I’m having a bad day. I can’t seem to keep my feelings together. One minute I’m fine, one minute, I’m excited, and the next minute I’m bawling. There is a lot of upheaval happening personally so there are some damn fine reasons for all of this. However, I am not remotely comfortable with feeling bat shit crazy. But I am. Feeling bat shit crazy. So here it is. Ravaged Madonna is acrylic and fabric on canvas.
It’s been a rough week for a lot of women. I’m not the only survivor of sexual abuse to be enraged by the proceedings in government. Seeing another privileged white man rising to success despite being a sexual predator sends me into fits of rage wherein I fantasize about kicking them all right in the face. And so, this piece was born from some rage. I really wanted to kick that ghost right in the face but that wasn’t what this painting wanted to become.
I’m a survivor. There is only one thing worse than having to admit this shameful fact for me, and that is the abuse itself. Believe a woman if she says she has been sexually assaulted. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to admit something so humiliating, we’d much rather pretend it never happened.
This was kind of a “just do it” piece. I didn’t really have intentions, I just did what appealed to me. I often work this way and notice how much more free that leaves the painting to just become what it wants to be. Sometimes I have an idea and I relative vision but never had a piece come out to look like what I imagined before it came into creation. I tend to live my life in much the same way, saying yes and allowing myself to be led to where the Universe needs my skill set the most. Those times of surrender place me in the places I need to be for my own growth on my journey as well, though they don’t always feel so great in the process. I’m finding now, more than ever, that my personal and professional life is pretty good. Even keel with little drama and, as a former drama addict, I find this peace to be both refreshing and a little disconcerting. I’ll take it while I can, though, and will continue to allow the painting of my life unfold as it wants to.
This piece started life as a quilt type thing, which I quickly realized was NOT me at all. And, after an hour of trying to make this piece of paper into something I really didn’t want it to be, I got out my palette knife and went to town. I had an idea for figures facing across a chasm, which occurred to me in the middle of the night as I maintained a half a bed worth of personal space from my husband. We’ve been married a long time and we, like most married people, go through periods where connecting seems more work that we have energy. Or maybe it’s just me. I have a need for a lot of quiet and downtime and life as a middle school teacher, wife to an extrovert, mom to teenage boys, and den mother to two rambunctious rescue doesn’t allow for much in the way of peace or quiet. I’d choose it again, no doubt about it. However, how to balance what I need and what my life needs is a trick I have yet to master. Anyway, this swirl of thoughts was the space in which this painting was created. And I like it. The figures are literally cut from one piece of batik cloth, thus the name of the piece. The landscape is a mix of torn monoprints and acrylic paint.
Just hanging out at home on my hurrication this week. My husband and I sacrificed waterfront property for security when the weather hits and this week, that definitely paid off. Parts of my county were told to evacuate before Florence wobbled her drunk ass south. While I’m thankful for all the naps, my shiny new generator and the fact that the storm was less threatening than she initially promised, I’m a little over Netlix and overeating non-perishables. So, back to the studio I went. My intention was to play with some fabric scraps I got and to make some sort of portrait. What happened was this. My therapist sees some pretty dark shit in this piece and that frankly worries me out because I’m not feeling particularly dark. Caged, yes. Dark, not as much. So while I wonder if I’m lying to myself, this little lady is up for review.
My first solo show opened Friday night at Arts in Main, Gloucester, VA. Also, that date marked the end of my first week of teaching 7th grade. To say I’m exhausted is a fucking understatement. My ass has been glued to the couch all weekend, and tomorrow morning is going to feel like a direct hit from a metro train. Here are some pics from the opening, before a decent sized crowd came in. Framing credit goes to my very precision oriented husband!❤️