2021 and Living With My Own Art
As I sit down at my table every morning, I have a clear view of one of my paintings. This painting took months to complete and was created during a time of tremendous hardship and discomfort for me and my family. I do not believe that I will ever part with it. I have made art for over 20 years, and I never make art with the intention of keeping any. Making the work and enjoying the creative process is always my primary reward. Finding a forever home for my paintings and supporting my family with my art has always been my secondary reward. This painting is my only exception.
While creating a painting like this, there are so many elements that need consideration. First of all, I consider the placement of the figure. I knew I wanted to create a prayerful caretaker, a loving force of some kind, and I knew that I wanted it to be inspired by figures from the Renaissance. The figure would be front and center with a magnificent halo. Intuition lead the way while I created her. Later, after making some progress on this painting, I began a series of eye studies, painted on wood blocks, to stretch myself and my art making skills. After painting many blocks, I turned my focus back to the painting, and the eyes started going in around the halo. The vague idea for the theme was that even while praying, there is protection. I was contemplating the notion that we are always being looked out for, even when we cannot look out for ourselves.
I haven’t written for a while because 2021 was a pretty rough year for me and my family. In February, we were hit with a crazy winter storm, one that only comes once in a hundred years here in Texas. We lost power for several days and had nowhere to go to keep warm, so we lived in our closet on a mattress that we shoved in there to keep ourselves warm with our own body heat while the temperature inside our house was in the 30’s and 40’s for days. Since we have no gas, we cooked food in our fireplace when we had wood. After we thawed out, we noticed some water under our kitchen sink which caused us concern. We had it all inspected by an insurance adjuster with a contractor present. The contractor ended up being an awful person and, to make a long story short, we lived without a kitchen or bathroom sinks and cabinets on concrete floors for 5 months, not knowing if our insurance company would cover replacing it all. We were essentially camping in our own house. It was very stressful, to say the least. Thanks to a dear friend, we eventually found a great contractor and another four months later our house, and our family, slowly healed.
When we were finally able to put all the rooms back together, I decided that I would place this painting in a room where we spend a lot of time. I just wanted to look at it for a bit. Over time it has become very special to me, an object that I now consider priceless, though I had once wanted to offer it for sale. This painting serves as a very personal reminder of how my family and I are able overcome hardship. It reminds me how we came together to support one another and grew even closer to each other. Most importantly, this painting has taught me about something I had never even considered: What other people experience while living with my art.
It has been interesting for me to learn the differences in the meanings of the elements in this painting from the creation process, and how much their meanings change once living with them. Now that I have lived with her for a while, the image of this saintly woman reminds me of the challenges my family and I faced in 2021 and also the challenges I face as an artist, and how I work through things, sometimes for months and years at a time, before I see the solution clearly. The eyes around the glowing halo remind me that there are people, and if you believe it, sometimes angels, or depending on your spiritual flavor, God is always watching out for us. I am reminded that I am never alone, and that often times difficulties are but a blip and should be treated as such.
The past few months of enjoying and experiencing my own art in this way has given me a little more appreciation for what I do and the responsibility I have as an artist: Make the work that I need to make. Make the work that the world might need. Make the art that helps people. Make the art that can brighten a day or a life time.
My intention for this new year is to live more intentionally and to spread that through the work that I make. I hope that you and yours are happy, healthy and that you have a beautiful 2022!
1/27/2022 03:02:19 pm
She is quite beautiful and peaceful Scott, I think you are wise to hold on to that one!
1/29/2022 06:23:56 am
1/27/2022 03:04:58 pm
You're amazing and your outlook is authentic and beautiful. I appreciate how honest you are and deeply respect you friend. I pray you and your family have a great 2022.
1/29/2022 06:29:46 am
Thank you so much Jessica! I appreciate you. Thank you for your prayers for a better 2022. I hope that you have a great new year too!! Hugs.
1/27/2022 03:08:05 pm
I loved reading this, Scott. I wondered if you ever became personally connected to any of your pieces. I can see why this one spoke to you, especially at a time when your life was in flux. During stress our need to be comforted and protected is exacerbated. Especially when circumstance forces us to feel as if we’ve lost our grip on keeping our family safe. I’m glad the power you instilled in this painting was able to give it back to you when you needed it most. Blessings, my friend.
1/29/2022 06:36:29 am
1/27/2022 03:57:09 pm
Good to hear from you Scott. We did not lose power with that storm but our daughter did so they came to stay with us. Wish I had known your circumstances as we had another bedroom upstairs you could have used! That storm lasted way too long, and Im sorry for all you went through.
1/29/2022 06:39:40 am
1/27/2022 04:19:54 pm
The pieces you've made for me are in two different rooms in my house and they each make me smile every time I see them. The first because it's so unique and works perfectly in our house. The second because you gave new life to one of my grandmother's paintings. I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2022!
1/29/2022 06:52:42 am
1/27/2022 04:24:40 pm
You are one of a kind Scott, so so special. I consider it a privilege to know you. My only wish would be to be in your presence more. Love you dearly ..
1/29/2022 06:57:42 am
1/27/2022 04:34:15 pm
So sorry your 2021 was not the best. You are such a positive person. I hope your 2022 brings you happiness and good health.
1/29/2022 07:08:09 am
1/27/2022 05:47:57 pm
Very moving Buddy! God bless you and your wonderful family and here's to a fabulous and prosperous new life!
1/29/2022 07:12:00 am
1/28/2022 06:01:57 am
Scott, that is a beautiful painting with a beautiful message to go with it. I love how art can invoke such passion and comfort, whether by creating it, experiencing it, and/or just sitting with it.
1/29/2022 07:23:06 am
Roy G. Varn
1/28/2022 08:21:27 pm
1/29/2022 07:34:34 am
2/25/2022 05:40:12 pm
Scott, you are truly in sync with what is going on-Your craft is your blessing from God to lift us in these trying times. We need more than ever support from the Angels- you are indeed in alignment !!!
6/8/2022 01:35:16 pm
While visiting Jen, I was delighted to see your painting of the chimp with the baseball cap and gold chain around his neck. It is magnificent in every way from the thick globs of gold paint of the chains to the airbrushed graffiti style of the background. Jen and I did not discuss the painting or why she bought it, but what drew me to it when I saw it on your Facebook post was it reminded me of Chris, always a good reminder. Chris wore a Notre Dame baseball cap all during his childhood years. He traded it for various other sports teams, grunge bands and whatever else he found “cool.” He also loved skateboarding as a teenager, and I am sure the chimp is a skater as well. I am so glad Jen bought this painting, and I am glad I get to enjoy her eclectic taste in art and a beautiful personal reminder of Chris while I am visiting. Thank you for Scott ❤️
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Scott Dykema is a fine artist, muralist and illustrator based in Texas. His highly energetic and jubilant works range from the abstract to studies of such diverse subjects as animals, Native Americans, geishas and angels.