With most autistic people, they have important special interests, some might call them obsessions. When you are autistic and have ADHD you can go back and forth between several callings (obsessions.) My main obsessions are art, writing, theatre and photography. Occasionally I get into crafting as well, including jewelry making, sewing, and restoring antiques. I’ve earnestly tried to monetize each and every one of these obsessions, as we are all taught to do, but to middling effect. Very successful in results i.e. how it effected and improved the lives of other people. But money? Let’s just say I am not very good at networking. (Surprise, surprise.)
But in my raw day of grief and funk, I can feel myself turning to painting. And now that I am post diagnosis I really want to find a style all my own. No more mask.
Still I want something that evokes my favorites, like Sargent’s efficient brushstrokes and light, or Toulouse-Lautrec’s colors, but also Klimt and Chagall. Seurat. Van Gogh, of course, if only for the mental health solidarity. Jenny Lawson is probably a surprising favorite, but I would call her “doodles” high art. Jess Franks beautiful color and angles. Kandinsky’s lines. Elise Huther’s bold rawness. Paul McCartney’s rhythm. (NOT Picasso, thank you, Hannah Gadsby.)
Maybe something with the bold but transparent saturation that you get with alcohol inks, only using my go-to fluid acrylics. To me they’re the most versatile paint, I use heavy body acrylics too. As well as watercolors. Depends on the mood. (The only paints that I do not use anymore are oils, my sensory issues and hyperosmia can’t handle the thinners.)
Something that has a pattern, uses pattern in a unique way but is still organic…. it’s still forming in my head…
But this new painting, this style, it needs to be my own. Something that is truly me. Some of my oldest paintings, that I thought were no longer my style, might also be the most honest of my paintings. I just want to elevate that honesty to the skills that I have honed over these many years in between.
Nothing is a waste. No matter how long you spent in a mask. Masks still have eyes, and I have amassed a world of knowledge and experience when it comes to art and painting. I can see things that neurotypical artists wish they could see.
It all starts now. Re-birth, not regret.