October 6, 2021

Why Paint Optimism and Happiness During These Terrible Times?

Ricky Houston

Acrylic, Oil Pastel and Collage on PaperYou Got Soul so You Can Feel It, 2021H 59.5cm x W 84cm

The global pandemic experience is terrible, full of  illness, death, fear and blame. Climate change is real and tangible. Violence is in the news every day. But I still feel optimistic and happy. Is this naive? I don’t think so. Optimism fueled by a happiness in being alive can move us forward. It’s surely optimistic for scientists to work on vaccines and they created really good results. We have treatments for HIV, the last new global virus. Pessimism could fuel inaction and that gets us nowhere. I know my art won’t change the world but if it can bring that feeling of happiness I have when doing it to even one viewer then that’s a positive thing. I use colour and form in a spontaneous intuitive way to try and bring that feeling across. I paint, I use collage, I overpaint until I feel it’s finished and even them I’m never sure. I get a good feeling when I’m making art so that’s a plus. It’s only when the artwork is out there in the world that it’s success or failure can be known. If it makes you exhilarated and even just a little bit happy then it’s a success.