The need to feel dirty and messy

Me and blueberry soup, 1980

Me and blueberry soup, 1980

As an artist, I have this curious need to be dirty and messy – covered in paint, charcoal, glue or whatnot. I have the desire to be all sweaty, from taming something – perhaps a canvas or a block of clay. I want to dig my hands into something I can mold and discover a hidden form within something raw and forgotten.


I think I’ve always had this need. Perhaps it’s just part of an artist’s genetics or maybe it’s because I had so many allergies and a serious case of eczema as a child and my body had to be almost sterile clean so I wouldn’t get infections. I don’t know why I have this need to feel messy but it makes me feel ambitious, like I’m part of my dream, working hard, using my resources, like I’m creating something that is part of me and that I’m part of – with everything I am. Like a testament to my life’s true purpose. To create magic with my own two hands.

Working with my digital art is an amazing experience – the creative process is more spontaneous and playful, but there is no messiness. It’s a very sterile process. So I need to paint, I need it.

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