of reigning over my artistic world in a way that enables me to decide what I want to do with my time.
During these frustrating times, I remind myself that on some days an artist can achieve more than she ever anticipated possible. During these productive times, she reaches the height of a kind of manic artistry that seems limitless in potential.
I started “Oh to be Queen” with these ambitions in mind. This piece seemed fitting due to the fact that I felt like a Queen. A new creative authority graced my efforts, and I share this with you with the intent to inspire.
My model, Stephanie Nelson, is a stunning beauty. She acts in commercials and runs her own photography business that specializes in headshots for actors and musicians. When I came across her photo on Facebook, my heart leapt and I thought She’s it…the perfect model for my Queen collage.
She graciously consented and the project entered into the gestation stage, a lengthy process in which I sketched out the theme, pondered ideas, and then altered my sketch repeatedly.
I selected a fantasy castle for the background and managed to push through the initial stages of the project: attach the paper with gesso, apply a paint overlay with the brayer, distress ink the paper, gesso and oil paint the face and neck area. Now this faceless beauty calls to me, “Define my identity.”
Many little girls’ fantasize about becoming a princess. I wonder whether us grown women secretly desire to be a queen, a person exuding the confidence needed to try new artistic pursuits. When I think about being a queen, I also explore the idea that I can have authority over my creative life. This entails my family and friends respecting the times I set aside to pursue an art project, writing time, or creativity business building session. Although this is true for me now, it did take years of struggle to carve out niches of time that others would respect. I share my story and the challenges in my first book, Refrain from the Identical: Insights, Tips, and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics, Artistic Multi-taskers.