I've started this post several times without feeling very committed to it. It might be because I keep trying to write something that is true about myself and my own experience but I'm not really sure about what I'm experiencing these days.
I'll tell you what I know is true. The past 365 days have been difficult. I could list all of the things this year that have disappointed me, and if you know me personally, I'm sure you could quote them all yourself. I'm all too fond of maudlin (my new favorite word); I let it snake through my veins like a thick, unfiltered, honey. Eventually coating my lungs and escaping from my lips as grievances and protestations.
A friend once described me as, "a walking billboard," So, I'm sure you don't need to know my story, the good and the bad; it's written on everything I do, engrained on my every fingerprint.
So now I paint.
I paint, I write, I laugh, and I cry a little. I'm trying to let myself feel all of my emotions and then let them go, reminding myself that all feelings are here and then they're gone They're just gusts of wind off the lake at dawn, chilling, thrilling, and temporary.
Sometimes it seems like maybe I live in the wrong time or place, surrounded by people who've all come up with their own ideas about what part I play in the world or their world. Maybe it's an artist thing that I always feel like I've never clearly articulated what I want, and why I'm here.
I've never said all of the words I've intended to say. I've never quite got my point across.
Maybe it's just the human condition to never truly know yourself and that's why I paint and draw so many self-portraits; I'm still figuring it out.
Well, my most recent portrait gets a little bit closer to a sliver of what I wish I could say about myself.
Painted in only four hours. It felt good. It felt like the truth. My vulnerability.
This painting is a short story. You can tell yourself whatever you want about it. Draw your own conclusions, just as everyone tells themselves their own story about everyone else. But for me, it's nice to look at this painting and recognize a truth about myself and where I'm at, even if it's still a bit blurry.
I may sometimes find myself lost at sea, but I keep swimming.
Angela DeCamp is an Indianapolis based artist. who enjoys the finer things in life: black coffee, carnival tickets, the sound high heels make when they clickty-clack on the sidewalk.