Thorns and Crowns

Dear Friends,
The image below is a scan of a photograph. The original no longer exists. I destroyed it long ago. The original chalk pastel rendering was created in 1985. I’d just graduated from college and desired to create ‘meaningful art.’ At the time, I believed art was only appreciated if it made a statement of a political, religious or secular nature. I’d been influenced by Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Goya, Ensor, Munch…to name a few. I wanted to be clever and let viewers figure out what I was ‘saying.’ This piece was ‘attempting art’ rather than expressing…

Crowns:pastelIn 1985, I believed the piece above spoke to the ‘invisible,’ heavy-handedness of the Roman Catholic Church and the US Government, and how both powerful institutions could equate great suffering and pain – many viewers would have easily arrived at this interpretation. Today, I appreciate the interplay of Christ’s thorns and the Statue of Liberty’s crown, but being ‘a bit’ more mature, I realize I was placing symbols together from my brain, not from my heart. I could say the same thing for the piece below. I painted this acrylic image, Trapped (detail), much the same way – too much from sentiment. It is wrought with over-emotion, not my true emotion.

TrappedAnd this last large piece below, a 6′ x 6′ oil painting that I originally titled, “Portrait of Self and Others,” is filled with self-pity, not self-awareness. (This piece made its debut on an older post)


I guess, having things to look back on reminds us how forward we’ve come. And maybe, that’s what it’s about. The creative process helps one learn where they’ve been, and if they’ve travelled far enough to reach a place they can call home…
Peace, my friends. When you dream, may you find enough rest for the following day.

Blogtox Injection – 3 days to go


11 thoughts on “Thorns and Crowns

  1. AnnMarie, what a smart and objective interpretation of your own work, spoken by seasoned, mature artist. Of course, I like everything here — you’re so obviously talented! But I also understand what it means for an artist to be able to step back and observe her own work through critical eyes: hard to do, but oh so important. I guess what I’m trying to say (not enough coffee in me yet!) is I’d give anything to be able to do what you’ve done here, yet I also understand your need, as an artist, to move beyond. Dang if I don’t envy you your talent and smarts, girlfriend! 🙂


    • Debra –
      I was scanning pieces in prep for the blogtox and came across the photo of the pastel. It got me to thinking about where I was mentally/philosophically and every other ‘ly’ a twenty-year-old fusses with. I thought I’d like to reflect a and share some older work, especially when much of my latest is light.
      Now, don’t you short-change your artistic talent and I know Ms. Teacher you’re quite brilliant, much more so than I (or is it me or is it I am 😉 )
      AnnMarie 🙂


  2. These are great works. I see the first photo as Christ angry with this country today for shunning Him and His word. The spikes on Liberty seem like a mockery.


    • Mucho gusto happier – Fawn. I was often angry, often sad, often feeling gross… ah, what we do to ourselves in the young years. I hate to admit the eternal truth, “Youth is often wasted…”
      AnnMarie 🙂 🙂 see the extra smile!


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