Monday, January 16, 2017

My Experience With Painting Number 12 "The Monster King and His Sirens"


          This day was a loosely organized one. Things seemed to come together as they came together. It was as if this painting, on the whole, could not have happened any other way. The farther up the life stream I wander, the more I become awash with an unfathomable sensation that things, events, and people can only happen the way they happen. The words I am writing now, at this moment, can only be written the way I am writing them. All the work we have done so far could only of happened the way it happened.

          There we were in Allen’s studio. The lights were shining above.  Allen was in front of the canvas primed with light purples, breathing heavy, preparing for the emotional tumult that would ensue. Cheryl, with her eyeful tact, which I have grown accustomed to, took up her cinematic angles. I was there on the same chair I am always on. We had a visitor with us, Jonathan. I took a peak at his face. It read curiosity. I am sure that expression would change.

          Allen began giving form to a house with sharp yellows. A house that was the home of the most traumatic experiences of his life. The house across the street from his childhood home. The house of the devil. The house of the Morgan’s. Dreadful was the thought of this. Dreadful. I have grown accustomed to seeing the world through Allen’s eyes. I have grown accustom to putting myself in the epicenter of his traumatic, ritualistic sexual abuse.


         Allen continued giving character to the canvas. He painted the street. The foreground. The background. Setting scene. Giving life to the inanimate house. After the structure was there on the canvas, I looked over at our visitor, Jonathan. I had been taking choice glances at his face throughout. His countenance, as mentioned above, was curiosity. It was now mortification. A stale mortification. The expression I would expect when one learns what happened to Allen in that house. I could see through his brown eyes the question of: Why? Why were people doing this to a child? Why was this happening? Why?

         Allen was now intent on giving his form intricate detail. This is a very methodical process. And it is very interesting to watch. Allen continued eyeing up his work. Attacking a spot here and there. Bear in mind he was talking the entire time he was doing this. And then he stumbled upon something without intent. It was a marvelous realization. Imagine Allen as a child looking out the window of his home at the Morgan’s yellow house across the street in heavy contemplation. See him there solemn, jested by the unknowing of childhood. And his mind leads him to the most fundamentals of the human experience; The dichotomy of good and evil. How profound is that? A child is staring across the street at the house of his abusers pondering the horrors that have happened to him. Pondering good and evil.

         Allen was working through this thought aloud and in front of us. This was a marvel. My consciousness was sidelined by this. I fell, once more, into a bubble of self-absorption. And I was there amid the beehive of organic creativity, meditating on the life I have lived and the sexual abuse I have lived through.

         We finished and took a collective exhale. Allen sat down exhausted. Cheryl took a seat on the steps. Jonathan was in the same seat. Words had lost him by this point. We took turns reflecting on this experience aloud. Cheryl said something interesting in relation to her sexual abuse. She remembers very clearly, scene. The scene of where it happened, what the house looked like, what the room looked like, what color the walls were and so on. Allen concurred with this and so did I. It was evident Allen shared Cheryl’s sentiment, he just painted it. I remember with vivid detail the two houses I was abused in. The furniture. The color of the walls. The time of day. The color of the sheets. There is something to say for this.

         Allen finished this piece in spite of the day. In spite of the complex trenches of everyday life. There in front of us once again. And Allen gave me a very nuanced insight into the work we are doing. At the core of ending the sexual abuse and explotation of children is the dichotomy of good and evil. That eternal dichotomy. The dichotomous bulwark that is the human experience. The duality of it all. That is at the core of what we are doing. That is a position for the flawed minds of antiquity to take up, is it not? Is it not beyond the plebian realms of understanding? Good and evil. This among many others things I do not know. Good and evil. Huh. Who would have thought.  

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