Saturday, May 10, 2014

New Piece on Suicide Reflections

 This piece is yet another inspired by the suicide experience we've been processing.  My way of processing is to write and paint, and this one incorporates both arts.  It's full of symbolism.

I always carry a little sketchpad in my purse, so I can write and draw at a moment's notice, wherever I am.  Into that little book I scribbled a line which expressed how I felt that day, and then promptly forgot it.
When my sketchpads get full, I comb through them and glean out what I can to create new paintings, get the phone numbers out, find the new store, make the appointment - whatever's there - before I stick them up to become friends with all my other pads.  Checking out my full book, I found this line again, and decided to paint it.

The first thing you notice is the big space around her, which was a really difficult composition for me.  Although unusual, I wanted to give the viewer the feeling that she is alone and separate from the rest of the world, and not only that, but she has separated herself from others to a certain degree.

The first line says 'I move in a living dream, everything around me is painfully beautiful while death, angry and bloody and vivid, lies buried in my soul.'

It goes on to give us hope with a verse about Christ's work for us.

Her face does not reflect that hope, however. My hope was that her expression looked sad and reflective, with her thoughts turned inward.  This is how many walk through their lives, and we never know.  From my experience lately, it's also how survivors of suicide walk.  Everything goes on around them.  Life goes on, but everything is seen through different eyes.

I've given you a couple shots here - I need to take this to my photographer because they're not very good.

The under layer is a brushy red and black.  I wanted the rough strokes to show through because she's feeling rough.  Same with the gold layer on top - I made it brushy and didn't blend it as I laid it down.  The words are inscribed into the gold.

 When it came to her face, I did the same thing, wanting to leave it rough to indicate her raw emotions.  Here's a close up of her face.

It took me a few days of internal debate about the eyes.  No artist worth her salt would paint a face without putting in the 'gleam' of the eyes.  I finally decided upon the dullest gleam I could lay down, because I really wanted her eyes to look dead pan.

Her face is left unfinished because I wanted the red of the background to roughly show through.

Messy hair.  She's not caring about that right now.  Shadows in charcoal and drips symbolizing sadness and depression.
Here's a closeup of a portion.  Some of the drips I wanted to be very dark, and some I wanted to be light and runny, which also represent differing emotions that continually come up.

In my next post, I'll give you the exact words.  Even in the toughest times, we do have a great Hope in Christ!

So far this is untitled.  If you've got any great ideas on that one, let me know!

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