IN THE MIND OF AN ARTIST
The Interview – Part 1
Describe the most joyful and/or the most painful
artwork you ever created and why you qualified it as such?
Answered By Melissa LaFontaine
The most painful piece of art I ever created was never finished, which fits quite well into the concept and essence of the thing anyways. It was a watercolor, big, 18 x 24 if I remember right. I don’t particularly care for watercolor beyond a tool for sketches and gesture making, so this was pushing me way out of my comfort zone with both its size and need for detail. It was to be part of my senior collection which had a theme exploring memories of my father (who was absent and alcoholic until I was aged 20 when he miraculously sobered and returned to sanity) and more broadly my relationship with myself as a daughter.
The image was a homestead. It was a peaceful, landscaped setting. Idyllic in only the way a city girl who grew up with a single mom who never had enough money, could think of as idyllic. A big house sat off in the background with swathes of pretty green grasses and country blue skies. The foreground held a large tree under which a man was sitting, leaning his back on the tree, legs extended with a handgun on the ground next to him.
I’ve always hated anything overtly violent or aggressive. It disturbed me that the gun had shown up in the work almost without my realizing it. It wasn’t planned, I didn’t sketch it in, it was just suddenly there. Now I was looking at some cowboy that was either preparing suicide, murder or protection. Such contrast to the idyll behind it. When it dawned on me that’s about all I understood of men, in this obscure protector/villain dichotomy, it hurt too much to finish. Or maybe that was just the excuse I grabbed to get out of having to spend another 12 hours to bring it to completion and therefore work on gaining a deeper understanding of men beyond this socially induced dichotomy. That seems like another layer to the same story. My art tends to go that way, bleeding the reality of my subconscious motivations in a way that becomes part of the statement that no one ever quite understands.
Melissa studied Studio Art and Psychology at the University of Minnesota. She creates artistic pieces that add visual narration to her written word. She uses a blog format to publish insightful reflections, poetry and essays about life, spirituality and trauma recovery. She is also the proud homeschool mom to a budding Rockstar and has dreams of one day owning an artist’s retreat and wellness center.
Copyright© Melissa LaFontaine
About ‘In The Mind Of An Artist’
‘In The Mind Of An Artist’ aims to uncover the artistic mind, the perspective of individuals living under the influence of art. By and large we live collective lives, but artists see life a bit; well sometimes very different than others. As some seem to float from one artwork to another; others are deeply encrusted in their work making it difficult to catch that ride offered by the world around them, creating realities in which one person (the artist) must navigate in order to survive in society. If you are an artist and this speaks to you, please contact me if you like to share your story.
This series of articles, written by artists is about the artist’s way of processing and reacting to events in their lives. These can be tangible communal events or struggles of philosophical and psychological nature.
Through these articles artists will share their intimate views. Talking about how their perspectives changed as they trapped themselves in the cobwebs of art.
By design ‘In The Mind Of An Artist’ will not contain any images of artwork, biography, profile, lists of exhibitions, books or the artist’s creative process.
The goal here is to give the artist a chance to pause from the creation of art for a moment and explore the self.
Interviews will also be included in this series.
To submit your article, get an invitation to participate or for more information on this new series please email email@example.com .
SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN!
Edge of Humanity Magazine is an independent nondiscriminatory platform that has no religious, political, financial, or social affiliations.
We are committed to publishing the human condition, the raw diverse global entanglement, with total impartiality.
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