her strong spirit

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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)

Self/acrylic

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.

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