This piece, completed on Easter, began nearly a month ago when I sanded down a failed floral (failed in my opinion) and started over.
When I look back now, the floral was not as awful as my eyes had told me it was, and it set me off on a journey, from failed to fabulous…I felt I could see the beginning of a Quan Yin figure in this abstract.
I found a statue of Quan Yin my boys (pre-teen at the time) gave me years ago and began bringing her forward.
This is already a week into the process…I was struggling with something most of the month of March, I felt it was unprocessed grief, but something else was happening, that made me feel wrong no matter what I was doing. I mean everything, what I was saying, wearing, eating, activities chosen, direction for the painting, all wrong…what was happening?
I re-worked the painting again and again (a reel of the process will show up on Instagram soon). I was determined and yet baffled at my indecision and waffling. My inner critic scoffed and shouted…”What is wrong with you, why can’t you do this, you’re an artist for God’s sake!”
The painting kept drawing me softly back. Quan Yin is, after all, the Goddess of Compassion, a bodhisattva (a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so in order to ease the suffering of human beings). My treatment of myself was anything but compassionate.
The weeks wore on, revision after revision did not feel right. Today, I believe the answer came, when what to my wondering ears should appear, but a Podcast from Sounds True, http://Turning Shame Into an Ally
As I listened, I felt a deep knowing that this is what has been asking for my attention, shame was separating me from my wisest, most loving, most compassionate self and this information (a six-week course, available Tuesday) is (has been) a missing piece for me.
I am so looking forward to turning my shame into an ally instead of a tormentor, an emotional terrorist. I know this will help me be a better artist, more loving parent, partner and friend. I can now enjoy “Compassion Won” because it does not need to be perfect or fabulous, I know and accept that I am human and humans are flawed. I’m so grateful for the ways my art helps reveal my healing path and vice versa.