I grew up in the belly of rural Kentucky, within a quaint town where strangers are not hard to find. It is the kind of a place that is easily forgotten once you pass it on the interstate headed to more vivid and lively scenes. Kentucky has so many picturesque areas but the smaller towns can be gloomy. I have only ever lived in rural areas and though the quiet has a way of being very loud at times, it can also serve as a companion for finishing a piece. A great portion of my paintings have found completion here, surrounded by quiet hills and rustling masses of graceful trees.
I feel that art can be enriched with history, if an artist is willing to be honest and open. The past is not opaque but it also isn't transparent and I'd be fibbing if I said that my artwork isn't, in part, reminiscent of my personal experiences. My art is flecked with laughter, screams and lessons from my past and present. The good thing about having a past, is that as an artist I can share my truths and give a peek behind ''the mask''. Art is such a beautiful thing because you truly never know the depth of someone's story. It's fascinating and it feels as if you're part of that unfolding tale as you glance or observe their creations. Creating is very personal and important to me. In a sense I feel like I'm letting people ''in''. I feel like I'm no longer hiding, like I'm able to be myself.
Years ago, before initially giving in to painting and art in general I was unsure of how to express myself in a safe way. Despite being surrounded by such rich scenery, I was despondent and severely unhealthy from what I was doing to myself. As the years blossomed on, I wilted and drifted into darkness. Art became my confessional, my diary of sorts and paint allowed me to manifest things which I hadn't been willing or confident enough to convey. Although my focus lays in painting presently, it hasn't been my only means of creating. I also I drew tons of erotic and gruesome illustrations, sketched many scenes and forms, experimented with collaging, gave oils a try, dabbled in photography and discovered a love of writing poetry. I dabbled in several mediums along the way but painting captured something within me in a way that seemed to surpass all that came before.
Creating can be so feverish and invigorating. I can remember the first time that things made sense with art. It was a moment of pure clarity and enthusiasm. With brush in hand and paint in the other, art seemed to fill the air for me. I wanted to paint everything! I could barely work on one piece because I already had so many ideas and visions for other pieces! The more I gave into it, the more I felt a sense of accomplishment. Many paintings later I was finally able to let myself breathe and feel the sunshine. In a way I felt like I was planting life into the canvases. It felt magical and pleasing. It still does! I take something blank and I poured myself all over it and it feels so good to me. Such a release!
I gravitated towards acrylics almost instinctively and they've never let me down. That's not to say that I am not willing to give other paints a try. For me, acrylics are ideal because they not only dry relatively fast, but they also allow me to manipulate texture and mold to my liking. I'm no expert but I feel confident in what I am doing and in all of my creations. I think that at the end of the day if an artist can smile at their creation, they're doing something right and that matters.
I have been painting since around the age of 16 and art still serves as a crutch for me. I give each painting/creation my very best, always, while remaining true to myself and my style. I am very open regarding my reasons for creating art and my artwork is faithful to my history and beliefs. The past is like a vast ocean, greeting the aging lands of time in each of our closets. Like most folks, I have skeletons that ask me to dance from time to time, begging me to give in to the past and let it engulf me but art helps me to close the door, lock it and focus on what is important to me.
I create what I feel. Different pieces mean different things to me. One thing that I have realized is that I can never decide or anticipate how someone else interprets my art. At the end of the day, you see what you see and that is good. That is a gift.
©2020 Cierra G. Rowe
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