Paint Stains and Pictures
A few years ago I did a series using stained paper towels that were left from wiping and cleaning my paint brushes. After gluing and smoothing them onto canvas, I stepped back and looked at the shapes of the smears. Using the stains as a visual prompt I began seeing ideas emerge. As I saw them, I started pulling out ideas and allowing a composition to take shape. The process was a lot like looking at clouds and seeing a hippo or some such creature.
I'm sure that a psychologist would say that the imagery that took form as I considered the paint stains was directly tied to my own subconscious. As I worked through an entire series, using this method, even I could be objective enough and realized that the images I was pulling out were images I NEEDED to see. Each of them seemed to speak to me. If was a therapeutic exercise and really quite healing.
Conversing with the Smears of Life
The above piece is a particularly great example of the type of 'conversation' I had with the stains. In observing the paint blotches on the paper towels, I saw a figure and it had a hint of what I interpreted as a mask. As I worked with the composition, pulling out clarity and pushing back depth with paint, I saw the figure to be a woman with an apron. I let my mind meander. about the concept of motherhood and masks.
That triggered sparks inside me! Being a mom of five (now all grown) and having wrestled through countless emotional ups and downs in those years, I realized I had a lot of baggage around this theme. So I used this piece to work through unpacking my frustration. Thus, the title., ‘The Nearsighted Super Mom.’
Trying is Lying
In bringing cohesion to this whimsical painting, I couldn't help but think how so much of my pain and angst stemmed from trying to 'do it all right.' In TRYING I was LYING - to myself. The TRUTH was - and IS that perfection is a Venus fly trap. It lures you, then it eats you ALIVE! I steal, kills and destroys the joy of living. In hindsight, I know that so many precious moments and hours were stolen by my deadly attraction to the illusion of perfection.
Even the NOTION of ‘being it all’ - ‘doing it all’ is so absurd. And, I think it’s increasingly challenging to be a young mom today. There’s so many mixed messages. There’s so many tugs, pulls and expectations. I did this little painting in an effort to offer a whimsical reality check; remember that shortsighted efforts in trying to be ‘super mom’ are just that- shortsighted!