Continuing in our series of art review and interpretation, we present for the first time artwork from the pro-life perspective, "No regrets?" by our own talented Bethany.
"No regrets?" is rich in symbolism, as Bethany has explained to me. But I'll let you analyze and interpret for yourself. The rules are the same as always. Bethany will serve as moderator of this post. Critique of the work is obviously allowed. But any uncalled for comments that disparage her obvious talent will be deleted.
(Click to enlarge; see close-ups on page 2)
WOW! That painting is awesome! Amazing. Let me put a little more thought into what I want to say about it's meaning.Posted by: Heather4life at July 25, 2007 8:51 PM
Well if Erin sees this after reading my posts...
Can anyone say nightmares?
Truly amazing Bethany! A picture says a thousand words...Posted by: MK at July 25, 2007 8:52 PM
Awsome! I love the facial expression. I also like the reaper look to it too..Posted by: valerie at July 25, 2007 9:00 PM
I think that half of the face is a woman. The other half represents death. The grim reaper or the devil. The baby is dead. She will have a lifetime to think about her choice. The bloody hook represents the abortion instrument used. She does not look happy.Posted by: Heather4life at July 25, 2007 9:01 PM
Well, I never was any good at critiquing or interpreting art, but I just wanted to give you my compliments, Bethany. It looks fantastic.Posted by: Heather B. at July 25, 2007 9:46 PM
Wow, powerful drawing Bethany, great job. I agree with Heather on her analysis.Posted by: jasper at July 25, 2007 9:54 PM
To me this is saying how deceptive abortion is. It slowly eats away at a mother's soul until there's nothing left.
The only remedy is Jesus Christ.Posted by: HisMan at July 25, 2007 9:58 PM
It looks to me that the "was it worth it" paper is a diploma. Because an education is often mentioned as a "reason" for abortion, this would make sense.
At first I didn't realize who was holding the word "choice". Then I realized it was the baby. It seems that the child has been labeled so to speak.
Because of the way the child and the diploma are positioned, it seems that they are being "weighed" against one another in sort of a "scales of justice" way.
The woman is looking up in such a way that is very reminisent of a young child who has been caught in the act of some misdeed but thinks he can maintain innocense. I'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but it is definitely interesting. Alternatively, the woman may be looking twoards the heavens in some attempt to justify to herself and God what has been done.
The grim reaper representing part of the woman is interesting. I take this to show that through the abortion, part of the woman has died in addition to the child. The promise of "no regret" seems starkly juxtaposed to the death of the woman's soul.
Very interesting!Posted by: lauren at July 25, 2007 9:58 PM
I would have to agree with everything Lauren said. I thought a lot of the things she thought. Although I didn't think of the "scales of justice" after looking at it again I think thats a good point.
I think there is more symbolism in the color red as well. The entire drawing is in black and white except for the color red. I think this is significant somehow, perhaps it is another symbol of death or pain?
Nice job Bethany!Posted by: JM at July 25, 2007 10:51 PM
Oh, I think the skull/grim reaper represents that part of her died the day she had the abortion.Posted by: JM at July 25, 2007 10:55 PM
I am terrible at determining meaning, but I've been able to get the symbols in this one. It's a gorgeous painting/drawing. :)
The weapon-like hook appears to represent the abortion tools.
The womans' face/skull shows how abortion eats away at a woman from the inside, turning her dead inside until it finally shows on the outside.
The scroll looks like a diploma, representing education, as Lauren and others have said: a common reason for abortion.
The broken baby/fetus body with the word choice on it represents how the pro-choice side labels a baby/fetus as simply a choice and not a living human being.
Interesting concept, gorgeous drawing. :)Posted by: Rae at July 25, 2007 10:55 PM
Wow, that really is a beautiful drawing. I love dark art like that.
Sorry, guys, I don't regret my abortion. Still feel nothing but relief. If it ever changes, you guys will be the first to know.
This is definitely beautiful and very representative of your views. You have great talent!!Posted by: Erin at July 25, 2007 11:34 PM
I don't interpret the hook thing to be the abortion tool used. I feel that it goes with the grim reaper death side of things. Clearly I can tell the women had an abortion, with the baby holding the word "choice" and the "was it worth it?" I can't explain what I mean. Let me try though....
For me imagining that the hook thing is the "abortion tool used" ruins it for me. I feel as if the women is showing remorse or sadness for the choice she made, the paper with the diploma that says "was it worth it?" the baby holding the word "choice" The expression on the womens face, the face that half her face is bones.... part of her died. All the images give off a sad feeling for me... to throw in the "abortion tool used" just doesn't make sense... yes the tools they use are sad... but it doesn't give off the same "sad vibe" if that makes sense? ahhh sorry if I am babbling... I have been busy busy busy with my new teaching job... going to workshops, getting my classes ready and doing other various things... I hope I make sense....
Again beautiful drawing.Posted by: JM at July 26, 2007 12:12 AM
Who has insomnia???? I do!! Remedied, of course, my veryvery strong coffee. Heh heh heh.
Bethany, I've seen some of your other drawings besides this one and you have an incredible talent! I wish I could create art the way you do ... I am so jealous.
The only thing that deters me from this particular piece is the overt symbolism. I personally prefer a more subtle approach--or something like that video "Nurse" where the meaning could be interpreted in many ways.
This is a very good work of art, however. I am hugely impressed!Posted by: Leah at July 26, 2007 2:54 AM
Wow, I have to say....I actually expected more negative comments. Believe me, I'm not complaining! Thank you so much for the positive words!
I think it is really interesting to see the different ways the drawing has been interpreted so far. Some of you are amazingly accurate in your view of it's meaning. Some things have actually been interpreted incorrectly, but this is good. To see that different aspects of the drawing can be interpreted in different ways.
As for whether it is too obvious, the drawing isn't really meant to be a mystery, mainly just a way of expressing how I feel. I would be more subtile if it was another topic, but on a topic as serious as abortion, I don't want anyone to mistake the meaning as being anything other than pro-life.
Now if any of you have a problem with the drawing and want to be completely frank with me, I really don't mind. You are welcome to and I won't delete them. :)
Jill, thank you for taking the time to post my drawing!
Okay, here is your friends interpretation...
His path is winding, dirt and "quickly" disappears into...well we already know that winding is indicative of the unknown surprises that life throws at us...can't see ahead, can't see behind. The fact that it is dirt might mean that his earlier path (childhood, early adolescence) wasn't laid out for him the way some of ours were.
His road wasn't paved and it was twisty...His childhood might have been unstable or less secure than some of ours.
Then it "disappears"...interesting choice of words. Like he is leaving his childhood memories behind...wants them to just go away. It disappears into a "dark" woods...almost like he needed to get away from his childhood (early?) and to do so he had to go into an unknown place. Dark woods can be scary, but go he must.
Happily, once he enters the woods the darkness clears up and he discovers that his new "life" is teeming with life, full and green, soft colored (soothing) flowers and meadows...much better than before. It's noonish, so this confirms the leaving childhood, taking on adulthood thinking.
Instead of saying it's warm, he says it's not "too" hot. I think this means that while it is still a lot to deal with, it's not as hard as he expected, as in "not too hot to handle". Blue skies, nothing but blue skies! With just a few clouds to mar what otherwise would be a perfect sky.
A fairly wide creek, and just as deep. I would peg this as school also, because it is so clearly defined. He knows exactly how long it will take to cross, and he doesn't mind doing it. This is a good time in his life, and his "obstacle" is not a hardship, just part of the path...
Others have pointed out that when the obstacle is water it could be a "sexual" obstacle. This is a possibility, but if it is, it is only a temporary situation, and it is pleasurable and convenient for the time being...It's a pretty temperate (good time for it) day, and he doesn't mind the diversion. He wades across, doesn't swim, so if it is sexual, it's not his true love. I would say it wasn't sexual, more of a deep respect and "friendly" love.
This is a man who, when he falls in love, will treat his woman well. He views love as a very beautiful, precious commodity. His cup is gold and encrusted with jewels...and like yours, it has been discarded. I see his cup a beautiful woman, that has always been "loved" for her looks. But that no one has ever appreciated her "inner" beauty. Whoever she was with before your friend finds her, did not treat her very well. He lost her and doesn't know what a gem he lost. He might not even realize she is gone. Some guy that thought of her as a trophy, just another possession. Lucky is she, that when your friend finds her, he recognizes her for the treasure that she is, cleans her off, and is thrilled to have found her. He puts her in his cloak. A cloak evokes such a gallant, romantic image, that I see your friend as her "Knight in shining Armour". He doesn't smother her, the way Heather B. did, but rather places her next to his heart, protecting her and providing her with safety and warmth and love...Whoever this man chooses to give his heart too, I hope the girl appreciates what a winner she has!
His key is also made of gold. He recognizes his education as valuable, but doesn't confuse it with the most important thing in life...love. The cup he puts under his cloak, the key goes in his pocket. The key is also encrusted with jewels. It must open a very special door. Is he going into a field that involves caring for people who are otherwise forgotten? It so resembles his cup that it makes me think his profession will also involve "loving" people. It's very old with two teeth. Makes me think of the elderly. Is he going to work with them? Or is what he is studying motivated by a desire to help people.
I like this guy...If you're not his true love, then I hope you find someone just like him...
This one is so beautiful...He comes upon a pool. Not a lake, not a river, but a pool. A pool is something that is very tempting to enter. It makes you think of being refreshed. There's not a ripple, it's blue, it's peaceful...all the things that make it sooooooo tempting. But your friend remembers his cup. And his key. And he realizes that to enter the pool is to jeopardize both items.
To enter the pool is to take a chance on harming the cup, or ruing the key. I'm gonna take a chance her and guess that your friend is saving himself for his true love. That he doesn't want anything to spoil his cup. It might distract him from pursuing his "key". He forgoes a dip in the pool, and continues on...walking around it and not looking back.
Have I mentioned that I like this guy...
Disconcerted by this temptation and momentarily distracted he must now cross a log (a more formidable obstacle than his creek) which he does. This man has great integrity and a beautiful soul. He had to struggle to avoid the pool. It wasn't that he wasn't interested...he was very interested...but he chose to overcome (instead of give into) his temptation. Once he has crossed the log, he is flanked by more water on either side,(more temptations, but easier to ignore, now that his decision has been made...he has pushed them off to the side, placed them in his periphery. They are still there, but no longer obstacles.) and it begins to rain. His values and principles (shrubs and overhanging trees) provide the protection and defense he needs to ward off all the temptations that surround him. It is this system of values that has and will continue to keep him safeguarded from all that life throws at him. He has high standards and strong morals.
Have I mentioned that I like this guy...
His wall is smooth, perfect, beautiful, flawless. Only 100 yards separates his life from this wall. He understands that the distance between life and death is very short. He instinctively knows that the wall is special. He ponders it. He knows he can't get around it, isn't ready to enter it yet. It's "pure, perfect" beauty mystifies him. He is no hurry to enter the wall, but when his time comes he will not fight it. He recognizes that there is beauty in death. He doesn't fear it, he's just not ready to take it on quite yet. He thinks about death, he thinks about this wall, but for now he will go back to "life"...his life...time enough for the wall later.
I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I like this guy...Posted by: MK at July 26, 2007 8:17 AM
Mk, do you think you might be able to interpret mine too, if you ever have time? I wanted to ask before but you had been busy with so many others at the time! :) I don't know how to interpret some of my own answers. lol
Bethany, thank you for letting me post it. Doing so made you vulnerable, as it did Rae when we discussed her "Mandy goes to med school" piece. So I appreciate your willingness to open yourself up for discussion.
I must say, the look on the mother's face freaks me out every time. Her eye looking at me... yikes!Posted by: Jill Stanek at July 26, 2007 8:21 AM
very good analysis of the drawing.....but Bethany would know better than I.
Posted by: jasper
at July 26, 2007 8:29 AM
MK, I still need mine done as well. If you can. I have to have some minor surgery today, so I'll be back on later.Posted by: Heather4life at July 26, 2007 8:32 AM
Good luck Heather...Posted by: jasper at July 26, 2007 8:35 AM
A 33-year-old man was sentenced to 171/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to fetal homicide in a drunken driving wreck that killed a fetus in January.
The question is, what if that woman had been on her way to an abortion clinic? Would the man still have gotten 17 years, or would he have been let off with a ticket for drunk driving?
Is it a life only when it's wanted, or is it a life always?Posted by: MK at July 26, 2007 8:37 AM
I still don't have your answers...when I get them, I'll be happy to do yours.
That was me, Mk! LOL
Jasper, I agree, Rae's analysis was very good! (There was only one thing that was not right, but it still could work).
Heather, I hope that your surgery will go okay...Take care!
Posted by: Bethany
at July 26, 2007 8:43 AM
Thank you Bethany. I stepped on something over a month ago. It wouldn't soak out , so now they have to excise it. I'll be receiving a little "twilight sleep" though.Posted by: Heather4life at July 26, 2007 8:51 AM
OK I now see the diploma in the woman's hand.Posted by: Heather4life at July 26, 2007 8:52 AM
Jm, I think you made a lot of sense. :)
Awesome drawing, Bethany, very powerful!Posted by: JK at July 26, 2007 11:16 AM
That is a beautiful and powerful drawing. I am guessing you used charcoals or pencils? It doesn't look painted, it looks like you took your time by hand! And Lauren/Rae's interpretations were exactly what I was thinking.
I am going to get the BF to do the game, and I want you to interpret his for me if you have time :-)...
How thought provoking! You are so talented to be able to invoke so many feelings through your work.
I am no art expert either, but I look at the woman also as having lost her identity after abortion and now looks at herself as the grim reaper. Outwardly trying to be herself, but inside identifies herself as the grim reaper.
She also feels dead.
When I initially looked at the picture, I thought the rolled paper in her hand represented the written laws that granted her a legal right to commit her abortion.
She is holding the papers that gave her the legal right to abort, but is weighing that right against her dead baby. Just because she was granted the legal right, didn't make it right for her.
The tag (was it worth it?)tied to the string would represent all of the efforts to make this a legal right, but in the end is it really worth it to anyone??
The tool she is holding wraps around her head like a noose that she will never escape.
(I could later see that the papers were probably a diploma??)
Great job Bethany.Posted by: Sandy at July 26, 2007 1:44 PM
there are two very strange happenings in your drawing: 1) the seamless aspect when a young woman 'melts' into the grim reaper. Even MK had a wall of separation as the culmination of her game.
The second 'strangeness' is her hand positioning. Both a babe (even a babe's corpse) and an education are precious. Her identical 'clutching' of both, to me means she doesn't 'get' either.
A woman does not 'have' an abortion - she commits abortion. Contrast this with some women 'having' miscarriage, like 'having' a car accident.Posted by: John McDonell at July 26, 2007 3:40 PM
I can't get over this. It really is gorgeous. Do you mind if I save this image and send it to some of my friends to see, Bethany? I have some very artistic friends who would really love it.Posted by: Erin at July 26, 2007 4:17 PM
Thank you all so much! I appreciate your insight tremendously.
Erin, you are more than welcome to do that! That really means a lot to me...thank you!
Bethany, I'll bet that can you do beautiful paintings of children.Posted by: Heather4life at July 26, 2007 4:42 PM
Rae, you are also an amazing artist! BOTH of you.Posted by: Heather4life at July 26, 2007 4:46 PM
Here are some that I did of my children (drawings and paintings):
And I agree, Rae is an exceptional artist! I was admiring her "I'm Seeing Sound" painting again today.
Posted by: Bethany
at July 26, 2007 4:52 PM
Ahhh, the one with the goose is amazing!!!Posted by: Erin at July 26, 2007 5:11 PM
Incredibly artwork. I envy people with talent, I can't stay in the lines of a coloring book. The various analyses are fascinating. People can look at the same picture from so many different perspectives and see so many different things.Posted by: Mary at July 26, 2007 5:39 PM
Thanks Bethany. :)
But I have to say, you are a far better artist than I am and I hope to be as good someday. I haven't really been working on drawing too much lately, but now that class is pretty much over I should have some time to do some more drawing.
Just so you know, "I'm Seeing Sound" is done with colored pencil and pens...I can't paint to save mi vida. :-pPosted by: Rae at July 26, 2007 6:29 PM
I just saw you're tattoo designs...they're awesome!
I know it's not permanent, and I know it's probably beneath you, but lots of places look for people to paint temporary tattoos on people...fairs, and zoos, and parties, and amusement parks and carnivals. You could probably make some extra cash and fun at the same time...
Just a thought. In Disney my kids got tattooed and it cost 15 bucks a pop!Posted by: MK at July 26, 2007 6:46 PM
Posted by: MK at July 26, 2007 6:53 PM
@MK: I used to draw "tattoos" on my littlest brother's friends. I would take those old Gelly Roll/Milky pens and draw designs on them, I did it for his birthday party and I was hired by the family I baby-sit for to do Gel-pen tattoos for one of their daughter's birthdays.
I sometimes wish I could be a tattoo artist instead of going to college and stuff, I think I would enjoy it, but alas, it's tough to get into tattooing because you have to apprentice with a tattoo artist and tattoo apprenticeships are notoriously crap. :)
I would like to do temporary tattoos/facepainting someday though, like at the Mall of America at the park formerly known as "Camp Snoopy" or something.Posted by: Rae at July 26, 2007 7:13 PM
Have you ever sold any of your work?
Is the red significant in some way?Posted by: JM at July 26, 2007 9:16 PM
Rosie, yes, I sure do! If you'll go to my website, you can go to theabout the artist page, and find out a little more about that. :) By the way, I meant to tell you a while back, I'm glad to have you here! :) (When you started posting, I think I was on vacation, and I didn't get a chance to welcome you!) :)
Jm, yes, you are absolutely right. I knew that if I kept it black and white, and added no color for the blood, it would not have as dramatic of an effect. The red color of the blood shows the gruesome reality of it all. I wanted the blood to stand out as a symbol of the death and pain that the baby went through.
Here is what the rest of the drawing was meant to symbolize (now that most have replied now- I wanted to wait and see how others saw it):
The diploma symbolizes education, as many of you picked up. Some of you had very different opinions of this, and I think they were very interesting!
The cickle and cape represent the idea of the woman doing the grim reapers work for him. About two of you felt the cickle was representative of the abortion tool used, but that actually wasn't what I had in mind. However, it is really interesting to see it with that perspective also!
The woman's face turning into a skull represents her inward decay of heart and that she is being consumed by the culture of death. Like Rae mentioned, "turning her dead inside until it finally shows on the outside".
The little baby obviously represents her abortion, and the word choice is in the baby's hand to show how s/he has been labeled, as Lauren said.
There is blood on the cickle, and it says on the blade, "No Regrets?", to remind people of those women who claim they have no regrets about their abortion.
On the diploma, the words, "was it worth it?", are asking the question of whether being able to go to college and fulfil superficial needs was worth killing the woman's child over. The answer will come in time.
The expression on the woman's face had to be the way it is, because I wanted it to be interpreted different ways. I tried to make it as expressionless as possible, so that some could see her as angry, some could see her as sad, some could see her as numb, etc. It is all up to interpretation.
John surprised me because he was the only one who noticed the clenched fists. I think that is interesting. Her fists are clenched very tightly around the baby, and that was purposeful. John was very good in his analysis there. He wrote: "The second 'strangeness' is her hand positioning. Both a babe (even a babe's corpse) and an education are precious. Her identical 'clutching' of both, to me means she doesn't 'get' either."
The hardest part to draw was the baby. Very emotional.Posted by: Bethany at July 27, 2007 8:13 AM
On the topic of the diploma; I was watching 'A Baby Storey' on cable. This lady had triplets, and she graduated from law school in a wheelchair about a month after their birth. You GO girl!Posted by: Heather4life at July 27, 2007 3:41 PM
Erin, 4:17p, said: "I can't get over this. It really is gorgeous. Do you mind if I save this image and send it to some of my friends to see, Bethany? I have some very artistic friends who would really love it."
Erin, you're trying way too hard to love your abortion. The art may be profound, and it may be extremely well done, but it's not "gorgeous." Utterly inappropriate terminology.Posted by: Jill Stanek at July 27, 2007 3:52 PM
You're all f***iing morons. And Jill, you're the queen of the morons.Posted by: CHOICE at July 27, 2007 5:59 PM
Well, then, don't just sit there. Bow.Posted by: Jill Stanek at July 27, 2007 6:51 PM
I put that comment in junk...figured you'd clean it up. As always, you know best...
*deep bow*Posted by: MK at July 27, 2007 6:54 PM
Laura, stop fooling around.Posted by: Heather4life at July 27, 2007 6:58 PM
Choice, that is so cute! Are you the court jester then?Posted by: Bethany at July 27, 2007 7:22 PM
MK, yes, I saw that. Thank you. (You've figured out the administrative end of the site?!) I do like posting those comments. They make me smile.Posted by: Jill Stanek at July 27, 2007 7:42 PM
"Well, then, don't just sit there. Bow."
LMAO!!!!Posted by: Rosie at July 27, 2007 8:53 PM
I wonder if CHOICE is Dr. Beket?Posted by: jasper at July 27, 2007 9:15 PM
@Jill: I think what she meant by it being "gorgeous' was that it was a gorgeously drawn picture, by which I think she means it was very well done, not so much the subject matter being "gorgeous" (haunting is more appropriate for describing the subject matter).
Just my interpretation anyway.Posted by: Rae at July 27, 2007 9:58 PM
Jill- I have a prediliction for dark artwork. This type of art always captures me. It doesn't have anything to do with my abortion at all- I simply love the picture for it's beautifully eerie quality.Posted by: Erin at July 28, 2007 9:13 AM