When I discovered Golden Crackle Paste, I fell in love. There’s something about crackly textures that has always appealed to me.
Crackly furniture! Crackly pottery! I love the crackles!
As I’ve worked with crackle paste, though, the cracks in my paintings started to acquire a deeper meaning for me than mere textural appeal.
I didn’t have an elegant way to articulate it, but the cracks in my paintings told me something about finding the beauty in brokenness, the redemption in our cracks. They told me something about cracks being the harbinger of new life — like the cracks in an eggshell before the new chick emerges.
The cracks in my paintings spoke to me of persistence, even when everything around you feels shattered and fragmented. They spoke to me of the strength we gain when our fractures heal.
They said all of this and more — messages I sorely needed to hear.
See, it’s all too easy for me to focus on what’s broken — in the world, in my life, in me.
If you know me at all, it may surprise you to hear this. People tell me all the time how much energy I have, that I’m a bundle of positivity, and that’s true — I frequently come across as a human Energizer Bunny. That’s not the whole truth, however.
What’s also true is that I’m such a sensitive person, I have to limit how much news reaches my eyes and ears, so I don’t get sucked into the black hole of depression.
What’s also true is that I sometimes cry myself to sleep if I my thoughts light on something that triggers my sensitive side (especially when it relates to animals: pets I lost years ago and still miss terribly; bears trapped in tiny cages on bear bile farms; basically any suffering, and particularly of animals).
In short, positivity is a sort of self-defense strategy.
It’s not fake by any means, but choosing to focus on the positive is a very conscious choice, a strategy to keep me from getting mired in depressive thoughts.
My crackle paste paintings — what I’m now calling my Fractured Beauty series — are a way of acknowledging the brokenness in and around me, and turning that brokenness into a source of strength and beauty.
As I wrote on the description page of my most recent paintings:
We live in a broken world that often feels cold and inhumane. We often feel cold and broken ourselves, but it is in our very brokenness that our greatest strength and beauty reside. Say yes to your broken parts, yes to the beauty in your flaws, yes to the world, yes, yes, yes!
To that end, here are my latest two paintings, Icebreaker and Breakthrough, and some pics of their creation.
More #cracklepaste #art #artistsofinstagram #artinprogress #workinprogress #wip
Added a layer of #pouringmedium to this 5×5 #canvas #workinprogress #wip #cracklepaste #paintingfun #artistsofinstagram #abstractart View on Instagram
Added #pouringmedium to this 5×5 #canvas too. #wip #workinprogress #artistsofinstagram #abstractart #mixedmedia View on Instagram
Side view of 5×5 #cracklepaste canvas #abstractart #acrylic #mixedmedia #workinprogress #wip #artistsofinstagram
Pouring medium drying under colander dust-shield. We make do with what we can! #whateverworks #art #artistsofinstagram #artinprocess #workinprogress #wip #acrylic #abstractart #abstractexpressionism #creativeprocess View on Instagram
And the finished paintings – Icebreaker (thank you to Sally Smith Wightkin for the title suggestion):
…and Breakthrough (thank you to Andrea Lewicki for the title suggestion):
Both are available in my shop (at 54% off for a limited time!) — click on the images to get to the shop pages. I think they work quite nicely as a diptych:
I hope this series helps you see they beauty in your own cracks.
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!