12 March 2023

A Tale of Three Visions

I am going to attempt to convince you to make art. Obviously, I'm not here to tell anyone what to do, but I am here to encourage the living of one's life to its fullest capabilities, and insodoing, I believe that art-making, no matter the medium, is essential to a full life, and I am going to use three works of my own art to make my case.

Firstly, however, I feel as though I need to "go over" my philosophy toward art, in general, as a former practitioner of art history and as a current practicing visual artist. Without the framing of my psychological approach to art-making, it may be difficult to understand what I'm attempting to communicate.

From my perspective, my mind/thoughts/emotions and body/brain are two separate entities, and they lack the ability to communicate directly with each other. Thus, when I think a thought, I eventually have to either speak it out loud or write it down or make some sort of art. 

The reason I do this is because my thoughts are not "real," as they are figments of my imagination. My emotions feel this way, as well. And so, that little voice inside my head is not registered by my body/brain. Obviously, my thoughts/emotions can affect by physical body/brain, but the specific problem is largely unknown to my physical body/brain because the thoughts/emotions are stuck inside my mind/thoughts/emotions. 

Thus, the making of art.

To me, art-making is any act wherein the artist creates something tangible within the physical world to express an internal thought/emotion. 

Whenever I have a thought/emotion that I do not understand, I either write something or make visual art. It is then, in my opinion, that my body/brain can finally "see" &or "hear" &or "physically feel" what it is that my mind has been thinking/emoting. And then, I can understand myself better by seeing/hearing/feeling the physical piece of art that I created from my thoughts/emotions that were trapped in my mind. 

Does that make any sense at all? 

Well, if not, hopefully these three examples will help flesh out what I'm trying to accomplish here, today.


Two Dead Roses by Yours Truly (1985-present) c. 2007
3' x 5' acrylic on canvas
current location unknown
last known location: the dumpster behind 1590 South Pearl Street, Denver, Colorado, USA

This was the first assignment of the painting class I took my junior year of college, spring semester 2007. And we were allowed to paint anything for this assignment, I believe, because I remember wracking my brain about what to paint, because, as a student fulfilling lower-level requirement courses, I hadn't yet really been free to make art. I had some dried roses in my apartment for some reason I cannot remember now, and so I brought them into the studio and started painting. 

I honestly cannot remember what happened during those few weeks I worked on this painting, but then, one day, it was finished, and I stepped back and thought, "Cool." 

We had our usual critiques and nothing special was made of my effort. I obviously did well, but it was nothing special.

Then, about a week or two later, I really saw the painting for the first time when I was just glancing at it from afar. Something dawned on me.

About a month later, I was no longer seeing the boyfriend that I had been seeing.


Misery by Yours Truly c. 2008
18" x 24" charcoal on newsprint
current location unknown

After I dropped out of college at the end of the 2007 spring semester, I moved to Syracuse, New York, USA to be a trainee at a (very modest) ballet company. I arrived in the summer of 2007 and by early spring 2008, I was feeling miserable, but the feeling made absolutely no sense. 

I was dancing full-time. I was supposed to be happy. I should be happy. 

Then one day, I whipped out a sheet of paper (cause I brought some basic art-making supplies [newsprint, charcoal, erasers, etc.] with me when I moved) and decided to draw something for some reason. I didn't know what I was going to draw, but I just sat down and went to town.

This is the drawing that was produced from the feeling I was feeling despite the fact that "you shouldn't be feeling this way," etc. 

Within the month I was re-enrolled in school and apartment hunting online. Needless to say, I didn't stay at the company once I completed the trainee program. I got the hell out of there and finished my degrees.


Our Love by Yours Truly c. 2011
approximately 5' x 2' acrylic on canvas
current location unknown
last known location: the dumpster behind 1590 South Pearl Street, Denver, Colorado, USA

As an artist, I never know what I'm creating or why until I'm finished and enough time has passed that I can see the art for the message it is. This is also why I argue that good art, real art is irrelevant to any observing audience. Art and art-making is about the artist, and only the artist can understand what the art she makes means, which is also why I think art history is a loaded piece of shit.

I began this painting about a year into a relationship that began about two years before we finally fucked. I had no idea why I was painting again, and I didn't know what I was trying to accomplish. I simply felt like painting, so I did. I remember this particular painting taking me only a day or two to look like this, and then I stared at it for many months because I just kept looking at it, thinking to myself, "Is it done?"

I apparently decided that it was finished in December of 2011 as that is when this picture of it was taken. And then it just sat around our apartment and day after day I never really looked at it.

We were married two years later, and a few days ago, when I sought out these pictures to make this post, I saw this painting for the first time in about a decade. 

Look at it with me, will ya? 

I, personally, find it to be a particularly momentous painting, and I fell in love with my bodybuddy/lifemate all over again.

Despite my overwhelming feelings toward this piece of art that I no longer even possess, I do not think that anyone else should care, and I cannot even imagine what one of my paintings would look like if I were commissioned to make art for someone else. I obviously have nothing against artists who create on commission, I am not one of those artists. 

And I'm here to convince you that you are also an artist. And I would kindly like to suggest to you to make art, in whatever medium you prefer. I believe that this is the only way that you can speak to yourself.

Art-making can be as simple as you sitting alone speaking out loud to yourself so that you can hear yourself. Art-making can be as complicated as building an entire skyscraper so that you can see what it is that you believe about the world. 

No matter what comes of you making art, only YOU can understand what you're looking at and the meaning of that art is only meaningful to YOU. That's the whole point of art-making, imho, to learn about yourself so that you can move through this world as the most you-version of you. 

Happy Art-Making!