Blog: Bliss or Freedom

Christine Alfery

Posted on September 03 2020

Blog: Bliss or Freedom

 Featured image: Out on a Limb

Every morning, as I sit here alone with the trees, the flowers, the grass, the sky, and all of earth, I allow that wonderful feeling of oneness with nature to return to me.  The feeling permeates every part of my very being.  It is peaceful, it is home. 

That oneness, that peacefulness, that naturalness, that bliss is part of what my work is all about.

My work is also about freedom, individuality, and uniqueness. 

The balance between these two is very difficult to achieve.
The bliss and security of being one with nature is at odds with the insecurity and alone-ness of freedom and individuality.
They tug and pull as I seek balance. 

Many artists feel this tug and pull when they begin a new work – seeking that a-ha moment, trying something different, questioning if it works.  I have these feelings as I work on my current Gears Series. It is a very insecure feeling.

The security and bliss of one-ness is the Utopia artists were searching for in the 60’s. As an artist who was emerging in the 60’s, I was part of that movement.
Since that time, some abstract expressionist artists continue to work in that paradigm, but others, like me, have changed.  Today many abstract expressionists have broken from the complete state of blissfulness - because they have come to recognize their uniqueness, and their self, their possibility for independence and individuality.

This freedom is not given – it must be discovered by the individual self.
  The self needs to unblock, unchain the very thing that is so blissful in order to be a self-determining individual – to be able to use the gifts they were born with, to be able to use and recognize their uniqueness, their individuality, to be able to create a place - a new place, a different place - where they are comfortable being themselves.

"Out On A Limb" - Christine Alfery

It is a hard step to take – to step away from this blissful state.
  Much like it is hard to finish my coffee in the morning and return to reality – the journey on this road is not an easy one. 
The trick is to find a balance between the two, finding a way to integrate the two: the security of bliss and the growing strength and mastery of self and the self’s isolation from others.
  You are only a drop in the ocean, and at the same time you can be the drop that quenches the thirst of self.

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