UGH I AM SO AMPED UP GUYS
I’m sure my blogs in here even have been suggestive of a rather crappy period of time in my life. Basically August, September, October, November and December all include blog posts with some allusion to a loss of direction, hope, or independence. I’ve said about as much about it as I can without straight up hating myself for it.
Point is, this can definitely be the third member of the Emotia painting series. Whoever said these ever needed to be drawn consecutively and in a small period of time? Honestly, let’s be real, the three of these pictures represent the beginning, middle, and completion of the transition I was forcing myself through. That being said, I am now going to line up the three of them in a row and talk about them.
After I point out my selfie, inspired by my recent infatuation with all things Dunn Brothers. There’s one less than a mile from my work and I don’t even go there out of desperation anymore; I go there because I like the walk, and I don’t get fancy coffees anymore so I can justify a brewed coffee in a reusable mug, and something healthy to eat midway through my workday. So, I made a selfie wearing my giant scarf I was into for a few days, and some coffee, and a nod to Dunn Bros. 😀
(Exhume) When I realized. When I hated who I’d become. When I was ready to walk away from the feelings I never wanted to feel. When I owned up to them, and refused to accept them as part of who I’d become.
(It Will Work Out, I Hope) When I was making sacrifices. When I was holding my breath. When I was letting the tide wash over me. I was fiercely protective of who I used to be but I’d taken those boots off trying to find satisfaction in a life I didn’t really want. I was looking ahead, because there wasn’t much around me to revel within.
(Rise Again, Fighting) Everything fell apart. I made a giant mistake which financially cost me and shattered any trust I had in myself and my decision-making abilities. I had fallen closer to rock bottom than I ever had, and it killed me knowing it was a series of impulsive life choices I made that landed me right where I was. (As a side note, I didn’t do anything illegal; I didn’t get fired from any jobs; I didn’t cause anybody bodily harm, including myself) I didn’t feel like myself anymore but the line of decisions and experiences between me and who I wished I still was was getting longer and longer. It took me forever to come to rational solutions for my situation. But I did. Finally.
This included taking on art classes through a community art program for the first time. Right now I’m halfway through a Saturday class talking to three teenagers about comics and drawing. It legitimizes my skill in it and gives me a chance to talk to some kids who are where I used to be.
It included deciding to put the possibility of graduate school back on the table. (Appropriately, my chosen grad program is ART THERAPY…wish me luck) It included smoothing out the wild wrinkles in my living situation, and suddenly cleaving to circumstances I’d jilted before but come to realize were exactly what I currently needed. I also got back all of my financial losses, after honestly accepting the possibility that the loss had ended but may have never been replaced. All these things lined up again in the matter of weeks since the beginning of the new year. This new year has been metaphorical and temporal. I realized this morning, amusing as it may sound, that I haven’t cried in January. I can’t tell you how cool that is, considering the months I was climbing out of.
Visually, OH MY GOD, like I just realized that the COLOR PALETTES are appropriate! LOOK how dull and drained Exhume’s colors were. It Will Work Out, I Hope shows a subdued but warm color palette, followed by Rise Again, Fighting’s EXPLOSIVELY HOT COLORS.
The movement of the three paintings goes from extremely static to fiercely dynamic, too. Exhume is frozen, CLENCHED even. It Will Work Out has her footing back – she’s just done something, but she’s not doing anything more, yet. And finally, Rise Again bursts forth, taking “matter” into her own hands, hair streaming, eyes lit up, hand outstretched.
Yes, the three paintings depict different girls. Some braids, some curls, some dark and light hues of hair. However, the hair tones get gradually darker too. Shamelessly, Rise Again, Fighting’s girl has hair pretty similar to my own (‘cept I STILL CAN’T GET A BRAID TO STICK IN MY HAIR, FFFF), but it only makes sense that at the end of this transition I can see myself more in my art than before.
In a way, I’m proud of myself back in those dark months that I still sat down and deliberately spoke to myself through art. I guess I didn’t realize how important that would feel now, basically on the other side. (Am I convinced that everything is in the clear, and I’m off to be super successful? No. I still only work 2 days next week. So.) It just feels like I was still in there, struggling underneath the muck of a very messy trek into true post-graduate adulthood.
And besides, the point of Rise Again, Fighting isn’t that it’s a done deal. It’s that it’s NOW. I’m fighting again, with fire inside me. Not embers. I’m ignited again with a belief in what my own life can become. I hate the job market – it’s incredibly deflating – but I will fight its oppressive hold on my life till I get from it something that I want.
Rise Again, Fighting was a really long painting, too. I started it – what, Monday night. I gave it a solid three hours of work while my boyfriend watched wrestling. Which was great ’cause then my productivity made him literally leap off the couch to go get me a Reese’s egg when I asked for one (true love, folks). The painting was originally a girl with white lines on a red background in a foofy skirt, and then I gave her hands, and then I was going to do a long paint smear between her hands, and then the paint smear became some sort of water bending — yellow water bending — which then I turned into fire when I nonchalantly asked my boyfriend if it looked like water and he went “……” and I said “…or something liquid” and he finally said “…I thought it was fire.” And I said, “Oh, it’s fine, I was kind of going for a phoenix idea a bit ago anyway. Fire it is.” and then I redid a third of what I’d had done before I finally proceeded in the direction of the finished project. The fire took A LONG TIME to develop. And the longer I worked on it the less excuse I had to be lazy with developing the fire. And the skin shading. I EVEN LOOKED AT A TUTORIAL (relax, it was only one). And the hair. I TOOK BREAKS AND SHIT. I added the dark edges to the bottom of the background when I thought about the idea of the phoenix, and the idea of coming out of a dark few months. That’s also what the line of silver is for – out of the ashes, and the darkness, I emerge renewed and newly empowered. Also, whether it is viewable on all platforms is irrelevant but I did add some text, I just blended it in so that it is not extremely important to view it or not – but it’s my message to you. Back off motherfuckers, Mary’s owning her life and making it beautiful.
(And…and I just said to my friend this painting is “flipping the bird” to the shit I waded through…get it…flipping the bird…the bird like a phoenix…like the phoenix that is a bird that I painted…yeah…yeah it’s bedtime.)