Recently I’ve been trying to figure out this Ampersand Aquabord I have. It took me a few tries, but I think I got it. Here’s a few tips for you. Get your drawing on the board first, before you ever get it wet. You need to flush the board before you start painting, but trying to use transfer paper when it’s even slightly wet, DOES NOT work. If you’re going to do wet into wet painting, just make sure you use more water than you’re used to. This surface is very absorbent and you may have to rewet areas. Overall, I think this was pretty good considering I’m still getting used to the surface.
Those of you who’ve been following me lately know that I’ve been trying to get a new project started. In order to do this, I need stories from people. I haven’t had luck obtaining them, so I thought I’d do one myself and show you what my idea is. I wrote this piece myself, and created this painting to go with it. The painting is more of a still life representation of myself. At least how I feel about myself. I made this to help you understand all the little meanings.
I’m currently trying to get this scanned so I can offer prints. This piece that I wrote to go with it, would come with each print that is brought. I also have an idea of making a calligraphy version of it to go with the original. Then, once I get a book together, a photo of the painting, the explanation of it, and the story will all be together in that book.
My head covering makes it very obvious that I’m different. I don’t mind being different. I don’t have a problem meeting the standard of what society would consider “normal.” However, what I do mind are the negative reactions I get sometimes. Sometimes, they’re very subtle, like the nervous stare that I ignore, the pale stiff face during a job interview, and looking back and forth between me and my husband because I’m not talkative. These things are a mild annoyance. I roll my eyes and ignore them. I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with it. What bothers me more is when I have someone come up to me and spit in my face and say, “Go die you fucking kike!” Or perhaps when a man who looks to be in his mid 30s walks off the back of the bus, takes one look at me, and then yells, “Stop religion!” as he walks by. There’s also the Muslim couple that yells, “Death to Israel!” and something else in Arabic that I don’t understand. When there’s a protest about the war in Israel, I do my best to avoid it because I get people yelling things at me like, “Hitler was right! You need to go find an oven!” Then they start chanting, “Nazi Jew! Nazi Jew!” as I finally get to cross the street to my bus stop.
At least I don’t work downtown anymore and am spared this, but what did the others around me do you ask. Nothing. None of this was important to them. What I want to say to these people full of hate, I can’t, because it doesn’t matter to them. I love being Jewish, and I love covering my hair with scarves. According to Orthodox Judaism, I could wear a wig, and there are many opinions that I don’t want to get into. I only wish to discuss my feelings. I wear scarves because of how they make me feel. I feel like royalty, and they remind me of my commitment to my faith. When I wrap a scarf around my head, I feel like I’m wrapping myself in beauty and glory. It feels like putting on a crown. I don’t get that feeling with a wig or a hat.
Instead of asking me this, they just hurl insults without even knowing what my scarves, and what my Judaism means to me. To them, I’m different, something to be hated. I do my best to be compassionate to other people, so I find it disturbing when others seem to feel the need to treat others with cruelty. I find it strange that my life is so offensive when they obviously know nothing about me.
None of this has ever dissuaded me from wearing the scarves I love, because, at the end of day, they hold more value than these ignorant and hurtful things people have to say to me. I can deal with the stares, comments, insults, difficulty with jobs, and ignorance. What I can’t stand for, is apathy. I can get over someone’s issues and box that away in my mind, but other’s silence as it happens in front of them, or the silence as I tell them, I can’t deal with. Perhaps it’s not even silence, but minimization, like it’s not such a big deal because of “fill in the blank.”
Perhaps you feel like you don’t know what to say, because you relate. The wonderful thing is that you don’t have to relate to have compassion. I live in a very liberal state, which has worked well for me in certain jobs I’ve had. When I’ve explained some of my experiences, the best responses I’ve received were usually surprise and disbelief, followed by a phrase along the lines of, “I’m so sorry. I guess some people just have problems. Does that happen often?” I understand the inexperience with what I deal with, and I don’t mind explaining. I also tell them about all the times when people stop me to tell me how beautiful I am and ask I tied them.
What I wish I could say to all the people who every said something hateful to me, or fired me (for something else that we all know isn’t the reason), is imagine if you were me. Imagine if you walking along the street and someone came and spat in your face and yelled, “Go die you fucking scum bag!” or having someone tell you that you should go kill yourself because of your ethnicity. I’m pretty sure you would feel threatened. As children we were taught to treat others as we would want to be treated, but somehow as adults that seemed to have gotten lost. No matter your religion, race, gender, country of origin, that is something that should be universal. Remember to keep that and perhaps we can make this world better.
If you think you might have a story that I could for this project, please message me and we’ll see what we can come up with together. My dream for this project is to have art pieces and books that can carry stories that evoke compassion in others. If this something you believe in and want to support me in, I set up a page for you to do that. I do need certain supplies to accomplish everything, but if you can’t, please don’t worry. I would be happy to just have you be a part of this journey.