FEARLESS We Paint: Guest Post By Claire Beaumont
Published on December 29, 2010
Less than a year ago, I signed up for a weekend Intuitive Painting class to deliberately carve out some space for myself. My husband was going through a huge transition where everyone was fawning all over him and generally making him feel even more entitled than men in our society are often encouraged to feel. I was drawing my line in the sand. Or, more accurately, I was painting it.
Just to be clear (because he’ll be reading this – Hi Honey!), he’s very supportive and a great guy as long as he’s remembering to unplug from that beastly entitlement system. I was the one here that needed to find something that was just for me. I knew that I needed it. He knew I needed it. I don’t think either of us could have known how much our marriage needed it. We needed me to plug into my own system of entitlement.
So I spun around a few times, and moved in the direction of the paint and paper. I was armed with a paintbrush, barely subdued anger, my signature intensity, and a vague, unspoken suspicion that I was less than. After a few satisfying scribbles, I painted this:
I told everyone that I felt a little afraid that I was going to become one of those “crazy art ladies” with fourteen cats and who wears a red petticoat. Over her jeans. To the grocery store. My husband laughed but I thought it was just to hide his terror.
Take note of the “balance” in her hands. The teeny-tiny house and the Great Big Paintbrush. The message was not lost on me. Things started to change around the house. There were some Big Talks.
Fast forward to this summer when Connie got me to paint a self-portrait. I was completely smitten.
I put it up in our bedroom, against all Feng Shui advice regarding balance for partners in the bedroom. Honestly? Since it’s been up, things have been better than ever between us. Including in the bedroom. SO THERE! ancient Chinese secret.
Then, along came this BIG assignment to paint “what it feels like to be me”.
Yeah, that’s me. The one sporting the red petticoat. And um, that’s my husband on the bottom. What? You don’t recognize the hairy arm? Don’t worry, he’s not just holding me back, he’s grounding me too. Holding me safe from getting to that “crazy art lady” place too fast and furious.
Lest I leave you thinking he’s not the fantastic guy that a Fearless Painter like myself needs and deserves, witness my birthday present from him this October when I turned forty:
Now THAT’S what it feels like to be me.
Come join the Tribe of FEARLESS Painters!!
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