“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.”
-Eagles song, “Already Gone”
One of my favorite paintings is perhaps a surprise to some of my followers out there. Yes, I love the ones I have done of my children, of course, but up there along with them is this painting I did a few years ago.
The title of this painting is “Bound”. It means a lot to me personally and I have it hanging right near my kitchen table to remind myself every day to not get in my own way. That sometimes when the world seems overwhelming, and hurdles seem insurmountable and I feel the anxiety stacking up, that I need to step back and ask myself, “Am I doing this to myself?”
I love the idea that we are in charge of the things that can hold us back. That WE alone can get in our own way. I hear artists all the time saying, “I could never do that!” or, “I am just not good enough!” Such strings. I know sometimes I have a death-grip on my own strings. And if we just release some of those restraints, loosen the grip on those things that are keeping us from moving forward, feeling peaceful or grateful, and just plain let go of toxic relationships, self-doubt and negative energies, that we can breathe easier, see clearer and accomplish what we really want to spend our life on. Because every day is burning up our lives. What do you want to do with the time you have left?
When I was working with this model, I knew I wanted the strings to be pulled taunt and be many-colored to represent the many things that can be pulling on us. In the session it was pretty funny. Strings everywhere and lots of laughter. they were not straight. In the actual painting I used a ruler- (sure, why not?) To make them more linear than they were in real life. Visual tightness.
Quarantine has been a blessing in a lot of ways. I realized that I can say no. That I can paint images that mean more to me and say more about me than I have ever delved into before. And that sometimes, sitting on the couch with my kids and ignoring the dishes is the best way to spend my life.
Self-doubt will come. Finances will always be a worry. Yet I am striving to use a large pair of scissors and cut those strings that might keep me down. I have the key.
I wish you a big pair of scissors too.