A Life in Paint
By now most of you have heard my big news; that I've been presented an opportunity to show my work in Vienna, Austria in March. I'm quite excited about it as it's another opportunity to share what I love to do with people. But enough about that, today, I'd like to share my latest piece with you, it's called Ravens in the Rain, it's 26x20" and I completed her yesterday.
This piece is a perfect example of what I call my spontaneous flow, when the paint takes me on a journey that I didn't plan. This one took quite a while and it wasn't until I finished her that I realized that the little girl was familiar to me. Oddly enough she was familiar to Misty as well.
For me, she somehow came out as the embodiment of a friend of mine, a lady that I've only ever known as an adult. However, when I look at this piece, I see her, as I imagine she would have been as a child, complete with the rain boots and yellow rain coat. Beautiful, strong, bright, impulsive, defiant, with a mind of her own, but a soft, gentle heart. One of those children that is oh so difficult, but oh so worth it. You look into her tiny face and you just know somehow that she's going to be a force to be reckoned with, she's going to change the world, or at least some corner of it; you don't know how or when, but you know she will.
Misty sees this same friend, but also sees a little girl she used to babysit. She described this girl as one of the most beautiful children she ever laid eyes on, with dark hair and skin and piercing blue eyes. She was also one of the most difficult children she ever encountered, what the adults called too smart for her own good, stubborn, cursed like a sailor when she was 4. Apparently you couldn't tell her much of anything, but at the same time, she was sweet and kind too. She never understood why Misty wasn't around to play with her during the day, and when it rained, she'd stand out in the yard, clad in boots and a rain coat, holding her little umbrella, waiting for her to get home from school.
All of this gave me pause to think. Why did the paint take me here? I know nothing about little girls. I was never one of them, I don't have children and I didn't spend very much time babysitting. So I thought about it and I think the piece really speaks to strong little girls that become strong women. The thing about these girls I told you about is they were each a handful, but no matter how hard anyone tried, they could never really be "reined in". They could never be crafted or molded into that stereotypical image of the quiet little girl who waits her turn to speak, doesn't play in the mud and never gets her clothes dirty. Maybe that's the point, maybe we shouldn't be trying to rein them in, maybe if we leave them be to be who they are, strong, defiant, outspoken, intelligent, maybe they will change the world, and let's face it, the world could use the help.