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Art Born from Self Reflection

Chelsea Hart

These paintings, you can call them a mini-series if you like, came about during the 100-day challenge I did over the summer and a little bit into the fall. It was a simple challenge, create a piece of art every day for 100 days. It was freeing and hard at the same time. I was creating every day without being tied to a body of work or a real deadline, that was the freeing part. The hard part was creating when I didn’t know what the fuck to create. Or when I felt soooo lazy that I really didn’t want to even look at my art supplies.


As I closed in on the end of the challenge I purchased some large canvases, 40x40in. I wanted the freedom that comes with painting on a large scale. At the same time, I wanted the challenge of being intentional about every square inch of the canvas, creating a thoughtful composition. What came out of this purchase were abstract paintings I’ve never felt more connected to. The work just felt like me. 


That’s not to dismiss all the other work I’ve done in the past, and to say that it didn’t feel like me. But these pieces felt more clear, flowing, natural. I took fewer breaks while creating, as it felt like I was getting a piece of my soul out on the canvas. The reason these paintings even existed inside of me, waiting to get out is thanks to all the internal work I’ve been doing. This work consisted of getting clear on what my authentic code is, meaning I took inventory of what I value most, and what feels 100% ME, not the ego me. Figuring that out, and not settling for things that don’t meet that code. I worked on, and am still in the process of recognizing the shadow aspect of myself, where these shadows come from, and how I can own them. I’ve had so many profound breakthroughs. I recommend this work to anyone and everyone. The process in which I do this is led by Lacy Phillps and her site To Be Magnetic. There are so many different things I’ve realized while going through her framework, but one that pertains to my artwork was just to let myself create, no pressure. Just create what feels right to me. Stop comparing. Just let my creative self come out in whichever way it feels.


Lacy’s work, combined with the 100-day challenge was how this sort-of accidental series was born. I wasn’t trying to create a series of work. I was just doing what felt natural. Each abstract piece I would begin by having some words in mind that were resonating with me at that moment. Something I was working through, a breakthrough I had, or even simple moments I was grateful for. I thought about what colors these words would be. What feeling I wanted this painting to evoke, the shapes within the painting...are they serious, playful? 

Each painting is super personal. My headspace for the painting covered in hues of pink was pure love. I was feeling super connected to my husband, loving, and appreciative of our time together. It was a beautiful day out in which we spent grilling oysters, shucking and eating them raw, drinking wine, not looking at our phones, just enjoying a simple but meaningful Saturday. After coming back inside, we listened to music, I started this painting, writing words like “connected” and “love.” I even painted some cheesy hearts and covered them up with paint. Pink and love may be too on the nose for some people, but it’s what felt good to me at the moment. It makes me happy that each of these paintings has a secret message under the layers with descriptive words. Each piece is very personal, but my hope is that other people can relate to them, and feel what I was feeling.