Comfortable With Being Human
I like to think I embrace vulnerability. It sure feels that way as I approach the rocky end of a narrow cliff ledge on a mountain. And it sure feels that way when I post my art, my words, my thoughts and feelings on social media and in this blog. It sure feels that way when I open my wounded (but resilient) heart to another human. And for darn sure when my aging, scarred body is revealed to another. But am I really being vulnerable?
There are "waterfalls coming out of my eye sockets" that I often hold back or feel sheepish about. There are parts of my life where "I don't know. I don't know where to go" and yet I don't ask for help. And I do struggle with saying "I am not ok right now." Mostly, I realize upon this path of inquiry, where my hiking boots are not helping and my resilience doesn't make it any easier, that perhaps I have not yet reached the summit of vulnerability. Sigh. I will keep climbing.
This week the GoPro is on loan to an improvisor and visual poet, so I'll give you a little pictorial journey of this piece in lieu of video.
Beginning with a notanized selfie as a loose inspiration image and an underpainting of fluorescent paint mixed with titanium white. Drawing with my non-dominant hand in charcoal and then layering in colors while trying not to try...in other words, to keep it loose, to let the paint play, to resist realism and allow peculiarity to dominate the piece. Tools include fingers, paper towel, rubber wedge, brushes and a spray bottle of water.
1/21/2021 12:24:52 pm
Lisa! Thank you, lovely one. YES!
1/21/2021 11:37:43 am
hmmm as always Jen great words and art put together in a way that makes me think. I will try to answer the question you pose honestly. I think Ia ma vulnerable in posting my art. pretty much every painting and drawing ends up on social media to be gawked at and commented on. Social media has mostly been kind and I like sharing what I am driven to make. In these days of covid I hope my work I share lifts somebody up and makes them smile. As to the being personally vulnerable. I'm a high castle with a moat around. The moat is filled with gators. A very, very select few get to see the side of me that is filled with questions about my value and worth. Those are the questions that drive me to create I think so in some ways I don't want answers to some of the tougher questions. My need to be liked and approved of is baked into my DNA and will supersede (I know longer use the word tr*mp) my desire to be wide open. Probably more answer than you were looking for, but there it is.
1/21/2021 12:27:13 pm
Carl...thank you for this comment, for your openness and vulnerability in bravely saying I NEED TO BE LIKED. We all do. It's wild hearing that, because you are one of the most likable people on earth (write that down! Look at it when you want to add more gators to the moat!) xo
1/21/2021 12:24:05 pm
Riveting, Jen. The expressiveness of the whole self in the face stops. Me. In. My. Tracks.
1/21/2021 12:28:07 pm
Dotty! Thank you, friend. "whole self in the face" - that makes me smile, actually. I did it! That was the goal. xo
1/26/2021 08:21:06 am
I believe in order to be a good artist, a good human being is to be bravely vulnerable (Brene' says it best).
1/26/2021 10:23:21 am
Mark! Thanks for reading and commenting!
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