As this weekend is Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to do a post about love and what it means. Love is always an appropriate topic to discuss, I think, but it’s rather ironic because my husband and I don’t celebrate the day beyond a cheeky “Happy Hallmark Day!” and doing some fun crafty stuff with our son.
That being said, I believe love to be the single greatest transformative emotion we humans have the capacity to experience. It is the key to expanding ourselves beyond our current states, to be constantly evolving. So it isn’t something that should be celebrated when the calendar tells us to but reflected on and thought about daily.
I’m not talking solely about romantic love here. Romantic love is great. Sex is great. Having both together is really great. But we’re caught in yet another trap that is sold to us, that we have to constantly be on the lookout for “the one”, that there are these strict lists of what is necessary to have a glorious “true love” experience. That somehow we must find the one person in the world that completes us as individuals and thus cleave to that person and that’s that. And so, in our desperate search to feel complete, we throw ourselves into sex and romance instead of forming deep bonds with people, but it’s the deep bonds that allow you to most open your heart, and this is where the greatest personal power comes from. Even if you do meet the one that could wholly complete you, your “twin flame” (a phrase that gets misused a lot), if you are not already whole and healed and loving yourself, the relationship winds up becoming a destructive one.
I think we should all love as many people as is in us to love. I don’t mean in a free love kind of way, unless that’s your preference (not mine, I prefer one sexual partner at a time and like to know everyone I’m bringing into bed with me), but true and pure love, whether that be romantic or platonic or familial. Being able to open your heart and to willingly hold a piece of other people’s hearts in your hand safely… that is how you combat the fear in the world, both within and without. And that is powerful.
I’ve been picking at two gouache paintings for practice for a long time now, and I put a few more layers on last week and I’m just sick of looking at them now. So I’m setting them aside before they’re finished. Giving up? Yes, but they were just for practice anyway, and I learned some interesting techniques and areas I need to strengthen, and it served the purpose of getting me used to painting in the medium again. I’m going to share them even though they aren’t “done”.
Eyes – Copyright 2016, Kat Micari
This one was a practice in painting flesh and eyes. It was getting there, but needs some more shading. Part of my problem is the watercolor paper I’m using isn’t that great. I actually really enjoy using gouache on illustration board and that is what I’ll be doing some bigger projects in.
Daisies in Her Footsteps – Copyright 2016, Kat Micari
This one was an idea from the Ben Folds Five song “Kate”, taking the line ‘Daisies in her footsteps’. The idea is a cute one but could have been better executed. I’m confident I got the shape of the foot right but there needs a lot more shading to get it to look 3 dimensional, and I just am not feeling it anymore.
I get to do art for me so rarely that I need to move on to more soul-deep, meaningful work. Has that ever happened to any of you? You chip away at a project, and give up before coming to the end? I hate feeling like I’m throwing in the towel, but I need to.
In The Moment – gouache on watercolor paper Copyright 2015, Kat Micari
I finally finished another of my small practice gouache a couple of weeks ago and just found time to scan it in today! The link takes you to the Fine Art America gallery, in case you are so inclined to purchase a print.
This is one of my practice gouache, the simplest of the four so it is the first one I finished! I’ll be taking a better scan of it later this week. I was focusing on different shading and blending techniques in this one.
I wound up not picking up the extra freelance job, so I spent a lot of time last week recuperating and relaxing, slowly easing back into things, until I started getting bored and feeling guilty for not being productive. Now I’m ready to get busy again, both at work and for my personal projects. It seems I have only two speeds – 180 mph and not moving at all. Someday maybe I’ll find an actual steady pace to accomplish my goals, but that time is not now.