Kristin Ann Fuller
Tell us about what you're currently working on.
I'm currently working on a canvas, 68"x 96". It's stapled to my studio wall right now. I haven't worked this large since college. I've constructed a stretcher frame, out of two by fours, to stretch it over when it's finished. This painting, while mainly oils, it also has oil pastels, crayon pastels, charcoal, highlighter, and Sharpie. It's really more of a drawing than a painting.
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
It took me until April 4 to get back into my studio. I'm normally there three to five times a week. I have 24/7 access to my studio, but I just couldn't bring myself to go. The last thing on my mind was to be creative. My studio is my happy place and I couldn't bring depression into it. I worked on a quick watercolor and played with some clay st home, but they weren't a good substitute. I knew I needed to get back in my studio. I felt guilty not taking advantage on my space, but I was too depressed and fatigued to go.
I finally bought canvas, the last bit on the roll, and stapled it to the wall. This large canvas was my way of pulling me out of the hole I found myself in. You can't just let a raw canvas stay on the wall and ignore it. The scale of the canvas allowed me to stretch my arms and reach high. It felt good to open my arms. It was just what I needed.
In your opinion, what is the role that the creative process can play in helping us confront our "new" reality?
As a practicing artist, it's hard to accept this new reality. I was scheduled for a two-person, collaboration show in April. It's a stark reminder that you can't make plans right now. Without a show, who is my audience? Making work for myself isn't enough for me. The uncertainty is unsettling, to say the least. On the other hand, working without an audience has given me the liberty to experiment more and take more chances. I'm a firm believer that if you don't take chances, you don't fail. Without failure, you do not grow. Creativity is in the soul. It will find a way out, but we have to be patient and kind to ourselves. There seems to be a certain amount of shame or self disappointment in not working during the pandemic. I think society looks to the artist, musician, writer, etc. during a crisis, for hope and a voice. We can feel pressure to create. But, if the inspiration isn't there, it isn't there. It can't be forced, but it will come. And, it will be beautiful.
Kristin Ann Fuller is an abstract expressionist painter based in Baltimore, MD.