Shell explores the idea of the emotional armor people build to protect themselves from strong, painful or hurtful emotions. It is something relatable because most people will experience this at some point during their lives. “S/He’s withdrawn into his shell again.” By building an emotional shell you become stronger and more protected. However there’s also a negative side: by separating yourself from the potential to be hurt you are depriving yourself. Withdrawing from the world means you can’t experience it’s fullness and miss out. You cannot connect with others as much.
Shell is a semi-abstract painting portraying the figure of a woman curled up partly inside or in front of a shell. She is lent over, hiding her face in a protective manner, shutting out the world. Perhaps she is scared; perhaps she is crying, or she could just be sleeping. Her position mirrors the form of the shell. The background is dark, a hazy void of loose brush strokes. There appears to be some light coming from the top left-hand corner but she is shielding her eyes against it. The scene could underwater, or some psychological space inside the mind.
This Oil painting captures a feeling of vulnerability, reflecting the emotional need for withdrawal. It also has a kind of tranquility that we find by visiting those quiet places in the mind. It is important to come to this space from time to time. It’s a quiet place to come and recover from bad experiences. Come here to gather your strength, but don’t be too afraid to leave.