Retrieving the Wild, acrylic, 24x18
Expression has been a recent topic in blogs that I follow: Kathy's and Margaret's --and I pay careful attention to Don's insightful comments on those sites; he has a great self-portrait on his blog and his Thanksgiving entry was powerful. Margaret's entry from yesterday asked if we could identify when we found our artistic voice. I found mine easily when I was in my twenties but it was with sculpture.
In 2001, after 35 years of sculpting, I switched to painting. For some reason I felt that I needed to paint because I could no longer express myself with sculpture, such a slow process--whether clay, wood, or stone. I've since learned that painting (my painting, anyway) is not necessarily faster. Getting the nod of approval was important when I began painting so I chose my subjects carefully and stayed close to realism.
In 2006, I awoke from a dream and made a sketch. In the dream I had unearthed and retrieved something important and a bit gross. I interpreted the dream as a message--don't shy away from the strange. (Yes, people--for many years I kept a dream diary--great fun-- & have actually tried programming my dreams. It sometimes works.) I also acknowledge the book "Women Who Run with the Wolves," which says we often leave our wild side behind in order to conform. (To Heck with that!) I felt this painting was my announcement that I would take more chances with my work.
I am fortunate--I have good friends and family who enjoy and buy art; they provide approval and support. They don't necessarily like everything I paint but they see it as progress. Close friends who are neighbors bought this painting at my summer show; I visit it often. Lots of my paintings have not made it off my street!