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I have to paint. My knowledge of language limits me. I have so much I need to say, but fear saying it, and lack wisdom or the patience to find the means to communicate it in words that ultimately lack the complexity to represent what I feel. “L'esprit de l’escalier” is a French phrase with a secondary meaning which describes the feeling you get when you leave a conversation thinking about everything you could have said.  Each of these canvases encompasses feelings, actions and emotions which remain a record greater than words on a page. Every mark becomes a cathartic flow of uncalculated and spontaneous sequences dependent on the one prior. Brush strokes, scrapes, drips, and splatters that remain represent love, healing, frustration, forgiveness, loss and strength in an intuitively expressionist process. The Greek word “Meraki” means “To do something with love or soul, or equivalently to put something in yourself into your work.” Even within other languages, the canvas becomes my strongest voice, my journal, and within the conglomeration of color, my support group.


But eventually, as this canvas becomes a public narrative, my feelings and insecurities are on display for public consumption and judgment. The French term “La douleur exquise” defines the pain felt only when you crave the affection from someone you know you can never have.” With my narrative being interpretive and dependent upon the individual experiences of the viewer, the canvas provokes a safe conversation with the viewer rather than a monologue of the artist. Within this conversation, there is empathy and acceptance as the viewer pauses within his/her own memories. Perhaps within these marks and hues, understanding occurs as emotions and memories become faintly familiar. We can find unity in our forgiveness, empathy in our experiences. An understanding of release.

Pigments juxtaposed in complex relationships upon the canvas impose emotional connections within the viewer. Just as individual personalities define each social situation, color and tonality imitate life in creating the context which defines the mood of the painting. Color sequence and mark making on a canvas can similarly affect one’s mood and trigger memories in a comforting, redemptive way. I have found my Meraki.

Copyright © 2022 Rashelle Weissenbach. All rights reserved.


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