I thought and studied the blank canvas before me for a very long time before sketching. I then returned to my sketchpad, making a tiny sketch, which became this large one, above.
To me it represents a helpless, tortured figure, tormented by forces on all sides. This represents to me a very old me, but also an inner me, deep down, in what I call The Pit. Many if not most of my alters or personalities “live” down there. One in particular, called Rag Doll, who was unable to do anything more during repetitive abuses, but survive, in shock, in numbness.
The Pink Layer is me as a vulnerable body with feelings, and as the object that I was to the abusers. The Raw Umber is my Spirit and my Spine, that survived and survives, my Strength.
The Red layers remind me of someone being hurt, being striped by a whip, by whippings, by something torturous and painful, the actual abuse. The Black layer is Night. Here is is not as ominous as it might seem, for it was a place for me to wonder, and to hide, but it was also a place where so many secrets were kept. Most of the abuse was done to me during daylight, but not all. So night was a safer place for me.
My intention is to paint clouds of black and white and charcoal to the left, and red and rust? to the right. This in in part because during the abuse by one abuser it was so traumatic I would literally pass out to the “right” or the “left”, to my child’s understanding, with the colors of black or red. Now I don’t remember which is which, but I like the unstable element of having the odd colors that way in the painting.
Part of me wanted to keep the painting pink and raw umber, because now I’m so much more calm. But this is a therapeutic process for me. These are healing paintings, descriptive, so I’m going deeper into my psyche for colors and forms.
Thank you for listening.