Saturday, January 11, 2014

Painting the Feminine - Space and Ease



I sat down as I normally do, with a candle lit and a big glass of water and began to paint. Just shapes and colors and squiggles, enjoying the brushstrokes and the colors - letting the process flow and taking it easy. As I went on, I felt the need to put the brush aside and dive in with fingers like I do with so many of my canvas paintings... just smooshing paint around like a five year old, enjoying the feel of the paint between my fingers and the page.

And then something happened... a lump in my throat. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, sitting with the lump, not examining or worrying until it passed, allowing myself some space.

When I opened my eyes, I found shapes in the smudges of color; one hunched, one flowing and one spreading her energy throughout the page. I brought them out of the shadow with oil pastels, slowly and deliberately. As I worked on the final fuzzy figure at the left and the painting told me to stop, the lump was back and tears came. Not heaving sobs, but quiet slowing tears. I tried to pinpoint what the emotion behind it was... happiness? Sadness? Felt a bit like both. This is the first painting in the series so far I've had a physical, visceral reaction to. And despite the colors being vibrant and having enjoyed the feel of each stroke and smudge... looking at it makes me feel off. Not sad exactly, but something like it.

It startled me, as it's not the reaction I was expecting after a relaxing painting session. But there it is. And I'll own it, even as it confuses me.

1 comment:

  1. I always hated when people would blame my hormones for everything I felt or experienced when pregnant so I really hesitate to suggest it... but... maybe it's hormonal? Not that it being hormonal would detract from your experience at all, after all- we are women. We live in hormones all the time.

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