As the sun rose on the morning of April 7th, 2018, after a full and thick night of painting I took the opportunity to reflect on the harsh lessons of the Black Widow, my most recent painting. I am reminded of how art has a transformational power to unify both light and dark forces.
Each of my paintings certainly tells a unique story about a fragment of myself. I am reminded of the importance of expressing the full self, light and dark. This expression in particular, is a lot harsher and more intense than a lot of the other figurative paintings I have pursued. But that’s why I like it. The shadow is important, for when it goes unacknowledged, it simply gets repressed deeper and deeper. Being able to paint a shadow is a fantastic thing, because it requires the courage to look deep within yourself and shine light on the parts of your mind that might not be so pretty.
By shadow, I don’t mean physically light and dark. I mean the parts of our personalities that we repress, fear, or push aside.
She stared back at me with with a ferociousness and intensity that cannot quite be put into words.
A little bit of a darker expression this time, this spider queen is a queen of the shadow. Honestly it feels important to give expression to the shadow side of self. Ignoring those thicker, denser energies does not seem to make them go away – in my experience it just lodges them deeper and deeper into the shadow.
You cannot avoid the darkness, you can only deflect it.. I’m reminded of the Yaima lyrics, “without the darkness, we would all go blind”.
Watch out for the spiders that may be lurking in the dark corridors of your mind. We might as well become the kings and queens of our own shadows, like the spider queen in this painting. She is unafraid of darkness, and yet has not lost herself to its shadow. She is a powerful figure to me, as a symbol of how I would like to confront all of the things in the world that displease me or scare me. To face it head on, with courage and a transformational mindset.