In conversation with North Carolina based artist Reneesha (also known as rnwulf).
Can you talk about your journey into or interest the arts?
I’ve always had a passion for art. What I loved the most was each artist, each piece of artwork had a different story to tell. Before I decided to take my artistic practice seriously I was afraid of putting my work out there. I hated the idea that it was subjective and meant to be critiqued. After having my son I realised I cared more about creating.
Your work features portraits and self portraits of the female body, and in particular the effects of childbirth upon the females form. Can you talk about how this developed? And can you talk about the relationship of being a mother to that of being an artist?
Experiencing the process of childbirth and motherhood introduced to me to this unexplainable desire to create. There’s so much newness surrounding new moms that for me I had to put all of that emotion to paper/canvas. I knew so many women who were ashamed of their postpartum bodies and I loved mine. I loved that my belly softly protruded. I loved that my breast showed signs of nursing, long, uneven, full, empty, nourishing. I like to challenge the mind and create a level of normalcy when it comes to the many different ways bodies thrive while pushing the boundaries on what is real and imaginary.
I think the relationship of motherhood and artist is a special one. There’s so much that lends itself to my current artistic practice that without the experience of mother and child I don’t think I would be creating in the same way. There’s a level of excellence that as a parent you’re always trying to reach though deep down you know imperfection is perfection. Much like art, I can’t strive for perfection, I can’t make my lines straight, my brush strokes parallel. I can’t overthink it. I have to create in the moment.
Can you talk about the influences upon your work?
I believe that life experience is the most influential aspect when it comes to creating. Being able to distinguish what truly drives you is important to how and why you create. I combine my current fascination of illustrating the female form with an expressive practice only available because of my experience through different stages of my life.
Can you talk about your process of working? How do you work, how often, is there a particular pattern?
Creating is one of my top priorities. It’s my form of escaping. I make sure that I’m painting or sketching everyday. I might only have the opportunity to place a silhouette on paper one day and paint the next. I have to be intentional and utilise my son’s naps to finish a painting as quickly as I can. Working quickly though is a positive aspect of my process. I don’t have time to overthink or be indecisive, in that moment my goal is to complete a piece.
Do you find the process of creating work relaxing or therapeutic? We’ve become increasingly interested in the relationship of the artist to their working patterns and environment.
To have the opportunity to pour your emotions, thoughts, and feelings onto a blank canvas is both relaxing and therapeutic. I’ve learned that it’s all mental. Before my son I would drink wine, listen to my favourite albums and paint. Now I paint listening to white noise alternating between coffee and water. Mentally I’m processing brush strokes the same.