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.