Thermal Self Portrait, acrylic on canvas, 22×30, www.carolineallen.com
I was talking to a client the other day about being an Artist. I use the term Artist as in capital “A”, as in writer, dancer, singer, actor. I was talking about being a journalist and how I felt throughout my career that I was working exceedingly hard to “figure things out”. If I was writing an article about abuse, about the signs in children of abuse, I would work so hard with so much pain and stress and desire to fix things that the article would come out like blood on a page. There, finished, I’m helping to fix the world. Light another cigarette, drink another coffee, move on to the next thing to fix.
I was saying to the client that the wonderful thing about art is you don’t need to figure anything out. You just need to state it. I can write fiction about abuse without having to save the child, save the parents, save the world. I can just write it. Just. Write. In stating it poetically and with honesty, I have done my job. If someone reads it and feels a connection, feels like I’m telling their story, feels less alone, then I’ve done my job. I don’t have to fix myself and I don’t have to fix anyone else. I just write. Just. Write.
The same can be said for visual art. I just need to visually express. I’m currently working on the confluence of Reiki (I am reiki certified) and art. I realized that my paintings are like a reiki session, vibrational and empathic. In the above painting, I took a thermal picture of myself and tried to paint it.
With visual art and writing, it’s not about fixing the outside world. It’s about expressing your truth, your soul. Instead of working to fix the world, as I did as a journalist in the past, I work to develop my abilities to express the poetry of the soul. What relief! What a release! How much more energy I have now. How much more joy.
As artists, we don’t need to fix anything. The poetry of the soul is enough. The poetry of the soul is plenty.
I’m a writing coach. Contact me for a free initial consultation, firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.artofstorytellingonline.com