Thursday, December 22, 2011

Soul Searching pt 3

I've never been afraid of art or of creating new things. Putting my ideas and visions on paper or canvas is nothing short of bliss for me, and I'm more concerned about doing something that HAS been done before than things that haven't. Art has been the leading edge of my life, in that it is the one place I've never been afraid to stand out. I've never worried if it's too different, or too unique, or not what people expect or want. There's always been an understanding in my heart that what I create doesn't really have to conform to anything at all and it will always be better if it doesn't.

It's easy for me to create a piece of artwork based on my innermost beliefs, feelings and thoughts, and not worry what people will think of it... what isn't easy is explaining the feelings behind the artwork. That is what scares me. I can put things into images that I can't seem to put into words. Perhaps it's because my upbringing was pretty rigid on beliefs about God and religion, and my art disagrees with those beliefs. My art comes from a place in my heart that disagrees with a lot of religious beliefs.

And, honestly, it's not the ideas religions are built on that I disagree with. It's the rigidity, the dogma, the lack of understanding, the need to be the one that is right. My work expresses something thats free, fluid, changing, emotional and ethereal. At least that's what is in my heart when I create it.

And yet, I am afraid to share that fully. The reasons are numerous, and the biggest of them all is my upbringing. Those family ties are still there, and they still have their beliefs. They are quick to judge anything outside those beliefs as evil and wrong, probably because of their own fears.

Maybe that is my goal, the one I've been dancing around for years, just on the tip of my tongue, spoken yet unspoken.

I want to release people from the fear. It's why I write, it's why I paint, it may be the very reason I breathe.

The fear of doing what you were meant to do in life, your very purpose for being alive - it was on the original list of deadly sins, and was called Acedia. Over time and translation that meaning got lost, and today it's meaning is somewhat split between vanity and sloth. Vanity carries with it a whisper of that original meaning... why are people vain? Because what they are protecting, in their vanity, is a mask. A thing they carry on their body, in their hearts, in their minds, to keep people from seeing things within them that are not so beautiful. Why are people slothful? Because the effort to try is greater than the pain of never trying at all.

Of the "seven" deadly sins some can be paired or even appear as triplets, because several of them are facets of each other, of a greater idea.

Gluttony, greed, lust, envy - all of these relate to the desire to posess. Whether it is flesh or money, something you have or something you don't have, the ultimate flavor of them is the same.

Pride, Acedia, Vanity, Wrath - Each is a facet of an idea of self. They each come from the fear of you or something you've done not being good enough, or better than someone else. It is the need to be the best, the most favored, the one that everyone loves that drives these four sins. Pride, rage and vanity are the masks, they are used to hide what one thinks is wrong with them. One strikes out with anger rather than see their own errors. One hides behind beauty or talent to avoid looking at the unbeautiful or the talentless parts of themselves. One has pride in what they do right so that perhaps what they do wrong will be less noticed.

Then there is Acedia. It is a most different idea from its three bretheren, and yet it is the most insidious of them all. Having a purpose, a talent, a gift and squashing it because you're afraid of failing, or doing something wrong... or even afraid of doing something amazingly good. Being afraid of letting your light shine because you don't want to be too different.

Perhaps... even being different in ways that feel safe and not in ways that feel open and risky. I'm guilty of this.

I've kept this blog far from my art website. I've seperated them, considered them to be two halves of myself, one which I share with everyone and one which is more anonymous. One that is safe from the people in my life that I think would judge me.

I've kept the feelings I express here, the very feelings that drive my artwork a secret, and hidden. I've made my art stand alone without support. Images that are pretty but without any meaning given to them. Art like that becomes hollow, without soul. It's like looking at a rainbow in black and white.

I'm probably being overly dramatic about it, but my point is that while my art can stand on it's own just fine, but once you realize all that is behind it, the art alone becomes a shadow by comparison.

Tomorrow: what I have to do

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