:: acrylic paint and colored pencil on 1 1/2″ deep wood panel
:: measures 10×10″
:: white painted edges
:: ready to hang with wire on the back
This is painting #29 from my ‘100 Messages To Myself’ painting series.
This is an original painting. There is only one!
I wasn’t sure what the meaning behind this one was (if anything at all) until the very end. I was painting, stepping back, painting, stepping back, waiting for the message to appear. And then: you are a wild thicket. That felt right. Recently my neighbor and I transplanted a few plants from big pots into my garden beds. One was a strawberry plant that had spread a ton outside its container and had started to root into the grass around where the pot had been. I loved that. I hope next summer we’ll have strawberries instead of grass there. Anyway, I’d never paid attention to how strawberry vines grow and spread and travel. They send down these roots periodically, and new leaves and strawberries sprout from there. And it strikes me now looking at this painting that maybe that’s it. We outgrow our containers and we put down new roots. And then we blossom and bear fruit, in new places, in new ways. We can try to stop it, but that’s no use because the vines will expand out to somewhere… best to just allow it maybe, and to direct the expansion, no? You are a wild thicket. This, to me, means that I am so much more than what appears on my surface. I contain multitudes (Walt Whitman?). I painted in running clothes and running shoes tonight. Atypical “artist attire” maybe. I am a mother. A widow. I am a friend. A dreamer. A daughter. A sister. An aunt. A doer. A gardener. A yogi. A romantic. A skeptic. A tattooed person. A tame person. A giver. A receiver. An optimistic pessimist (or maybe a pessimistic optimist?). I am innocent and jaded. I am a people pleaser. I am learning to love myself more than that. I am growing. Wild. Expanding beyond my container. My new container has room for new versions of myself that I haven’t known before. It’s wide enough and deep enough to hold an entire wild thicket, messy and imperfect and always expanding upward and outward and inward and onward…. (Here‘s the full message I wrote when I painted it.)
My life changed dramatically in August 2018 when my husband suddenly died and then again in January 2019 when my baby girl was born. It’s been a strange 15 months! Creating nearly daily art has been one of the main ways I’ve tuned in to my feelings and to myself as I’ve moved forward. Sharing the art that I’ve been making and the messages I’ve been giving to myself has been a powerfully healing part of my journey, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to share my images and thoughts with you.