I hope this email finds you well and filled to the brim with gratitude.
I'm very excited to share the first painting in my brand new series and a written explanation of the inspiration behind it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Many years ago my parents gave me this birthday card from artist Brian Andreas. His work will always remind me of home. Several of his prints still adorn the walls of my parents’ house, serving as whimsical reminders to pause every now and then to notice the undercurrent of wonder and humor and light which carry us through this life.
She left pieces of her life everywhere she went –
it’s easier to feel the sunlight without them, she said.
What an appropriate statement and card.
It's appropriate in a literal sense as I seem to leave belongings behind me everywhere I go. Seriously. It’s a problem. (Not to mention an ongoing source of frustration to all in my life).
Keys? Forget about it. Wallet? A close runner-up.
And at this point, I should automatically file every purchase of 1) gloves, 2) sunglasses and 3) phone chargers under the charitable donation section of my 1040 tax form because that is what they inevitably become – donations unknowingly left behind like some multi-colored set of clues scattered about my path.
Of course the real meaning of the card has nothing to do with physical possessions. It’s about those parts of ourselves we leave behind when we leave a place, a relationship, a time in our lives.
I’m fascinated by this idea that everything we experience becomes a part of us just as we leave parts behind.
I like to imagine pieces of ourselves floating about in old rooms we once occupied, in the houses on the corners of the towns we used to call home. I think of pieces floating about in the minds of those we once loved when a certain song resonates through the radio, when one season softly nudges against the next.
My next painting series explores this idea of taking and leaving parts of ourselves as we move through life. It is a further examination of the integration and disintegration of self which I began to explore in my last series.
Now if the line “the integration and disintegration of self” invokes a philosophical gag response in you, seeming desperate in its attempt to sound existential and heady and myartiststatementisdeeperthanyours-y, let me try to better explain:
Life is a series of transitions. The minutes turn to hours, hours turn to days, and days turn to seasons. Sometimes these transitions occur seamlessly. And other times life splits us wide open in beauty, in loss, in unexpected change.
As an artist - and human being - I am most interested in exploring those times of intense transition. The times when the life/self we once knew breaks down, creating space for something new to enter; the periods of fragmentation and disintegration that are always followed by the periods of re-integration - or as my friend Scott refers to them, the "soul retrieval" periods.
And while I believe our deepest, most soul-level self remains unshakeable, I also believe those times of intense transition change us. In opening ourselves to experience, we simultaneously open ourselves to a constant state of transformation.
Dance, when you're broken open.
Dance, if you've torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance when you're perfectly free
It's not easy to leave parts of our lives behind. Letting go can be a real bee-atch. But sometimes the spaces that remain take on unexpectedly beautiful shapes and hues.
And sometimes the spaces remain empty. But it can be easier to dance - and feel the sunlight - in their absence.
Need a creative holiday gift idea?
I have fine art prints available on my Etsy site, ready to ship! Each are printed on high quality art paper with archival inks. Click on any image below for more information.
Check out the first painting in my new series!
What's been playing in my studio