Looking inside ourselves for a fresh view of the outside, we all make up our own worlds. How we see things, how we feel about the things we see. The trouble is that we don’t let others into our worlds. They are private. We do not want others to share our truth so we become isolated by our own choices.
I, for one, have chosen to look inside and bring my visions out and place them on the canvas. Sometimes it’s a hard process. When you are dealing with feelings, exposing them to everyone, you put yourself on display for everyone to accept or reject. Acceptance is easy but rejection is hard and it really seems unfair. But we need to know that their rejection of our inner art is possibly linked to their own fear of something similar going on within themselves that they haven’t dealt with.
Sometimes a painting can reach down inside a viewer and bring up memories that have long been buried but the painting activated that memory. In almost all the paintings I have sold, it was because it activated a past, pleasant memory and the buyer wanted a way to preserve it and hold onto it. It is that simple or that complex.
When you move from symbolic paintings into the area of more abstract, you move from concrete thoughts that have attached symbols easily recognized into a nondescript world. Where familiar symbols are not there, you move into the region of feelings in their purist and simplest forms not hampered by symbols, only color, and the thrust and textures of brushstrokes. A sphere where you may be floating just above reality. Here you may enter the realm of extreme vulnerability, the unrecognized world, and in many, these feelings may create fear. They want and need to be attached to something, something recognizable, but during its creation, that did not happen. Later others and even the artist may see symbols in the abstract forms, but at the time of its creation, these were not consciously put there.
So it is very much a realm of introspective views transformed into a reality in a painting no longer trapped inside the artist but now outside for everyone to see and maybe experience with their own introspective view. You don’t have to like a painting to experience a painting. All you must do is relate in some way to it.
Harry Croghan is an artist, photographer, writer and teacher. He can be reached at (740) 852-4906 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.