As an artist, I’ve been searching for my voice, for my truth in my creative expression. What do I have to say that is of value? It’s a question we all have asked ourselves. For the longest, I spent my time traveling and exploring the world around me looking for that inspiration. Each time I did, all the paths lead back to me and that just terrified me! The more the path lead back to me and my story the more I ran and threw myself into the world outside of me. Then a couple of days ago, I decided to start painting from an easel and that meant I needed a stool to sit on while I painted. I remembered seeing an old wooden stool in my parents home growing up throughout the years. As my parents gave me this old wooden stool, my mother said “your great grandmother used this stool to paint. Did you know she used to paint?” It was in that question, in this exchange that brought everything in my life into perspective. The terror, the running away, the avoiding my own story all came into perspective. As I drove to my studio to paint, I thought about my great grandmother and how she was also a painter and a beautiful creative. She was such a beautiful and powerful woman. I also began remembering the stories from my mother about how she was diagnosed with manic depression and how she underwent many treatments of shock therapy by the hands and direct consent of her brother. She slowly lost herself in all of it eventually surrendering to Alzheimer’s disease. Emotions began to rise up within me, real emotions of what it has meant to be a woman on my mother’s side of the family; what it has meant to be a woman throughout the centuries. How many women have been erased within their own life? How many women have lost that connection to the beautiful and powerful creative within? As I carried the wooden stool into my studio and set it right in the center, it became very clear to me what I needed to express within my work. The story I’ve been running from my whole life. The story of what it has meant to be a woman in my family. An ode to all the women who disappeared right before our eyes.
There are moments in life that some call “defining”; moments that mark a shift, a transformation of sorts. These moments find you and can come to you in the most unexpected ways. My defining moment found me through and old wooden stool and in it I found my voice and inspiration for my upcoming series!