09 October 2022
The whole pandemic I’ve had an itch to go to life drawing. I’ve only ever drawn live nude models in my college intro class, but I remember loving it. A person, unlike a photograph, moves, shifts, breathes… there’s nothing quite like the challenge of rendering 3d in 2d.
During the pandemic I transitioned into exclusively abstract painting. I never meant to take on the identity of being an abstract artist. I don’t introduce myself that way because it didn’t happen intentionally.
Without my usual sources of inspiration (random ideas on commutes, traveling, being with people), I learned to close the loop on my creative process. I would inspire myself to make work by playing with paint. What happens when I use this tool? mix these colors? play with transparency? let this dry? Paint provides an endless playground, and I learned to find never-ending fun.
but now what?
This summer I finally found an in-person life drawing class at the Montreal Art Center. My pandemic itch has been realized… but what does this mean for my work? I’ve been painting abstractly for two and a half years… it has become my comfort zone.
Maybe that’s exactly why it’s time to venture out there.
Recently, whenever I’ve been making art and hear a quote from a song or podcast, I’ve been writing them down then and there on whatever I’m working on. It embeds what I’m thinking about in my art and sketchbooks. I ran into this quote by Louise Fletcher I had written in my sketchbook:
“The magic comes when you stop caring. If you can stop caring if what you’re making is good or not, you can make enough of it to get good.” —Louise Fletcher
I realized that that is exactly why I’m going somewhere new, why I’m building big canvases, why I’m going to life drawing.
I’ve been feeling stuck because I’ve been caring. Caring what others think, what I think… If I make myself make art I don’t yet know how to make, I will have to stop caring. I won’t be able to create my vision because I’m learning new skills and working new muscles. I will have to make lots of work I don’t like to discover what I will.
I’m pumped with adrenaline for this next phase. Let’s see what happens ;)
Not ready to pick a painting today? Curious about an inside look inside Montana's process? Montana shares the best updates in her newsletter, while giving daily updates on her Instagram (@montanafowler_cs_art). She loves connecting with others over their love for art.