I had trouble with this post. I wrote about aliens, art therapy, Bobby Vinton... Everyone can see how aliens relate to "outer space", but Bobby Vinton and art therapy might be harder connections to follow. Trust me, it all makes sense in my head.
I've gotten a lot out of my art therapy excavations of my "inner space" and this painting is the latest in these efforts. You can jump to outer space from there. Too much tweeting, tv, and whatnot obscures our ability to think for ourselves and own our feelings.
Bobby Vinton? He tried to get me into his hotel room when I was a 15-year-old maid. He was in his 40s. His songs make me want to rip the radio out of the car. It's a mostly repressed hatred, but that's how art therapy can be helpful. I don't think about him until "Mr. Lonely"* comes on and I have a 15-year-old's reaction. Back then, I was further annoyed because Mom was star-struck and a bit jealous when I vented to her about it. She's of the generation of teeny boppers who worshipped Vinton as a teen idol, but still.
One memory leads to another, some of those memories so old and forgotten that I would never have thought that they still have power, but they do. Remembering and seeing the past from my present helps me change the narrative of my life. It's liberating.
I think of this series of paintings as my resume, not to be confused with my portfolio. A portfolio is full of examples of best work. A resume is more about what happened and what was learned. I've got the finished paintings propped up against the back of the couch and it's interesting to see my life in such a visual way. One more painting to go and then I'm calling this series quits. I've even got ideas for the next series. (In case you're looking for Vinton in this painting, he's in the painting in progress, not this one.)
This painting is full of memories of my early art career. Yeah, triangles, T-squares, ruling pens, press type, and rubber cement. The good old days. Well, maybe not entirely good since I've felt a need to do art therapy about them, but there was good in those days. There's good in all periods of time, even when it feels like there isn't, though sometimes that's hard to remember.
I miss the joy of working in an art studio full of other creative people. We played, we laughed, we came up with really great ideas for our clients. We built off of each other's ideas. For instance, the Lake Metroparks logo began with two other artists. I fished one of the ideas I out of a waste basket. All of us were happy when the client was happy after I remodeled what they had begun. There was so much to learn, and so many people who were willing to teach it.
I love it when I varnish these paintings. It's like all of the issues represented are finally addressed without a need to revisit them again. The varnish seals them from infecting my current life. Done, done, finis.
As for aliens, did you know about half of Americans believe in UFOs? About 17% say they've seen one. Of course some of those people may have been looking at Venus, but there are still quite a few sightings by credible people which aren't explained away by swamp gas. The logo below is something I created for a local group who investigates the topic. Their website is here.
*I was nice about the link for Mr. Lonely's song. The clip shows him at his teen idol best, which was waaaay before my time.