Classic Chinoiserie sometimes has more simplified elements than those that I tend to produce. But I’m not letting that get in my way of producing Chinoiserie style paintings. Rather I am learning to incorporate my own opulent and elaborate florals into chinoiserie art by keeping my elements elegant and maintaining the flow found in both Kimono designs and Chinoiserie. I am pulling the elements I love into my work to create something which is still in the Chinoiserie “genre” while creating my own twist on it.
So far, this approach is working for me because what I’m creating are elegant Chinoiserie paintings focused on florals with Asian inspired elements. Here are the first three in this series:
I’ve decided to focus more on creating beautiful flowers and birds and then stepping back a bit to reflect on how I can add that Chinoiserie feel to these florals. So far, I’m extremely pleased with my results. My style of Chinoiserie is more opulent and maximalist. I can see these hanging in any home where someone wants to bring that bit of Asian Inspired design to their space and not make it a jarring addition to a more traditional room. I think these three paintings do just that. Without compromising my artistic style at all.
The reason I’m so hung up on not compromising my style is I’ve spent the last year and 1/2 working as a pattern designer – and I love that work – but depending on the client brief, I have had to shift my style to make my work match what someone else wants because not everyone wants chinoiserie. And while that was a valuable experience for me as an artist, after a while I realized I was losing my own identity. This led to me feeling blocked creatively. I couldn’t produce any designs I loved because they didn’t feel authentic to my voice as an artist. After a while, it began to impact my design work because I just couldn’t commit to a pattern that didn’t feel authentic to me.
Since stepping back from the pattern design world, I have been incorporating some new techniques I discovered in my work as a designer into a new series of paintings. The results have had me jumping out of bed before the sun comes up to work on more florals, more textures, more elements – and my enthusiasm for my art has grown to entirely new heights.
Because I have a limited amount of hours to work as either an artist or a designer (that’s due to my other life…the one I must continue for another 5 years), I have decided bouncing from one area to the other is simply a must. Staying in one for too long leads me to frustration and takes the joy out of creating. So I’ll compromise. For a while I will continue with my paintings – until I once again get blocked – then I’ll return to pattern design to nail down some new techniques which will no doubt influence my work as a painter when I once again return to that.