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The road less traveled. A journey of pain.

I'm taking a different road than some.

I just got through 'googling' art and pain. Many paintings of gruelsome images, splotches of deep, dark colors, shapes, images. Expressions of what pain feels like. Moving the viewer to emotions of sympathy, horror and shock. It seems that many have the need to express pain in their paintings, sculptures, music and writings. A need for others to see and hear how they feel. I do empathize. I actually do understand. I live with chronic pain. The kind of pain that turns up where ever it wants to, in different places all the time. Like little surprise parties of pain waiting to surprise me each day. The pain d' jour, I sometimes call it, pain of the day. I have fibromyalgia. Pain in the muscles and nerves. Chronic and always with me. But where others take the road of outward expression, I take another road.

That different road?.....I choose to draw, rendering things to ease the pain, rather than to express it. I draw flowers, fish, colorful things to soothe the soul. Flowing things of nature and structural beauty in architecture. I can loose myself in the piece for lengths of time before the reality of the body's pains creep back in to take over again.
Flowers, the gifts for the spirit. Gifts to calm, soothe, express love, caring. So I draw flowers. Soft petals, flowing living things. As I draw, I am lost in a world of peace, a pain free world. Then the drawings become an expression of that freedom, gifts as you will, to others in pain.
I'm not an 'in your face, this is how I feel!' gal. I tend to nurture. The mother in me is a nurturing creature. Give joy and peace to others, in return, feel the appreciation back. I look for the positive in things rather than the negative.

My art becomes a healing, soothing outlet for me and for the viewer in turn.
I dedicate this to all in pain. May you find some freedom from your body if only for an instant. Embrace that instant!

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Comment by Linda Lloyd Pitts on August 1, 2008 at 10:47am
Hi Kathy
I read your comment and almost felt your pain. My 'pain' is the loss of my sight. I lost sight in my left eye one day in 15 minutes...it was a SHOCK and a jolt into a darker world, literally. There was surgery, which restored part of my sight but, living months with the loss was hard, really hard. The drs are not sure what is happening but I suddenly lost my sight in the right eye one bright sunny day. I know that these losses will come any time now. I have had 7 eye surgeries ...and each time I lose a bit more sight but they can restore some also.
This has changed my art dramatically!!
But as to whether art is a release.....well, it's a 'need' for me. I can feel that sadness and the fear.......and I pick up a brush and it's magic! I feel joy. All my life I have painted within rules......I'm free now to push the limits and THAT is my salvation.
My art takes me into another world ....there, the fear of another sight loss, is forgotten for a while.
Linda
Comment by Kathy Ritscher on July 30, 2008 at 11:05pm
Eric, I'm glad my story touched you and your wife. I'm giving you both a hug right now.
Comment by Eric Lopez on July 30, 2008 at 8:49pm
Hi, I like your expression “pain d jour” my wife has such a autoimmune illness and while we were weathering the worst of that life changing event, I only wrote light hearted and silly poems. I guess it was all my heart could bear. Saying this, I can also see how some may need to purge the pain particularly if it helps them process the hurt – especially old dormant pain. I shared the expression “ pain d jour” with my wife, she smile – the pain is still there but not the hurt.

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