Creativity and confidence

This evening I went to a private view of a painting exhibition by French-London artist Lorraine Fossi. Lorraine studied architecture in Paris, but has since become an accomplished painter.

Breaking waves painting

Lorraine Fossi – Breaking Waves, oil on canvas

Lorraine’s show is inspired by The Royal Iris; one of the original Mersey ferries and host to the Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers in her heyday. She now languishes on the Thames at Woolwich, slowly decaying and with an uncertain future; but here brought back to life on Lorraine’s canvases.

Royal Iris boat

Royal Iris at Woolwich 2013

This evening it was amazing to see all Lorraine’s hard work and her talent writ large on the walls. I guess this is what anyone who sees themselves as creative wants; first they want to be able to express their creativity and secondly they want it to be recognised and enjoyed. Lorraine certainly seems to be a woman who has found her path.

Lorraine's show

In my new freelance life I’ve just done some PR for Lorraine’s exhibition and it’s been great to be around her creativity and exuberance. I’m not as talented as Lorraine, nor as confident – I conversed more with the paintings than the guests this evening, but I’m still hoping I can find my own creative way in this new chapter of life.

Lorraine Fossi painting

It’s not that easy though is it. What if the big idea doesn’t present itself? What if this notion of combining natural talents with daily work is an unrealistic myth and a path to unhappiness when it (probably) remains unrealised? Perhaps it’s as nonsensical as the notion of ‘work-life balance’. And while we’re at it, what is creativity anyway?

Exterior art gallery

Is this modern pursuit of happiness just a nice middle class, pre-occupation that we indulge in because we can? I’ve spent a considerable amount of time naval-gazing and considering my new ‘creative future’. Lucky me. Maybe it’s time to get real. Maybe it’s time to recognise that happiness (if it exists) actually lies closer to home. Perhaps I should express my ‘creativity’ through hobbies and voluntary work while reserving the day job for, well, for work really; largely as a means to an end. And be content with that.

In a serendipitous way I found a copy of ‘Affluenza’ by psychologist Oliver James in a charity shop today. I think it explores this same notion, probably far more eloquently than I. In between contemplating these two entirely different versions of my own future, I’m looking forward to reading it and will report back.

In the meantime I do know that when I got back from this socially ‘challenging’ (for me) evening I was restored as soon as I walked in the door…



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One Response to “Creativity and confidence”

  1. Lorraine Says:

    My dear Clare,

    I am not a confident woman ( I do not show my weaknesses, that’s different) And live with my doubts and regrets. My way to deal with my inner anxiety and low self esteem is ACTION. It has not always been like, no. With painting, I found a space of freedom and a way to turn myself toward others and communicate.

    Each painting is a project in itself that I cherish and try to complete. I struggle for each one but will, at some point, be able to say to myself: “this is good enough”. Then, when the painting has nothing else to be than to be, then it can be shown to others. Whist talking about a painting I somehow talk about myself, some people say that this is not professional, nor commercial but I do not care.

    When I sell a painting, a part of me goes with the painting…Then I feel adopted, loved, expanded. I sold 4 paintings after the Private Viewing and feel blessed by love and acceptance. My self esteem is better, but I assure you, not for long…

    I might consider some changes; to create more space between myself and my work, detach a little…. it is tiring to live with my own intense self, I envy you Clare who can pause and reflect on life and human condition. Your daughters are beautiful, I have not been a very successful mother…There are the gapping holes, frailties that only the artistic image can filled and transcend.

    Love, Lorraine

    eethree Says:
    April 22, 2013 at 5:53 am | Reply
    Lorraine, thank you so much for your comment and your insight. It’s tricky, life, isn’t it. I realise of course that you don’t float through it, none of us do, we do indeed all have our frailties to bear. Perhaps I need to remind myself that it’s not just me, a little more! I’m so happy for you that you have found your creativity and therefore your voice. Don’t try to separate you from your paintings too much, it’s what makes them so wonderful. Perhaps you will need to work with that connection as I think it’s the essence of your work. Thanks Lorraine for letting me work with you and I hope you have all success you deserve X

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