Honored to have a guest post on the Makers Movement blog about embracing the blues.
The blues hold space for introspection, a dive into Self. This state allows for calm reflection and the embrace of feeling. I accepted at an early age that, as a Pisces, I dwell in the water, the blue. What I did not understand, was that the water did not have to drown me. As an artist, I now consider my sensitivity to be a great asset.
We live in a culture that brushes away inconvenient feelings and accentuates numbness, due to an incompetent approach to processing. I agree with calming the outward expression of emotions, but feeling, that which defines these emotions, should never be repressed.
“To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
– e.e. cummings
Throughout my life, I have been met with criticism and skepticism in response to the intense way I experience the world. It has never taken very much for me to become overcome with feeling or overwhelmed by stimuli. Because of this, I have gained a strong intuition and a knack for maneuvering through or around undesirable situations. I had to realize the issue did not lie in my sensitivity, but in the way I process my feelings. Most of the time, I’m experiencing, I’m absorbing, I’m analyzing; action does not come naturally. Recognizing this about myself allows me to push myself forward; I have learned to honour my sensitivity and articulate it.
I also practice. I have found that by sitting with my feelings, embodying them, and processing them, before they can jump out of me as emotions without control, I can find inspiration and peace. Whether I make slow dabs of paint with a spatula, quickly wash with a brush, or scratch layers away obsessively, I find satisfaction in living out my feelings by making. Not only does it allow me to process and move on, but also approaching a painting from a different state of mind allows for a variety in the texture, an unpredictability, which I find to be liberating in my work.
“There really is inspiration and expiration of being, action and passion so slightly discernible that it becomes impossible to distinguish between what sees and what is seen, what paints and what is painted.”
– Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Since the start of my artistic career, I have made work about calm within balance and freedom. What I did not realize, until an observation from a good friend, was that my art reflected the state of being I was striving for. With that acknowledgement, I work to provide a map for others to find that which I seek myself. Maybe we will meet there, in the quiet calm of the blues.