During my twenties I began painting landscapes… open spaces of green, lush, expansive beauty. Roads leading to somewhere in the distance. A sense of adventure and possibility waiting. This one was created with oils…. my most loved painting medium.
This was the same scene painted with water colours and capturing a different season. Somehow the seascapes I did in my teens I no longer was painting, although the same essence of freedom was captured here again as in the seascapes.
I really enjoyed painting this snow scene with fresh morning light embracing the earth. I remember loving the feeling of creating so much white.
At age 20, I was just closing off my training to become a school teacher. It was that year in particular that I had an inner knowing that I wanted to do something meaningful with art one day. I had lots of passionate conversations with my art lecturer at college about how “people just did not know what art can do for them”. I remember him not saying much, just listening and smiling because back then it was unheard of to have any kind of career that involved only art. That class, that year, was my happiest and most fulfilled. I felt alive from deep within as we made pottery, silk screening, lino printing, tie dying, batik…. as we stood at our easels, a still life set up in the corner to sketch…… I was finally home.
I wish though, we had been taught more drawing and painting techniques and not learnt so much art history…. but today I am glad we did not as I will share in a later post.
The emergence of the feminine image:
At around age 20, I found myself sketching portraits of women, expressing the feminine form in its natural state. I am noticing the same theme of liberation expressed again.
I remember practicing the drawing from a “how to draw” book I had. I’m also amazed at how confident I was to draw something so “brave” for the conservative times I grew up in and kind of thought nothing of it. I must have intuitively known there is more to our bodies than fear and shame that every woman carries in some way or another. Must have intuitively known our bodies are something beautiful and Divinely sacred instead. I also think we are actually free-er with our self expression when doing art … I loved finding this.
As someone so beautifully responded when I shared this on FB :
“We have much work to do as a society and as woman, supporting each other to love our bodies, our femininity and our sensuality. Thank you for sharing this.” she said.
My own story around self worth was not a positive one at all by the time I had reached my twenties and hugely affected what I thought I deserved for myself.
I was also drawn to sketching a mother and child image. I purposely did not edit the creased lines on the page because it is so good to see how loved my artwork has been by me as I held onto them for over 30 years….
My twenties were the time of my life when the dancing and swimming and friendships of my earlier years began shifting and life took on a different, more serious tone as adult responsibilities began calling.
I created only about five artworks during this period of my life.
…till motherhood arrived……
…in my thirties…..
and I was challenged in ways I never thought I would be……
and the seeds for my future work would become known to me…
To be continued….
You can read about the actual birth of my painting journey here: