Silencing the Critic

08.07.15 In the last two weeks I've created several dozen monoprints. I amazed at how easy it is to create colorful background textures with my actual hands. While they're each unique and share a beauty common to the process, none are worthy to stand alone as a piece of art. I sift through them daily, sorting them into piles and wondering how they can be used to create something meaningful.

While I'm no longer in a dark place, I continue to find myself in a restless, thoughtful state of mind. My decision to walk the Camino de Santiago next spring feels less heavy, though I am still reduced to tears when trying to explain it to others. Neal will be gone 3 years on August 20th, long enough so that stepping into the space he's left behind doesn't suck the breath out of me. My relationship is like an old chair - a comfortable place occasionally in need of a good cleaning.

Museware functions well without me, giving me the freedom to pursue other creative interests. And I have pursued. In the last 6 months, I've run happily from one creative thing to another - loving the discovery - until another shiny thing catches my attention. There's a subtle desperation to my lack of creative direction, an urgent whisper that I'm not and won't ever be enough. I'd like to bitch-slap that voice. When it persists, the only way to silence it is to go inside. Meditate. Walk. Design.

Monoprint | Digital Collage by Sheree Burlington | Wing + Tree blog

When I started this collage, I still had my hand over the mouth of my anti-muse. Like the biblical antichrist, my anti is a "single figure of concentrated evil." It is her job, her sole purpose, to undermine my creative process. She is a miserable companion that is only silenced by the act of creating. 

This collage combines two recent monoprints, a modified selfie (image > adjustments > posterize > threshold) some hand sketched elements and my most-loved Neal angel. It was created using my new favorite Photoshop setting - multiply. Multiply makes a solid image transparent, without the dimming effect of the transparency setting. I discovered it only this week and honestly don't know how I designed without it. It combines and adds a depth to colors in the most remarkable way. Like most things about Photoshop, it is magic. 

Digital collage by Sheree Burlington | Wing + Tree blog

I am so pleased with this digital collage. It is full of the kind of symbolism that makes my work meaningful and rich with the kind of color and texture that inspires me to create more. As a composition, it is more than the sum of its parts - each element is enhanced by the presence of the other. It is a reminder that quiet and contemplation can heal, that our dead are always with us and that like rivers, all roads lead to home. 

“hark, now hear the sailors cry, 
smell the sea, and feel the sky 
let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic...” 
― Van Morrison