This is the story about why I attacked my painting “Twisted Sisters” and broke it in two parts.
While I was working on “Twisted Sisters” in February 2011, I was struggling with a creativity blockage and a depression as a result. I tried everything to break the blockage; to keep painting even though my head was blank and empty on ideas and I hated every brushstroke (12 hours of this every day was pure torture), taking a break from painting (then feeling guilty for not creating art and feeling like a complete failure), trying new techniques, style, changing studio, buying a new easel, studying art, stop looking at art (over consumption), working according a schedule, working a few hours a day, a few hours a week, avoiding everything art related (panic attacks every time I got into the studio) etc.
“Twisted Sisters” was difficult to make because I felt like I was stuck in a style I wanted to move away from, but the new style I wanted to explore felt forced and uncomfortable. I felt like I was in between two different styles.
I wrote about working with “Twisted Sisters” in my diary:
“February 25, 2011
Oh, this painting is becoming more and more annoying! The new style doesn’t work and I struggle and insist on using old mannerisms although that’s what I don’t want. It’s like I’m not allowing myself to let go of the old, even though that’s exactly what I want to do. This painting will be another “in between work” and really has nothing to do with what I want to express. I feel lost. I totally understand the cliche why artists use drugs or alcohol to numb the pain while they are struggling with their work. It almost drives you insane.”
And that night I got so angry and frustrated with the painting that I attacked it and broke it in two parts. It felt really good. I wanted something to break because I was slowly breaking because of the rage, the despair and the frustration I felt.
“February 28, 2011
Everything is prepard; Mattias has been making new wooden panels of my favorite dimensions for me and I bought a new set of brushes, paint and other art supply, I also bought books to use for new paper collages, I’ve found a new and wonderful printer if I’ll get the urge to make digital collages – and time, I have so much time! Everything is here, waiting for me to create the shit out of it. However. There is a resistance. There anxiety, worries and so much stress.
Why is it so damn difficult? I don’t understand!
I’ve planned several exhibitions at the same time in the nearest future, people are waiting for my art. The expectations are high – not least from myself. And that’s good. My art is appreciated and people want more. But I do feel a lot of pressure. Both external and internal.
I even sold “Twisted Sisters”, the painting I destroyed last week. People seem to think that my journey between the styles is exciting and they appreciate the change. My metamorphosis.”