Truth Unveiled – Kerry Schroeder – Ep 30
May 18, 2022
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
In the beginning of our art journey, often all we have is a tug. An inner knowing that pulls us towards our own art-making. The soul is patient of course and it can wait. It will wait for years. But at some point, you begin. Turns out, it’s not just our art we’re discovering but the slow and steady revelation of ourselves.
Join me today for a conversation with artist Kerry Schroeder. Her art is a beautiful testament to this quest. Her words and art miraculously hold both the floral frailty of nature as well as its unstoppable, ground-shaking forces. It is both! However, there is this common thread Kerry uses to hold these swirling elements so delicately, almost magically together in her art. It’s not about the palette, the materials, or even the subject matter. It is much simpler than that. It’s just the truth. Hers.
Listen if you are interested in…
- The wonderful beginnings of Kerry Schroeder [2:37]
- Kerry’s thoughts on breakthroughs and how to cultivate them [7:27]
- Kerry’s BIG “aha” moment and finding those moments for yourself [11:56]
- Exploring our “deeper yes” and finding the truth [15:23]
- How Kerry let go of her former art style to embrace the future [18:27]
- The parts of Kerry that end up in her current work [24:02]
- Diving into Kerry’s process and finding balance between chaos and curation [27:20]
- Embracing the unknown in art-making and letting life lessons show up on your canvas [32:35]
- How to process feedback on the business side of art-making [35:53]
- Overcoming fear and using art to connect with the world [38:19]
- Final thoughts and advice from Kerry [40:10]
Growing into breakthrough
For some people, it’s a moment. For others, it’s a period of time. No matter what, you never forget when you experience a breakthrough in your art practice. I remember exactly where I was when I had one of my most significant breakthroughs and my art was forever changed as a result. Kerry Schroeder had a similar experience while attending one of our workshops years ago. She was at a point in her art journey where she needed more than art her friends and family would enjoy. Kerry wanted to go deeper.
This particular workshop was all about letting go, finding yourself, and painting authentically. Which can be an uncomfortable process when you’re approaching art this way for the very first time. It can feel like putting on a coat that’s too big. It may be awkward at first, but it’s still necessary. This is something that I feel a lot of artists don’t understand when they first start out or when they’re in the process of transitioning. Being uncomfortable is a part of the process. If you’re not willing to keep going and continuously put on the new coat, you’ll never grow into it.
Searching for holy moments
Have you ever had an “aha”, or as Kerry put it, a “holy” moment? It’s a moment that stands apart and brings clarity to your art and life, even for just a second. They don’t happen often, but when they do, it feels like magic. Maybe it’s the light hitting the trees in just the right way that gives you a new perspective. Or the rustling of wind that stirs up the right feeling and emotion and translates to the canvas. For Kerry, these moments feel like a small voice calling her to peel back another layer of herself to find the truth.
Listening to yourself
How do we know it’s time to evolve as an artist? When is it time to move on from our current style to embrace something new? I was really surprised to learn that Kerry’s “holy” moments didn’t start happening until later in her art career. Her introduction to commercial success was painting large botanicals with abstract backgrounds and she pursued that for years. However, as time went on she lost passion for that work. She found herself getting the botanical elements out of the way first so she could get to what she really enjoyed: the abstract backgrounds. It wasn’t until she started listening to her own thoughts that she realized how laborious her artwork had become and the only enjoyable thing was the “fun” abstract stuff.
That kind of moment is so pivotal in the journey of an artist. It’s a fork in the road that can make or break our success and what we’re able to achieve. Do we ignore that small, truthful voice instead of all the things people and textbooks tell us our art should be? Or do we listen to ourselves and trust that our intuition is correct. The latter is exactly what Kerry began to do and the results speak for themselves. So the question becomes, how do we begin to hear that voice? We find the places in our work that feel most free. We explore the parts that are unencumbered by ego. I look at my older work and clearly see where I was trying too hard to be impressive. I wasn’t “painting myself” as Kerry said, I was painting for everyone else. As artists, we can’t communicate nine things well on a canvas. We can only communicate one thing really well. Let that thing be the truth.
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With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.
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