Terribilitå, an Italian term that translates as “emotional intensity”
I’ve been reading about Michelangelo Buonarroti in The Secret Lives Of Great Artists, and this term was used to describe him and his work. It was the word I was chewing on in my brain as I was working on this piece. Another for the Bastrop Brewhouse.
Another one of the seven for the Brewhouse titled Reaching.
I was reading the other day in Creative Authenticity by Ian Roberts, one of my favorite books by the way. That as artists “Our art only goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.” In order to have deep love we have to strip away everything that is false and causes blindness. The same thing is true in the process of painting, in order to see our work objectively we have to get rid of all that is background noise, strip the work down to its essence. When we do this both in our personal lives and in our work as creatives the result is seen and felt by others, and these people or works that you come across are a truly beautiful sight to behold.
I am reaching for this in every area of my life. Hence the title of this painting.
The high the middle and low’s of life. So many of us live in that middle ground, comfortably dead and without … ( 1000 words I could put here) I’ve spent time in that place of middle nothingness, ignoring the lows and hoping for the highs, no more. I choose to live fully.
This painting is a part of a series of nudes, where my thoughts were to combine my love for the figure and the complete abstract, by seaming the two together. Half figure half abstraction.
Is that not what we all are? Or feel that we are, half knowing our selves, half knowing the people in our lives, mostly known, kinda known, hope that we are known. Half feeling understood, half understanding others but feeling half abstracted at the same time? Left wondering, left hoping, or demanding, manipulating to feel understood, known, seen.
Anytime we come together as people in any form of relationship or group with our own ideas, our own needs, wants or desires the way we ‘seam’ or ‘bond’ with others can make or break our relationships. The fine line we walk is learning to ask for what we need and at the same listening with our truest heart to hear the needs of another.
The Quattro Gallery seeks to promote the local and international art scene. In their current exhibition they feature two of my works. Go to their Facebook page to “like” them and stay up-to-date with news and their new exhibitions.
When I look at Michelle’s painting Zena, my mouth waters and I just want to eat it, to indulge by allowing the color to envelop every sense. I can feel my pulse quicken as the painting seems to roll around on my tongue. Something about those two colors together, that cherry red and turquoise, I am always drawn to them. (Maybe it is genetic, my grandmother painted her whole living room and covered every surface with turquoise) or maybe because they are opposite each other in the Munsell color system.
What ever the case I can’t help but wonder about how everything we look at, listen to, everything we put into our bodies, every action we take defines the beauty in each one of us.
“Beauty, in it’s highest sense, signifies that harmony of proportions, fairness of aspect, and geniality of influence belonging to form, combination, principle, or condition which renders it attractive and pleasing” Dr. Herbert Shelton
Curious about how color brings beauty, but bigger than that ….. feelings of alive. Michelle’s work is that, alive.
This painting was one of my first attempts to go small, very difficult for me to do. I love to work big, but at the suggestion of my mentor…. I tried it “good things come in small packages Kirsten” she said to me. So it goes with the seasons life brings us. Small moments in a bigger picture.
“Someday you will look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing and you were in the best possible place in the world for it- in a beautiful place, surrounded by grace. Take this time, every minute of it. Let things work themselves out here in India.”
What happens to us when life throws us into the uncomfortable place of being broken? Whether it’s a toxic relationship, some form of trauma, or whatever the circumstances are….. how we respond to the pain of life around us can be beautiful.
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel everything. It is the reason you are here on this earth. You are here to risk your heart for something worthwhile. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in great heaps, seemingly wasting their sweetness, but tell yourself (because it’s true) that you tasted as many as you could.”
- Louise Erdrich, in The Painted Drum
I painted Beauty In The Breakdown in the midst of my own pain…. wanting desperately to let go, and taste sweetness.