Here’s my latest acrylic painting called “Strawberry Madonna.” I started it in February, and it’s my first painting using old masters’ techniques with acrylic paints. It’s much more difficult to use acrylics instead of oil paints, but I managed to find few tips and tricks that helped. But this blog post is not so much about the techniques. I want to write about being unapologetic when creating art. It feels like a never-ending journey to me, and I hope this blog post will resonate with you too.
Palazzo Pitti and Traveling to Florence, Italy
Last week, I traveled to Italy with my husband to see Renessaince art. We flew to Rome, then took a train to Florence. After spending a couple of days in Florence, we got back to Rome, spend a couple of nights there, and then flew back home. We visited so many museums that it was a bit exhausting at times. I took over 700 photos, and there were so many highlights in our journey that I decided not to try to fit it all in this blog post, but focus on the glory of Palazzo Pitti, an art museum located in Florence, and save other experiences for later.
Namely, seeing Palazzo Pitti on the first evening in Florence, reminded me of how needless it is to tone things down and how we can be as glorious as possible when creating art and when using our imagination.
One Chandelier is Never Enough!
When watching the chandeliers of Palazzo Pitti, my first thought was: “Isn’t one enough?”
Then I realized that on my artistic journey, I have often thought like that: “it should be enough.”
- Creativity: “I should be enough to have one idea for one image.”
- Time: “It should be enough to have two hours for this piece.”
- Skills: “It should be enough to just have a little bit of fun with it.”
- Potential: “It should be enough to stick with what I know now.”
- Imagination: “It should be enough to replicate the reality.”
But one idea, one short session, one technique, one reality, is never enough if you want to continue the journey. When you have passed the first steps in creating, the room gets bigger. Making art frustrates you. It feels like your chandelier is broken. But instead of continuously changing the chandelier, you need more chandeliers to lighten your way.
When you begin creating, it’s just fun to change the chandelier: the theme, the technique, the idea. But when you have been creating for a while, it becomes overwhelming. The nature of creativity is never to focus on one small thing at the time. One chandelier is never enough for the curious mind. You need to learn to:
- combine your many ideas
- take more sessions for one piece
- find the blind spots in skills and knowledge
- and the most important of all: increase your imagination so that it takes you above the everyday life.
When you have many chandeliers, you see it clearer why you create art and where you want to go with it. Don’t apologize for your lacking focus but embrace all aspects of your creativity!
Ask What Your Heart Says!
When I saw “The Horrors of War” by Peter Paul Rubens in Palazzo Pitti, it caused an immediate emotional reaction. I was in tears before I was able to analyze the painting. Even if the theme was very dramatic, violent even, the movement and the wind was so beautifully painted. To me, it expressed the beauty of change, the theme that has always been close to my heart.
When I was a teenager, I often drew scenes or portraits where the wind was present. It just looked fun and dynamic. But the more I have been creating, the more I have realized that I love to express movement, change, and transformation in one way or another, and the wind is often a symbol of that in my work. Thinking about big changes is one of those chandeliers that always lightens my inspiration.
I believe in digging deeper behind the first reactions. If art makes you emotional, there’s something important that’s behind it. It’s often contradictory, something so different that you have a hard time in believing it.
It’s kind of funny how much time I spend at home, doing the daily routines, and how my mind is in grand transformations and explorations. But to find what’s your true passion, the mundane life and your everyday wishes don’t give answers to that. You need to connect with your imagination.
Don’t apologize for your circumstances but use your imagination to experience the freedom!
Decorating is Not an Enemy of Expression!
One thing that I found very delightful in Palazzo Pitti was how the number of decorative designs. I have always felt drawn to decorative painting style and even called myself as a “decorative artist.” It was my way of saying that I don’t feel like being very expressive. But nowadays I think that it’s possible to combine both decorative and expressive together, and there’s no need to limit the inspiration. Namely, who couldn’t be inspired by this ceiling?
And look at the door and the tabletop! The most amazing thing is that the table top is made from stoneware!
We may not be the similar masters as those decorative artists, but the experience in crafts can still be a treasure chest of ideas. For example, in my Strawberry Madonna, I added a crocheted lace on her dress and truly enjoyed painting it!
Don’t apologize for your background in crafts (or in anything) but see that as a part of your artistic journey!
About Confidence and Belonging
When walking in the aisles of Palazzo Pitti, I felt sweaty and modestly dressed. The Medici family would not have invited me to their party, for sure. I thought about my art too and how modest it felt after seeing the big masterpieces.
But it’s not only my art but I also often struggle when writing these blog posts. I don’t want to just write about my thoughts. I want to write so that you would continue creating and evolving with me. I want to offer classes that make you draw the connecting lines between your brain and your heart.
So that the way you speak about your art, would include more joy and confidence.
So that the way you see art, would be filled with happy surprises and inspiration.
So that the way you explore the many styles, would make you see higher to your passion.
So that the ideas that you get, would get full wings because you value them.
Here’s what we can learn from the treasures of Palazzo Pitti:
There’s no reason to be apologetic when creating and sharing your art. There’s no reason to underestimate the impact that art can have on your life and others as well.
Art is Timeless but Our Time to Create It is Limited
The final image is a view from Palazzo Pitti. It is a reminder of how art can stand time but how our time to create is limited.
If your heart wants to create in a new way, don’t postpone it. If you are struggling, don’t delay solving the problem. I hope I will see you in my upcoming coaching program The Exploring Artist, where your art and your artistic identity is in focus. It’s about finding ways and confidence to create unapologetic art as well as building belongingness with the like-minded people. >> Sign up here!