Janice Mills FIne Artist MA, MCA, BFA (Hons)
The COVID pandemic shut down a lot of activities for artists, but, it also provided an opportunity to reflect, research and creatively experiment. So often, I think, we get caught up in the process of producing art for one exhibtion or another, or for the requirements of courses (like my Masters for example), and forget to take time to reflect on what we do and why, and what we are trying to achieve. During this year of “solitude” I have taken that time to look behind and into the works of art that have inspired me, asking what it is that draws me into a paintng and takes me on a journey around its composition.
I have also face the personal issue of the possible loss of sight in my right eye, and the recovery from surgery, which meant lack of clear vision for several months. This new insight into the familar landscape challenged me to ask what it is I saw, and how it made me feel as a creative. I didn’t want this experience to be toally negative or frightening, althought there were aspects of this, but as a painter, I wanted to record the journey and this altered state that as someone who relies on sight so much, was now inflicting itself on my life.
The results are the two themes above, one reduces the landscape to the underlying lines that meander through, underneath the tone and form of landscape paintings. The other is the reduced form and detail that resulted from from my loss of sight before, and beween surgeries. The old saying about making leonade from leons is especiallly relevant here, as I created positive images from a challenging situation.