Monday, October 28, 2013

Artistic Terror

I'm curious what people think about, what their experiences are, with "transformative art." Or whatever you want to call it. Art that comes from someplace else, and taps into shit, shit that may be unpleasant and difficult to deal with. I'm not speaking of "dark art" (though obviously that touches on the same realms at times).... but art that has the potential to bring one through a process of growing.

I doubt I'll be very good at explaining what exactly I mean, so maybe I should just speak in the literal sense.

When all this stuff with Charlie started, one of the ways I found of coping was to start painting again.... but not in a style that I have in the past, working mainly in abstracts. I busted open several rather large packages full of canvas (Plaza Arts was having a 70% off sale on gallery wrap canvas a while back, and I had stocked up) and just started having at it. Some are small 6x6 inches, some are large 4ftx5ft... nothing really tied them together, though, other than the fact that they were abstracts.

Tonight, after a rather difficult few days of communication and sadness on both of our parts, I was "writing in my head", kind of working out some written stuff (before putting it to paper) exploring what all this has been like, this whole fucked up journey, and I realized that *that* may be the thing that ties them together.

Words. Threads.

I want to incorporate a continuous piece of written work into the paintings, and tie them together. Literally. Bringing both fiber work and written work into (on to?) the canvas pieces. Incorporating not just *my* words, but the pages and pages that we've filled already of Charlie practicing his ABC's, his name, his 123's... the random scratchings and scrawlings he's made in his attempts to get across what it is he needs and/or wants at any given time.

Quite frankly, the idea of undertaking such a project is daunting in more than one sense... how do you tie together 20 or so paintings with fabric/yarn/etc? How do you incorporate photographs and medical charts/exams? How do you include those spiral-bound notepad scribbles? Those attempts at communication?

It's also daunting in the emotional sense. Possibly more so. I can work my way around physical shit, one way or another, but plumbing the mental depths of all of this seems risky, and honestly quite frightening... but possibly what I need to do. I haven't processed any of it in a Big Way since it happened. I've talked here and there, I've posted updates on the FaceGook, I've done this, I've done that, but I haven't just embraced and allowed myself to go *there* fully. I've had my moments of "near freak out" but haven't... you know... freaked out. And I'm scared of a project of this sort allowing that mental collapse to occur.


  1. Honey,
    Sounds like your processing just fine - who said there were rules for processing? Step up to that canvas - glue down a base of written pages or just write straight on it, then paint. Repeat.
    All these ups and downs are a sign of good processing happening. Trust in the process.

    1. I *think* I'm doing well as well... but, you know, there are times when it still freaks me out. As you say, there aren't any rules to how we go about the process!


  2. New reader. I apologize if you've heard this before but "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Taylor is well worth reading. Best wishes.

    1. No apologies needed! I have indeed read that, and it was well worth it! I would say it was insightful, but that would probably venture into the realms of the cheesy on my part!