The Art Of The Heart

Once upon a time, I went on a Journey.
During this Journey, I met two wolves. One was black; one was white.
They told me that they were the Darkness and the Light within me…and that they were there to help me.
At which point, they dove onto me, ripped open my chest and ate my heart.
They ate my heart—and I was ok with that.
They removed the Bad, the Negative, the Locked Away, that which I would not…could not release.
They feasted on my festered, boiled heart so that a new one might grow in its place.
Who, thought I, would be in control of how that new heart was to grow?
Why—it could only be me…truly…deep down…it had to be me…
What would I want in that brand-new virgin heart?
I want openness. I want space. I want a vast area of gentle compassion and magnanimous trust. I want the calm peace. I want the fortress of sanctuary.
In the rounds of daily reality, however, how do I maintain that loving kindness?
How do I remember who I am every moment of every day while battling my everyday life just to make it through another day?
I do what I do: I made a piece of art about it.

This piece is nothing special, really.
I had this 5inch x 7inch canvas sitting here. I do not buy this size normally, but it came in a multi-pack of canvas…and if it is here, I must use it, at some point.
So, originally there were layers of collage and joint compound and paints. I was experimenting that day with combining blues, purples and greens in a melodious way…I ended up with three or four nice backgrounds on smaller canvases this way, if I remember correctly.
So, the piece was full of ready-made texture when the anatomical heart stencil (from Stencil Girl) arrived.
Using joint compound mixed with gel medium, I created the heart stencil on this canvas…and let it dry overnight.
The joint compound mixture pulled color up from underneath, taking the whitish compound and turning it varying shades of blues and purples.
But…I needed that heart to really POP … the first thing I did was paint all around the heart using red paint…
Then I put the stencil back on over the image already on the canvas…and sponged on some black paint…which made it pop a little bit too much…so I dabbed at it with a little bit of white here and there…which made it …tolerable…
And that is where the thought really hit me.
If this is my heart I am creating…what do I want…using two different shades of brown conte pencil, I wrote all around that heart…what I was doing, what I was creating, what it meant to me, why I was doing it all…
I smudged all the writing in…which is exactly what that background seemed to need.
I painted the outer edges of the canvas black to frame things a bit.
As I varnished the piece to seal it, it dawned on me what I was missing…that little pinch of faery dust…that little pinch that makes everything all right by adding just a touch of Magic…
I am proud of two things: the glitter remained almost entirely within the boundaries of the heart…and my two-year-old saw nothing when I put the glitter down—which means that he did not become the glitter faery for the day and glitterfy the entire house…hey, it does happen…I don’t mind it a bit, but his father goes apoplectic.
So now, this strange little piece, apropos of nothing, hangs on to remind me: I ate my heart…and I meant to do it. And—I will do it again if I ever need to do it…I will; I just hope I won’t have to do it again.