Yesterday I had the acute pleasure of spending four and a half uninterrupted hours in the studio working on a new commission. I need to have it finished in time for the opening of Not Barbie: A Celebration of Real Women (Sept 16th at 6 at Crossroads Art Center, with Artist Talk at 5:30). After a couple of weeks of caring for my 19-year-old son who just had surgery for scoliosis, I could really feel the luxury of the pleasure of being inside my own head, inside my own studio, painting, drawing, doing whatever spoke to me, not worried about his surgery or the outcome of it. He is healing remarkably well and is making huge strides towards independence already. He's amazing.
This painting feels like a very important one to be doing. The subject of the portrait was in a marriage which went awry in the worst way. Her husband's solution was to shoot her and himself. Thankfully she survived. And has become a powerful advocate for women living in abusive situations. This portrait is a celebration and commemoration of her survival and all that means for the world that she is still in it. It inspires me to paint her. I painted her scars yesterday and couldn't help but think why she has them and the courage it must take to let the world see them also. She is wearing her husband's Brooks Brother shirt because when they dressed up and they went out together, things were good between them. It was the time with him when she felt safe.
I feel honored to be painting this woman, the powerful, empowered, empowering woman who has survived a horror and is using her experience to help others. Bravo, Shameless Survivor! Thank you!
If you want to hear more about her story, she will be one of the participants in Beyond Barbie's evening Thursday, October 13 called Through the Fire: Reclaiming Lost Power After Trauma and Abuse. For more information, you can visit my website where I have information about all the evenings for Beyond Barbie.