May 01, 2013

Listening to Cold Shoulders

"Cold Shoulders" Acrylic on repurposed materials 24x36 NFS
Well, so far, I've been spared from being taken away by the authorities for claiming to have  Conversations with Paper Towels! I think I'm safe as long as I keep it a one way kinda' relationship: they talk to me but I don't talk to them; I just paint them. 

Since begining this series, "Towel Talks, I have had a real shift take place. Not only have I transitioned from wanting to impose my thoughts onto my canvases, I've found myself wanting to take time to listen to others more and talk less. Listening is such a powerful way to communicate human kindness. I love this saying:

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” 
 Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Recently while leading a marriage seminar with my hubby, I was reminded of this interesting, yet aphauling fact:

The average person listens for only 17 seconds before interrupting. 
"The 5 Love Languages", Dr. Gary Chapman

Wow! That's really something!

I'm treating these paintings as 'mediations'. Each time I spread the glue soaked, paint-soiled, paper towels onto my canvas, I practice the art of  slowing down and 'listening'.
As I do so, each one 'speaks' to me a story that seems to yearn to be told. I try to listen.

Paint-stained paper towels before being soaked in glue and stretched onto canvases.

My most recent, "Cold Shoulders' came as a surprise reminder to deeply care about others and how they might feel in my presence. I think everyone knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of a 'cold shoulder!" I don't want to be the giver of such a message.

While painting it, having seen the hints of it's story in the soiled paper towels, my heart ached for so many adolescents who daily feel alienated in their schools by their peers.....
I also remembered my own painful days of awkward longings in the dark valley called "Middle School."

What do you think about when you see this piece? I'd love to hear your thoughts?

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