Thursday, May 26, 2011

Art isn't always happy

Today I had a heavy heart.  We had a tragedy in our community when Allison Bayliss took her life on Monday by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.  This is unimaginable to me.  How does a 15 year old think life is too painful and the only answer is ending it?  Depression? Pressure? Hormones? Family strife? Friend trouble?  Bullies?  I don;t think we'll ever know and it scares the hell out of me.  My daughter was classmates with Alliy and in girl scouts in third grade.  She had a 'normal' life, good family, etc.  Then one day she snapped, obviously.  She meticulously planned her demise.  It's horrific.  So with a heavy heart I sat at the shop and thought about what to create and I made this piece

"never good enough"
this was inspired by recent events.  I had the image of a little girl and I painted her not knowing what I would use her for.  I already had the wings cut out from my 'brave girl' online class and they say all sorts of things like' never finishes the laundry', spills things, eats too much candy etc... and I liked the idea of using them as wings with a woman to represent labels we place on ourselves.  As a looked at the little girl I thought about how women pressure themselves and never give themselves enough credit.  We are just never enough.  Universally I think women feel that way, and it's so sad.  WHY?  Why aren't we enough?  We do it all.  We are MORE than enough and yet most women are insecure.  I bet 9 out of 10 women would say they don't feel like they measure up this piece is representing of that message.  The image of the young girl surrounded by women represent the innocence of youth and the ignorance of 'measuring up' to the pressures of being a woman.  The tape measure is symbolic of measuring ourselves on a scale of 1 to 10 and the wire surrounding the image is how we trap ourselves with this pressure.  The hand has a key just outside the 'cage' and just outside of reach...symbolising the never ending reaching that women endure to be perfect.  I love this piece.  I have put it in my house and it has a lot of meaning to me.  It isn't a happy piece, but it is powerful and it reminds me to be 'enough' all the time.  I don't want to be "never good enough" and I admit I can fall into that trap at times.  I can look at my art and think "big deal Carrie, you call yourself an artist?", only REAL artists show their work in galleries and get paid BIG money....." but I also know that is toxic, and negative and down right MEAN, and I shouldn't talk to myself that way.  But I am human and it happens.  I am sharing this because art is raw.  Art is exposing yourself through all kinds of mediums.  Words, images, pictures, whatever.  The most powerful art is an expression of emotions.  So I can't be afraid of showing them, good or bad.  To be an artist, one has to be brave.  This much I know.  I must fight against the critic, the 'not good enough' voices, and do it anyway.  I know my little creations matter.  The smallest gesture can make a difference to others.  Just like this blog post.  This post might inspire another, it might really strike a chord with someone, and I'll never know.  If I don't put myself out there, I definitely won't help.  I know I help people just by doing what I believe in.  This motivates me.  This keeps me blogging, posting, creating, suiting up and showing up when I get no customers, or have no sales.  I create anyway.  It's enough.  And you are enough.  I appreciate YOU.  You took the time to read my blog, to care about what I'm doing and that is incredibly valuable to me.  I thank you.  Please leave me comments if you have something to share, I LOVE hearing from you.....


  1. I like that you made something in memory of the child and it is a sweet piece too. It comes from an artful soul.

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  2. Oh Carrie!!! You blew me away with this one!!! I just love it and you are one of my inspirations=) I will never forget our conversations at your shop and will always remember what you have said to me!!! It's soo weird because I was actually feeling that way today & I so happened to go on your blog & read this! That is an Awesome piece with sooo much meaning to!! I'm gonna visit you soon!<3


  3. I love this piece, Carrie. It has understanding and empathy and wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing it!!


  5. A wonderful piece and your thoughts are true.This was especially poignant for me as today I attended the cremation of a relative who also took their own life.