This was a hard one to paint. I loved it and how it came out and painting brings so much joy, but every time I came back to it, every time I shared a work in progress shot, I was transported right back, to a time when this was created, to that feeling of speaking my desires.
Let me take you through my process.
First, I experience something, in this case, a feeling arose when I started telling someone about what I desire, that was big and I was afraid of the response.
Then, I write a little out about the idea and the inspiration. Before I started painting this one, this is what I wrote. I only edited for spelling errors, as I was simply typing without looking at the screen, it’s a complete stream of consciousness. Breathe. Calm. You can ask for what you desire, what you need without anxiety, without anger, without frustration.
Draw. Your emotions. Draw what it feels like when you ask for your desires and draw what it feels like when this loosens up. My body with a string tightening and cinching down. Like a boa constrictor. My lungs getting tighter. Constricting. Throat tighter. Airflow closing. Head getting light. Fading. Just a light fading of my head. Why does it feel this way to share my desires? Doubt. Fear. Concern. Angry.
When it begins releasing. Breathwork. Ribs expanding. Grounding. Feet on the earth. In the air when I’m losing air. Roots constricting. Roots that look like a snakeskin pattern. Coming from all around. Take a picture of me with my arms of my body and hands-on my neck. Arms and head transparent. Seeing my lungs shrinking and my esophagus getting tight. Overlaid. Roots squeezing and the body getting tighter.
Once I’ve written it all down, I begin the painting process, sometimes that involves taking images, or sketching several times over. I had to pose for this one so that I could see how the arms would work. I never really keep track of how long it takes to paint a picture, but I know it takes many hours.
While I’m painting, I’m thinking about the feelings and why I’m creating. Ideas and further insights come during this time. I wrote the next few sections this during the painting process:
When I want to say something, when I want to share my desires, when I want to speak. This is how it feels. My body being wrapped up in vines, holding my neck trying to keep the vines from choking me. Vines twisting around my torso, making it hard to breathe. I try to speak by nothing comes out. I pull and pull at the vines and at last words come out, but they don’t convey my passion, they fall flat, while I try to just keep breathing, all my focus is on getting the words out before I lose air entirely. By the time I’ve gotten the words out and retreated, my body is numb. Like it’s gone to sleep from lack of blood flow. My entire focus is now on trying to restore feeling, breathing deeper, removing the constricting vines, and saving what’s left of my passion for what I desire. The pieces left scattered, needing to be put back together and reignited.
I’ve learned since I began this one that in my human design chart, there is a split definition. Meaning I know something in my spleen, my gut, I know it’s what I need, what I desire. I can also speak, I can use my words, I’m highly connected to my throat chakra. But there is a split, the energy doesn’t flow smoothly between the two. It gets stuck somewhere in between. This is not an excuse, just something for me to realize and notice when the two centers aren’t connecting. I must follow the fear, spit it out, and be invited to speak my truth so that it doesn’t remain stuck. I think this is where this drawing comes from, when I let the split keep me from speaking my truth.
Sometimes it opens up more questions and things that still ramain to process for a while after I create.
I wonder why I made the vines curl and look so beautiful at the bottom. It wasn’t my intention to make this a beautiful piece, it was to share the deep cutting dispare of trying to get my desires and passion for something across. It was only today that I sat to ponder this. I had previously considered changing it and making them look like the rest, but I didn’t. I wonder if it has to do with the chakras located in that area of the body, connected to drive, and passion. Like perhaps my passion for what I desire can come out beautiful once I release myself from the vines higher up.
Sometimes it comes after the painting begins, the messages, the insights. I don’t start a piece knowing all the details and nuances that will come from it. I find them as I go. The things I hadn’t thought of, the things I do unconsciously while creating, the little shifts I make to the work. They all come after. This is why art is my therapy. This is why I create. This is why I encourage others to do the same. As you create, you uncover.
Have you felt this constriction when trying to share your desires? What does it feel like?
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