(The following article was written and submitted to "Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine" for a challenge. Having not heard back from them after the deadline, I am REALLY sure that it was not what they were looking for. I am not discouraged, however. I am pleased to have taken the risk, and tried something new. Hope you enjoy!)
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
FOLLOW YOUR ART!
To say that art has a way of sneaking into every facet of my life is a bit of an understatement. When someone says "Oh, what a pretty blue sky it is today!" I think, "No! It is Prussian Blue with just a hint of Yellow Ochre!" When I am watching the news, I invariably obsess about the lack of good composition in the commentary photos. Is it any wonder that when I went to counseling for grief management, art followed me in? The psychologist asked me to write a brief note about my situation, and I wrote it in the form of a poem. When she accused me of following Dr. Seuss' format, and not taking her seriously, I didn't understand her issues with it. I had spilled out my heart to her! The psychologist then asked me to do a collage detailing my life through words and phrases cut from various magazines. I arranged them into patterns that completed a picture of Van Gogh with his ear cut off. She was not impressed. So when she asked me to do a self portrait, she shouldn't have been surprised that I chose to do something a bit out-of-the-box. I picked up a cheap Bendy Doll at the craft store, and proceeded to paint 'me' on it. I found some felt tip pens in a variety of colors and painted flames climbing up my feet, added designs on the body to signify my need for freedom and expression. I sewed on colorful yarn hair to show my wild side...but I put mirrors on my mouth and stomach to show my need to reflect to people whatever they wanted to hear and see. My face is scribbled red to show that I am holding in what I really want to say. The flower at my side is a banner screaming, "I am here! Listen to me! See me!!! " The feather is my symbol for wanting to fly away from it all.
Well, the psychologist was speechless. She asked to keep the doll for a few weeks. I heard later that she took it to a convention and discussed the application of art to psychology, and the volumes that it can tell you. She wasn't much help in counseling my grief, but I discovered that following my art helped more than anything else could have. Art followed me in, and I followed it out.
Posted by Rose Altom at 9:16 AM