So much has happened, in the past year and a half. I keep feeling like the past year was just a blip in the time continuum, but then I look at my studio, and realize I have accomplished more than I thought, in the world’s pandemic haze. I hope you can all join me, at my first solo exhibition art reception on July 24th, or contact me to meet up another time the few weeks after to meet at the Arts League of Lowell gallery, to see my artwork in person. Or ditch me if you prefer, and bring a date or your family! There is nothing close to digitizing artwork in a way that replicates what it feels like in person. Go! We finally can now, I know I am going to have a hard time saying no to anything this year, although I am still choosing my interactions carefully, since I get drained so easily. Energy is a fickle thing. It can also be a quite beautiful thing, and I am so incredibly sensitive to all energies that are around me. This is why nature is my playground. I try to immerse myself in a forest bath at least once a week, preferably twice. The ocean calls to me if I do not visit enough, and on a warm, blue-skied summer day I can smell the salty sea air in my nostrils, when I am not even close to it. I have been sketching and painting plein air, with markers and acrylics for many years now, while trying to express the movement and energy that I see in my mind. Some pieces have taken me months, almost half a year, while others could take me days. Each one is a journey I follow, and listen to the whispers of where each story wants to travel to. As I have been going through much self reflection the past year and a half myself, each one is a special moment in time for me. Living alone through isolation was something I never thought I would have to go through, but I am glad that I did. I think I needed the monotony of daily life to come to a grinding halt in order for me to see who I really am and want to be in this life. All of the chaos in my head turned to the Earth. I know that this somehow has to be involved in the next step in my journey. Meanwhile, I might as well paint the beauty I see in my mind’s eye, capturing its vibrating, luminescence with every sparkle of sunlight. I needed there to be some hope on the other side of all of this, and wanted to give others hope as well. Because without hope, what is there? I am sure you all felt many pangs of fear last year, and still do, for that matter. We are not out of the woods yet, so to speak. But I do have much more hope now, than I did in the Spring of 2020. That is when I made the painting that is in this postcard below, called “Green Peace.”
It came completely from my imagination, a way to transport myself to somewhere else I always would have hope. I would love to give these pieces of hope I created to those that really do need it. Mental health is something that really touched every single one of us last year, and to live alone through it was incredibly hard, but also incredibly humbling. There were so many around me so much worse off than I, but I knew I had to help myself, before I could help others. I had to give myself things to work on, to give myself something to look forward to every day. If I woke up and decided, I need to go take a day trip someplace new, I went ahead and made it happen somehow, because that urge rarely happened. I always knew when I went ahead with whatever it was, I would feel a million times better afterwards. Trying to find someplace where I could pee in the woods at least, that was also a thing, with no public bathrooms open. This was legit Urinetown land, for all my theater friends out there. Then trying to stay out til sunset, so I could see the colors over the ocean or the mountains, is always a fun challenge, to explore til late in the day. Even if I need a little cat nap on the beach, that is fine with this lady. We all need our beauty rest, and a giant dose of self care daily, when we are fighting off the negativity bombarding us daily in the news and social media, or just walking down the street. I actually stopped watching the news completely last year, and got rid of my cable. I have definitely felt some weight off of my shoulders since I made that decision. I realized it was adding nothing positive to my life, so why keep it? I bought a subscription to the Boston Globe, and read that now. Sometimes a headline looks too dark for me to read, so I choose to pass and get the low down from my loved ones. We do what we need to do to protect our mental health, and I just know with all the anxiety I was already facing, I did not see any need to add to it unnecessarily.
Now that it is finally safe to do so, I would LOVE to see all of the people I have been missing the past year, and want to meet all the new people I can. Because, who knows what will happen in the future, we have to make the most of the present moment. I plan on volunteering for some things I care about, I love me a good beach cleanup, trying to find anything to help climate change. Maybe finding an older dog who needs a friend, one who will hopefully sleep all day while I paint, but will join me for the occasional walk in the woods. I started plans to donate a few of my paintings to Lahey hospital, because I believe my art would touch the most people in this kind of venue. At the end of the day, if being captured by the colorful rainbow of hope strikes a chord with someone in their darkest hour, I would really feel like I had purpose in this crazy world. And isn't that what we all strive for, to touch someone else's soul in some way, whether it be large or small?