Tuesday, November 1, 2011


(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!)

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your doll story and she is a work of art for sure! We need to have a doll workshop after we have our gourd workshop. We need to do coffee this week, let me know if you have a morning availabe.