deeper darker

there is a shadow side. thoughts surface as images among the shapes. symbols appear, adding both dark and light context. defining substance and texture allows exploration of the thoughts and feelings brought to consciousness within these images.

i’ll see you in time 11″x25″ acrylic collage on board $300.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2019

do we travel through dimensions? do we travel back and forth through time? i reach out for a thought to find myself transported, reliving an event or a powerful emotion from another time or place. a scent can transport us to another place. a thought brings an emotional flashback that takes me out of the present and into another act of a stage play that is my life. is it my life? what if, as i’m flying, i reach through this illusion of a mountain and enter another place altogether. can my dog come along?

child wanders the earth 18x24 canvas.jpg
child (wanders the earth while dead mother sleeps peacefully in heaven) 18″x24″ acrylic collage on canvas $500.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2019

06172018_Deepest woods
deepest woods 12″x12″ acrylic collage on wood $160.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2018

a root system of deep connection runs through the forest. darkness alongside connection. balance and symbiosis. a dark and moody and angry forest also brings forth joy and wonder. mystery, along with true knowing.

i dreamt of flowers 12″x16″ acrylic collage on canvas $210.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2018

i did once dream of flowers. i dreamt of loving gifts of flowers. perhaps i did not give enough flowers of my own. the flowers stopped and were forgotten. once in awhile i still dream of flowers.

they had missed before 12″x12″ acrylic collage on wood $160.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2018
reaching out to find nothing 12″x12″ acrylic collage on wood $160.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2018

common wisdom is to “reach out” when you’re having difficulties. ask for help. people care. have you ever reached out to find nothing? that friend you thought you could count on was actually not a friend, and thinking back you realized THEY WERE DEAD THE WHOLE TIME!!! well, okay, not dead – but never really alive to you? never really knew you.
welcome to my nightmare garden 10″x13.5″ acrylic collage on wood $150.00 Melissa Bayhan © 2017
pink dancer with monster boy 15.5″x10″ acrylic collage on wood $170 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2017

greetings from an alien squid 15.5″x36″ acrylic collage on concrete siding(?) $600 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2017

thoughts of the giant squid give me chills, in a creepy-good way. a creature living and thriving so deep in the oceans that we have almost never seen it. i know this is not a literal giant squid … but it IS a literal alien squid 🙂 and it says “hello.”

cardinal manipulators 24″x20″ acrylic on wood 1.5″ cradle frame $520.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2018

** cardinal = of the greatest importance; fundamental. ** manipulator = a person who controls or influences others in a clever or unscrupulous way

the manipulators seem to come from all directions. how about you let me figure out my own life. i am no longer available for you to use to relieve your own tension or exercise power control. i have moved on.

06172018_Skelly hallucination
skelly hallucination 12″x12″ acrylic on wood $160.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2018

yeah, this one was just fun. i have nothing deeper to offer. it’s a skull in a psychedelic framework. had fun patterning.

HeKate: making sacred the waste of life 20″x20″ acrylic collage on wood 1.5″ cradle frame $435.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2018

this image developed out of nowhere. the underlying collage elements have an image of a female figure, but while the figure is in the same place in the painting, it looks nothing like the image of HeKate that came out of it. i did not start with the thought of the passage below from Thomas Moore, but as i painted, and during this time in my life, this passage took on great meaning and brought comfort. the image became a testament to what i felt, at the time, was my own wasted life.

Dark Nights of the Soul

A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life’s Ordeals

Thomas Moore

HeKate as “the Goddess who makes sacred the waste of life, so that it all counts, it all matters.” James Hillman

Every life is full of garbage – wasted time, failed endeavors, broken relationships, bad decisions – to be offered at that strange altar of this night goddess, the place where three roads meet, an uncanny haunt of ghosts and magic. If you don’t honor this night spirit, what do you do with all this trash? You probably just take it literally, associate it with your “self,” and feel guilty. What people today call “losing self-esteem” might be nothing more than the highly visible waste material of a life that needs a home and that shouldn’t be attached to the self.

When thoughts come to you deep in your dark night – that your life hasn’t amounted to anything, that you’ve wasted a lot of time, or that you aren’t as good as some friend or celebrity, thoughts of regret, bitterness and self loathing – you might consider the necessity of these annoying preoccupations. They don’t literally make you garbage, they merely allow you to see this all-important emptiness in your accomplishments. The fact is, we are all Charlie Chaplin tramps failing to fully realize our expectations. … Thoughts like these, which you might well entertain late at night, help you rediscover your humanity and give you the great blessing of humility.

You need to see the waste of your life as having a place in the nature of things, in the realm of HeKate.

We need an altar for this stuff; otherwise it weighs upon us and we begin to identify with it, thinking that our lives are a literal waste.

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