P is for Passion (and Pastels)

I’m going to break my pattern just a little here to ask a question. A couple of people close to me recently commented on the fact that my artwork lacks passion.

At first I agreed with them. My art has been for a long time a technical exercise. I don’t think I have had the skill to just grab a moment of inspiration and make it happen on the paper/canvas/board. In my writing, yes, I can grab any word and write passionately about it (I haven’t really showcased my creative writing here as this is my art blog, but trust me, there are hundreds of thousands of words passionately written by me out there), in fact I love finding the zone and writing with my heart, with feeling and sometimes with action.

Part of the reason I originally set out to free up my art way back in July 2010 (yes, I’m coming up on two years blogging about my art), was to find the art version of the writing zone, that place where inspiration just flows and my hands create. It is a wonderful place. I do think I have made progress in the right direction, but that comment about my art lacking passion got me thinking hard.

Does my art lack passion? I asked my Hubby about it and he agreed mostly. He said that there were a few pieces where I have just gone for it and created on the fly, but most of my works are technical in aspect.


But what is passionate? He used one of my current works-in-progress (see below) as an example of lacking passion, a painting of some chillis. I like the chillis because they come out in beautiful colours and this painting is planned to be the first of a short series exploring those wonderful colours (I’ve been photographing chillis all summer :D). The technical side of things is my need to improve my acrylic technique. I suddenly realised that with all the acrylic work I’ve been playing around with lately, I’ve never really done a realistic work. I wanted to see if I could do it and also I need to improve my technique on leaves in general (as I usually pay all the attention to flowers and ignore the leaves – the composition of this painting doesn’t let me do that).

Chilli painting 1 in progress 2

One of the paintings he classified as passionate was Gecko.

Gecko by Liz Powley

Gecko was inspired during my honeymoon. I didn’t take any art materials with me, so I found myself scrounging a basic sketchbook, colour pencils, pencil, eraser and sharpener at a newsagent in Kuranda and sitting in an empty mall scribbling down this idea. I painted it when I got home. It is abstract rather than realistic and the concept behind this one and its predecessor ‘Whale’, was to not paint the animal, but the movements it made.

So does that make it more ‘passionate’ than my chillis? Both come from inspiration, though a slightly different source.

How do you describe passion in art? How do you see it in a work? It is easy for me to see in writing. The words grab you and sweep you off to the world they are weaving…but art…

How do I put passion into my art?

Anyone who can help me with that question is welcome to comment. Do you see passion in my art? How do I add passion to my art? Help?

And here is a link to all the pastel artworks I was going to rave on about for the letter ‘P’ before I decided to write this instead. Is there any passion in any of those?

See all my Blogging from A to Z posts!

Best wishes,