"The Voices In My Head"
told me to do a little
"The Voices In My Head", Acrylic on 24" x 24" Gallery Wrapped Canvas
I began working on this canvas as an "In Between". One of the many canvases I add to between my current work. I started it after a 2 day Intuitive Painting workshop. During the workshop the question was asked why not add text to your canvas? Back in my studio I thought "why not?".
This canvas is the one I began doing just that. At the end of each painting session while working on other pieces I passed by this canvas on my way to clean up my tools. Whatever leftover paint I have gets applied to the "In Between" canvases I have set up in the background as I paint. Typically I use the excess paint to apply random marks but in this case I applied random words.
When I paint in the studio my mind is running and as I approached the canvas for clean up I painted whatever was on my mind in that moment.
At the same time I was painting this piece my mind was searching for a series I could create that had purpose. I had attended a symposium in Durham called Articulating Value in the Arts and I left there thinking it wasn't enough to create art for art's sake. I wanted to create art that had a message.
As I was adding words to this canvas I realized it was all my thoughts and emotions. It made sense for me to then add self portrait to the work but I wanted the words to be the real focus so I decided to create the portrait in more of a pop art style to match the graffiti like composition of the words. I also decided that I didn't want to cover up all the words in the background by painting a portrait over the top of them so I tried to make the skin transparent so viewers could see what was under the surface. It wasn't about what I looked like that I was trying to convey, it was what was inside of me. Things I hide away, thoughts I don't usually share.
When I had finished this piece I titled it "The Voices In My Head" because that is what it represented. Then I realized this was it! This was going to be the series I created for a purpose. I would paint others and use their words, their thoughts, their emotions, their voices.
As I began thinking of this series I realized that it was not sufficient to paint their portraits in a word cloud of their thoughts and emotions. I wanted to tell their stories. I would have to interview them so that I could learn their story and share it with the audiences when I shared their paintings.
For the longest time I could not decide what to name the series. I kept using the working title "The Voices" but I didn't want people to confuse the title with the show "The Voice". One day it came to me. My goal is to invite audiences to look beyond the physical exterior of these people. I wanted to share the essence of their being. I wanted them to look into those souls
Essentially, "The Voices In My Head" told me to do a little "Soul Searching" project. Because ultimately, I am searching for souls to paint so that audiences might do a little soul searching of their own.