To share or not to share my shadow side?
To show or not to show
the art that is darker, grizzlier, more sombre?
It’s a true dilemma that niggles at my artist (and social media) self.
I trace the dilemma back at least 28 years, to the success of my first book, ‘Great Housewives of Art’.
This book blessed and
It led me a merry Mrs Degas dance across inner and outer landscapes.
(OK. Here’s a less blurry, more aligned version. You can click here for more info about Housewives greetings cards if you wish)
Now, where was I in this story from my creative path?
Oh yeah. I so thoroughly identified with the book that I was scared to publicly show any art that wasn’t funny and feminist. In essence – to show anything that wasn’t Great Housewives. I wondered: Who am I when I am not producing this book? I developed a severe case of ego-elastitis i.e. inflammation and shrinkage of self-esteem
(according to the diagnostic annals of Creativity Doctor Sal).
So…I’ve been on a journey ever since to find a sense of value and worth apart from the blessing and curse that was my first book. And that’s a long journey.
One symptom was a split between public and private art. To me, it looked like this:
- Public = light, witty social comment.
- Private = permission to be messy, emotional or dark.
Yet I’ve had feedback from nearest-and-dearest over the years, that my ‘darker’, more vigorous, textured personal work is what I should pursue. That this is my ‘true art’.
It is with pleasure and hesitation that I now share with you a slightly sombre (yet hopefully hopeful?) artwork.
The Bird in the Heartwood
I began the painting at the June 2015 winter solstice gathering of my creative support group.
(Yep. June is Winter in this particular hemisphere)
As the host, I was using up the leftover paints of the others after they left.
I enjoy using other people’s leftover paints. It liberates me to experiment, without being too attached to outcome.
There are layers of cloth, paper, pen, paint, stitching.
I learned from a friend that there is such a thing as heartwood and that I didn’t just invent it in one of my Sally mash-ups.
Here’s a later version of this work.
Can you see the small bird that emerged?
Hint: It has a long neck.
Let’s look more closely…
Or even more closely. Can you see the bird now?
Do you dare to show your more self-therapeutic, personal art?
What creations do you feel comfortable sharing with others?