I wanted to be an artist since I was eight. I always had an easel set up in my room. I would purposely position it in front of the door so if anyone opened it, I would be right there and they would quickly close it again. Sometimes I would set up a still life propped on my desk - an old raggedy doll, a vase of flowers, a patterned blanket. I began painting in oils and I confess - I quickly embraced the smell of linseed oil and solvent, my mother would constantly tell me to open the window for ventilation.
They can tell you, you are never good enough, laugh at you, ridicule you, question how you are going to make a living, that the arts is not a money making profession - the medical field is more prosperous. They can tell you that because you are a woman your work will only sell if you imprinted your nude body on a canvas - that this will bring the work ‘value’. They can throw away your paintings so you and your younger sister have to scour the neighborhood dumpsters to only discover they are gone forever. They can do all these things but that voice will always be there no matter how small, to tell yourself, “no, I am doing this, I have the power to create my own path, I am worthy, I have value”.
My wish for humankind:
I wish you strength, love and fortitude - that when life throws challenges out there, sometimes when we least expect it, over and over again, you will listen to that inner voice. Sometimes small but courageous, self loving and self compassionate - that you are here in this world for a reason and your voice needs to be heard.
A cocoon rests peacefully in my studio as a reminder of transformation. There was once a dark time where yellow butterflies followed me everywhere. "A butterfly symbolizes acceptance of each new phase in life. To keep faith as everything around you changed". - Lisa Kleypas -