Inspiration Story: The Stormy Fields Collection
I have pictures of all the completed pieces in the Stormy Fields Collection pulled up on my computer right now for me to look at as I write this. As though, I need a reminder of what I’m painting, what I’m currently throwing myself into… I don’t need the reminder because these paintings are representations of what this year has done to all of us. Visuals of the constant onslaught of news about COVID-19 and the election. Storms and turbulent, changing skies. I don’t need the photos to serve as a reminder of the inspiration behind this collection, no, I need these photos to remind me of the light I’ve created in these pieces and why that light is so important.
You know it’s funny… When I started painting collections and getting more “serious” about my art I swore I wouldn’t turn into these highly romantic artists who pull at straws to create “meaning” behind their works. I find that to be off-putting, unrealistic, and fake. But now when I try to share the story of this collection, I feel I can’t tell it without becoming that person because the story truly is steeped in emotion, whether I was aware of it in the beginning or not. And so at the risk of being a hypocrite, I’ll share with you what these paintings have pulled out of me, what I’ve laid on the canvas, and what feelings I hope you’ll find in this collection.
The Stormy Fields Collection started all the way back in January of this year. It’s the collection that started my year and the collection that will complete my year. I painted four large pieces between February and April and then I stopped. You all know the story, COVID hit and I couldn’t carry on with these pieces anymore.
There was a weight and real grief that we all felt and it was hard enough to carry on with my daily routines, eating right, showering regularly, and just existing was hard. I couldn’t pick up a paintbrush and perpetuate the mood that this collection was emitting.
The real irony here is that I started painting this collection BEFORE COVID hit, BEFORE the world was relegated to the shadows of isolation.
I really feel like I was meant to see these paintings through. So after a 6-month hiatus, I returned to them as I returned to the US.
You’ll notice a difference in the pieces that were created pre-COVID and the pieces that were created DURING COVID. Carlos, Carol, Miles, and Maru were all painted before or just as COVID hit and these are my darkest pieces. Like before the extreme changes the world would face, I felt changes in my own mind having to acclimate to a new country during the deep dark of Scandinavian winter, and I put brush to paper and shared the turbulence that was brewing inside of me. Only later to discover that this collection would embody what we’ve all had to face in 2020.
The time I took away from this collection filled me with a deep need for hope and positivity and that’s when the Blomster Collection emerged. Following that, I knew I had to somehow bring that hope back into this collection and that’s what you see in the more recent additions to the Stormy Fields Collection.
This collection is of storms; coming, going, just about to break. Clouds that are in motion - moving, erupting and then dissipating again. You can see movement in every sky painted, swift winds that are taking your eye from one corner to the next, just as each day this year has swept you from one extreme to another.
You’ve been put to task this year. Your strength and peace are being tested and the shitstorm that has exploded inside you and everyone you know is cloudy, dark, and not without tears.
But there is a light inside you somewhere, it’s what’s gotten you this far. And it’s casts a glow across your face and into the world that you’ve built. We are solid ground, the bright land. We stand here, and there, and weather whatever is blown at us. We’re bright beneath the dark and let it pass so we can see the sun again.
Painted BIG with watercolors and gouache, the Stormy Fields Collection is for all us who need a reminder that we have the strength and that when push comes to shove we’ll see the day through.
A collector of mine put it beautifully the other day when we were talking about the Stormy Fields Collection. She said, “Sometimes you want to look at something and just feel dark - you don’t want it to try to cheer you up. Sometimes everyone needs a good thunderstorm. You don’t know when it will end but you can appreciate it all the same.”
This collection is here for you if you’ve been sucker-punched in the stomach by 2020. This collection is here for you if you need to see into something that replicates the emotions inside you. This collection is of contrast. The darkness is real but so is the bright land that it engulfs.
I hope a piece in this collection makes it’s way into you home to serve as a reminder of the beauty and strength that lies within you. Smile at it as you pass and know you’ve weathered worse.