The older I get, the more I value minimalism.
It’s likely due to the number of times I’ve moved over the past six years. Settling into each new space requires a certain amount of purging and, to be quite honest, it’s a task I’ve strangely grown to love. My husband and I have everything we need and nothing we don’t, which is such a refreshing feeling. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Tiffany Wong. She’s a talented singer, songwriter, and painter living in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago. While her studio may appear small and paired down, similar to our own apartment, her ideas are anything but.
Born and raised in the Bay Area of California, she moved to the Windy City for her Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance. Since graduating from college, Tiffany has devoted her efforts into finding a way of living that is rich in experience, yet sparse in unneeded clutter. “Watercolor brings me rest, activates creativity, and awakens mindfulness. I started painting out of pure enjoyment and I hope to continue as I grow in skill.”
During my visit with Tiffany, we sipped on coffee and talked about our many travels, Tulum being her most recent adventure. She then invited me over to her work station for a glimpse inside her creative process. “When I approach a blank canvas, I rarely premeditate the concept. I think of something that has inspired me,” which in this case happened to be the secluded beaches of Mexico, “and start acting on the inspiration with a sense of light-heartedness and flexibility. My best pieces are when I am in tune with my intuition and when I quiet the voices of self-doubt.”
Knowing all of this, there was something so fascinating about seeing Tiffany’s technique. Before her was a stark white sheet of paper, a delicate brush, and a panel of paint colors, but once she dipped the brush in water and took a sweep through her large selection of pigments, magic unfolded. A mixture of brown and yellow suddenly turned into the prettiest shade of gold, the twists and turns of seafoam blue paired with a charcoal pencil offered an array of texture, but no two strokes were ever the same. Some shades appeared darker than others, a few barely whisked across the paper. Then, just like that, she was done. Tiffany told me that acknowledging when to stop can sometimes be the easiest thing or the hardest thing, but as she arched her neck back and scanned her latest piece of art, she knew. Forever preserved on canvas was a memory that only she can tap into.
Tiffany wants to provide that same, unique experience for anyone who’s interested. “I sometimes find it difficult to interact with abstract art and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So, every Tuesday of this year, I’ll post an abstract painting inspired by someone new after asking four simple questions: who are you, what inspires you, what do you fear, and what makes you laugh?” Sure, this may require a person to step outside of his or her bubble and open up a bit, but at the end of the day, isn’t that what art is all about? #ConnectTuesdays