what anxiety is this?

Hello dear reader and welcome again;

Since I last wrote to you I have continued work on my painting “COMPASS” and Yes, I have done another “study”, shown here, charcoal on paper.  I am maybe 20% into the painting.  Sometime ago I introduced it to you. Do you remember the story of it? That the image came to me while I was speaking to a friend about the anxiety he was experiencing. It held, I believe, real healing value and a potential for understanding his discomfort.  Using the TAROT(a symbol system we can to interpret messages from the unconscious) to illuminate his circumstance, I realized that the source of his anxiety was one I observe –and have experienced- frequently.  It was essentially the sensation of outer behaviour conflicting with deep intuitive guidance.

This painting “COMPASS” is the work of translating this vision into paint.  The work is oil on board and 40×48”.  On the left half of the piece there is the figure of a man sitting at a desk surrounded by papers, books, notes, a computer, phone, a couple of drinks, light and a newspaper.  He has a halo round his head and his tie has lifted and parted itself to reveal the source of his pain, a heart stuck by three swords.  Wrapped round the heart is a small gold cord which travels taught towards the hands of an etheric figure on the left half of the panel.  The scene is set in front of a dark unidentified space.

After structuring the composition and completing a rudimentary underpainting , my first task has been to establish the expression of anxiety through the figure. It has been for this reason that I have done the drawings of men in aggression.  Although the figure in my work is not screaming it is what I intuit is the base note of his emotional state. So I must create a figure which communicates an underlying anxiety, suppressed but arising, becoming impossible to ignore.   

 See, the conflict that I have described being between our outer behaviour and our inner guidance is successfully disguised and suppressed in most all of us surfacing only when the guidance is acutely needed and literally screaming to be heard.  Our intuitive function is active and if our habit or conditioning has us ignoring or suppressing it anxiety grows.

So, why the desk and the business suit?  It is not that my friend was a business man.  And the original vision didn’t have this particular character, but in contemplating the original, it was quickly revealed that a male in business attire could effectively symbolize the current agreed upon definition of the pursuit of success.  Plans, strategies and goals business networking, banks, corporate institutions jobs, education and the paraphernalia of these activities are tools of the agreed upon paths to success in our culture.  Each individual has some manner these things spread before them representing their lives-their plans, strategies, goals, calendars, contacts, memories and achievements, their should’s and shouldn’ts and should’ves, their could’s and couldn’ts and could’ves-kept in drawers, folders, closets, computers, offices, desks and memory.  Yet when, despite in these things before them, all of their evidence of success and all of their very well laid out plans, goals and relationships there is emptiness, loneliness, sadness, discomfort, fear –an underlying anxiety I believe it is likely they are experiencing this conflict I am painting about.

The key is that the intuition has a function of which the anxiety is an integral part.  It is a rich and significant theme.

I have more to discuss than time to do it in and, really, I must get back to the painting and drawing.

Thank you so much again dear reader for your time and attention.  Next week I will remember to discuss what I believe is the healing potential of this work and about the most important part- the paint.


Until next week,












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