Early in the new year I started a large cathartic painting. I had thought about what I wanted to create for a while. I wanted, or rather needed to create something straight from my heart. Straight from the journey July - December 2022 took me on. I had so many feelings that processed through my body during this challenging time. To be fair, I still am processing even more of these feelings. I think that is life though.... right?!?
Anyway, I grabbed a big 3ft square canvas (one of my favorite sizes) and just started on it. I often write on a canvas before creating art. This time I went for it like standards we had to do in school. Well, maybe more like a stream of thought. Writing all that came up, memories, things people said, choices I had to make, feelings about it all. I started to feel this wasn't just about my journey through breast cancer but my feelings about aging as a woman also.
As the painting kept going I knew it was not going to be my average pretty landscape with some words underneath. This baby had to be born through the fire and blood. So I added my blood to it, well red paint as my blood.
The title came to me as I was making it also. We bleed as women. Monthly we bleed, we bleed to make new humans, we bleed to make a better life for others. Once our monthly bleeding stops things shift in a big way. It's not talked about a lot because it is a tricky subject I suppose. Being infertile.... no longer able to create life in our bodies. So weird that we could do that in the first place, right? We host new life? So crazy? Anyway I digress. We are sold a lot of lies as women. Buy the right anti-aging cream or get filler for your wrinkles/lips/cheeks etc and you will be happy, desirable, young. I mean, that is a straight up lie. Why do we care so much about the second two things anyway? Being young was pretty hard, being an older woman will be hard too in a different way. Can we embrace this stage we are in? Can we be genuine? Be the best of it. Let the truth show and be authentic? So scary, so hard that it almost feels like openly bleeding. Wrinkles, grey hair, soft body, dry like a flower gone to seed.
I also think the health industry puts a weird spin on breast cancer. It's pink, there are sponsored events to support research where everyone dresses up and walks or runs. "It's so treatable" you hear often. Cool, but actually its INSANELY (I'll use that word instead of the one that starts with F I'd prefer) HARD. Even if you don't have to have chemo (like me). Even if you get to keep some of your natural boobs (like me). The process is unbelievably difficult. The choices you have to make are crazy. The fear it brings up. The pain, the mortality you feel (even if you wouldn't leave behind children). The feelings that you don't want to do any of it! You just want to close your eyes and hide away somewhere dark and safe. I don't know, I just had to put it out there. So this painting was made.
The making of this painting brought forth so many of the feelings deep inside. I've received a lot of messages that it resonated with you. Or, that you just couldn't stop looking at it. That makes me smile. Evoking emotion and making you look is always my goal. Most artists goal I think.
We can soften all this to a pink lie, but it bleeds red in our hearts and bodies.
If you have thoughts about this painting or these feelings I'd love to hear them. Tell me in the comments or on social media. xoxo
"Pink Lies Still Bleed Red"
Ps... thanks for all your support with my health and my art. I'm not done bringing you art for your home too (abstracts/florals/skies) ... those will come again soon also. 😉