Art-based Storytelling

(2018) A Hedgehog On The Shattered Plains [Acrylic Paint on Canvas]

He senses treachery afoot.

“To cross or not?”

As the foundations tremble beneath his feet.

The damage might yet be mitigated.

He just needs to discover.

Just. One. More. Step.

My inspiration for this painting was derived from my readings of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. As I read about Kaladin’s harrowing journey toward resilience and reconciliation with the self on the Shattered Plains, I felt compelled to create my version of it.

The Shattered Plains was a gripping ambience that somehow resonated.

The Hedgehog is my hero in this story: consistently, persistently, tenaciously, overcoming the tension and fear of the unknown. And without guarantee, always moving forward.

The Power of Dream Work

I had a vivid dream once, and it went like this [caution – gory content ahead]:

It’s 2017. I died.

I’m walking through a parade; a throng of people walking in unison to the festive beat along a new-orleans-esque street. A sudden dread welled up through my sternum and permeated every cell of my being. “Run”, it said. “Turn back and run. You are in imminent danger!”

With a heavy heart and bated breath, I turned to walk in the opposite direction – against the rhythm of the masses. The sense of panic intensified and as my eyes swiftly darted from left to right, I knew this night would end in my demise. As if to fulfill such prophesy, I immediately encountered my masked assailant as he took a knife to my throat and slid it open. Blood trickled down my neck and warmed my chest. I screamed to no avail and only managed to collapse into a helpless heap as my life force slowly drained out of me.

Upon waking, and getting over the initial shock, I was confused but mainly curious. Then I went and painted this:

(2017) Death [Acrylic Paint on Canvas]

While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.

Leonardo da Vinci

Through the process of painting an embodied image of my dream, it brought to my awareness the parts of me – the beloved defense, the old and loyal friend, the familiar protector – that I had to let go. Or let die. Towards change for the better.