My original idea for today’s experiment was ‘compartmentalization’. I have always been very good at keeping unpleasant thoughts or subjects at bay (on a conscious level). On the other hand, I am also known to be something of a ‘worry wart’. For the big things (i.e., serious illnesses), I try to lose myself in the details. For example, when my mother was sick, I concentrated on knowing each procedure the medical team was contemplating. Also, one of my reactions to my older brother‘s autism (that included low functionality and inability to speak), was to learn all I could about the brain.
There is nothing bad about compartmentalization in moderation. However, if one permanently seals off feelings and treats everything as a technical issue, one risks losing much of what it is to be about being human.
I began my painting today with drips of latex watercolor resist. I made the drips into spots with a rubber spatula and drew a latex separating-line between two groups of them. After the latex dried, I painted the paper with English yellow. When that dried, I washed the lower part of the paper with phthalo blue. I removed the latex and painted the spots in colors that contrasted with their backgrounds.
The white space revealed by the latex dividing line reminded me of Atlas, holding up the world. In today’s study, Atlas’s job is to keep two realms of existence in its own compartment. A fool’s errand, perhaps.