Finding My Way
Updated: May 18
This new creative process still feels clunky to me. I used to stand in front of a canvas, take a deep breath, close my eyes, and feel. Whatever that meant in that moment. Then I’d open my eyes and let it happen. I’d know when I was done when I had captured (the word trapped popped in my mind taking me on a quick trip to all the horror themes where souls get trapped in paintings and I genuinely had an instant of panic that I was doing something “bad” and harmful. My god, this sweet brain of mine has been taught to turn anything into a fault. Thankfully, this sweet, strong brain of mine also has been learning to catch these harmful patterns and question it. Good job, brain! *I say to myself and wonder just how weird it is that we all talk to ourselves and even have conversations with others in our brains…and now I’m writing to an invisible brain audience gauging possible reactions based on interpersonal experiences from my life ‘out there’ and NONE OF US ARE TALKING ABOUT HOW WEIRD THAT REALLY IS. Come on, that’s at least interesting to sit back and witness, right?)
Anyway. Recap. I’m NOT trapping souls in my paintings though if I were a witch that’d definitely be in my tool box. What I was able to do however is accurately paint what I was feeling intuitively. Knowing it was done when I no longer felt the emotion taking over my body but as something separate, yet intrinsically still a part of me. I refer to it as purging my emotions. Emotionally vomiting on the canvas. On the canvas I could study it. See it. Know it. Inside me, it was too confusing. On the canvas it was something to understand and learn from. A reminder that I am safe and an emotion is an emotion, not me.
I didn’t used to have to write the words down. Now I have to follow the words. I’ve tried so many other things (like, create everyday no matter what) and they don’t work for what I want/need to create. So one day I decided to use the digital canvas as a journal and this started happening. I started calling them “love notes” because that’s how they feel. Little reminders that even if right now I’m having to create new pathways because life changes, I will find my way back to myself. My voice in my quiet. I trust me. I’ve found my way this far after all. In fact, maybe this isn't a step back at all but a deeper understanding of the work I've already done. It just looks different from what I'm used to.
Video: Gif of the digital layers used to create this piece showing several pages of handwritten text, “So many bad things have been said I am terrified of the good. Not because I don’t believe them—sometimes I do. That means something else is going on. I’m not (capitalized and underlined) scared of my greatness. I’m terrified of how it will be used to hurt me.” The video ends with red spiral paint strokes faded in background with the text, “It’s not me it’s you.” Artist: Alisa May
Image 1: Red spiral paint strokes faded in background with the text, “It’s not me it’s you.” Artist: Alisa May
Image 2: White background with text, “It’s not me it’s you.” Artist: Alisa May.