Blood Baphomet (TW for self-harm/blood imagery)

Baphomet, blood on paper, 4″ x 6″

This is actually from last week. I didn’t get around to posting it till now because I thought it was more important to write about the fire and share Marci’s infographic. But yeah, I like to post my art, &Ā  although working with blood is no new thing to the art world, me figuring out it’s kind of a neat form of harm reduction in a way is. And I’m healing up quite nicely, by the way. šŸ™‚

So anyway, yes, obviously I’ve self-injured in the past week. I don’t really feel like going into specifics of the why’s. Let’s just say sorting out healthcare, medication, and finances is really stressful, or at least the bureaucratic red tape of it all is. And for better or worse, this has become one of my go-to forms of immediate stress relief over the years. So there I am, standing in the tingling stillness that follows a truth-telling session with a razor blade, awash with the beta endorphins that always feel like they’re cushioning me at the back of my head when I psychically fall. Staring at the pooling red. The responsible thing would be to clean it up and put some vitamin E cream on it. The temptation is to let it coagulate into purplish black goo right on my skin, not giving a fuck. And then I remember my jar full of paintbrushes and a third notion crosses my mind…

Don’t just own it. Transform it. Turn it into something new.

And that’s where I began to paint. I didn’t have a particular image in mind, but one emerged anyway.(And why not Baphomet? S/he has alchemical, transformative associations.) And I sort of got lost in making marks and textures, and the handling of my medium, a bit like ink wash, but not quite. And by the time I got done, I didn’t just feel the calm of numbness, I actually felt uplifted.

So, while I don’t plan to make this a regular technique, I think if instead of feeling ashamed over transgressing, should this happen again, I’ll focus on turning it into something beautiful instead.

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