I live in a desert preserve and close to my home is an area referred to as Whirlwind. While playing golf there, these delicate whips of wind would lightly skirt across the desert landscape and in seconds they would disappear. It was as though little messages were being whispered and sent out in a glittery confetti of dust destined to be sprinkled on the desert floor.
A good friend of mine lost her son to suicide and had been asking me to paint an Angel for her for over a year. It was something I struggled with for many, many, months. How do you express the gamut of emotions that follows such a tragic loss and do justice to the experience while still creating a piece of artwork that is not depressing?
The process of painting this piece, once I got started, was remarkable. It took no planned thought, but became a reaction of paintbrush to emotion. Dark and somber colors with angry scratch marks and loose runny tears of paint flowed off the brush to begin with. Her loss became the imaginary loss of my own son. Gradually the thoughts turned to fond memories and my paint selection and stokes became softer and lighter in color.
I have always been a believer in the value of art as therapy for the soul. This experience reinforced just that. The depth of sorrow I experienced was like two tectonic plates of earth meeting, her tremendous grief and my sorrow for her loss followed by the quiet settling of emotions.
Sitting in my entry way is a sculpture I call “Bien”. In the romance languages that translates as “Good”. Looking at her, she seems to send a message of anything but that. Her tired looking body is laden with a bountiful amount of seeds, so much so that it seems the earth itself is tugging at her, thirsty for her precious load.
This morning I was struck at how she looked as though she was anticipating something. She was right, the weather outside has taken a sharp turn towards fall. Possibly she is thinking of the winter to come. Looking at her, I could not help but feel a twinge of heartache. I can’t decide whether to be angry with her or to be thankful for her reminder of how precious time is.
Ok, last post was kind of deep so, this one needs a little levity. I did a sculpture of an owl and while looking at him, I thought “OMG, I recognize that … that’s the “REALLY?” stance. I seem to get it frequently, not just from my kids, but when stuff flows out of my mouth without thinking. On top of that, how appropriate is it that my subject just happens to be a know-it-all owl? I have no idea where people get the notion that he is wise… unless they mean wise-ass. So, I just had to try to a painting. Do you think his eyes say it all? Zoom in and take a close look at those peepers. The photo of him as a sculpture is on my site under mixed media. :0)
I am deeply touched by the many women of all ages and different backgrounds who I have seen draw from their innermost beings an emotional strength fortified in steel and tethered with feminine softness. They are my inspiration. Intertwined, is a series of artwork devoted to their resilience, dedication to life and determination to thrive.
Life Cycle is my first project in the INTERTWINED collection. It was my hope to capture not only the obvious circle of life, but also the joy and comfort in discovering that human life is intricately laced with nature and as such is a never-ending celebration to be cherished.