(Feature Friday is a weekly event, we pick an available artwork and talk about it in more detail.)
“The People” HA! 2015 oils
18″ x 24″ x 1″
The People, honestly, to talk about them is hard. I don’t even know where to begin. I guess, the beginning of any story is the best place to start. Settle in, I’ll try to keep it brief, but I am southern and we like a good story, so, no promises.
I’ve talked a little about the story of the people in another feature Friday post, Eve #3, the instant attraction/compulsion, to know more about the ancient cave paintings left by humans past. Time stamps, prehistoric graffiti, saying “look! I was here and this is what I saw.” I felt drawn immediately to these people, these humans that I am somehow an extension of, in time and space.
In this moment of discovery I also started to awaken to the larger picture of my own recovery…from living life so far. I have had some stuff happen in my past (not a share kinda story) that left me feeling…well, feeling, a lot of feelings. Feelings that led me down the rabbit hole of my own recovery and the eventual rebuilding of a whole, healed and emotionally intelligent being. (effortless but constant work at this mid- point in life)
As the years progressed and I grew, they would show up in sub-conscious ways when I was processing. I welcomed them. They seemed to say…”rest easy, you are not alone in the learning, we have all done it.” I felt reassured and comforted. Because of this personal connection I did not release the works that featured “the people” for many years. I felt they exposed my vulnerability to the world in an uncomfortable way. They were patient with me and so very kind while I surrendered to the fact that I am a highly sensitive person who needed to allow myself to heal. Tough as nails! I can do anything! Nothing Stops me! that was the old me. The new me…listens more than she talks and has compassion for myself as well as all others. The people were patient while I learned these lessons. They kept showing up and I healed, mostly.
One of the galleries that I worked with at the time saw the works and encouraged me to share them. We had just enough paintings for a small showing. I didn’t feel comfortable talking about what they meant to me so I hung them with nothing more than titles and prices. They sold out opening night. I saw that they could reach others too. I saw that it was time to talk about it.
So, here we are many years later. The people still appear when they are needed. This last year they have shown up three times in my work. This painting is the first one of those three. I named this work The People for the simple reason of that’s what we are. Us humans. Without race, creed, religion, economics, orientation or nations. We are the human race. We ARE THE PEOPLE. We the People. I am a southern woman. I am proud of that. I am also constantly dealing with the shame of that fact too. I am educated and what we call well-bred. I was privilege class growing up. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t have black friends. Weren’t we all just some shade of brown anyway? I had no idea why it all seemed so weird and chalked it up to adults are crazy people. But ain’t that the truth? Adults…we are crazy people.
I post this painting today wanting to talk about freedom. Wanting to talk about what is happening in our world. What is happening when people praying to their God can be killed. Where children in mine and your neighborhoods, right now lay hungry. Why? How can any words I might speak or write change anything? It won’t. I will go back to the day job, raising children, painting, loving and paying bills. I don’t want too anymore. I don’t want to be ok with my comfort and wrap myself in the blanket of I am NOT them. I AM THEM. We ARE THEM. Them is US.
WA? and I plan to paint the people as a mural in the city of Portland Oregon. We see these figures as the US we CAN become. We want to share their message of healing with our city. We are applying for permits. We will paint them, hopefully, on the waterfront where they can share the message to as many humans as possible. We love. You love. You hurt. We hurt. We can heal. You can heal.
Well, I see looking up that I didn’t manage to make it so short after all. I hope you’ll understand. Some things, some times, call for courage. Now is that time. This painting is full of figures, talking, laughing, loving, hurting, healing all at once. It shows people being people but there is no struggle for dominance, just acceptance and tolerance. We can accomplish this too. We the Human race in all of its terrifying beauty.
We are here now and this is what we saw.
Do good, be good.
This painting will arrive with painted sides, ready to hang out of the professionally packed box with COA.
Shipping for this painting is free inside the USA and we are offering 50% off any shipping costs internationally. Please email the studio at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Have a great day and thanks for being here.
Question: What do these figures say to you?
support living artists, the dead ones don’t need the cash.