Chiaroscuro

I don' t really name my paintings normally. It always felt silly. Like I took my art too seriously. However, I guess it makes more  sense than people asking to buy "you know, the butterfly one."  

I am finally comfortable with the job title artist. Though I am a teacher, camp director, wife, maniac, mystic, and much much more artist has become one of my favorite titles. It signifies that I deeply honor and feel called to do the work of sharing visual stories and messages.  For me, art is about making meaning from my life, my history and my spirituality. 

So, I hereby name this piece Chiaroscuro. Chiaroscuro is the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting. I'm going to argue that what we do in the outer world, (ie paying attention to light and darkness for the purpose of shading a painting) affects our inner world. As I have found the patience and discipline to sit quietly with an image and its own light and dark spaces, I have also found the patience to sit with my own inner light and darkness. Outward truths point to inward truths. 

I didn't always pay attention to the shadow side of myself. I struggled vehemently to live in the light all of the time. I had a childhood that was composed largely of feeling lonely and invisible. I tried to deny the neglect and empty feelings. Overtime, I have grieved those losses, and have come to make friends with feelings i used to run from.  It doesn't come easily to me still, but I do live in a world filled with meaning and a wide spectrum of emotions. 

This quote was particularly moving as I reflected my own journey to know myself fully. 

"In each of us lies good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We're each of us ur own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We've got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to fogive myself. Because there is a lot of gray to work with. No one can live in light all of the time. "