4.17.2015

Voice


Seen, Not Heard, 30 x 24", acrylic on canvas

Recently I had laryngitis, which as a teacher is a challenge,
and as an irrational person makes me paranoid of another
thyroid tumor. When your literal voice is gone, it is
frustrating, but a good time to just listen. As an artist, I
spend a lot of time trying to 'find my voice' like any
other artist, but how often does that prevent me from
just simply listening and learning from what is going on
around me?

This painting above may be done, or maybe not. (Is any-
thing ever finished?) And, not sure that will stay the title.
Today, I have the urge to rip the binding off the fox and
crow, but this idea of not feeling heard is an important
topic. And, perhaps the fox and crow are simply teaching
each other to listen. Often when we aren't feeling heard,
it usually is because others aren't listening and/or we are
ineffectively communicating. It is all an interconnected
web of give and take.
.
The connection of the fox and crow, above, feels like a
mystery right now--why is the binding on the crow and
the fox connected? When I sketched an idea for this more
than a year ago, I called it Hearing You Not Being Heard,
which at the time was probably about the connection
between the creatures, a metaphor for noticing and
helping each other find our voices. Today, I think it is
just as much about listening.
.
Lifehack's Kevin Kaiser says, "Creative individuals would
rather be authentic than popular. Staying true to who they
are, without compromise, is how they define success even
if it means being misunderstood or marginalized." When
I read this, it strikes a chord, but I have no interest in being
being a tortured and misunderstood artist. Maybe Kaiser
misses the mark a bit. Yes, we must be brave enough to
not need acceptance by the majority, and maybe I am not
strong enough to accept marginalization. Or, maybe
finding your voice is just as much about listening as it is
about boldly creating and communicating. Helping others
find their voices so they are not too marginalized is all
about the connections that bind us. As I learn to find my
voice, I am not comfortable with others being unheard,
either.