I'd like to showcase here my latest work. Today we have "Open". It's an 11" x 17" watercolor including gold, silver and copper paint. At the moment it's NFS.
This is the latest addition to my "Take Good Care" series where I explore ways to understand the human condition and discover ways to care for myself and others ~ mentally, physically and from the soul. Each painting has a story. Here's the story behind "Open"
In January 2021, this was the first finished painting I had done since my husband died 5 months earlier.
Attempting to capture a cluster of emotions in one painting can be a daunting task let alone bogged down with grief work. But this one sprung to the front of my mind when discovering a reference photo in black and white.
“Vulnerability! That’s it!” I heard myself say. I knew how to proceed from there. Let my soul take over even while healing.
Vulnerability has NOT always been one of my favorite feelings and self-protection HAS been a very important state of being for many years. Until now.
Experiencing death of a loved one can certainly shatter your soul. It left me weak and sobbing wanting to crawl under a rock never to emerge. But I realized, this is no way to strengthen and heal. Engaging with caring people is how I’ve learned to heal but this had proven almost impossible during a global pandemic. Instincts kicked in and I reached out to friends to get out of the house.
Somehow, I had chosen these incredible friends. They had replied to my email asking to meet. They saw me at my very worst. Every wall of protection and defense had crumbled apart. They saw me unbathed, no makeup, completely unadorned. They heard my monotone chatter. They saw me cry and fall apart and they listened. Most of them have known me as something of a leader in our town. I had always been social, happy, passionate, gregarious and in charge. And now I could barely walk without dragging my feet. I was numb inside.
Not only did these friends listen to me, treat me to lunch and take me for walks, they did something so much more. They did something so very deep. They dug down inside themselves and shared with me things so painful and heartbreaking that had happened to them. This made me feel I was not alone in my heartache, but it showed me something deeper. These people felt my wide-openness and vulnerability and opened up themselves. Never had I known these stories at these levels. Never had I ever been so vulnerable. Never had I experienced so many moving and effecting experiences so close together. Then, I came to understand what this new phenomenon was.
Vulnerability begats vulnerability and opens doors to truth and the genuine soul. When people are open in this way, a purity of the human experience is allowed to expel and the readiness to receive compassion and grace becomes free. It’s a mystical exchange and spiritual experience. I liken this to a volcano opening up and spewing the gold of truth and allowing the cool silver rain to balm and heal. Then, new ground forms creating a path to more truth, more compassion and more grace. I have entered a new level of consciousness shaping my understanding of the human condition forever.