How Is My Art Like Me? A Time For Dangerous Analogies

My art is a tightrope between borderline and absurd.  That’s not quite what I meant to say, but I’ve been sipping tequila to skirt past my inner censor.   In manners of self expression my psyche operates by a golden rule:  You can always count on me for complete honesty.  I spill and so does my art.

The other day, I asked my IG followers “WHAT SHOULD I WRITE ABOUT FOR MY NEW BLOG?”   No sooner had I posted the query did  I receive the perfect suggestion from my friend Melissa, “Write about how your art is like you!”

It’s a wonderful world that I get to devote my life to art and consider the luxury of such a question.  Being an artist has not been easy. There’s something to be said for sticking to the straight and narrow. But I had no choice.  It was my destiny.  I wasn’t ABLE to color in the lines. And it wasn’t just that I didn’t FEEL like it.  My hands wouldn’t listen.   

I remember all my friends had the same framed  “Paint By Number” brown horse hanging on their living room wall.  He was standing in front of a wood post fence on a sunny landscape, mountains lined along the horizon.  I had great contempt for these paintings.  I didn’t understand why, but it was visceral.  To spend an afternoon opening those little vials of paint and be told brown went only in spaces 12, 16 and 18 was an insult to whatever intelligence I had, however unconscious it was.  In elementary school, I was too young to articulate that the paintings symbolized a repressive conformity.  I’d even go so far as to say they filled me with a form of dread at all costs.  And so, unbeknownst to me, did my childhood psyche manifest my future.

Even as early as six,  when towering adults leaned over and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up – I answered, I wanted to become a “hobby mommy.”  I learned soon, that this wasn’t an aspiration in the multiple choice box of life.  I must confess.  Although I learned to lie and conceal my destiny –  even from myself – I couldn’t have predicted my future more astutely at that moment, even if fortune tellers and fairy godmothers were real.  Thinking back, someone should start teaching elevator pitches to pre-schoolers.  

So to answer Melissa’s question, “How is your art like you?” I did an exercise.  I laid down, closed my eyes, hopped on a cloud and carried a taper to guide my way.  I decided to pay a visit the Ghosts of Art Past.

The Ghost of Elise’s Art Past

Eight Clay Shoes with finger marks. “Metamorphosis of A Mary Jane”.  The stiletto. The bunion on the old woman’s shoe.  Lost in the kiln room.  I was to become a potter 20 years later.

The Ghost of Elise’s Art Present

 Sad love songs reflect my reality.  Stitching, messy, layered, out of the lines book art. LP Diaries that channel my stories.

The Ghost of Elise’s Art Future

 A musical written.  Stories lifted into song.  A mind reader letting my imagination go. New structures. Encaustics, painting with wax, embedding, drawing.

Creating alternate universes.  That is my art and how it is like me. It and I are a place to escape.  A new entity with which to befriend. A hobby mommy.

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