There are a lot of reasons why people make art.  One of them is to have a deep conversation with themselves about whatever they are feeling at that moment in time or what is going on deep inside them.  Another is to find out what they think/feel/mean about something.  This is different from asking someone, “What do you think/feel about ____?” because what most often comes out is a rational, usually mental response that is socially acceptable in the moment.  We’re social beings so it makes sense.  Know your audience and all that stuff.  Some people are willing to state what is true for them in the moment even if that is uncomfortable for them or for their audience or both.  Some people want to make waves and so say the truth or something that is not the truth but guaranteed to get a reaction.  But in all this saying, there are words and even at the best of times they will only shallowly reflect what is the truth and then only the consciously known truth.

Art, by which I mean the various visual mediums, takes the social out of the picture.  No need to gauge an audience reaction or wear a mask or perform when it’s just you.  No need to sensor or fit things within the lines or make them comply with someone else’s expectations.  It’s just you and what is going on inside you and the medium you’re working with all coming together in this one moment in time.  I find this process magical and also enlightening on so many levels.  Some time ago I was taking a graduate class where the professor gave us the choice of writing a rather large paper on the subject or creating an artwork that would represent what a paper would have to say.  I was intrigued and the 2014-11-03 14.58.09guidelines were very flexible so I painted with acrylics on mat board.  I had no idea what my paper would say or what my topic would be at all.  But as I looked at the materials and thought about what I would say on any of a plethora of topic options, ideas began to float upwards from inside me.  I started having a conversation about how the course material actually applied to me personally rather than just as information to be regurgitated and from there the imagery became clear. I realized I wanted to reconnect the Inanna myth of descending to the depths with its patriarchal retelling of Persephone   I still have the painting which is of an Asian woman facing a Native American woman, and entitled “Ereshkigal tells Persephone the Truth”.

What would have been a dry, easily forgettable paper in a class became a multicultural, multilayered symbol which speaks to each person that views it in a multitude of ways, each of the right, each of them a small piece of the tapestry of this universe. It’s also a conversation between my consciousness and the inner knowing of my soul and how my body chose to express it in that moment.  A deep statement of who I am and what I truly know and believe and live.  It’s not one I realized was there until I started working on it, but now it’s out in the world.  What truths are inside you waiting to be brought out into the light?  How do you see the world?