Since I took the time to post my painting Metanoia while shrouded in bubble wrap, I thought it perhaps prudent to share with you what the painting actually looks like. Also, this might be a good opportunity to share some thoughts on the painting…
Metanoia is from an ancient Greek word meaning “a transformative change of heart; especially: a spiritual conversion.” The term suggests repudiation, change of mind, repentance, and atonement; but “conversion” and “reformation” may best approximate its connotation. That definition was from Wikipedia btw. I didn’t have the energy to paraphrase or make the lingo my own at the moment.
Within psychology, the word is used to describe the process of experiencing a psychotic “breakdown” and subsequent, positive psychological re-building or “healing”. Again with the Wikipedia…
The fact that the term is used within psychology is especially serendipitous and gives this painting a bit of an extra special meaning to me as the patron who purchased her happens to by a psychologist, and a very cool one at that! I’ve had the opportunity to share a glass of wine with the new owner on a couple of occasions and the conversation is, well, right up my alley. From past lives to ghosts and communing with the dead to talking about serial killers and other deviants, I know Metanoia has found a good home.
This experience with the new owner has also reinforced an idea that I already held, one that suggests that a work of art is never actually complete, that it must be viewed and experienced in order to gain fullness of meaning. The meaning a painting takes on may well be different from the one intended by the artists and may be fluid, changing over the course of time as different people come into contact with it. In a sense, the more people who come into contact with the work, the more emotional and spiritual patina it acquires.
For me the painting is a representation of a rogue angel, one who is striving for their potential perfection but is keenly aware of their constant shortfall, the one who is searching with good intention while never understanding that they no longer need to search. Under all of the mistakes and wrongdoings, she is already enlightened and occupies a place of divine holiness.
Now that she is out in the world she can begin to acquire an emotional patina beyond whatever it is I originally intended. I would be curious what meanings and representations you would ascribe to this portrait. If so inclined, feel free to comment below. And also, if you do dig the work, by all means click and share it with your friends via those always-nifty buttons… Cheers!