Welcome to the first blog of the New Year and to the first painting of my New Life…

Some ideas for books, inventions or even paintings are forged in fire. Stirred and stirred with seasonings from real life. Normally when I get caught up in a painting, I start with a story or narrative, hire a model and then figure out how to tell it in a visual way. This holds true this time as well, but now it is personal. This painting is a story of my life from the last 6 months. Going through a crisis can turn the world black. And believe me, I have had some black days recently. But out of this blackness I noticed something miraculous…

Last fall I took a break from writing this blog to deal with trauma my life. Once I started writing again (see last October 2018) I wrote that I wanted a new theme… Life is Lemon Yellow or- LILY- for short. But when I wrote last Fall about seeing the Lemon Yellow in my life, because yellow represents happiness to me, I did mean it. Although it is much easier to say it than to live it. I have gone out and bought lemon-yellow kitchen towels, I have surrounded myself with yellow things, including lots of actual lemons, but living “Lemon Yellow” is seeing the beauty and abundance in things we already posses and sometimes it is very hard to see. I must admit I haven’t been painting for fun or for beauty very much lately. It is hard to justify that when so many things demand attention. And we all have that… but I didn’t know it, but I had gathered many good things. My lights. My lemons.

So when I did start to think about painting just recently, the word “abundance” kept coming to me. It is very true that you never know who your friends are until something bad happens, and then those that are there for you are a true gift. And I have found myself with many, many gifts. Many things that make my life Lemon Yellow. These “lights” in my life have served as a source of strength and comfort and a reason to be happy. Old neighbors stopping by to check on me. My daughter getting me addicted to Brooklyn 99 so I laugh when I am numb. A good cuddle with a cat. New friends and new opportunities. I found I have an abundant life.

And at some point the idea for this painting clicked. So I brought back my favorite model, Jade… what a beautiful soul!  And we created this image together. Art can be therapy too.

She stands naked in a dark void. Stripped bare. Yes, there is blackness and deceit and evil out there… (I have seen it up close) And she looks out on this world with a “what the fuck?” attitude. (If I have offended, please pardon… but it is the only phrase the fits in both venom and despair.)  As she looks out on this world asking why – why events have happened to her, why selfishness reigns, and why deceit is left to flourish – she unknowingly is lit.

All she has to do is look down and see the abundance she already possesses… in her own arms… the lemons of her life.

“Abundance” pastel, 30 x 24″

Next week I will go over how this work was created. I will post photos and the layering process along with the doubts, second-guesses and the all important “ugly stages”… and there were many.

Yes, the world is dark and scary. And extremely unfair. And we can look around in anger, but if we can look down and see the abundance we already hold… well…


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