Monday, March 19, 2007

Warning To New Readers: License to Preach

Warning to new readers: My blog may be a tad wordy until I get some of this background information out of my system. I just thought you may want to know a little history of me before I get more conversational. Okay? Okay!!

I finished a canvas during the big snowstorm we had on Saturday. It started out seemingly innocent enough, some torn pages from the Methodist Discipline pasted on a copper colored background. As I'm pasting away I notice the words "License to Preach" printed on one of the pages. Suddenly my mind starts going off on religion and doctrine and dogma. The piece starts coming alive and before I know it I have torn sheet music titled "The Kingdom" into a church with roof lines that say "love and devotion" and "message of peace". Lo and behold these two haughty looking men are cut and pasted on the roof shouting their message, using their license to preach. As I do all of this I am getting more and more angry. Who are they to tell me what to believe and how to believe? Who the heck issues a License to Preach?

The questions seared through me and as I dug myself in the anger I discover myself looking for a door to put on the front of the church. I locate a lovely maroon colored arched door and find myself creating a sign for the outside of the door: " Enter at Your Own Risk". Now the anger is gone and it is replaced with guilt. New questions arise: Will I be judged for putting how I feel on this canvas? Does it matter if I am judged? Will patrons understand what I meant when I wrote those words? I skittishly ditch the sign for the door and handwrite along the side of the door the same words. Less obtrustive, but still there.

Lost in thought I finish the church with a gray crumbling and cracked foundation wondering if anyone else will notice the implication in what I've done.

I signed the piece and put it aside while a new journal was born. I had to write my thoughts and feelings about this art. It is the first time in probably years that I have had that much emotional energy go into a product. I never expected such internal rage. I wrote four pages in longhand.

My history with religion is probably the same as most people who are my age and from the northern New England area. We were raised to believe X, Y, Z. We were told X, Y, Z was it. Period. No questions asked. When I busted out of that belief system the world as I knew it changed. Marraige changed, family changed, care of Mother Earth changed. I blossomed and grew (& continue to). It has cost me important relationships, this argument with Church XYZ and all it encompasses. I refuse to be spoken down to by Church XYZ and its components.

As I said to my daughter last week, I'm just going to continue being me. Different. Earthy. Growing. Questioning. Arty. Uptight. Funny (sometimes). Generous. Spiritual.


melba said...

Hooray for you!!!

I love this piece. So nice to see what your style is like. I am looking forward to more pictures.


Tammigirl said...

Thanks Melba. I'm new to collage! Drawing is really my thing. I'm trying to spread my art wings.