Mixed media on canvas. 20x60in. Not for sale.

“The name evokes their aim to make art that while abstract was also expressive or emotional in its effect. They were inspired by the surrealist idea that art should come from the unconscious mind”

– From tate.org.uk on abstract expressionism

This is the first time I’ve tried abstract expressionism on a stretched canvas. It was a risk – stretched canvases are not cheap, and expressionism means I need to use my intuition instead of logic and planning. I don’t have as much practice at that.

My inspiration was from a feeling I’ve contemplated heavily in recent years. When I have been entangled in a toxic relationship, I found myself in a constant struggle to balance the comfort of selective memory and ignorance with the terror of the raw truth of my situation. Neither option is sustainable. If I choose the comforting lie of ignorance, the toxicity slowly kills me. If I choose the pain of truth, it is too much for my mind to handle and I’m too consumed by anger and fear to take any reasonable course of action. In other words, I would panic.

So I balanced both in my mind – slowly letting the truth in and accepting the ignorance as a safety mechanism. It’s an agonizing process but it’s the only way I knew. And slowly, far too slowly, I reached a place where I could walk forward with both eyes open to the truth.