Jill Joy – Red Tide – oil on canvas – 20×24 – 2011
Jill Joy – Devotion – oil on canvas – 48×60″ March 25, 2011
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about devotion lately. I had a dream not too long ago in which it was revealed to me that my father had a false devotion to me (he left our family when I was young and I had little contact with him while growing up). He was going through the motions, but not really devoted. In the dream, devotion was represented by the color purple. Purple is also the color of compassion, justice and royalty.
I’ve sought my whole life for a man who would be devoted to me in a a way that would make me feel complete, or at least safe. Lately I’ve been realizing that I am devoted to myself. Which is to say, no matter what happens to me, I am devoted to my happiness, to doing the best I can for myself, to loving myself no matter what, whether I succeed or fail in work, relationships, financial stability, whatever. I’m also devoted to following my own path which often means not meeting a social “obligation” or doing all that is expected of me by others or society or even my boss. Being devoted to myself means being true to myself. Sometimes the external cost can be quite high, but to betray myself is even worse.
As I worked on this today the bottom of this painting seemed to be about the rough and tumble of love and expectations, met and unmet. Desire, longing, disappointment, fulfillment. Devotion placed elsewhere by others when I wish it was placed with me. But at the core, as I realized I am devoted to myself and thus essentially responsible to myself and my talent, illumination developed from the center connecting upwards, connecting me to something higher.
If we are truly each expressions of the divine, then is it not natural we would feel expanded and peaceful as we commit ourselves acting with authenticity? As we devote ourselves to ourselves?
Young you say
My writing sounds young.
Yet I am just 4 years shy
of your 50.
Should I take this as a slight?
A statement of my naiveté?
Or my undeveloped nature as a writer
as a poet?
Or should I bask in it as a compliment.
That I have not become jaded
and still sound fresh
Despite the waves of pain
That life has crashed against the doors
of my body and mind.
That I still have a naïve belief
In myself and the power of love
To right the wrongs done in this turbulent world
Or at least the ability to transcend them
And know they cannot touch me where I truly live.
That the harshness this world throws at me
Lands like superficial scratches
On young skin that heals quickly.
© Jill Joy 3-23-12
Joanna Hyde Blairsays:
Hello Jill Joy — I continue to think your work is excellent and saleable. Just wondering how you are.
Thanks for your comments about my work. I too believe it’s saleable . Especially perhaps this newest body of work of which “Settling” is the most recent painting. Like many artists I’ve struggled (if that is the right word) to find a singular lasting “voice”.
Moving through many aesthetic phases over the 20 years or so I’ve been painting. But this newest vein could be deeper than the others and last longer and so perhaps will be more marketable from a gallery stand point.
My work reflects my consciousness which has been changing and evolving rapidly over the last 15 years or so. I think perhaps this aesthetic may represent a more lasting level of consciousness. Dare I say peace?
But we must paint what we must paint otherwise our art just becomes another form of prostituting our souls. So I wait to see if the visions of this work keep coming, which so far they do. Once the body of work is deep enough I’ll try to take it to market again. My efforts in the past with galleries have not been successful. All of the work I’ve sold to date I’ve sold on my own.
Though this year, if my health cooperates (it’s been poor for the last year) I hope to make some inroads with interior designers. I don’t think they’d be so concerned if I can keep painting in the same aesthetic year after year. And I think some of my earlier work has merit and I would like to see it placed in environments where it can be appreciated by live human beings other than myself and my boyfriend who is a faithful fan.
How are you?