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Coronalone: Week 35- Drawing Out The Darkness

"Coronalone". It's like "Home Alone", but without Macaulay Culkin. And without the burglars (we hope). It's our ridiculous name for the surreal and strange circumstances in which we currently find ourselves.

And we currently find ourselves a week behind again on the blog. 2020 is really kicking our butts! Here’s a post from Mike, with one from Robyn soon to follow in order to catch us up yet again:

If you’ve seen my art, I’m sure that you’ve noticed that sometimes, it can be quite dark and off-putting.

It’s not a new phenomenon. Even as a child, I drew some pretty dark stuff. I would draw things like monsters, ghosties, and creepy-crawlies that represented internal struggles and archetypal themes. I didn’t know I was doing this, of course. I was just a little kid with an overwhelming urge to draw. I know my poor mother worried about what was coming out of her little boy— as was I, on occasion— but that didn’t stop me from drawing what came up.

I have come to believe that it has a specific purpose in my life. I feel like I’m drawing out chunks of darkness from within me and exposing them to the light of day, where they can be dispelled. Nowadays it comes in a couple of different forms. One is when I have an idea about a theme that I want to depict, such as political injustice or a spiritual blocking point. The other just seems to flow out from a deeper place, one I’m not sure I even realized was there.

The first example is intentional, and it is intended to elicit a response in the viewer, or maybe even act in a way similar to a Japanese koan— a simple puzzle designed to stop your mind in its tracks and force it to be present. That can be an uncomfortable feeling for many. My intentional creations don’t always hit my intended mark. Whether that is a shortcoming in my artistic abilities or the theme is too obscure, I don’t know.

It is the drawings that just happen, though, that seem to touch people in a deeper way. They pluck at a string somewhere deep inside, a discordant nerve-ending that would perhaps be better left untouched. I never mean to cause distress in the soul of the viewer, but if my art can occasionally slip past someone’s defenses and cause them to look at a dark spot inside themselves, it opens up the possibility of addressing those issues. For me, art is therapy. I may visit a theme several times before I even realize that I need to take a look at myself and make some adjustments.

These days, not all of my art is dark in nature, although much of my work still seems to have a haunting quality to it. As time moves on, I’m sure that more of me will reveal itself through my art, and I hope you will enjoy that ride along with me. And if you see a piece that hurts just a little, I hope you’ll take a peek within, and then let it go. I will endeavor to do the same.

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