Generally, when it comes to my more emotional/symbolic paintings, I don't consciously decide what to paint; the ideas just pop into my head fully formed. I'm pretty self-aware so most of the time when I get one of these ideas I know exactly where it came from and what it means. Occasionally, though, it's a mystery and I have to interpret the image the way one might interpret a disturbing dream.
Lately I've been having all these painting ideas that revolve around breakups - or, more precisely, that revolve around freedom. Freedom, plus the fear and sadness that often come with it. This internal cavalcade of breakup images baffled me: normally that sort of thing means I have someone I want to break up with, but The Boy and I are rock-solid.
But I did some soul searching and I think I get it now. I think these grim artistic concepts are actually about my divorce five years ago and the fact that without the divorce, I would still be (unhappily!) married and there would be no Boy. So basically my last and most major breakup - which was devastating and at the time I wished to hell it wasn't happening - ended up being my rebirth into a much better, happier life. That is the concept my subconscious is trying to explore.
I completed two of the breakuppy painting ideas already, by the way. They both turned out great and I'm really excited. Once I've varnished them and put them up on Etsy, I'll be sure to leave an image/link here.