Layer Manipulation as a therapeutic tool

Our life’s composition is made out of layers of personal, cultural and psychosocial experiences. Consciously and unconsciously we bury some of these layers and keep the acceptable ones working together covering and compensating for what lies beneath. Many times the layers that cover those that are hidden will start peeling exposing what lies beneath. We either choose to peel off and fix the entire surface or cover it up with more layers ignoring the fact that it may start peeling again and making more of a mess.

Symbolically we can expose layers of experience through artistic expression. As an artist for many years I have worked with mixed media, impasto, the layering of thick acrylic paint, gesso, ceramic stucco, paper clay, dirt and sand mixed with glue, colored pencil, dry and oil pastels. I enjoy the 3d effect I can achieve with such a varied combination of media and when it is too much after applying so many different layers I scrape and expose certain areas. Most of the time I use my bare hands to peel and uncover and with the use of a fork to incise patterns as I expose the hidden surfaces. This ritual helps me experience symbolic transformation as I connect with a deeper sense of myself. Exposing hidden, unwanted layers and making them work in the final composition resonates with inner struggles we may all have experienced with self-disclosure.

I started combining traditional layering in mixed media with new digital media once I got hold of my first IMac back in 2001. Scanning my work for the first time into the computer and being able to fix details, enhance the color and lighting was like magic. I painted digital versions of my work, play around with the pixels zoomed all the way up close to find the exact position of a shaded spot had wanted to learn animation all my life

I started combining traditional layering in mixed media with new digital media once I got hold of my first IMac back in 2001. Scanning my work for the first time into the computer and being able to fix details, enhance the color and lighting was like magic. I painted digital versions of my work, play around with the pixels zoomed all the way up close to find the exact position of a shaded spot had wanted to learn animation all my life

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