The Light Will Emerge by Victoria R Wolf 4-14-24 original

The Light Will Emerge

When I started painting in 2020, I was obsessed with finding what I thought every artist must have: my style. As I journeyed down the path of teaching myself how to paint, I experimented with many different painting styles, from painterly to surreal and nearly everything in between. Once I looked at my body of work, I realized that despite employing different styles and techniques, my paintings did indeed have their own style. My style. I called it “blend-o-holic.”

I was painting more representational things back then, with the occasional abstract piece thrown in. I was never a realistic painter, although I was obsessed with painting things that looked like things. Whether they were landscapes, animals, or foods, I truly believed, at the time, that I could only consider myself an artist if I could paint ‘things.’

Obviously, I figured out that I was wrong, and I really did know it at the time, too. But, as you’ll see if you’ve read my book, there was a method to the madness.

Sammy the Swan by Victoria R Wolf 6-5-23

Sammy the Swan

Late last year, after painting Sammy the Swan,  I decided I was going to step away from paintings that represented things. I didn’t feel I was as good at it as I wanted to be, and, more importantly, I wanted to express more of myself in my work.

But that begged the question: Who am I, really? both as a person and an artist. And when I found that out, how do I translate that to my art?

In an attempt to answer those questions, I started watching and following abstract painters. I loved the intuitive nature of their work, and it began to resonate with me. It seemed like the best direction to follow if I had any hope of answering my questions.

I boldly set off on my new abstract-only path, fully believing it would be somewhat smoother than my previous “blend-a-holic” path. Well, as with many things in life, I was a bit wrong.

Abstract paintings are not easy to paint. They may seem so when looking at a finished piece, but I am here to tell you they aren’t. There is no guideline to follow as in more realistic paintings. If you paint a lemon and you want it to look remotely like a lemon, well, you have a guideline or a path forward. Although that type of painting is not easy either, abstract painting requires different things from the artist.

With abstracts, you not only have to make something out of nothing but also infuse it with emotion to allow it to form a connection with the viewer. I must confess, I thought I would have no problem expressing my emotions on the canvas. I was so very wrong.

My first abstract pieces were frustrating for me. I lost my way very easily, and I struggled with a focal point. Well, even now, I don’t always have a focal point, but that’s intentional. And, if I am not careful, I can still get lost in a painting and have to scrap it and paint it over.

The Tipping Point, Part One by Victoria R Wolf 7-9-23

The Tipping Point Part One

There were many times during my early abstract pieces when I was so frustrated that I began to think painting was not going to be something I would ever be good at. It was so defeating for me, and if it were not for my stubbornness to “figure it out,” I would have quit painting forever. I kept pushing, both mentally and artistically, hoping I would “get it.” I had a slim amount of confidence I would, but that was enough to stay on the path.

The Tipping Point Part Two by Victoria R Wolf Summer 2023

The Tipping Point Part Two

Then, one day, I made the huge and conscious decision not to care about whether what I created was good or bad. I was just going to let my subconscious guide me in whichever direction I wanted. I committed to trying new techniques without worrying about the possibility of “ruining” a painting if those techniques did work out. Instinctually, I knew I had to go down that path if I was ever going to connect with my true painting self.

Birth of the Inner Weirdo by Victoria R Wolf 1-12-24

Birth of the Inner Weirdo

It was not an easy path, being the perfectionist that I am (okay, recovering perfectionist), but once I took the leap, it all began to make sense. And out came Birth of the Inner Weirdo. With that painting, everything changed for me, as if the skies opened up and poured wisdom on my soul. It set me on a true path forward, and I found a connection and love for my art that I had been looking for since I started painting.

A week or so later, I created two paintings simultaneously, Foundation Connections and Green Nevermore, using the same “go with subconscious flow” method. With both paintings, I found further validation in my abilities, and I discovered my artistic voice.

Although the two paintings are different in technique, they both are a part of who I am. They convey the contradictions that exist in me. They feel fluid yet structured and convey serenity and rebellion.

The Light Will Emerge by Victoria R Wolf 4-14-24 closeup

In The Light Will Emerge, the contradictions become more striking as I see a more distinct style emerge. I can see the gained confidence in the painting, as well as the joy it gave while creating it. I’m having fun painting and now look forward to the next painting I create rather than worrying if I will be able to actually create it.

The changes I have experienced in my painting journey are profound. I could have never predicted painting would be such a life-changing endeavor for me, and I am grateful for the experiences and growth it has brought me.

Change is possible and you may never be able to predict what will spark that process of self-growth and understanding, and that’s okay. The key is to keep moving forward. If you’re not on the path, you cannot discover what lies ahead.



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