It is the full moon and it has me wanting to get into the paint. I haven't painted in a while (other than walls.) I have been too busy being a farmer lady. Spring sure has been a busy time here.
But I have been painting in my head... a painting of Earl, my donkey.
I took up painting in my early 30s. I had to paint. I couldn't get out all that was stirring inside of me, verbally, On some auto-pilot of knowing, I bought some paints.
This is my first painting, ever.
Objectively, or as objective as I can be 15 years later, I am going to take a deeper look.
Let's start with the paint. Obviously, the only paint colors I worked with were black and white. Colors would have been too brave a venture for me. If I could have used only black, I probably would have at the time. It took me days and days to finish the painting. I was so stiff. It is a dark painting, as far as composition, but it still does have some light. The light source is not visible. There is no sun, no moon, but there is illuminated clouds by something. (My later spiritual paintings all seem to include a moon or a light.) Perhaps, at that time, I was holding out hope for hope. The light was there, even though I couldn't see it and even if I didn't call it light.
The ground cover in the painting is indiscriminate. I suppose it is a grass, but obviously it wasn't important at the time. Not much time was used to develop some sort of landscaping. Perhaps I looked down too much back then and it all was just a blur.
The subject was a tree. It was growing at some point. I am not sure if the tree was supposed to be alive or dead when I painted it. Obviously, it is broken. The severity of damage to the tree is extreme. Perhaps a lightning strike, or something that took the whole top trunk off. Something catastrophic happened. Again, I have no recollection. I am not sure if I was even feeling at the time. But the branches, there are many, and most are reaching up. I addition, I notice that the tree is not centered, between light and dark. It is off on the lighter side. Also, the sky takes up a larger area than the land. Broken tree under a big sky.
About the title, The Tree, I think what I would name it today: The Woman Broken.
I do remember when I was finished painting, I could not believe that I had painted this. I do remember that. I also remember staring at it for hours. I think a couple of people said to me, "I didn't know you could paint." I didn't either. It was quite a leap. I must have been at the brink of insanity to even try.
I could have also been on the cusp of bold. The Tree was the marker of the beginning. Like a landmark. I had just got into therapy and was ripping through my past and present. They were, of course, intertwined. I was in a very bad place. I was in a bad marriage. I won't go into detail about it, but it was as unhealthy as it gets.
I kept painting. After it was suggested that I paint "normal" things, I gave it a good shot. But it was disjointed and forced. I kept painting past the criticism. I painted through the ups and downs, my hand grasping the paintbrush like I was holding onto a ledge. If I let go, I would fall and die.
I painted about death, and of blood and of memories. Bad memories. I painted through the worst of times, I painted through therapy and group. I painted with other women, who were in different stages of life, but with similar bad memories. .
Once you know you are in a hole, it is your job on getting yourself out out. And so I began digging my way out of my hole. Not easy, but that is when the boldness kicked in. I made extreme changes. I found the light and I named it as such.
Before I go any further, I want to come back to tonight's full moon and to the paint. I am going to dig in again. But this time, I want to celebrate within my paintings. Yesterday, Chris from Grow Fish Eat made a comment;
"That last shot of Sling staring out of the window has a surreal look about it. Reminded me of some of Michael Sowa's paintings.."He was talking about this picture:
|the room upstairs|
I will loosen up my grip on that paintbrush this time 'round and add some color and flavor, and sprinkle a bit of whimsy. I had been thinking about different angles to paint Earl. A donkey painting is not anything what I would have painted before, with the exception of the below which is a rendition of my old cat Sage. It is a very folk art looking painting that I whipped up pretty fast. I didn't even finish it when it sold.
|sage x 4|
Why not? It doesn't have to be a masterpiece and it doesn't have to be my past, and it doesn't need to be so darn serious.
Yes, it is time to loosen my grip and paint with light. A light heart.
to be continued...