Incomplete. Unfinished. A rough draft. Work in progress. Far from done. Needs finishing touches. What do all these things have in common?
They’re all me. I have yet to become complete. I’m just a painting in it’s infancy. Still blobs of pigment, not ready to be seen. The brushes of life have formed my body, and the fingers of many painters have marred my surface. I have become a work of art, but I’m not yet ready to lift the curtain.
I have chunks of time slapped on me with a palette brush, that have built up my height, although sometimes too much. I have deep grooves in my body that almost ripped me in half, because someone dug the brush in, imprinted in my past. And I have memories forged by tortured painters, that have jabbed at my surface, riddled with anger. They set me on fire, left me to smolder. These things left their scars as my canvas grew older. Within my beauty lies many charred ashes, from all these artist’s who burned my canvas. I have lived a mix of a million life stories, transformed into color that hides all the gory. Details, details, the devil’s in the details. So many secrets, carved in with fingernails. I’m not a pretty painting, I’m violent, damned, damaged in red, the blue marks the times where people painted my depression. The grooves and scratches mark all my imperfections, that were forged on my surface, creating my reflection. But the yellow and pink tell a different story. They show the people who truly cared for me. They took their time, tender in their touches, and were ever so careful in choosing their brushes. The black shows the culmination of all of these things, some work isn’t as simple as the parts you can see. This work of art borders on vulgar, too crude for some, but perfect for the vultures.
Vultures yearn to feed off my painted pain; one artists’ trash, is the twisted man’s gain. The sick see the flaws, and want to add more. The loving see paws, that clawed at my core. The judging see a mess, that still needs some work; and ones like me see a soldier, that lived through it’s wars. Everyone has advice and criticisms to offer, but no one gets being the product of many sick authors. I tried to mold my insides, reform the bad paint, until I made it mine, but some damage withstands even the test of time. So I am a mix of sick fucks and loving artists, forever I’ll remain a work still in progress. Many people will gaze upon my incomplete surface, see an unfinished product, not knowing it’s purpose. They think they can judge how I’ve lived, score my existence. But never can they see, what painted this picture. So they sit in the gallery, critiquing a work in progress, but I refuse to be judged before I’ve finished the process. This painting still waits, for the rest of it’s artists. But from now on I’ll be the judge who gets to paint on it.
by Ashley Hebner
© All Rights Reserved 2016
Featured Image is a painting by Mary Barnes. Found at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/Mary_Barnes_painting_(detail).jpg