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.
working on “Twisted Sisters”
“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.
A collector actually bought the destroyed painting and framed it, and boldly put it on the wall, just like music collectors frame smashed electrical guitars from famous rock stars.
“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.”