For Leah (The Creative Every Day Goddess)
Published on July 15, 2009
I have been painting all day…except for the half hour nap I took…..and then later the break I made for a cheese quesidilla!! But, now, I needed another break, so I cruised on over to your blog–and I’m still crying from reading your beautiful post All Art is a Self Portrait. I know it wasn’t suppose to be a tear jerker…but I think you couldn’t have spoken to me more perfectly.
This summer has been so beautiful and so strange all at once. I don’t think I have painted and had such a stream of creativity since I was 19 years old and going to art school. I paint every day, and when I’m not painting–whatever I am doing is art-creativity involved. Even if I’m just reading. I wake up in the middle of the night–and have to write down ideas even. A couple times I couldn’t fall back to sleep and instead I just went back in the studio.
It’s almost like something has taken over me.
But the thing is, other then Hansel, I have kept my work to myself. I don’t post it on my blog, like I usually do–to keep from outside influence influencing my work. Does that make sense? I feel like what I’m creating is coming from such a different part of myself. No, that’s not exactly it either. It’s like I’m letting it flow through me–and its coming from somewhere else. I like to think it’s my connection to source–the Universe–the great chica in the sky! I’m afraid that if I post it online that people will start to comment–possibly say they like this or that, and those that really don’t like it won’t say anything at all–and all those comments not made I’ll be wondering about just as much as I will be swallowing the comments that are posted. I’m afraid that once I set them free into the world, that concern over if people like them or not—or if they are understood, will interfere with this flow I feel of pure creativity now.
Truth is….I don’t know why I am painting the things I am. Currently I have three different bodies of work happening at once. One, is a series of canvases 16″ x 20″ that are portraits of ladies. But these are not typical portraits, I have transformed each portrait into a natural element–or an aspect of nature. I have been working on fire, earth, sky, and the wind. I don’t really pre-plan them–they just sort of come to me. Like a couple days ago I was driving home, and directly in front of me, which felt like only 10 feet above the highway was a cloud—I immediately went home and started painting my cloud lady!! I’m loving them…and I kind of get where they are coming from…or what I’m saying. They’re all mother nature…..the mother.
Then, next to these canvases sit a series of birch boards measuring 12″ x 12″. These are pure cute…pure fun…pure joy and play time with color and layering. I start by collaging scraps of watercolor paintings I collect from paintings kids throw away or don’t want at school. Then I layer and add texture with gel medium and paints till it is just juicy and pure candy for the eye. But then, images come to me for each one. Cute little tiny images–like a hummingbird, or a seahorse, or a dandelion. Things that are small and cute.
And then last, my third series, in which I am putting so much love into…are my little black gesso’d canvases that I am also painting portraits of too. But portraits of little girls—kind of funky, freaky, cute–in an odd way, little girls. Each one I paint I feel like I’m painting my own child. I smile and put so much love into each brush stroke as these freaky little chicas come to life.
I was painting one of my baby chicas when I stopped and took a break to read your post. I guess I started to cry, because you are absolutely right. My work–even though it is not a self portrait per se, or suppose to be of me in any way….it is from a deeper part of me. Something inside–deep inside that is being born–that is communicating to me from the depths of my heart. And it wasn’t until I read your post, that I saw exactly what is going on in my work. I am giving birth to my art, as if I was giving birth to an actual child. I am painting images of Mother Nature–because I am communicating with the part of myself that is a mother. I am painting cutesy, small, joyously colorful things as if the world was created for a child. And my baby chicas–they are just that…my paintings as children.
I don’t really want children. I have never been a chica who dreams of having kids. I dream more of traveling to Australia or India then having a child of my own. I plan more on moving to Costa Rica, then planning to have a child. I love children, and love working with them all day, but always feel 100% that if I had to come home to children also–I might go nutty. I love my life full of painting and yoga and doing whatever I want to too much, to have to swap it for a baby of my own. I’m fine with being selfish. So where is all this coming from? All this mother and baby stuff and painting freaky little children?
I like to think that if I’m not going to have children in this world…then I better give birth to art. But maybe its too early to know. It’s only been a couple months…there are more paintings in these series that still need to arrive into existence, till I can put all the pieces together.
Though there is something going on here that I can’t deny. A part of myself is surfacing, that maybe I have never seen before. And I absolutely agree with you when you said “When I do bring ideas to life, I feel more connected to myself and to my spiritual side”. I can not ever remember feeling so alive as I have these past few months. Maybe all this mother, child, birthing-a-painting talk is not really an actual sign that the Universe is calling me to be a mother, but rather, for the first time, I am witnessing my true self be born through the magic of my own creativity.
Thank you Leah for prompting this reflection. Thank you for always sharing your own creative journey–and being so honest and open. There is great love here for you. Great Mama-Chica love!!
Sincerely with Huge Hugs,
Peace & Love.