It Might Look Like Trauma, But This is How I Heal — Vulnerability in Art

Karen Espig
Story-Verse
Published in
4 min readOct 12, 2021

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When you cannot find the words, find the shapes and colours.

The Moment, After and Before. Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 x 1.5 inches

This may look like a painting about fear or trauma, but it is actually a painting about coping with those feelings. It does indeed reflect the moment when something has suddenly shut you down, but it is also the moment right before you get back up and take your next step.

This is a self-portrait and part of a series I refer to as “trigger paintings.” I have completed only two of the six in the series. I wrote about the first painting in this theme here on Medium.

It is unlikely the remaining four will ever see completion — they were created out of a need I am no longer experiencing.

I started The Moment, After and Before in June of 2020 and finished it in October of the same year. It measures 18 x 24 x 1.5 inches and is available for sale.

The paintings in this theme were borne out of a need for me to express and process difficult feelings and experiences, in my visual language.

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Karen Espig
Story-Verse

I am a contemporary figure painter. I am also a Canadian Expat currently in France. I write about expat life, relationships, and online dating.