Leo Babauta blogged recently about how fear can keep us from doing many of the things we know we should be doing… mundane tasks like eating well all the way to life-changing acts of pursuing our dreams. We are afraid of so much and that keeps us from necessary changes.
Mainly in response to recent violent events all over our big blue planet, I have been pondering my own fears. In a three day period, I heard about three separate kidnappings and those put me on hyper-alert. I’ve always been aware of my surroundings and the danger that lurks anywhere, but I know that living in fear is not a way to go about my days. And I know that most people are good. But…
I have such a vivid imagination! In the last few months that I’ve been reading about peaceful parenting, raising a spiritual child, and how to incorporate value lessons in my everyday parenting, etc., I have begun appreciating my daughter so much more. If I previously ever felt inconvenienced by parenthood, now I value it and what it has taught me so much more. And I am loving my sweet girl. I have the foresight to know that whatever we are struggling with right now (limits, nighttime wake-ups, and mommy’s personal space and time) will be replaced by different struggles sometime soon. I simply love her and love being with her.
Around the time my husband and I got married 11 years ago, I remember thinking how I was placing so much of my heart into the hands of one person. If something were to happen to him, it would happen to my heart too. I felt vulnerable yet powerless to stop sharing more and more of myself. It is the same feeling now with my daughter. I don’t know why it took four years to realize it, but regardless, that same feeling of my heart living with someone else is back… and I feel it powerfully.
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“When you love someone, truly love them, you lay your heart open to them. You give them a part of yourself that you give to no one else, and you let them inside a part of you that only they can hurt.” ~ Sherrilyn Kenyon
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We have all been imagining what it would be like to lose a young child and we have all been hurting. Our assignment for My Crazy Life this month was to be vulnerable, in our relationships and in our art. So with this in mind, I tried some new things and came up with this.
I have never done such a large canvas (24×24), never applied a texture underneath paint, and never tried to depict anything negative in my art.
I started by applying the textured parts. The three diagonal lines represent ugliness (of any kind) that can streak across any pleasant life. The modeling paste took quite a while to dry since it was so thick.
Then I painted black and red to symbolize the darkness. This was a mistake… I should have saved this part for last because I had to go over it again after painting the background parts.
I covered the coarse gel with green paint via sponge. (Also a mistake… I should have mixed it into the paint and applied it together. It kept lifting off the canvas!)
Eager to continue, I tried speeding up the drying process with my heat gun. I ended up working on the background and smudging colors together anyway.
I made a gray paint to fill in any white canvas peeking through and covered most of the black, so I went back and reapplied the black and the red splatter drops. I put the red paint directly onto the sponge and dabbed or flung it on the canvas.
I added some shimmer with liquid acrylic white pearl, black glitter, and also added yellow splotches to symbolize “anxiety.” You can see below how I tried to blend layers together. I wanted the calm background to be interrupted by the violence/ugliness, but I also didn’t want it to seem too stark of a contrast. The black glitter in between was meant to soften it a bit.
The sun in the upper right corner of the canvas is a little darkened but still bright.
And the fallen bits at the bottom are casualties of the ugliness. Imagine what you will. It was fun to splatter paint here.
I do not know what I’m going to do with this canvas because I don’t like it! I enjoyed the creation process but don’t like how it turned out and don’t like looking at it. Any thoughts?
- Texture streaks: Liquitex modeling paste, Golden Coarse Pumice Gel
- Paints: Artist’s Loft Acrylic Mars Black and Gouache; Blick Matte Acrylic Violet Deep, Red Light, Sage Blue, Violet Light; Golden Fluid Acrylic Cerulean Blue Deep and Carbon Black; Anita’s Acrylic Daffodil; Sargent Acrylic Titanium White; Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Acrylic Satin in Wild Blueberry and Sterling; Daler Rowney Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic White Pearl
- Glitter: Barbara Trombley’s Art Glitter: Black Opaque and Lemone Transparent
You can see more “Behind the Art” posts here.