#21emBODY | SHOULDERS
Published on March 17, 2017
Each of these #21emBODY paintings have been excavating a lot of buried memories for me.
Sometimes during the actual painting process “random” stuff begins to surface. I’ll suddenly think of the time I received a massage from Colleen after my grandfather died or trudging through the mud on my way to a Grateful Dead show.
I’ve also been writing rapidly in my studio log right after painting. This process is something I do quite often. It is my way of sparking a a dialogue with the painting. But lately, after a page or so of free writing, it never fails to wrap itself around some kind of memory from my past. It’s literally like these body part paintings are unlocking cellular memory.
One of the things I started to notice is how much I’ve taken my body for granted over the years. This past Wednesday I shared a glimpse into my studio log writing in my recent email newsletter that went out.
In it I braided together memories of how I’ve spent most of my 20+ years art career working nonstop and gulping down a lot of stress — all in the name of art, of course.
After I sent it out, I feared and even felt a little bit of shame that it would be received as complaining or downright bitching about a life I have freely and lovingly chosen. But what message I was really trying to portray is this new found awareness I have of how incredible of a support system this one, beautiful body has been to supporting my calling as an artist. This body of mine has put up with a lot of neglect, ignoring, and even self loathing at times. Though through it all, my body has made it possible for me to have these experiences of devoting so much of my time, energy, resources, and life to art — to building a thriving career — to living a dream.
Though as I’ve been creating this body of work, I’ve also become incredibly sensitive to how my body is showing up and feeling right now – here in the present. And when I listen closely, she tells me that we don’t have to keep going at the pace we’ve been at. That the natural progression of her service is to graduate us into a deeper sense of what we’ve built together, so that she can rest, restore, and even be reborn from all the years of being a work horse — into something that provides a different sense of support.
This shoulder painting from today’s #21emBODY prompt feels so much like a new beginning.
The woman in this painting is shoulder height in her old habits and ways of navigating life — but is focused on and very close to a new shore. A new landscape of life to explore and discover.
And most of all, she is grateful. Wildly, with out a doubt, grateful.
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Welcome to Day 12 of 21 Days of emBODY. Today’s invitation is SHOULDERS. I hope that this painting challenge inspires you to spend a little time with this magnificent gift we each have — our body.
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