Last week I wrote about how metaphor is used in art to express emotions and frequently abstract ideas. That also applies to having an object or phrase or dance move that represents what otherwise could not be expressed.
In response to my post, several of my readers suggested that I explain some of my metaphors in my paintings. As I mentioned last week, an artist may not always want to explain their personal feelings that appear in their work, or sometimes they don’t know themselves what or how a particular object or scene appeared in their work.
But I will attempt this mission by starting with one of my favorite paintings by Salvador Dali. This could simply be a painting of woman looking out of the window.
But does it bring to mind any feeling or questions for you? It does for me. I wonder what she is thinking? Is she feeling lonely? She seems quite isolated in a bare room, but the view is lovely. Is she loving what she is seeing or does looking at the water make her wish she were somewhere else? We could go on guessing. Dali never explained his art, he just painted.
Here is one of mine that I will try to explain to you. I painted this while at a week-long workshop in Taos, New Mexico, a truly beautiful place to paint.
Obviously, beauty was not what I was feeling. I gave little thought to the subject matter of this painting. It just appeared on my canvas. What does it mean? Perhaps that life is fragile or perhaps one may want to be careful before trusting something that may seem appealing, but on closer look is not. This painting was the first one to sell at my exhibit in 2011. Several other people also inquired about buying the painting. I have no idea why it appealed to someone else, or why she bought the painting. It doesn’t matter.
Oneness as Metaphor
Many of my paintings have to do with oneness, individuality, being alone, freedom. I also have a thing for ladders and monoliths. I haven’t figured them out yet. How about you? Any metaphors in your creativity?