Block, v.; make the movement or flow in (a passage, pipe, road, etc.) difficult or impossible.
Surrender, n.; the action of surrendering; v. cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.
The above definitions come straight from Google. I don’t know which dictionary Google uses, but for our purposes these definitions will do fine.
The art titled “Blocked Surrender,” pictured above, evolved from an earlier piece. “Blocked Surrender” is the result of painting over “Happiness” since I wasn’t satisfied with the “Happiness” statement. Initially I found this to be an awkward juxtaposition, but with further consideration maybe not.
When the piece started calling itself “Blocked Surrender” (yes, this is how it often goes), I immediately jumped to the more negative associations such as provided in the above definition which puts the authority outside oneself.
Then I went on to think about some of my own experiences with surrendering and discovered sometimes I surrendered to what could be perceived as a higher level. Say, for example, resisting or blocking that urge for a second or third glass of wine. Such action may be perceived as surrendering to a larger desire for health and non-fuzzy clarity. Or the act of blocking knee-jerk or harsh judgements may suggest surrendering to a more holistic basis. Blocking can function as a growth mechanism, resisting a habituated pattern of reaction rather than employing response. Surrendering may be essential to one’s evolution.
Many years ago, not long after what felt like a disastrous financial development, my husband commented to me, rather strongly I thought considering his generally calm and accepting temperament, “Why can’t you just be happy!?”
I was stunned. What a great question! We still enjoyed each other, we had a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothing to protect us against weather variations, shoes for our feet, electricity, water, computer and phone service, chairs to sit on, a bed to sleep in, most of our teeth, better health than we have today, happy children, fine relatives, great friends, and there I was resisting or blocking happiness.
In the artwork, the many layers of color and form put down as “Happiness” are still somewhat visible and establish much of the textural quality of “Blocked Surrender.” The attention-grabbing darker forms float above any of the action. The block grid created with graphite contributes a small, whimsical note meant to further invite viewers down their own paths of interpretation on how blocking and surrendering have impacted their lives.