“You see me like this”

My first real body of work as a visual artist was completed and exhibited in 2019. It was after completion that I realized that the oppositional elements, all the tensions, the harmonies, the congruences and incongruences being expressed were connected, rooted in my immersion – as a couples therapist – in the relational dramas constantly unfolding in intimate relationships.

I’ve learned that many artists decide upon a meaning, context, or conceptual framework before beginning a work. Not me. I need to spend much time with the work, in progress and upon completion, before I am able to discern what the work is “about”. There is trust and reverence in this approach.

The reverence is for creativity itself, for the creative spark and the imaginitivity.

Each work is acrylic on vintage mill paper. Approximately 50×53″.

My statement for this exhibit –

For ten years I’ve worked as a couples therapist, and perhaps I paint as only a couples therapist would. It’s inescapable; my paintings reflect the tensions, the boldness, the starkness and the richness of the intimate relationships that are laid bare before me.

Seeing ourselves through the lens of a primary love relationship is frustrating, gratifying, and occasionally sublime. The way we wish to be seen by our significant other is often painfully at odds with the way they actually see us. Additionally, how they describe seeing us affects how we see ourselves.

There is no such thing as the objective observer; witnessing phenomena changes phenomena. This applies to people in relationships, to counsellors and therapists, to artists and art, and to those who look at art and are able to glimpse something of themselves.

What you see in these paintings is of the psyche: mine, yours, theirs; something individual and something collective, something enduring and something that might yet change under your gaze. Turbulence becomes triumph, stubbornness morphs into resilience, chaos beckons beauty. What else?

As you look into these images, imagine your intimate relationships, past and present. What is being described here? What do you recognize? What is familiar?

Each of these works tells a relationship story. Some of them are bound to be yours.

You see me like this
The descent beckoned
The message came from strangers

The chase
Bound to the heart timelessly wounded
Last one standing