• shellypamensky

Me, then and now…

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

" Feel the fear and do it anyway" catchy title of a book I once read.

Growing up I was very influenced by my father who was creative across multi-media. He could teach himself anything from engineering to CAD and oil painting. Busy as he was at work, he still made the time to take amazing photographs and paint oil paintings at home. I loved the organic scent of those oils and how long they took to dry, it seemed something untouchable to me. Art soon became my favourite subject at school and post school, in a choice between academic or artistic studies I felt I had to choose a profession. Looking back I can’t say I regret this choice as it gave me the confidence to leave home (South Africa) straight out of university and immigrate to London with no real plan, anything or anyone. I soon found work in the City, but throughout my professional life, I felt a yearning to be creative and after having children I set up a studio at home and began to paint in earnest. I think during this period of my life my paintings were purely visual projections. I painted what captured my eye, be it people, flowers, fruits and things I encountered in my everyday life. I think I was emotionally muted during this phase of my life, busy with married life, the rearing of kids and pregnancies. I hardly listened to my inner voice until I guess it was too late and my whole life exploded never to be the same again.

Here my real journey began, I started to follow my heart rather than my head in all avenues of my life. I stopped painting because being creative was the last thing on my mind. My emotional stability and my children the foremost. It has taken a few years of upheaval, uncertainty and heart break to arrive at the point where I wanted to paint again, more as an expression of what’s going on inside rather than reflecting everyday life things. I feel very different now when I paint, no longer interested in what I used to do, but keen to experiment, learn new ways of doing things and use the painting process to express something from the inside that I feel I have encountered during my life. This process is challenging every day, I often get stuck, I’m not sure what the painting needs, but it somehow talks to me and I get over the humps. My paintings make me feel vulnerable as they are somehow an expression from within and I can’t say I don’t care how they are received, because I do. Despite this feeling of being uncomfortable I feel compelled to paint and see where this journey takes me. Living life with my art, and me being expressive, something I have always avoided, but I am my own subject matter, so I guess I have to feel the fear and do it anyway !!!

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