Have you ever had a conversation with yourself? I had one that was so crummy, it was a suicide plan. Simple, never get off the bed, which meant starvation or drowning. It ended quickly when I had to go to the john. Blame it on the long lasting effects of potty training and the human brain for creating new solutions.
Christmas, about ten years ago, more likely every Christmas, I felt alone, no family or friends, just left out. Since I’m Jewish Christmas joy has never been part of my life. I was unhappy, depressed, and overly dramatic, contemplating suicide.
I needed to polarize this and find the opposite end of the continuum, happiness. Then I had an Epiphany. I would paint all my life’s unhappy events and change the endings. Did I think of this? Too brilliant, but when was I last happy. Sixth grade? I was playing spin the bottle at a birthday party in the basement. My two favorite crushes were there, Jimmy Goodman and Alan Ravitz. Would my spin land on either of them.? The angels said no. No but aren’t kisses divine?
I was really fat in the sixth grade that I remember. I couldn’t run, jump or stop eating.
At recess Mr. Chess would practice baseball with me. I was the batter. He secretly prayed I would hit it, I know because I could see his lips moving. I never could hit it but in my painting, I was hitting home runs, one after the other and running the bases. Whoopee.
I had thousands of these memories so I kept painting, one after another.
I loved my Grandma but she died when I was so little I barely remembered her. But I painted myself on her lap, giving her a kiss.
Then I included Aunt Helen, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Bill and Uncle Lou, and when I finished they were all white It was fantastic. Now all my childhood memories of loss and pain were replaced by happy thoughts.
And better yet it was a lot cheaper than psychoanalysis.These scenarios were just pouring out of me. Before I painted from life. It was my dream to paint without looking; my biggest wish. Finally I had met my Muse.
I feel like a real painter now.
Creating in the stream-of-consciousness, this storytelling style replaced my old method of looking and painting.
When I finished painting all my biographical stories, I started painting avatars to save the world. Then I moved on to painting political scenarios, inventing weapons to battle tyrants, or just to piss them off. Now I create new scenarios for change, liberating animals, and man. I emphasize the importance of caring for and respecting our planet.
Once a long time ago, I looked at another painter I really respected, another Detroit artist who had moved to New York. She did a lot of biographical works. I knew I was headed in the right direction; I never doubted myself again.