Oil painting of Man and Woman in the Middle East

The Inner Doves

As always there’s a story behind the artwork I create. The one behind this one is somewhat deep. Usually I don’t say too much, sometimes it’s to let the viewer make their own mind up on what it could mean. Other times it’s because the meaning is too personal to me and I let the viewer interpret it in their own way according to their perspective.

The story behind ‘The Inner Doves’ is an exception where I’m getting the feeling that I’m meant to share it. I certainly feel strong enough to share it.

The story behind the painting

This is a story from many years ago, buried within time. Don’t let the first impressions fool you, this painting isn’t a love story nor is it romantic.

The man, sat on that chair, a confining structure where he has to adjust his natural posture in order to conform to sit as he perceives “comfortably” on the earth. A dictated and learned concept of ‘comfort’.

The woman (Myself) sat in a random undefined transient place, free and unassuming. Mocked by him for sitting how she does, laughing how she laughs, talks and expresses herself, not conforming nor confining herself to his standards.

Our meetings, suggested by him initially, were merely a way for him to prove his preconceived ideas of me to be true, nothing more. For his inner hate towards me to be justified. For tests and traps to be set for me with only one accepted outcome, my failure and downfall.

Comfortably blinded by his own pride, ego and the underlying resentment towards his own created phantom of me in his mind. His entire mission being merely to project those phantom ideas of his onto the real me.

As I periodically brushed aside and dismissed his passive aggressive digs in between his humouring laughter. As he indirectly and underhandedly calls me an idiot and a stupid airhead with no intelligence. Repeatedly priding himself for getting away with it. He interpreted my having patience with him and seeing the best qualities in him as stupidity.

His high academia and intelligence fuelling his stubborn pride and elevated sense of self importance. He never knew the real me, those intentions never existed in the first place. Anything that convinced him that he was wrong about me, deepened his anger towards me, increasing his passive aggression and resentment. I went to pay for one of our meals, as I felt bad about him paying for the last one. He ran, jumped in front of me and forcefully paid.

Then later talked to me like I’m a gold digger.

If reality had made it impossible for him to project his mind’s version of me onto the real me, the default thought mechanism in that case, would be to brand me as “evil, sinful, hell-dwelling, feminist woman”… It’s the standard drill.

I know this because I later gifted him something really nice, he genuinely liked it, which was probably a glimpse of the real him coming out. But after a little bit of time to process, it made him even more angry and cruel.

What good is your PhD when you’re unable to question your own perception to this degree.

What good is your intelligence and academia if you’ve blinded yourself to reality.

What good is your pride if it causes you to suffocate your soul.

Academia, intelligence and social respect does not equate to self awareness.

The Almighty is not stupid.

He will never know what I knew. What I was shown about him beforehand, which caused me to give him more leeway than he deserved and admittedly that is on me, I shouldn’t have put up with his attitude. Me owning that however, doesn’t let him off the hook for his self deception and attitude. That is entirely on him.

You can’t keep running from it, distracting from it by yelling and pointing in other directions, covering it up with time. One day it will catch up to you.

That one day when the threads of time itself are unravelled.

Little did he know, I wasn’t oblivious during our meetings, I was observing him all along. I noticed it all and have known all along.

Such people may appear to have the world at their hands and people at their feet. Little do they know that they’ve blinded themselves in order to possess it. His high academia and intelligence fed his ego, he exists in his own mind only and in the approval of his society.

Yet, in the painting, the book of reality I placed on the table in front of him, right next to his tea glass before he even sat down at that table, is shut tight. He has no intention of opening it as it’s too painful for his ego to become aware of the false reality he’s been believing all this time.

Now that I am open about all what I do and fearlessly share my abilities and talents, which admittedly I should have done back then. I hope, for his sake, he sees all what I do and realises that I’m in fact, not stupid nor air headed. No doubt it will anger him because this reality of me is his fear. However that’s his responsibility, not mine.

Regardless of if he sees all what I do now or not. It makes no difference to me personally. My inner dove has now flown and soared high into the sky long ago to a better place. She will never return.

While his dove clipped his own wings in fear of mockery from other wing clipped doves around him. Those with clipped wings pride themselves on inheriting the earth and walking on it’s dirt because that’s all they have.

They only use their wings to flap in order to mock.

They wish to forget that they are flying beings by laughing at and mocking those who fly and soar to the sky.

This ordeal from back in 2011 taught me a lot about certain people which I wasn’t aware of back then. Hence why I fell for this guy’s tricks, tests and traps and got mocked by him in return. Where as I thought he was going to be decent and noble, as he presents himself as such. There was nothing noble about his thoughts and attitude towards me.

No matter how nice you are to certain people, they will only perceive what they want to perceive. Even fight themselves to do it. They’re not interested in who you are, only to confirm their negative ideas about you and they make it their lifelong mission to do so.

Their loss, I truly dodged a bullet.

And I wish to thank this guy, I’m no longer naive about all this. The lessons I learned from this situation led me to recognize this trait in others after him and dodge a few other bullets. Unfortunately, it’s a common trait.

The creation of this painting

This is the first painting which I used oleopasto on. I fell in love with impasto and oleopasto as you can create any texture with it. It’s a medium which thickens the oil paint and gives it a lot more body. However, you can mix anything you want into it, sand, fine wood chips, etc. Then add whatever colour of oil paint into it. It will dry with that colour and texture.

So oleopasto vs impasto, what’s the difference? They do the same thing except oleopasto gives you a matte finish and impasto gives you a slightly glossy finish.

The ground on this actual painting itself has sand mixed into and feels like sand to the touch.

Sand Impasto and oil paint

I created an extra canvas with the left over oleopasto mixture. This actually shows the texture well in this photo.

Test sample with sand impasto.

As you can see I had just finished doing the ground and the building structure using impasto. The arches and the building I used impasto on to thicken the oil paint. Doing this gave it that smooth texture which pops off the canvas. It gave this final painting a tactile quality to it.

Early stage painting

I initially drew the man, his chair and the table separately. The reason for this was if I made mistakes, It’s not going to be easy rubbing it off a textured background. Trying to correct mistakes on the board will also damage the oleopasto texture I just created.

Painting construction.

I traced my pencil sketch onto the painting to give an outline. This is to add a guide to my painting. Oil paints are a forgiving medium usually, you can scoop or scrape off wet paint and try again..I knew this wasn’t going to be that easy to do on a textured background so I saved myself the headache.

Painting trace stage

it’s only occurred to me that my old place had light coloured carpet at the time, I work in a slightly chaotic way even though there’s always a method to my madness. God only knows how I spared this carpet from paint stains after all the painting I did on it.

Letting it dry

And finally letting it dry.

Funny how the sunlight came through the window blinds and specifically shone on the book of reality on his table, which he refused to open.

I don’t believe in coincidences, I never did.