A friend of mine that I chat art with quite often recently pointed out to me the other day that I seem to not like to illustrate faces. My initial response was yeah, I’m not very good at faces so I avoid them…but after pondering like I do (being a Virgo naturally makes me overthink everything! Sometimes this can have it’s advantages though leading to deeper meanings) I realized it goes much deeper than just not being good at drawing faces. That was a superficial response. I could take the time and the practice to develop my talent in illustrating faces but I don’t. As I continued to think about it, the truth became evident to me, that really I am holding back in my artwork. This was an emotional obstruction for me. The process of making art for me is personal, it is emotional, it is expression, reflections of how I see myself and how I see the world…and how much of that perception I want to share with the world.
“Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.” ~ D.W. Winnicott
I find it hard to share my emotions with people unless I am able to present it in a logical format, or in that of teaching a lesson. I push myself daily to be open with the ever-flowing emotions that travel through my mind and though I appear as open as a book, really I hold much back. I don’t like to share my deepest feelings (not that any of us really do), I don’t like to show the deep-down ugly or sorrow. The face can be a wide-open book spilling the words of our heart, our mind, our soul unto the world at any given moment. So my questions of thought became “Do I avoid illustrating faces to preserve myself, to hold back just enough to hide?” and “Does my artwork suffer because of this? Could my art be so much greater if I let all of it flow out of me onto the canvas?”
My friend says to me, “Your artwork feels very open to interpretation”. My response being, “My artwork is an expression of my inner-workings without being outright”. This conversation struck a chord with me. As much as of an upfront type of person I am, yet in my most beloved activity I hold back. I paint and draw to feel free but I have set limits for myself within that sense of freedom, where is the truth in that?
As we enter the end of the year, we reflect on how we will live differently in 2017. In 2017, I am going to learn to let go more. I am going to let my heart pour into my artwork, both literally and figuratively. I want to show the rawness that we each hold in being human, the ups and the downs that we see in life, both the beauty and pain that is in the eye of the beholder, because without each, life isn’t true.