It’s been since March since I blogged … hopefully you all will forgive my silence. I’m sure you will. Alas. I haven’t painted since May, but I did finish Fragments 5 above. As of yet, several new paintings in the Fragments Series are not up on the website. Not sure why, but I’m happy to be painting again, as of this morning.
I sketched the shapes above in May, and have been studying what to do with the background since then. I also have been studying Georgia O’Keeffe, and a book of tribal art with clays and items from Nature for decorating the body.
Color and shapes will come. In particular, I’ve attached to an oil painting by O’Keeffe with the subject of the rings that trees make as they grow. I’ve always been fascinated by those. I did attempt to sketch some behind this group of shapes, but declined. Instead, I decided to paint this first few layers of Mars Black (with a bit of Acrylic Glazing Liquid for fluidity). After I get these layers down, I’ll try to sketch with chalk or something. We shall see.
The color of the group of shapes will ultimately be a glowing lime of my own mixing. However, these can be very sheer in practice, and disappointing. So my thought is to play with a few blue under layers first, like ? Cobalt Blue, or a mix of one. Then build up from there. I will test on paper or something first.
The shapes are … mysterious even to me. I must admit. I drew them from my subconscious, meaning, they were a response to a study over a few days, in answer to the question of … roughly … what does my core look like? what survived from birth through all the abuse growing up? It’s not a straight line, but it is like a spine of sorts, able to take … trauma.
… I’ve recently decided that life is somewhat of an obstacle course. You?
So maybe that explains a bit of the mysterious nature of the way the vertebrae of my symbolic core turned out. You know the way rocks are shaped by the water as they go down the river. So, but differently. Also, the beaten dog learns to bite. A bit of that goes a long way, so there is a point. Above all, to me though, that there are crescent pieces, comforts me, that there is roundness, makes me happy. There is strength in the thickness that remains. I’m not worn to a crisp. I also seem to be able to rock, like a rocker, to balance out, with the changes. There are inherent circles, cycles, transitions, growth, evolutions, and transformations that come about from the core.
To me, on explication, it is a powerful set of shapes.
Now, why black for the background? First of all, that represents my subconscious, the place I go when I sleep.
It is also the place where all the alters/identities go when they are not up. This to me is somehow, not literally, but symbolically, where all the memories, flashbacks, etc. live. In the dark, waiting to come up on their own for whatever reason, as they do. Or to be triggered, which is very frequent.
Thirdly, and what comes to mind FIRST of all, but for some reason I’ve waited to tell you LAST, black symbolizes my major depressive disorder, or the depression that comes. It just comes. I don’t expect or not expect it anymore; when it comes, just like any other alter, I say hello, and I’m sorry you feel that way. Whereas with the alters, it is a tiny bit different actually; I say hello, I’m sorry that happened to you, depending on what they bring me.
So out of this darkness the core vertebrae is able to … float. Observe. Be. To some extent. Survive to a great extent. I would say function, or be a host, but that is not its … thing. It is more integral to existence and being and light … spirit … essential values and self … than that. Perhaps it is my soul.
If that is the case I’m reminded of a few things. As a Buddhist, the need for boundaries, but not liking the sharpness. I love nonviolence, but I agree with a strong defense against evil in the world. I may not be able to provide that defense, personally, but I am aware of the need for strong boundaries. Personally, I cannot predict what my triggers will do in a situation. I can only do my best to survive going forward.
Secondly, I remember Le Petit Prince, or The Little Prince. The dear rose with her thorns. Poor thing, right? But I do understand the need for thorns. That is somewhat of a wee joke. And kind of sad, at the same time. I understand.
There is already a lot happening in the painting, which excites me, after so many months of not painting, and serious study.
Now, I will say that I have also been seriously writing on my Rebekah’s Closet screenplay? It has been an incredibly emotional process. It is an art therapy project of the deepest kind.
I’m so glad to be back into painting again, and in a place with the screenplay where I can balance writing with visual art once more. I need the tangible stimulation of the painting, as well as the instant (or almost instant, heh, about as fast as I can paint?) gratification of seeing the artwork coming into being.
But I also need the … ? … so many levels are stimulated by the art therapy of writing the screenplay. I have no idea what to say to describe the challenge of being a writer again. Or for the first time? I’m beginning to feel like I’m becoming a writer … now. Because I’m allowing myself to be one now.