Living life in my experience includes loss. This can include small things that I don’t really notice and it can include larger more significant life changing events. Some of the more difficult aspects of loss for me have been those experiences that have taken me by surprise and left me feeling blindsided and sometimes disposable.
This is important in the context of my painting because the journey back to this part of myself (the artist) was inspired by such an experience. Looking back on this time I’ve come to understand I was in various states of complex PTSD. You might not have known as I looked ok on the outside but was actually living in a survival mode and pretty shut down, unable to digest or process emotionally what I was going through. I sought and found help.
I decided to leave an outside job I was in without another. I was afraid but in dire need of time. It was a complete act of faith. That choice cost me in many areas and I wasn’t clear about the art right away. But a cleansing had begun. I can’t say I was overjoyed in that process but it was necessary. Often it’s felt like a deep “house cleaning” where everything is turned upside down and inside out. And there’s no vision of how it’s all going to land or what will be lost in the process. So while it required facing fears, I started to see better.
The steps back to painting came slowly and required a lot of commitment as well as compromise. And while I have discarded a lot of things I no longer needed and have been met with challenges including financial, I’ve discovered some very important parts of myself including “the artist”.
What you see here today is the first of 3 paintings I’ve begun since my car died. They each feature a part of the inside my garage. There’s a feeling of curiosity here as if I were engaged in an experiment. The space offers a blend of the outdoors and indoors that’s different. The “elements” of nature are present and resemble aspects of plein-air painting. Simultaneously, there is this array of subjects I have a relationship with but never considered painting in the context of this space. I see there are treasures in my garage for more healing.
Categories: Interiors, Landscapes, plein-air, Poetry, Winter
Stunning composition, Cathy. To take a part of your garage and make it into beauty … what a gift! And what you wrote is so truly honest and vulnerable. I understand what it’s like to have PTSD and even though I have ways of coming back to “me”, it’s not easy. I’m proud of what you have accomplished and how happy I am as well that this painful journey you experienced led you back to your painting. Now that is glorious!! Just felt so humbled by your trust of who comes here to read what you have posted. You are so courageous. xo
Hi Amy. I appreciate your comment and the identification. I think part of creating is about being vulnerable and acknowledging in some way one’s own humanity and power. I’ve appreciated the honesty I’ve heard in many of your posts and that has always touched me. Thank you! xo
Aw, Cathy. God bless you. What is the point if we cannot be honest? You humble me. I’m so touched. xo
This painting has a wonderful profound-ness to it. I know that’s not a word, but my best word to describe what I felt when I saw it and read your inspiration…. bravo!