I never thought a piece of art would make me feel strong emotions. After a school trip to the art museum I realized I was wrong. I came across a painting that stirred several emotions in me. It was called “Eden,’’painted by an artist named Christopher Harrison. At first glance, the painting looked like a mixture of colors swirled together with no real meaning. After observing it for awhile, I began to see each swirl, symbol or color served a purpose. Watercolors in shades of pinks, oranges, blues, and greens, were splattered on the canvas like raindrops on a sidewalk. Next, came thicker looking paint that was in shades of black, dark green, dark blue, yellow, orange, and pink. Some created shapes, and others had shapes or symbols within the larger shapes.
I gravitated toward “Eden” when I first saw it. The chaos of different colors immediately reached out to me, sending me into a rush of different emotions. The painting was hectic, but made me feel calm. The bright colors reminded me of happy times in life, while the dark reminded me of sad times. The bright and dark colors that were inside one another, reminded me of bitter sweet times. The closer I looked, I could pick out shapes and symbols that weren’t visible at first glance. I then realized this painting was like my personality and life. There are different traits within me that people only see if they know me well enough or look closely. These traits can range from when I’m happy to when I’m sad. I get anxiety, about school, sports and my future, but don’t let those emotions out until I’m at home. Therefore, most people don’t see that side of my personality, except for my family and close friends when they see me outside of public places.
There's a big swirled shape on the right side of the painting that was painted bright orange. It appeared to be in the shape of a jellyfish. It had yellow curved lines, yellow dots and circles within. This reminded me of my happy, hyper-energetic self. The second I wake up, I’m energized and ready to take on the day. I calm down during the day, but get hyper again quickly, depending on who I’m around. I can be as bubbly as 7 up, around the tennis team. The team is always goofing around, and I’m constantly laughing. Whenever we get a game going at practice, I’m cheering and pumped up. This personality trait stands out, like the bright colors in the painting.
On the bottom of the painting is a thick line of dark green, with a black line running down the center splitting off into three separate black lines. Attached to that line climbing up the right side of the painting, was a dark thick blue line with black and dark green blobs within it. The dark colors taste bitter. These parts of the painting reminded me of my anxieties. Almost everyday I feel nervous about what the day will bring. I go to school and stress about the work I have to do. This feeling follows me home, causing me to have a stressful night. I also worry about my future. I think about what little time I have until I need to decide where I’m going to college, and what career path I’ll choose to take. These thoughts are excess baggage in my mind. Like in the painting, the darker colors are harder to pick out, just as these traits I possess can be difficult to see.
The majority of the painting portrays the dark and bright colors together. I can hear the chaos of the bright and dark fighting for space. On the left side of the painting was a big black spot resembling a snail. Inside of that, was a yellow circle with symbols in it. To the left was a yellow spot with green lines inside, curving like a snake. Above that was a dark blue, and pink shape, that looked similar to a butterfly. These remind me of the bittersweet parts of my personality. I have personality traits that are good and bad. Compassion being one of the most prevalent. I have compassion for others, but can be overly sensitive to their feelings. I don’t like to see other people struggling and want to help them. When I can’t help people, I start to feel sad, which causes me stress. I've attended three mission trips and each time have worked with the homeless. After talking with them and hearing their struggles, I start to feel sympathy for everything they’re going through. I want to take their burdens away, but I know there isn’t much I can do for them. This causes me to feel stressed and sometimes depressed.
Even though the painting was chaotic, it’s similar to the chaos of my life. It had a sense of realness to it, which I think is rare to find these days. My life isn’t bright and cheery all the time. Similar to the fact that the painting isn’t filled with only bright colors. The painting needs all of the different colors and shapes, because without them, the painting wouldn’t have the character that it does now. In the same way, without all my personality traits and emotions I wouldn’t be who I am. I would be an incomplete painting.
February 26, 2018