Over the years people have made the observation that, “Every artist’s soul is in his/her work. I see your soul in your work.”
To which I replied, “Nah. I just get ideas and run with them. It’s never about me, per se. It’s about the love of art in all forms.”
I have since come to the conclusion that I am full of sh*t. My evolution (or devolution, in some cases) as a human being is now easily detectable to me when I line up the paintings and look at them, according to the timeframe in which they were painted.
Case in point–while I was recovering from surgeries and radiation treatments, all of my paintings were dark, and half of them were in some way symbolic of a soul who felt trapped in a dark place and wanted to escape. Below is one of the earlier ones, called, “The Great Escape.”
In my imagination I created a story surrounding this painting.
There was a young couple who, for whatever reason, were not permitted to be together even though they were wildly in love. Well, they snuck around after dark, in the alleyways behind European pubs, from which the sultry odor of ale blew out the doors, along with drunken pirates and sailors and whores.
In the alleyway, the couple kissed, and at that moment her father and uncle caught them, and whipped out their swords. The uncle apprehended the terrified young lady, and held fast onto her, despite her kicking and screeching, “Don’t hurt him, Daddy! I love him! Run!” She called out to her lover. “Run!”
And so he ran, zig-zagging down dark alleys, eventually losing the old man, who was in no shape to keep up, anyway. The young man ran until he arrived at the shore of the ocean, where a big, old pirate ship was about to set sail. The gnarly, weather-worn pirate said, “What’s yer rush, boy?”
“Her father’s gonna kill me!”
“Whose father?” The old pirate asked, and then spat out a gob of black chewing tobacco. “That lass I saw you kissin’ behind the pub?”
“Yes, that one!”
“Well, aye. He will kill ye, that’s for sure. By now he’s got an army out hunting for you.”
“What will I do?”
“Damned if I know. What ye should’ve done was keep it in yer pants, boy!”
“I didn’t –”
“Tell ye what. You come aboard with me. We’ll be gone a spell, but you can find her when you get back. I can use an extra pair of hands.”
“How long will we be gone?”
“Does it matter? You’ll be dead if you stay.”
So, the young man boarded the ship and off they went, sailing toward a dark, eerie horizon, where the chances of dying by the forces of nature were as strong as dying by the sword.
End of story. I don’t know if he ever went back to find her. I haven’t painted that picture yet.
I suppose that painting was symbolic of me feeling hunted by what is fast becoming the most dreaded disease known to humanity, and then finding a cure in something that could just as easily kill me–the treatments. And the love affair he’s having was symbolic of me and my deep love for my little Zen garden. At that time I didn’t know if I’d live to see another spring, or watch my flowers growing again.
Sometimes we have to choose between bad and badder, or as some call it, “The lesser of two evils.”
The first painting at the top is my most recent project, called, “Wildheart.” It isn’t dark, even though the horse is. Wildheart is symbolic of the spirit that lives deep within me. The one who loves the ocean, who wants to run carefree down the beach with my mane blowing behind me. Wildheart is who I would be if my spirit could live any life that it could.
“Wildheart” is the name of my soul.
Until next time…create!