Unwanted Parts: Art Imitates Life

fine art by RT, art therapy, corona, california

Each of Us a Masterpiece: The Art of Relationships

I like to experience people as God’s wonderful works of art. And as art resembles the artist, people resemble their creator (So I tend to notice creativity in everyone).

Unwanted Parts
In my work with people, I find it common for people to have difficulty with certain parts of themselves. Couples, parents and children, families and in people in other types of relationships, may stop expressing parts of themselves. They may avoid situations that might reveal things they don’t want to address, they may hide what they have determined to be unacceptable or they may dismiss feelings or desires as unimportant or silly.


It can be hard to have fulfilling relationships when so much energy is involved in managing unwanted parts of yourself and/or others.

Art: More than Meets the Eye
As an artist, I see in my paintings a reflection of me. The paintings content reveals what I see or imagine. And the deeper revelation happens as I work on a piece. For example, this piece an abstract scene, is only a corner of one of my largest pieces. I feel the remainder of the piece is too unfinished, too dull, too scattered too… and there you have it: a reflection of me.

I am tempted to go back and edit those adjectives as they are revealing parts of me I find hard to accept. I know however, like this painting, I am always changing. Sometimes dull, and sometimes vibrant. It has possibilities, and it has value.

Why it Matters

How an observer sees my art, what they think it says, what they think about it, if they like it, if it makes them uncomfortable and any other response to this piece,

has more to say about the observer than it does about the art. (or the artist)

That is interesting! How it is that they respond; that is interesting!

A careful observer would notice that the painting has many many layers, many textures, and perspectives. It has undergone many changes in time.

To the careful observer: people, friends, self, a husband, a wife, children…like art… have these same qualities. Some hidden some tucked away and forgotten. Careful observation requires openess. Openess is easier when our energy is not focused on how “not to be”.

Imagine, or remember when you just sat with someone and enjoyed learning about them, and they were interested in you. Imagine being relaxed, sober, and at ease. Imagine that conversation came easily, silences were full, embarrassing moments were shared and laughed at. There was no fixing each other, and your ideas were not dismissed. You can begin to experience those satisfying encounters by being willing to:

  • Become able to accepted those unwanted parts
  • Recognize that you and others are more than the parts
  • Recognize complexity and change in yourself, and others
  • Become willing to explore even the stuff that seems unacceptable,
  • Become open to possibilities

You will notice that it is easier to have more satisfying encounters.

What to Do Now

That said, I encourage you to sit a spell and experience what it is like to allow yourself to discover yourself and others as works of art. If you find this distressing, or you would like more help in this area you may want to look into counseling. Therapists specializing in Gestalt therapy can be helpful. Humanistic, experiential and Humanistic therapies can be helpful too.


What to do Later

Please come back and comment/share your experiences




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Ramona Taylor, M.A. LMFT a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT97652)


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embrace 1Many people are surprised to find that they begin to notice positive changes from the moment they make their appointment. As a Marriage & Family Therapist registered intern, I pull from a wide range of treatment modalities to create a treatment plan that will benefit each individual client. As former teacher I carry with me the desire to teach myself out of a job. So, along with effective individualized treatment, I make it my goal to teach clients to use what they learn in session, where it counts: in their everyday lives.   I see couples, families, children, young adults and teens. I have varied hours of availability, including late afternoons, early mornings at The Inland Integrated Wellness Center. Our office is located in the historic district of Corona about 1 mile South of the 91FWY :
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