Friday, August 21, 2009

"He broke it"

Mixed media on watercolor paper - 8" x 10" (SOLD)

There's that excitement when you first meet. A tingling that runs through your whole butterflies dancing in your stomach.

It all seems so perfect. A dream come true. Prayers finally answered.

You both have things in common and what you don't compliments each other perfectly. A divine chance to move out of your comfort zone and help each other grow and change for the better.

Deep in your heart, like a fool or a naive child, you believe that he's the one.

::: Close-up detail :::

The beginning stages of love work their magic in you. You feel more energetic and open and catch yourself softly smiling throughout the day. You know someone is waiting for you!

And just before the butterflies have a real chance to fly, it all unravels before your bewildered blue eyes. You have faith that things will come back together....pray that it will last.

Instead, that floating world you built on hope and trust begins crumbling down. Thank God we both have wings or we'd be doomed for sure!

::: Close-up detail :::

In the end you are alone once always. You feel embarrassed, worthless, and unlovable. Am I really that terrible?

You mourn what could've been and what will never be. The heart broken, the fantasy shattered.

::: Close-up detail :::

So much time has passed since then. Can the heart ever be mended and made whole? Deep down I believe it can. I have hope it will.

But can love find me when I'm buried under so much hurt? Can I expect anyone to truly love me when I don't love myself?

Maybe when it comes down to it, he didn't break it at all. I did.


Kathleen Coy said...

Dean, maybe everything that you've gone through, all the hardship and pain, was to give you the tools to create such passionate art.

Something to think about. :-)

Here's to healing hearts through art!


Meeko Fabulous said...

Dean, this was such a beautiful post. As silly and cliche as it sounds . . . Time heals all wounds. What they don't tell you is that it leaves scarring. Love can and will find you, but on it's own time. :)

MartininBroda said...

I can see you know the answer already, it’s in the second to last paragraph I guess. But I hope this picture of your heart is only partly true.

suzanneberry said...

Dean, I am so incredibly moved by not only your amazing painting but your narrative as well! Just beautiful and so hopeful! Taking responsibility for the way you feel and not giving your power to him is the quickest way to heal. You are strong, insightful and kind. It will be impossible for the right man not to show up for you. Stunning work! Just beautiful. best, suzanne

Unknown said...

Hey Dean... I think butterflies are your signature image. One of rebirth and transformation. This is beautiful and I love the format you posted in showing the different details.

Lori said...

I've wondered the same again and again. There's no easy answer. Trusting another and trusting yourself to another for me is so difficult I don't know if I ever will. Now my battle is, is it easier to stay alone and have tears of loneliness sometimes? Or is it better to try love again and have tears of pain? I'm feeling the loneliness sometimes is healthier, how about you? I committed twice, first time almost 18 years, then 16 now. That's a long time to hope and cry altogether, but I'm the fool who hangs on and hopes. Did you feel the wind today in Chicago? I sent a hug your way. dean, take a good look at your picture. Notice how beautiful the butterflies are coming from the broken heart? To me your beautiful self was freed from the pain in your heart, the relationship. I guess you answered yourself in this painting, your free and fabulous! Embrace that! Lori

Dean Grey said...





That doesn't sound silly at all. I hope you are right!



You're right. I think I eventually knew the answer to those questions as time went by.



I'm honored that my work and words have moved you. It moved me as well creating and writing about this painting.

It took me a while, but in the end I tried to take responsibility (as you mentioned) for my feelings and for the way things ended. That was really all I could do.

Thanks for the kind words!



I'm starting to think butterflies are my signature image too!

There's something about them that symbolizes beauty and freedom at the same time.



I'm free and fabulous!

Thanks for that!!


I appreciate everyone's supportive comments!!

You are all awesome!


stanw said...


You always amaze me with your wonderful, creative and thoughtful painting. This one is no exception and I love it.

Dennis Jerningan recently wrote an article, "How to Understand the Creative (artistic/melancholy) Mind." He says, "I think of myself as a creative person. I know that sometimes my view of the world seems odd to others...and I know that my moodiness is often seen as a bad thing...For some reason God made me to be able to feel emotions on a very deep level. He allows me to feel hurt, despair, fear, anger, guilt, and loss to a degree many might perceive as abnormal. The Lord has provided His grace for such moments and, because He loves me, He is willing to risk me not responding to grace-not responding to Him."

When I read this I no longer saw that my similar feelings (emotions) were a liability. I was looking at them as negative emotions and I let them bring me down over and over. It is okay to feel hurt, etc., I can see these myriad of fluctuations in my daily life as instruments to see need in others, respond to someone else's pain, to want to listen, to help, even to grow myself. This is a new discover for me and I want to embrace all that life offers, and that includes joy as well as pain.

I don't know if you concur with this or not but just tho't I would add my comments that your blog initiated. I can see a bit of what your pain is bringing out in you, and at this time you are being so imaginative with your art and writing; and I am blessed. I am almost envious.

Dean Grey said...


Thanks so much for including that article in your comment.

What an interesting idea that the personality traits I most often struggle with actually help me see things differently and in turn benefit my creativity!

Now the next time I'm feeling depressed, moody, or like a super-bitch, I can say, "I'm supposed to be like this!" LOL

In all seriousness though, I'm glad my latest work struck a chord with you.

Thanks again!


JUSTIN said...

Sweet images, both literal and figurative.

Lori said...

O.K why do I cry so much when I visit? No, its alright cause they are such good tears. StanW gave me such a real eye opener. What he had quoted really sums it up. Maybe we are supposed to be like this. I don't know if I mentioned but as I push myself through these last 29 credits for my BGS all I can even think about is phase two of my education, Masters in Social work and Counseling. And I feel like a phase three PhD is not out of my grasp. Its the sociologists in me. But enough of me. Didn"t everything Stan said "really, really" make sense? We may not like feeling so deeply but is it really a character flaw of ours as we perceive? Or is it really a God given talent? Mnnn...I like the talent idea,very cool. I am a deep thinking, chronic depressive, bitchy, creative, tender soul. I can dig this. I'm sending you another hug, cause I want to! Lol Your so fine, really fine, just the way you are!!!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

We've all been THERE, but you've woven it into a fantastic narrative accompanied by your awesome painting.

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate you taking a look!



Yes, stanw's words made a lot of sense!

Good luck with school!



It's always nice to have you drop by!


Thanks to the three of you!


amar said...

Hello, Dean. I found you on The Rest is Still Unwritten. I liked your comment so I checked out your blog. And I'm so glad I did! I was feeling a little down because I thought I was being unproductive. But then I came across your blog and realized that my unproductiveness was needed to lead me here. I love art and writing and interesting people. You provide all that in your well organized blog spot.

This art piece represents what am going through at the moment. I love the colors and symbolism. It is an incredible work of art.

May you find that perfect mate on a rainy afternoon next to a garden full of your favorite plants You won't miss him because he will be wearing a gorgeous green shirt and will be humming your favorite tune.

You are a talented, beautiful, and wonderful human being. Success for you is inevitable. Patience and perseverance will reap great rewards.


Dean Grey said...


I'm glad you found me and I'm glad this painting spoke to you!

Guess I'll have to look for some guy wearing green, right? (~_^)

I appreciate the thoughtful words!

Come back anytime!!


Restless Mind said...

I feel yah! It's sad that in the desperate effort of finding the answers and filling in the blanks, we end up blaming ourselves. I'm very guilty of that. I think you and I need to remember that we are special in our own way and if the relationship didn't work, you both had something to do with it, afterall, he was just as much of a part of it as you were.

You still wish there was something you could have done to save it. *sigh* oh well, I guess we can always think about the good times and the memories you had together. That's something that will forever be yours. (I'm really trying to talk myself into believing all of this) :)

Dean Grey said...

Restless Mind!

You are 100% right. In the beginning when I didn't have the answers, I assumed it was all my fault.

As time went on, I realized it was both our faults instead.

Thanks for chiming in here!


Manon said...

Yes Dean! We've all been there! You're so young! Your heart will heal and you will find love again!!

I just love the piece! You know i'm really partial to hearts.... even broken

Dean Grey said...


Let's hope you're right!

Glad you like the painting! I thought you'd appreciate the heart theme.

Thank you!


Anonymous said...

It's as if you've just written the complete history of my love life, verbatim...

Dean Grey said...


Your comment made me smile. Though I shouldn't be smiling at that, right?

I appreciate hearing from you!


Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Ah, Dean. have you ever heard that 'there's more room in a broken heart'? Your experience is real, and you should feel it. Just don't go over the edge, because when your heart heals (and it will...) it'll be ready for a bigger love. Give of yourself, don't expect anything back, to people who can't do for themselves - just helping an old person navigate the steps - or picking something up that someone dropped, or giving a nice smile to someone who needs one... all these things I can tell you already do, but they will give you little blessings, and help your heart heal. There's love in your future - not to worry! Pour your heart into your art (a la Manon). I'm sending wishes your way...

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate your words of wisdom here!

Your advice is duly noted and I will give your suggestions a try!

As time goes on, I feel I am pouring my heart into my art more and more.

Thanks for the well wishes!!


M said...


Dean Grey said...


Thank you! I really love the way this painting turned out....if I do say so myself!


Anonymous said...

I completely empathize with you. I try to express my feelings through art, and no one understands me. A while ago, one of my best friends died of cancer. I know I shouldn't say this, but I'm much younger than you think I might be.
I was devastated, and I felt like something was eating my heart away slowly. I slipped into a depression, and barely escaped suicide attempts. You know what saved me? A friend. I met a person that was (maybe a little) like her. She was fun to be around. And there were days when she seemed like my only friend in the world.
Then I lose her to some boy, and she's glued to him all the time. I feel so alone now. I feel like I'm stuck in a vast expanse of ocean and I'm drowning, but there's no one to save me and no land in sight. I feel so unloved, like no one cares. Some days I feel like I'm going back into depression, which causes me to draw more. Inspiration hits me when I'm upset.
But I show my friend the pictures, and now she thinks I need professional help. And she thinks I never got over my friends death. Maybe it's true, or maybe it's that on top of everything. It also kills me that I've loved this guy for like two years, and he started dating her. My best friend.
Am I invisible?
I apologize for the ranting...

Dean Grey said...


I think most creative-types suffer from depression so I get where you're coming from.

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friends (the one that died of cancer and the latest one).

Sometimes all you can do when hope seems lost is to hold on, create, and crawl.

(((HUGS))) to you!


Nicholas said...

I regret that I still haven't framed the painting. It's tucked somewhere deep away safe between the pages of a large book in all my stuff. It is probably just as well, though, since a frame would most likely have broken in the move, and the glass would probably have cut the painting.

Don't worry, though. Someday soon it shall find a nice home in a beautiful frame (custom-made) on a bookshelf, wall, or desk.

Dean Grey said...


The main thing is that you still have the artwork and it is preserved.

I know you'll take care of the painting and will get it properly framed when you can.

You do know the arts-and-crafts store I work at doest custom framing, right? LOL