Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Depth of Black, Again

I resumed my studies with the Colors at the end of September, and began my work with Black with the New Moon in October. To Jacqueline & I, Lady Black is all about finding - and seeing - the truth. In our lives, about ourselves, in others. Her message is not always easy. But I am getting ahead of myself...

So this is the third time I've started working with the colors, and I am hoping I make it all the way through this time. Of course the first thing we're asked to do is create a self portrait. I've introduced myself with words, but these are my self portraits from the past two times, and this time.

The top left is my first EVER self portrait from 2009. It was also my first time art journaling, and my first time using paints in a sketch book. The bottom left is my second attempt from 2011. I chose words rather than attempt another painting. And of course the right is from today. My art has indeed come a long way in the past 5 years, as has my sense of owning that title: Artist.

Anyway, on to the questions!

1. In the story, Little Bird meets Black and is challenged to discover who her authentic, real self is. How well do you know your own authentic self? We asked you to create a portrait of your self at the beginning of this adventure. How well do you think that portrait describes your real, authentic self? Black taught me quite a bit about my authentic self this time around. I think my previous self-portraits were about finding out who I am, more in a general sense (this is what I look like, these words describe me...), but this time, I tried to get an even *more* realistic view of myself, but Black still said I had to dig deeper.

2. After having read Chapter One and meeting Black, is there anything that you would like to add to your initial portrait? I would make it less perfect. As I drew, I left out blemishes and wrinkles, blaming it on the low quality photo reference I was using of course, but knowing full well they are there, and I could have found them with a mirror and drawn them in.

3. Little Bird of the story has been gifted with artistic talent. What would you say are your own gifts and talents? That is something I share with Little Bird. I don't think I draw as "divinely inspired" as she does, but I like to make art that others find pleasing and joyful, and maybe even magical.

4. Do you feel you have fully explored them? No! No way! I have lots more mediums to explore, styles to try, masters to study... I have just been getting my toes wet!

5. And how do you think Black would encourage you to explore the depths of those gifts and talents? What would she ask you to do with them? Keep going! Get out the oils, get out the canvas & artists panel, keep playing with watercolors & ink... get your stuff in the gallery! Face those fears and get it out there! Stop using *I can't afford...* as an excuse not to do things!

6. Some people are afraid of Black, thinking it is evil. Do you feel any fear towards Black? If so, why? No fear. I've never seen the color as evil. And quite honestly, you can't make something really shine and sparkle bright if there's no dark.

7. You have seen how Caroline reacts and interacts with Deity as represented by the color Black? If you were in Little Bird’s place, how do you think you would react and interact with the color Black? I definitely hold myself more reserved than she does. I think I would probably cry, I do tend to do that a lot.

8. Select just one of the gifts and talents that you listed earlier. Write down your plan on how you will improve that gift or talent. I am definitely working on getting more pieces into the gallery, and will be continuing to draw & sketch daily, and paint as often as I can.

9. OPTIONAL: Write your own Prayer to Black here. Not this time around.

10. A Ritual for Black: Jacqueline & I had our ritual this evening at our altar and spoke of our month with Black. Black has shown me this month that I spend too much time trying to present a perfect face, a perfect life, when the truth is I am so not perfect.

I am messy, moody, distracted, and unfocused, and I hold myself, and the people around me, to impossibly high standards, and am continually let down when those standards aren't met. I spend too much time unhappy and cause much of my own misery by expecting so much.

But again, the truth is that life is still full of wonderful beautiful things. The important things. The things that really matter. Unconditional love, warm clothes, warm dry house, electricity, water, food... I even have a car, and a big happy family.

Perfect? Far from it. And even my daily gratitude posts fail to put me in the right frame of mind some days. I take so much for granted. And that was Lady Black's lesson for me this past month. The truth about my life and myself.

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