Five years ago, I was swept into spring in a way I had never experienced before. I remember the colors looked so bright to me that year. I felt connected to everything.
You see, I had peed on a stick and felt myself shift as I discovered a little a seed was inside me. This made me feel for the first time my body was truly part of the mystery of life.
However, before those colorful spring blooms had even faded, it shifted again. This time, in the middle of the night on the cold tile of the bathroom floor.
That year, my husband and I planted a little tree in our yard as a way to heal and not forget. Now, I see it blooming so many seasons later and I’m still startled at how tears can well up as easily as an April shower.
I look at those beautiful branches covered in white petals and think of how much has changed in my life. I quit my job. I lost my godmother, uncle, and cousin. I had a hysterectomy. I lost my older brother.
The little tree isn’t little anymore. My studio is bursting with canvases. My heart has broken into a gap so wide it can hold everyone I’ve ever loved.
Over these last few years, I’ve learned some things have silver linings. Others don’t. They just break you in big and little ways till you find parts of yourself you didn’t know you had.
Above all, I do feel swept into life even with its endless wounding and wonder. It’s bewildering and beautiful. I think this is the real mystery of life.
I’m not really sure how it happens but I know my art is sourced in this mystery.
I’ve put together a collection of paintings from these past five years as a way to see how things have changed. The color is brighter. The light seems to have expanded. It has grown more intricate and “lace-like.” Sometimes, I see it all as a kind of unraveling and reweaving of threads of emotion into veils of energy. Yikes!…I hope that doesn’t sound too woo-woo;)
“There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness—but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of over-whelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”
– Washington Irving
“You will encounter troubles of your own. You will be “traveled” by things words cannot encircle. Find the others who can hold space with you. Then, when in the alchemical dynamics of things, the sun emerges again, don’t walk off rudely into his arms. Turn toward the smoldering darkness whence you came, and thank her for shaping you, for scaring you, for wounding you, and defeating you, and shaking you, because in her womb you were thoroughly purged, and made fresh for new glimpses of wonder. And as you walk farther into the domineering light, the dark will bless you with a gift to remind you that you are not as contained or as limited as you think, that there is more to you than what meets the educated eye, that whatever you do, the whole universe does the same along with you—imitating you with a childish keenness, and that you are never, ever alone. That’s why shadows were invented.”
“So remember to look up at the stars and not at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future.”
– Stephen Hawking
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
– Maya Angelou
Behind every artist are champions who help boost creative work into the world.
I could not do what I do without your encouragement and support. Thank you for being part of my art world.
Please feel to share this post with anyone who loves art as much as you.
PS. I’ll be spending the next few weeks framing and photographing more new work. And, doing my very best to update the website before the Open Studio May 18th & May 19th! I hope you can come!
and…this last photo is of our little tree…with a silver lining.
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