I believe we all have parts that make us who we are, some are rooted in love others in fear. I considered representing these parts through art for some time, yet over and over resisted.
Earlier this week I listened to an interview with Rick Rubin and his experience working with Johnny Cash who played a cover of Hurt (originally sung by Nine Inch Nails). I was overwhelmed by the song, after it finished the poem Roll The Dice by Charles Bukowski began to play.
The combination of both painful and beautiful creations sparked the desire to represent one of my parts with paint.
Using a blank canvas and my left (non-dominant) hand I took a broad brush loaded with black oil paint and swirled a variety of random lines for several minutes. I stopped, turned the canvas upside down then stood back looking for patterns. There emerged what felt like a part, one of pain. Slowly I added more black paint and then earth tones (Yellow Ochre, Gold Ochre, Naples Yellow, and Burnt Umber).
Click on the picture to see a higher-resolution image.
The following day I pushed back the urge to lighten the work, instead keeping much of it dark. I used a palette knife to refine the image, at times squeezing paint from the tube directly on the canvas, then quickly carving into the dark side. On the third day (today) I added highlights of light blue to represent tears. The white areas are places of exposed canvas.
The amalgamation of music, poetry, inspired (in-spirit), experimenting, and being present with the creative process, is in a way, the silent conversation between myself and the canvas.
All the while, honoring the darkness, the pain, the hurt, going all in, putting myself out there … in being human and still holding each part with compassion, grace, and love.