I have to admit, coming off of such an amazing, full, and busy Summer has been tough (not complaining though)! I had a wonderful time creating a body of work for my show in Cape Cod, making some drawings on panels for the first time, as well as creating the last body of work, my 30A series. As for my next "thing".. I've been feeling in a creative slump of sorts, second guessing my every move and wondering about this and that. Wondering about my color choices, compositions, style and mood... just getting a little too much "in my head" about it all. I needed to take a step back and consider WHY I do what I do, what I love, and why I love it. I began asking myself, "What would YOU want to put on the walls in your home, Brynn?" I came across this idea of creating a body of works on paper from my deep desire to explore mixed media (again) as I used to do before I dove headfirst into painting. Some of you may not know, my first love was drawing, painting came later.
In the thick of my slump, feeling anxious and panicky every move I made, I picked up a book that I've read a few times over, "Scary Close" by Donald Miller. I opened up to a brilliant chapter, called "The Risk of Being Careful." Please take the time to read his words below. Here are a few excerpts that knocked my socks off-
"---Last year I read an article about an Australian nurse named Bronnie Ware, who spent the bulk of her career in palliative care, tending patients with twelve or fewer weeks to live. Not surprisingly most of her patients had joys and regrets. Bronnie said in the last few weeks of their lives, however, they were able to find a higher level of clarity about what mattered most. Remarkably, the most common regret of the dying was this: they wish they'd had the courage to live a life true to themselves and not the life others expected of them. As I read about Bronnie's patients I wondered how many opinions I've wanted to share but held back for fear of criticism; what love I've wanted to express but stayed silent for fear of rejection; or the poems and stories (Brynn Casey insert: OR ARTWORK) I've never released because I didn't think they were good enough for publication.
---I told him I'd been having trouble writing and he said he'd noticed my writing had changed. "What do you mean, changed?" I asked. "I mean you're being careful now," he said. "Careful," I repeated out loud. The word sounded suspiciously true. "Careful," he said. "I mean, I've read a lot of your stuff and what used to be so fun about your writing is you were the guy willing to say things, willing to say what none of us were willing to say. True stuff, all the same, but stuff most of us hide away for fear of being known." I doubt he knew how much his words would serve me, but they did. He was right. I'd achieved a little success and suddenly there was something to lose. And there was an expectation to meet too. It was paralyzing. Suddenly there was a risk to just being myself....
---I knew I wouldn't be completely accepted. The risk of being known is also the decision to be criticized by some. There are judges behind every bush. But it didn't matter to me anymore. I couldn't afford to be afraid to write (Brynn Casey insert: OR paint) and my soul needed to be known and it couldn't be known in hiding....I wrote because I didn't make myself, God did. And I wrote like he'd invited me to share my true "self" with the world.
---What happened next was surprising. My blog tripled in traffic and I nearly finished a tough draft of a book in only 4 months. Thats the fastest I'd written a book. The writers block was gone, and my career wasn't suffering for fear of being true and honest. The whole experience makes me wonder if the time we spend trying to become somebody people will love isn't wasted because the most powerful, most attractive person who we can be is who we already are, an ever-changing being that is becoming and will never arrive, but has opinions about what is seen along the journey.
--William Blake said about Jesus that he was "all virtue and acted from impulse, not from rules." If we are to be like him, aren't we to speak and move and do, to act upon the world and take new ground from the forces that work against our unique genius and beauty? What if part of God's message to the world was you? The true and real you?
(Written by Donald Miller, emphasis added by me).
This chapter just struck me at my CORE! How much of my work have I been hiding in my heart, for fear of being rejected? How much of the work that I've put out into the world has been out of this fear? Thinking back to my root original intentions- my business's CORE values... The entirety of my work is based on tackling fear in of itself. The entirety of my work is about walking on water and being brave and trusting in the unknown. The entirety of my work is based on encouraging others to do so. What in the world am I doing, then?? Making work that is out of fear... holy moly. I have a lot of work to do. Thus, the works on paper were born.
Informing a new big body of canvas works (to come soon!!!), these pieces have been an exploration of mark making, mixing media, negative space, texture, and line. I love the way I can use just simple marks to let the viewer know what they're looking at. One swipe of my brush-that's a shoreline... a few dots of my pencil-those are bubbles...etc. It's been very enjoyable to work more intuitively, a little more "carefree".. and a little more gutsy. Working on paper is very unforgiving.. so I have to just trust myself and let it be what it is. There is no covering up my mistakes, as I can in a painting by just painting over it.
These works will be offered in 4 sizes- 5x7", 8x10", 11x14", and 18x24". You will have the option to purchase the piece with a beautiful white frame (mounted with conservation glass- making the piece slightly larger as a whole), or unframed- your choice! Some of the smaller pieces (photos coming soon) will even be on handmade paper from Farmette Press in beautiful earthy colors. I really, realllllly, REALLY can't wait to show you.
SO, all of that being said, mark your calendars, because I believe that some of my best work is yet to come. These pieces will release on October 12, 2017 at 11:00 am eastern time (giving my west coast people a chance to prepare as well!)
As always, thank you so much for your support. I can't wait to show you this body of work as well as the many canvas pieces it is informing (coming late November/early December in time for the Holidays!!)
Be Fearless , Brynn Casey