The Naked Artist by Allison Hutchins
It's New Years' Eve and it's got me reflecting on the past year and contemplating what I want in 2019 as a professional, as a person, and specifically as an artist. This year has been a breakthrough year for me. I've come out of my shell and taken some risks with regard to exposing my art. I joined the Downtown Arts District Assoiciation (DADA), I've shown some artwork at the DADA First Friday Gallery Hop, posted some art on my website, and even explored new media. In July, I won the Forsyth County Entertainment Award for best painter. Last summer I got into experimenting with photography using a projector. The creative possibilities are limitless and I even incorporated the technique into one of my maternity sessions. Ultimately, it lead to the idea of being photographed with my own artwork being projected onto my body. My favorite images from all this experimenting were shot by my friend, artist Allison Hutchins.
There was tremendous vulnerability in this project. Beyond the obvious vulnerability of not having on any clothes, there was the fact that some of the artwork we used were paintings that hadn't been shown to anyone outside of the water heater room in my home. It took me by surprise how unnerving that part was compared to taking my clothes off. For me, creating art is easy. Letting someone else look at it is terrifying. There's naked, and then there's naked. There was a parallel challenge with the nudity part. I didn't expect to have any difficulty with it but as it happened it wasn't so easy. I went to art school, I've painted and photographed nude women, and given the various chapters of my past life, I'm not unfamiliar or uncomfortable with nudity or being nude. This was somehow different and much more intimate. It turned out, I was pretty nervous standing in front of the camera stark naked. I was thrilled with the finished product! Allison's placement of the images and the way she combines the lines in the artwork with the lines of the human form is truly inspired.
In the coming year, I'd like to try out more ideas with the projector and continue to build my confidence to try new things, take risks, show my artwork, and tell my story.