Although this is one of my favorite paintings, I haven’t yet discussed it on the blog.
This piece was born of fear.
We all know that feeling of being held back, whether by someone else’s expectations or rules, living or work situations, or someone telling us we can’t. I was frustrated because I’d just started creating work to sell, and I knew I had a battle ahead of me. I had the “starving artist” myth to contend with, for starters. I had to start an art business from the ground up. I had to get people to notice me, let my work be judged, all while still maintaining my passion and creative flow so that I could produce the best work possible.
I was overwhelmed. It’s still overwhelming now, as I’m in the throws of that battle. I was frustrated that things are the way they are and that it’s so difficult to start doing what I love for a living. It felt like I had so much working against me, and that it was unfair that I had to fight so hard just to do what I love.
Then I realized what a useless attitude that was.
I could moan and whine about how hard things are, or I could let my passion lead me, find joy in the journey of connecting my work with others and cultivating my career. I could dance in that fire of fear and opposition.
The process of creating the painting reflected my thinking process, because they happened at the same time.
I began with a fiery, chaotic background of red, yellow, and orange smeared around with my husband’s old library card (I knew it would never get used) and I added the string, a motif I’ve used for years, because I felt bound at this point. As I worked things through in my mind, I stamped and painted the orbs, which are my representation of celestial bodies, hope, and joy. My trees are just as human as my figures, so I added one of those two. What would my work be without trees?
It took me a long time to decide on a figure, but eventually I settled on a dancer. It’s funny that I paint dancers so often, because I can’t really dance. The movement expresses my feelings so perfectly though, how this girl just leaps into the unknown.
There’s such beauty and discovery in letting go.
This piece is available for purchase here.
We all lead busy lives, and whether we enjoy what we’re doing or not, it’s important to slow down sometimes. Life can be overwhelming, even if it’s fun.
To me, this painting is about that quiet space we take for ourselves where everything is calmer, the delicious space of retreat. We can hear ourselves in the quiet, even though that tiny voice gets drowned out amid the hustle and bustle of our regular lives.
It’s in these moments that we rejuvenate, discover our true paths, and learn to intimate with our spirits. This is how we strengthen our intuition and imagination.
Available for purchase here.