Chest Sensations

As I was painting this, I was thinking about the things we keep close to our hearts. Not the things inside, like important relationships and such, but the things that are the next layer. More the identities we show the world.

I thought about the stories we weave to create a snapshot of who we are. How often we wear the emblems of our occupations or a role. Sometimes it works to help us feel belonging, other times not.

I’ve never really had a nice neat story to describe who I am or what I do. I’m more like a chameleon, morphing my story based on context. I think that’s why I added the thorns to the vines. The whole idea of having a concise packaged answer to the who am I question feels thorny.

Who am I and what do I do?

For years, I’ve heard you aren’t what you do. Lots of wisdom has been shared about separating who I am from what I am doing. Same with separating my business from me.

creative every dayI’ve never been able to do it. Sure I can say I am separate, but really, inside, it’s all wrapped up. My work is a reflection of me. I inform it everyday. Even though the company has a bunch of other people involved, I feel totally invested. Wrapped up. Interwoven.

As an artist, I wonder if it could  be any different?


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5 Comments

  1. First of all, this piece is sooooooooo lovely — the color gradients, the tenderness of the arms and bloom of leaves — such *feeling* comes through it. It’s been a weird process for me, too, trying to “separate business from self”. I don’t have a problem letting the paperwork, supplies, meetings be separate. BUT the act of creating, the presentation of it, the exhibits, all of that is my heART. It is so hard to be separate from it.

    This past year for day of the dead, we hosted an exhibit of day of the dead art made by artists all over the world. All art was being sold by “suggested donation” because everyone involved — even the gallery — gave up their % so that 100% could be donated to our food bank. This event was ALL heART for me. We did promo, we talked it up, we did video walk through of the show online. Maybe 5 pieces sold at $20 each or something. These were precious, handmade, limited edition (very small edition), the artist gave up getting anything for the FOOD BANK! My heart was broken when we took the show down. I know it is a show, separate from me, the economy is bad, blah blah.

    I was heart broken when we took the show down. I could not believe that the community response was almost nothing, that they didn’t value the art NOR the cause for which we were all work — the food bank really needs support this year. So anyway, it was another of those experiences where I hear the advice to separate self from business, but I AM that event and the art and the heART — and well, as you can tell from my babbling, I’m still processing 🙂

    All that to say, I hear you. Be gentle as you can with your heART. And I *feel* it in your painting!

    Miracles,

    k-

    • OOO, my heart goes out to you Kara. I have done too many of those kind of events, so heart wrenching. I seldom donate artwork anymore, I can make more significant contributions with other skills, and without the heartache. My work has been used to attract attention to other things many times. The people love it but don’t want to pay for it is a touchy place for me. Ok, beyond touchy. Like you said, I’m still processing!

  2. First of all, this piece is sooooooooo lovely — the color gradients, the tenderness of the arms and bloom of leaves — such *feeling* comes through it. It’s been a weird process for me, too, trying to “separate business from self”. I don’t have a problem letting the paperwork, supplies, meetings be separate. BUT the act of creating, the presentation of it, the exhibits, all of that is my heART. It is so hard to be separate from it.

    This past year for day of the dead, we hosted an exhibit of day of the dead art made by artists all over the world. All art was being sold by “suggested donation” because everyone involved — even the gallery — gave up their % so that 100% could be donated to our food bank. This event was ALL heART for me. We did promo, we talked it up, we did video walk through of the show online. Maybe 5 pieces sold at $20 each or something. These were precious, handmade, limited edition (very small edition), the artist gave up getting anything for the FOOD BANK! My heart was broken when we took the show down. I know it is a show, separate from me, the economy is bad, blah blah.

    I was heart broken when we took the show down. I could not believe that the community response was almost nothing, that they didn’t value the art NOR the cause for which we were all work — the food bank really needs support this year. So anyway, it was another of those experiences where I hear the advice to separate self from business, but I AM that event and the art and the heART — and well, as you can tell from my babbling, I’m still processing 🙂

    All that to say, I hear you. Be gentle as you can with your heART. And I *feel* it in your painting!

    Miracles,

    k-

    • OOO, my heart goes out to you Kara. I have done too many of those kind of events, so heart wrenching. I seldom donate artwork anymore, I can make more significant contributions with other skills, and without the heartache. My work has been used to attract attention to other things many times. The people love it but don’t want to pay for it is a touchy place for me. Ok, beyond touchy. Like you said, I’m still processing!


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