Blotches of Black

Art is a gateway; or at least that is what I have seen. My line of work, and current education, enables me to submerge myself within the arts. As an individual I have enjoyed the transformative power of art from releasing stress, to working out unconscious problems to just being present for me and for others. However, as a witness, I have been able to observe the many faces of one person.

As fellow art enthusiasts create and submerge themselves within the arts I see happiness, I see frustration and concentration. I see my fellow artists go into a zone, fall into a deep dimension where there is only them and their medium. I have witnessed how a block of clay is molded into a seedpod, all the while the creator smooths out each edge, precision in her touch and determination in her eyes until her work is done. I have seen fellow artists seek out the view of the sun, sit apart and paint until they feel complete; never saying a word, never looking up. And at times, even though all that work is done they feel discontent with it.  Finally, today specifically, I witnessed a new comer to our group take the first medium he saw (cray pas) and just slowly work out his image; no intention and no purpose, just exploration.

In each of these artists I noticed one thing, transformation. They took a feeling or a thought and just removed it from their physical self into an inanimate object. The seedpod had for her been an idea she’d be carrying over a month and finally felt relieved that it had finally made its way into art. The fellow outliers, hiding under the sunshine, found that they were exploring a method they had strayed from; and even though their work had no real meaning they were intent in exploring it. And our fledgling artist admitted to creating a masterpiece out of an accident.

He conceded, “I used too much dark colors and realized I needed more light colors. I scrapped it with a pin and realized I liked the visceral feeling that came with it. It ended up being a lot of black with many colors underneath, just like me.”

Art is a wonderful way to explore what is within us. Art gives us the freedom to see ourselves in a new light and understand what we are all about. More than that, art gives us the relief of putting feeling, mental and physical, into reality; thus permitting us to be witnessed by those around us. Through art we become real or realer to the world. We are not just simply seen as a teacher, a student or a friend; we are seen as that seedpod that is growing and spreading its seeds. We are seen as the painting that has no meaning yet but is due for some mental exploration and reformation. We are seen for whom we are, blotches of black, scrapped off with a pin, with many colors underneath.

Signing off, TWS

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