2020 dawned with hope for great change, which came “in spades” but it was not the change most of us had envisioned, or better stated the instigator of the change was not expected to be a deadly and mysterious virus…
I was doing my best to be in the studio, bringing forth what wanted to be expressed, and a canvas that felt particularly intriguing to me had already rejected several of what I thought were very fine ideas.
Then I saw her…Nefertiti, how exciting! I found reference and she came forth quite magically. I called her “Re-Emerging”. So enchanted was I that I did not share her with anyone at first, keeping her at home as we began quarantine and the months went by.
It is the middle of May as we begin re-entry into life with little resemblance of “as we knew it”, and I set about writing her story.
Nefertiti means “the beautiful one has come forth”. She was described as “a grown woman with harmonic and balanced beauty.” She was chief consort (wife) to Akhenaten as he created upheaval in Egypt by dismissing polytheism in favor of worshipping the Sun God Aten disrupting the established power structure. He also relocated the national capital and supported a new style of artwork that broke long standing conventions by depicting people, animals and objects more realistically, with curves, imperfections and the illusion of movement.
What is her message as she comes forth in 2020? I was struck by her beauty, but due to the heavily textured canvas, she is not unblemished, and I appreciated that as well, authentically beautiful even with her scars, not feeling the need to hide them. How ironic to discover that the “hidden” face of Nefertiti had wrinkles, less defined cheek bones and a bump on the nose. The sculptor (of the bust) chose to use a final layer of stucco to smooth her edges and perfect the features.
Could her message be that living authentically and vulnerably is both beautiful and powerful? That acceptance of all aspects of ourselves, especially the ones we have always rejected, is the path to freedom and peace? That one can remain balanced and in harmony even during times of upheaval and great change? Finally, that we are both human and divine and embracing both may give us the richest and most satisfying experience of this life?
My hope is that she inspires you to embrace yourself fully and find the courage to live authentically and vulnerably. Once again this painting informs me that while I think I am creating art, the art is really creating me.