This painting has received a lot of connection and interest since I started sharing it, and especially now that it is hanging in a solo exhibition, Renewal, at the Hearty Hooligan in Hamilton. Many people connect to the emotion of it right away. Some feel comforted, some feel sad. I would like to share my story and why I painted this piece.
This painting, for me, is about grieving. Both in the sense of grieving the loss of a loved one, my mother, but on an even deeper level, grieving the loss of my previous self. I sustained a head injury over 4 years ago that changed my personality and outlook on life. It left me depressed and anxious in circumstances and environments that I use to love and crave. It has left me and my family to relearn how to relate to each other. It has left me questioning who I am as a person, and what my life purpose is meant to be. Who am I meant to be? Why did this happen to me? And why have I not “healed” and returned to my previous self after so long? I often feel like a burden to my family, a liability to my job, and an all around failure. Where did I go?
This painting, captures a moment in time, one of several that I have experienced, where I know I am surrounded by loved ones, and yet I feel completely alone, hopeless, and lost in sadness. I am surrounded by beauty, but I cannot see it because I am focused inward. But all is not lost…there is hope. There is a ray of light streaking through the air, shining on me, comforting me. Nurturing me. Feeding my soul. I am grounded, in touch with source and mother earth, connected to who I truly am. And I am growing. Despite the debilitating sadness, I have buds ready to bloom when the time is right. The potential is there, the seed is planted, waiting…waiting for me to recognize my strength and worth – AS I AM. Waiting for me to come out of my self-made darkness and SEE the light and the beauty that surrounds me.
Although I am different than those that surround me, I am still beautiful and loved. I cannot be lost in the crowd, just another number in a never ending sea of people, because I am unique. Trying to fit in is a waste of time. I need to embrace myself, as I am, and accept the lovely being that I am. Full of love and magic and wonder. Whole – not broken. Just rediscovering my roots, and creating new ones in order to nurture my full potential and grow into success.
It may initially trigger emotions of sadness and loss, possibly even regret, but there is also inspiration and hope in this piece.
How do you feel when you look at this painting? Does it resonate with you or no? Can you relate to my story? Or does the image provoke other emotions and memories for you? Please, if you are willing to share, I would love to connect with you. Even if just in a PM or email and not publicly…I LOVE hearing how other people can connect my art to THEIR life stories. And I would LOVE to hear YOUR story. Thank you.