I had plans to paint all Summer but I was feeling a bit stressed and uninspired. That's when my good friend Diane, from Amsterdam, told me about Niksen.
Niksen is a Dutch practice where you learn to do nothing. Diane had a back injury that left her unable to walk for 6 months. So she took it upon herself to practice Niksen as a way to pass the time. I listened to my friend and took July off, did absolutely nothing, and discovered that it was exactly what I needed to be inspired to try something new.
During her months in bed, Diane read a lot of books about creativity. One book that stood out was the biography of Yayoi Kusama "Infinity Net". In it, Kusama describes how she began to see hallucinations of field of dots as a child and her way of coping with the bizarre phenomena was to paint what she saw and use these dots as a trademark motif. My friend told me the book hit home as she also battled her own demons and depression. I could relate.
Once I got back to work in August and Diane was able to slowly walk again, I wanted her to help me with a photo shoot with my new model Lauren. I thought it would do her good to get out of her house. What she didn't know is that I had secretly bought a piece of fabric with black dots hoping she would let me photograph her wrapped in it, safe from the world outside. Thankfully she said yes.
Back in the studio, I was inspired to change things up a bit and started working with a new palette made of strong bright colors. This strength combined with Lauren's delicate nature and Diane's vulnerability created a duality that emphasizes the emotional spectrum that women live with.