Equanimity: mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation
I am exploring the interaction an individual has, both positive and negative, with fear. Equanimity can be achieved within the midst of fears. I want my viewers to be able to understand their inner struggles to a deeper degree through my work.
There are times when we let fear hold immense power. It creates boundaries, blocks us in, and requires us to always follow the rules. Fear is a master at telling lies, making one lose sight of their identity. Fear of the future plays an important role in the conceptualization of this body of art. The future is unknown and goes hand-in-hand with change. The idea of not having control over what may happen is frightening and my content is derived from this fear. I have found myself fighting against change and holding onto the past. Fear can hold someone back and become a burden simply because one lets it become a burden. It is a choice. Possessing peace for each situation can be something to reach for, but it is not always reality.
I visually communicate with oil paint. I first apply an underpainting using thin amounts of paint. During the underpainting, I am painting very directly without judgement and the joy of the process is more important than the outcome. My whole body is moving quickly and interacting with the painting. I am focusing more on my content than the technical side of painting which allows me to communicate raw emotion with expressive brush strokes. The second layer of my painting is alla prima, meaning it is one layer of paint. In the second stage I develop the forms to a higher degree of realism while allowing the under-painting to be visible.
The use of symbolism in my paintings such as butterflies, birds, keys, and locks, are imperative in communicating my ideas. I also represent the figure in my paintings because fear is very controlling of the body. Fear is direct and can surround and engulf us at times. Another reoccurring symbol in my work is red string that is wrapped around the flesh to indicate how one can become stripped down and clothed by the ugliness of fear. We then tend to view our identity and our fears as one in the same. The anger and frustration regarding fear usually is internal for me, but I chose to represent it externally because it exemplifies a better understanding of fear.
Peace of the unknown is acquired through a strong knowledge of our identity; it is then possible to look straight ahead and step into who we are meant to be. Fear makes itself out to be a mountain we cannot overcome; but that same mountain can elevate us and make us stronger. In the midst of our fears and struggles it is possible retain equanimity.