Friendships come easily to me. Not sure why but people tend to gravitate towards me and I love learning about them and what makes them unique. One would think, when something comes so easily, that I might take those friendships for granted. I don’t. Each friendship I have is important to me for whatever reasons we share. I say this because I won’t post about all my friends but there’s one that I need to talk about because of what they give me.
I moved to Florida in 2013 and my home at the time had a wall that begged for artwork. I do not have artwork. At all. I’m not an art person. But this wall needed something, and I was lamenting this case to a woman I worked with, Diana. She told me about an artist friend of hers that does wall-sized pieces and she’d be happy to make an introduction. A day or so later, via Facebook, I was introduced to Abby.
Chances are high you have no idea what encaustic painting is (and if you do, bonus points). This is the medium they uses to create their art. For those of us who don’t know, encaustic painting is painting with hot wax. It’s a process going back to ancient Egypt; pigments are added to heated beeswax and that wax is applied to a prepared surface, usually wood. Tools are used to swirl and shape the heated wax before it cools, and the finished result is a three-dimensional piece of art that has shade, emotion, and passion imbued into it.
The image attached to this post is one that they created recently and, normally, I’d admire it for the emotion and feelings their art dredges up quietly over a cup of coffee. But I can’t keep this to myself because I need them to know what this image has given me.
The piece I’m talking about here is the top frame; the cream and purple with blue at the outer edges. More than I think any other piece they have shown, created, and shared … this one touches my heart (cold and black though it may be). The colours are soothing. The way the wax melts from light to dark and back again wants to wash away every sin the monster I see in the wax ever committed. The white are the fraying edges of it’s monstrosity; melting away from pain and terror into something akin to anaesthesia. The mouth screaming from the side is the protestation of it’s eradication. The eyes staring out at me are filled with hatred, not for me but for what is happening to it.
The monster is dying. It’s not going quietly and it sure as fuck isn’t going to go easy. There are claws in that monster that haven’t shown themselves yet; protections that it has built over the years from those who would rebuff or repel their monstrosity. Things that will make the monster into a shadow puppet. But it’s not really a monster. It’s not really something outside of myself. It’s my own demons and my own monsters, the ones that make me into who I am. It’s the mistakes I’ve made and the ones that I’ve still yet to make.
This painting reminds me of who I am … dings and all.
I can’t afford their paintings, but I can admire them. And be thankful they are a part of my life.