This past week, after the election, it’s been a very difficult time for many of us. For me, it left me with feelings way beyond disappointment. It was despair and indeed the fear and terror for myself and the effect on the future of our country and, in fact, the world.
Knowing I was teaching the day after the election, I knew I had to find some way of coping for myself and the 17 hang-dog faces that would be meeting me that night at the Open Center.
I started working and came up with this project. I took out two pieces of watercolor paper. On one, I wrote all about what I was feeling-all the anger and angst I could get onto the written page. I then took paint and covered the whole sheet, obliterating as best I could the horrible, upset sentiments with color to blot them out. Taking the sheet of paper in both hands I tore it ferociously, imparting as much of the fierce energy into that action. I continued to rip and tear, expanding my feelings and, at the same time, creating shapes I could use.
Taking the second sheet of watercolor paper, I painted a simple background. Using about seven of the pieces, I composed a collage, glued it down and put finishing touches with paint and oil pastel
“After The Election” watercolor on paper 12×16
So it was that I converted some of my incomprehensible feelings into “After The Election” a work of beauty.
That evening, I did this project with my students. They created lovely works of art. But, for me, they works were even more beautiful because, to a person, as they were leaving, they said, ” I feel better now.” and “doing this has made me feel lighter.” It was the process that mattered. Not the product. Proof that art heals.