Tag Archives: relationships

Life’s Layers

As an art student, I am fascinated by the number of layers that go into an acrylic painting.  There are three layers of creamy white gesso, followed by a colored ground, an under painting, and then multiple layers of beautiful color.  Some layers are opaque, while others are extremely transparent. Our eyes see the finished piece, but we can only speculate on the hidden layers that lie beneath.  All of those unique layers are important, and they come together harmoniously to create the final painting.  Change one layer, and you change the work.

Our layers are what shape and define us, too.  Countless layers accumulate over the years–layers of failure and success, strength and weakness, love and loss.  We readily let others see our transparent layers, rich with passionate purples, outgoing oranges, and generous greens, but we bury other more personal layers under thick globs of opaque paint.  The sterling qualities shine through, but the burgundy blemishes and indigo insecurities often remain hidden.

As we grow more comfortable with someone, we tend to become more transparent, revealing the secret colors of our underlying layers.  While we are tempted to conceal some of our most esoteric layers, we have to realize that all of our colors come together to create who we truly are.  So the next time you are studying paintings, or people, remember that there is always more to them than meets the eye.


“Old Friends” black and white still life in acrylic–a work in progress–eight layers and counting!!

Tagged , , , ,

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

In real life, I’m a happily married woman, blessed to be in a fairy tale relationship with my husband of 18 years.  But when it comes to my art, I’m a bit of a trollop.  I jump from piece to piece like a lustful temptress on the prowl, always searching for the one who can fuel me with those amazing “falling in love” endorphins.  For me, working on each new piece is like starting out with a brand new beau.  I find myself constantly tending to the ‘relationship’ with pencil and paint, clinging to him like a jealous lover.

When my work just isn’t ‘working,’ I am frustrated.  Like a woman scorned, I am ready to end the relationship and deposit my significant other in the nearest recycling bin.  My heart is heavy and my mood is sour.  I avoid my studio, and specifically, my art.

When a piece is going well, it becomes an insatiable lover, consuming my thoughts, time, and attention. I find myself drawn to his unrelenting demands while basic needs like eating and sleeping are tossed aside with disregard.  Engrossed and exhausted, I toil away until we are both completely satisfied.

When my work is finally completed, I sulk like a broken-hearted teenager who is certain that no other can ever compare to her last love.  I sift through ideas like they’re potential boyfriends until I come upon one that peaks my interest.  Could this be the next great love of my life?  Only time will tell.  As far as my art is concerned, it seems my relationship status is destined to remain “It’s Complicated.”



Tagged , ,