Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sex blood death.

To me green represents nature and growth....a calming energy.

It used to be my favorite color (specifically a rich, medium green with blue in it) and deep down I'm certain it still is.

But lately I've been drawn to red. An intense, deep scarlet.

It makes me think of blood which not only signifies life but the loss of life too.

On those all too often despondent days, I keep fixating on slitting my throat and wrists, visualizing all the red gushing forth. A very violent flow of crimson.

Red has also been associated with heated passion. And since I'm so sexually repressed, I see that color as an excitable, raw love.

It's a color known to represent rage as well. At times I feel a deep frustration from within waiting to EXPLODE.

Here's a painting I completed this weekend just trying to get it all out.....

"Blood Butterfly"
Watercolors and ink on watercolor paper - 6" x 6" (SOLD)

Is it normal to switch a lifetime-long favorite color for another? Is going from green to red a sign I'm changing? Is it a temporary thing or a permanent change?

Is changing colors mimicking the despair I'm feeling?

Your guess is as good as mine.....


naturgesetz said...

Thanks for offering something for sale.

I don't know what it means that you feel drawn to red, but I can see how it might relate to your current mood.

Picasso had his "Blue Period."

Of course, there are also lots of people who have always had red as their favorite color. I don't know if it says anything specific about the, but there are psychological theories that say one's favorite color reveals something about one's personality. Unfortunately, I don't know what the various colors are supposed to mean, and I don't know how valid the theory is.

As I recall, a while back, you had a "thing" for orange. So I guess you go through phases.

daneastside said...

love the bloody butterfly, cool post. :)

JuJu said...

I used to love pink, all my life. It was my signature color. As I get older, I find that my color preference will change, and sometimes daily! So, Dean, that is normal.

I hope the RED signifies passion coming to your life. Love coming to your life. Excitement.
NOT despair. NOT final days of life.

Make it happen Dean. Let's do it.

Marty said...

The painting is beautiful, did creating it help get some of the frustrations out?

thormoo said...

In reference to your wondering about your life long color and change:

I think there is a what we ARE (meaning at our core, our soul) then there is such a thing as what we are NOW, as in we reflect what we are feeling, experiencing and thinking at this moment. It is my guess you are reflecting back the emotions you're currently feeling by favouring the red/crimson, etc.

I've been reading your recent posts so I understand you are really experiencing some gut wrenching, emotionally tough times and you're really pushing yourself. All things I can relate to.

5 years ago I tried to take my own life and came closer to succeeding then I like to think about today. I spent nearly 2 weeks in a coma and a LONG time in a psych hospital. A lot of my feelings pre-attempt sounded familiar to yours so naturally I'm concerned for you.

My issues were different, I was also a practising alcoholic/addict...I was looking for any way to stop feeling what I was feeling.

Today I am 5 years clean/sober and have a life I never could have imagined. That dark day in June of 2006, little did I know it was the beginning of a brand new life. If I had succeeded in killing myself I would have done it right before things were going to change forever...for the positive. How ironic that would have been, eh?!

Dean, I don't know what it's like to be you...I know what it feels like to be lonely, alone, afraid, to not like myself very much and many other things. I just want you to know that even though I have never met you that you are not alone. There are a lot of people who feel the way you do and things can and will change.

I appreciate you courage and honesty in posting your feelings here on your blog.

If I have over-stepped my bounds in writing this please delete it but know I'm sincere and hope you find what you're looking for.

Peace to you my friend...Thom

Kyna said...


I've never met you. But you're beautiful.

Your life is beautiful. Even if you think it sucks.

Find the beauty. In life and in change.

Anonymous said...

This butterfly is stunning!
I used to be obsessed with red, but now I've swung from color to color like an unfaithful lover.
Anyway! I love the deep rich red in this painting, it's so vibrant.
I agree with you, Dean.

Anonymous said...

I believe life is change...embrace it my friend :)

Big Hugs

Randuwa said...

Red is the color of iron. The color of life. Our blood is red and strong. Red is hot. Red is passion. Ergo, red is desire and life. Red is good. Believe it.

LightChaser said...

A lot of people change their favorite colors, but most I know have no particular reason. The only two guys I know who very purposely abandoned their favorite color-- green-- rejected it for the same reason: their stint in the Army.

LightChaser said...

I'll extend my comment after some more thought. I used to have some very specific opinions of color and I was especially driven toward black and white and grays. Some mMted primary colors also appealed to me. Browns and greens were just too to unmanageable. Reds and yellows and oranges merely had to be tolerated.

When I shed my crazy and set myself free I got rid of those fixations. Nowadays I'll take all the color I can get wherever and whenever I can get it.

The Cool Cookie said...

Dean - My favorite color is a rich deep maroon - almost the color a cough syrup that I saw year ago. I loved how the light looked through the richness and the depth of the color.

I am worried about you. Not because you are talking about your own blood, but because you are indicated violence against yourself. I know it's a safety valve that you pull when you discuss it.

Please, though, remember that you are loved and cared about. And please never forget that for as bad as a particular moment may feel, that feeling isn't for a lifetime, nor is it something that needs to be escaped.

As long as you feel and acknowledge it, you can create. And for artists, being able to create is life giving. Please don't do anything that stops this process in you - you have so much more create - so much more that needs to be lived.

RoseRed said...

I'm surprised as an artist you've ever identified a favorite color. I know as a quilter I sure can't. Color is reflected in my mood and the work I'm creating. The message I want to transmit and often the person I'm creating for. God gave us so many beautiful and wonderful colors so that we can change our minds and so that there's one for every one of the millions of emotions he gave us.

claurentk said...

Indeed Red can be a very violent "all-passion" color. And of course Red is blood. Red will alsways be reletad to blood, to life within our venes.
And Red can both be analysed as "positive" and "negative, depending of the situation. Eventually red always agrees with you! too easy no?

Have you forget all the other colors you've seen in the Chicago Pride Parade? Have you forget the energy coming from the association of these colors?
So get out a bit, get back a bit to the green, and bring us a very funy childish dynosaure;)

Take care Dean

Clare said...

Red is a beautiful colour. Found in butterflies, ladybirds, Saturn, a crispy apple etc. I think that it can be a happy colour.

I am sorry that I have not visited for a while. I keep deleting my blog and then missing my connections with fellow bloggers, reinstate it. I always come back to your blog.

Dean Grey said...


Thank YOU for always encouraging me to list new works of art for sale!



Why thanks!



Let's do it!



Yes, it did help a bit. It was very necessary for me.



Thom, I'm so happy to hear your life started over anew and for the better. Thank you for sharing your story with me!

There just may be hope for me yet!



So sweet of you to say!



I wanted the red to stand out in this painting hence the omission of other colors (except a very pale, light green wash used for the background).


David Allen Waters!

(((HUGS))) back at you!



I believe it, Randy!



Dave, all colors RULE!


Ask the Cool Cookie!

" have so much more create - so much more that needs to be lived."

Deep down somewhere I do believe this to be true.



Make no mistake, I love ALL colors too, I'm just naturally in love with green the most. And now red seems to be catching my eye nowadays.



I will embrace the energy from EVERY color!



Thank you for coming back!


Everyone's wonderful words are greatly appreciated!


Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

MMMmmmm... I think you're flirting with red, but you're a gorgeous green kind of guy IRL. Don't entertain those awful thoughts. Just go to the art store and pick out some drop dead gorgeous reds and cover some paper, canvas or cloth with them!

In between 2 painting trips (yes, I'm enjoying this year) I got THE most beautiful postcard..... THANK YOU. I want everyone to know how generous and wonderful you are. You made my day, and I love you for it.

I just want to hold a huge mirror up to you and show you how so many of us see you, and say "SEE? Aren't you AMAZING?" Cause, yeah, Dean.. you are...

Mind Of Mine said...

Red can also signify courage, I know you don't think that you are courageous but you are. To continue living whilst feeling the pain that you do, that is courageous.

But it can also mean danger, warning. That you don't need to go down the route you have planned. Take a diversion.

Shelly said...

I think there is a lot of wisdom in what “thormoo” wrote … On those all too often despondent days tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute – whatever you can manage … the way you are feeling will change. I care, your life is important – help is available, I urge you to seek it.
“Herein lies the deepest symbolic lesson of the butterfly. She asks us to accept the changes in our lives as casually as she does. The butterfly unquestioningly embraces the changes of her environment and her body. This unwavering acceptance of her metamorphosis is also symbolic of faith. Here the butterfly beckons us to keep our faith as we undergo transitions in our lives. She understands that our toiling, fretting and anger are useless against the turning tides of nature – she asks us to recognize the same.” Author Unknown

David Toms said...

I think it is quite normal to switch favourite colours as we get older! Blood red is such a good choice and so evocative of so many things!

Dean Grey said...


Your comment made me smile!


Mind Of Mine!

Courage and danger. I can totally see those two associated with the color red, Ian!



It seems all I ever do is hold on though.


David Toms!

Yes, it is!


Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts on this!


Melinda Chapman said...

This is such a beautiful painting - remarkable how you have captured your question of what red means. One moment I see blood, another moment I see that it is dripping with passion.

To me, to be drawn to red signifies a call to action, a symbol of the desire for change before it's reflected in your actions and life. Drive, passion, in all it's human intensities, some negative, some positive, but altogether forward moving like the blood pumping through your veins and cleansing your system, whereby bleeding allows release and washing away of toxins from a painful wound.

Your stunning butterfly moved me, and isn't that what red is all about? Keep being moved, keep moving others, Dean - and it will help you through each of those days to the next better one. :)
The painting inspired a few words...
'Nobody remembers, on many gentle wings is carried the weight of the world.' :)

sweet pea. said...

i think its totally normal.
my favorite color has changed 2 or 3 times in my life.
the last time was about 4 or 5 years ago.

Dean Grey said...


"Keep being moved, keep moving others..."

I will try!


sweet pea!

So that means mine could change yet again!


I appreciate you two ladies stopping by!


Moving with Mitchell said...

I love this butterfly! Thanks for your post on the "art garden" because I somehow missed this post and am so grateful to have been directed to it. Your color sense is brilliant; glad you've been encouraged to explore it!

Dean Grey said...


Where would we be without color!

I'm exploring it indeed.


Unknown said...

That painting is stunning.

I was a red as a child. I became a blue for a while, but I am back to being a red.

Dean Grey said...


Isn't it funny how the color changes at different points in our life?