We Are All Connected
First of all: I’ve been working on this piece bit-by-bit since JANUARY. I have no idea why it took me so long, I think it just took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to say. That happens sometimes, but the pieces that take forever for me to finish are usually my favorites.
I started with the textures and layers of color, then I added the shapes. This is one of my favorite parts because I crank up the music and just paint paint paint. Even if my colors seem basic, there are usually several layers that I’ve painted over or added to to push and pull the colors out the way I want them.
Then it sat in my studio and stared at me for weeks.
So I added trees. I love trees, so that part wasn’t hard either.
A few weeks later, I added figures. This part took me forever, because I wasn’t sure what I wanted them to do. Then I realized they should just be reaching, though I wasn’t sure why.
Over a few months, I added birds. A bird here, a bird there, flying in all different directions until I wasn’t sure which bird came from which direction. They just because the same flock of birds moving through the different worlds in the painting.
Then it came to me last week. I read an article about starving children in Guatemala and yes, I cried. I was home alone and those kids are far away in a place I’ve never been, but that article just tore my guts out. This happens all the time actually. I have a habit of taking on others’ pain and tension. If someone I’m close to is upset, I feel it. If they’re been a fight recently, even if I wasn’t involved, I can’t relax until things calm down. If my best friend or a husband is having a bad day, I can sense it even if they’re across town and haven’t told me anything about it. Even when I was a baby I would cry and cling if one of my parents was upset.
As humans, we want to connect with others. According to the visual hierarchy, the first thing we see in images are faces. Even if there are words and bright colors all over the image, we’ll notice faces first. That’s why we see “faces” in bathtub faucets and splotches on the sidewalk. We love books and movies because we can immerse ourselves in someone else’s story and become a part of it, and it becomes a part of us. We love art and music because we can share and relate to the emotions and experiences of other people.
In this painting, three different figures reside in different worlds, but they are connected through the birds that fly all around the painting. Their thoughts, worries, hopes, struggles, and lessons learned are both different and similar. As they share these experiences with each other, they become the same flock of birds that they all share.
We all live different lives in different places. We all have different versions of “normal”, different beliefs and faiths, different ambitions and talents, but we are so much alike. I know, it’s been rehashed to death, but as we are all different, we are the same. We have the same basic needs and desires. We all learn from each other and no matter how different we are, we can all relate to each other somehow. The CEO of a Fortune 500 company can relate to a single mother struggling to make ends meet, a single engineering student can relate to a famous Broadway star, and young emerging artist in Utah can relate to a malnourished seven-year-old girl in Guatemala. On some level, in some way, we can connect with any and every human on earth because part of us is the same.
Whew, that was heavy. No wonder this painting took me months to finish!
I love this piece so much that I’m not sure if I’m going to sell the original, but 8×10 prints are available in my shop!
I really adore this piece and I hope you do to0!
Have a wonderful week my friend!