deeper darker

there is a shadow side. thoughts surface as images among the collaged shapes. symbols appear, adding context. the viewer slides in and out of reality. defining substance and texture allows exploration of the thoughts and feelings brought to consciousness within these images.

embrace or prey? same end, i will devour you 23″x23″ acrylic collage on wood $580.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2022

what monsters do you fly from 17.5″x27″ acrylic collage on siding $550.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2022
hello, demons, my old friends 11″x14″ acrylic collage on canvas panel $165.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2021 [SOLD}
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. a scent propels me to another place. a thought conjures 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 traveling through this imaginal space, 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 [SOLD}

a root system of deep connection runs through us. the darkness holds balance and symbiosis. dark and angry reside alongside joy and wonder. mystery, along with knowing.

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

once upon a time i dreamt of flowers. once in awhile i dream of flowers still.

they had missed before 12″x12″ acrylic collage on wood $160.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2018
at some point the monsters make themselves 12″x12″ acrylic collage on wood $160.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2022
reaching out to find nothing – Melissa Bayhan © 2018 — i was never satisfied with this painting, so reworked it into “at some point the monsters make themselves”
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 [SOLD}

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

thought of the giant squid gives me chills, in a creepy-good way. the knowledge of this mysterious creature living and thriving so deep in the oceans that we have almost never seen it is wondrous. 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.

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. the joy of patterning.

boson-inspired dark matter waveforms 36″x29″ acrylic collage on siding $1,150.00 USD Melissa Bayhan © 2021
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 had 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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