The human figure - especially the nude female - has been a dominant subject in my art for many years. I can't pinpoint the definitive reason why, although it partly has to do with my history as a dancer, my relationship with my sisters,and even my interactions with the women in my life in general.
As an artist, it's been difficult to answer with all certainty "this is what my art MEANS". In graduate school we had to defend and explain our work in critiques on a regular basis. I was working on large scale paintings of dancers, and had specific goals and ideas in mind.
But that is not always the case with each and every painting. Maybe the creation has come first, and the meaning is not yet clear to me.
One of my greatest joys comes from hearing what other people tell me my work means to them. I remember displaying my undergraduate thesis exhibit, and having numerous people come up to me and tell my why they liked a particular piece - they all had different reasons why, and none of their reasons matched my own! I loved it! It was truly mind blowing to have someone connect with my work and then share with me how it made them feel.
Today, my friend Laura gave me an incredibly high compliment. She has composed a poem inspired by one of my pieces, and I'd like to share it with you.
You left a long time ago
Without going anywhere
Still breathing my air,
still sharing my space,
You built up a convenient wall
of hard bricks and cemented lies,
You wrapped me up in a blanket of sorrow!
Lying down on this bed of torment
I followed hopes and dreams
I got nowhere
I rolled myself up
In a contortion of nerves and muscles
I waited for you to come back!
But you had left without going,
You were standing on the other side,
Staring at me from the back of that wall
Looking at curves and shadows of us
I thought we were invincible,
But I lost!
And loosing I gained anxiety,
I felt the failure,
Like a leaf that cannot find the ground
Floating on toxic air,
Belongs to nothing!
I stretched my ideas
I reached the visions of my soul
And I saw you there
Unreal and solid...
You had never left without going
You were still holding me
I was your everything
You were my Joy.
Laura has also selected one of my figure paintings for her book cover, which is being published this fall. This means so much to me, Laura...thank you!
Congratulations to both of you! Beautiful painting and impactful poetry. Aren't we blessed to be able to express ourselves in the arts?
Thank You Cindy. It is a Blessing, free expression through Art... Being able to put emotions in figures, words, music.
And to you Kristina... thank You for being immense source of inspiration!
What a beautiful poem to match your gorgeous artwork! Thanks for sharing!
I was thinking about this, days ago, Khrystyna... And I have an answer: what we, artists, feel is explained in our artworks. If we had to express them using words, we would be not painters or illustrators; we would be writers.
The power and ability to express ourselves! One of the most amazing things human beings can do.
The first step of course is being able to feel, and then take a moment to contemplate what we feel.
Then, whether we understand our emotions or just barley begin to comprehend why, we decide to express ourselves the best way we know how.
And, as Tati suggested so precisely - we often can't express ourselves in only words.
When the moments come that a painting can inspire a poem, or a lyric can inspire a visual artist, our work transcends ourselves and our own emotions and becomes a shared experience.
Wow. I loved her poem and I love this painting! Have you ever read "The Red Tent"? It is such a great woman's book... I can see your paintings illustrating the emotions of those stories so vividly.
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