Art as an Anchor
By: Hannah Corman | September, 10, 2018
“I can’t stop pointing to the beauty” ~ Rumi
That’s how I feel with my phone. My photo stream is clogged with snippets of sky, corners of buildings, flashes of reflected sun.
When I walk down the street, I wish I could nudge my fellow pedestrians and point to whatever it is I’m seeing. My husband gets fed up with this constant pointing and secretly (although not anymore now, right?) calls me Pointer. But that’s okay because I enjoy sharing life’s beautiful details, and I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to.
It’s the art, the idea, the beauty, and the fun of feeling my body move around a canvas. It’s a mental and physical exercise to see if I can translate an image in my head to the surface in real life.
In the constant day-to-day routine of baby things—feeding, changing, playing, teaching, repeating (side note: do you ever notice yourself saying things two times to a baby?)—I often think, “Okay, that’s it. I’m going to take a break from painting, I don’t have the energy.”
Often what I see in my mind are the abstracted forms of what I’ve witnessed outside. Mountains, flowers, sunshine—they simply become colors and shapes and feelings. Then the motivation to paint again floods back, has to get out.
When I paint, I think about what draws me in when I look at a photograph or painting or memento. What resonates is a jogged feeling or memory, a rooting to a prior time or place or emotion.
Art reminds me that I have the ability to come back to my truest self whenever I want to access her. Art is a form of self-care, in that I put things on my wall, on my nightstand, on my screensaver that remind me to be grateful, to take a deep breath, to stay aware of my ever-supportive family and my roots. So in one painting or photograph, I can be filled with happiness.
But I also paint for others. Because I know how anchored to my inner self I feel when I look at that painting of the rolling hills of my childhood done by a local artist. Because I remember the fun day in Virginia with my aunt and uncle picking out a big, red, abstract painting as a college graduation present. Because I feel happy and proud to have a painting by a high school friend in my foyer. Maybe I can provide a tranquil, grounded feeling to someone who has my art on her wall. Maybe I can make her feel joyful, innocent, and connected to her deep-down self.
I’m motivated to point to the beauty, to turn out my inside thoughts, to create tangible anchors to memories and emotions.